Monthly Feature: Opioid Epidemic Awareness Month 

Opioid Epidemic Awareness Month Drug overdose deaths and opioid-involved deaths continue to increase in the United States. The majority of drug overdose deaths (more than six out of ten) involve an opioid.1  Since 1999, the number of overdose deaths involving opioids (including prescription opioids and heroin) quadrupled.2 From 2000 to 2015 more than half a million people died from drug overdoses. 91 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose.


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Opioid Epidemic Awareness MonthRecurring Epidemics of Pharmaceutical Drug Abuse in America: Time for an All-Drug Strategy.

American Journal of Public Health, Mar2016; 106(3): 408-410. 3p. (Article) ISSN: 0090-0036

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports, prescription drug abuse has reached "epidemic" proportions; prescription drug deaths, particularly opioid analgesics, now vie with automobile accidents as the most common cause of accidental death.  Drug abuse has escaped its traditional home among the non-White urban poor and now runs amok in respectable White suburbia.

Opioid Epidemic Awareness MonthCurbing prescription opioid dependency

Bulletin of the World Health Organization. May2017, Vol. 95 Issue 5, p318-319. 2p. 2 Color Photographs.

Opioids are used to reduce pain. Heroin, as well as prescription pain relievers, such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, methadone and morphine are included.  From 1999-2015, more than 183,000 people died from overdoses related to prescription opioids and in 2012, more than 250,000,000 opioid prescriptions were written in the U. S.

TOpioid Epidemic Awareness Monthreatment of Prescription Opioid Use Disorder in Pregnant Women

American Journal of Psychiatry March 2017, Vol. 174, No. 3, pp. 208 – 214

Prescription opioid use during pregnancy has increased significantly over the past decade, with 14% - 22% of pregnant women filling an opioid medication prescription.  In the U. S., pregnant women filling opioid prescriptions varies by state, ranging from 9.5% - 41.6%, with southern states having the greatest number of pregnant women using opioids. 

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