As of 2017, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has officially declared the Opioid crisis as a public health emergency. Misuse of opioid drugs results in the death of 115 people each day and killed 42,249 in 2016 alone, as this number continues to rise in 2017 and 2018.

To combat this rapidly growing problem, HHS has created a five-point opioid strategy which was released in 2017.

  1.  Improving access to treatment and
    recovery services;
  2. Strengthening understanding of the
    opioid epidemic through better public
    health surveillance;
  3. Advancing better pain management
  4. Promoting the use of overdose-reversing
    drugs; and
  5. Providing support for innovative
    research on pain and addiction.

The Department of Health and Human Services is calling upon all of the community pharmacists to help. HHS urges all pharmacists to educate their community on the fight against misuse and abuse of opioid drugs.

This can be done by:

  1. Educate patients on realistic expectations for pain control
  2. Identifying misuse and abuse among patients
  3. Better reporting
  4. Work more closely and better with prescribers
  5. Promote Naloxone Access

For more information and other articles, click here.

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