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The Pharmacist’s Role in Preventing Opioid Overdoses

by Jeremy Winograd on February 15, 2017

preventing opioid overdoseThe rapidly rising rate of opioid overdoses is one of the United States’ direst health crises. Addiction to illicit opioids like heroin has cast a shadow over the American health landscape for decades. However, a combination of the increasing ease of availability of powerful prescription opioids like Oxycodone and Fentanyl and rising heroin usage have caused overdose rates to skyrocket. According to the CDC, prescription opioid overdose-related deaths have quadrupled in the U.S. since 1999, reaching an astounding high of 15,000 in 2015 – even more than the 13,000 who died from heroin overdoses in the same year. Based on these overwhelming statistics, we can no longer stereotype opioid addicts. It isn’t just Bubbles from The Wire, or even Lou Reed and Keith Richards, who are in danger of suffering from a sudden and very often fatal opioid overdose anymore. Rather, it’s a growing number of average Americans all across the country. While this is a scary thought, it also means that pharmacists have more plentiful opportunities than ever to make a direct and positive impact on vulnerable patients. Here are a few ways you can help prevent opioid overdoses. [click to continue…]


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