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Rapid Expansion of the Opioid Ecosystem: National Implications for Prescriber–Pharmacist Communication

Published:September 12, 2018DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amepre.2018.05.003
      According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 46 people died each day in 2016 from prescription opioid–related poisoning.

      Prescription Opioid Overdose Data, Drug overdose, CDC Injury Center. www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/data/overdose.html. Published January 5, 2018. Accessed January 24, 2018.

      Opioid prescribing volume per capita, which directly correlates with mortality, has declined but remains three times higher than in the late 1990s.
      • Guy GP
      • Zhang K
      • Bohm MK
      • et al.
      Vital signs: changes in opioid prescribing in the United States, 2006–2015.
      The lifesaving drug naloxone is being rapidly deployed as a stopgap measure to prevent deaths.
      • Jones CM
      • Lurie PG
      • Compton WM
      Increase in naloxone prescriptions dispensed in U.S. retail pharmacies since 2013.
      However, multifaceted strategies for preventing and treating opioid use disorders, such as increased access to evidence-based treatment (e.g., medication-assisted treatment), are urgently needed.
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