By R Carter
The Academy of Medicine of Cleveland and Northern Ohio
Chronic Pain Management and Opioid Prescribing based on CDC Guidelines for Chronic Pain Management
Prescription pain medications (opioids) account for more fatal overdoses than any other prescription or illegal drug, including cocaine, heroin, and hallucinogens combined. The number of Ohio lives lost to unintentional drug overdose has risen from 369 lives in 1999 to 1,765 in 2011, a 440% increase! Prescription drugs are involved in most of the unintentional drug overdoses and have largely driven the rise in deaths. Opioids and multiple drug use are the largest contributors to the epidemic.AMCNO
Ohio Department of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics
Ohio Department of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics, Injury Prevention Program, in 2015 published data showing a four year decline in prescription opiate related deaths and an increase in illegal opiate related deaths. Despite this AMCNO is reporting that prescription opiates are the leading cause for fatal overdose. AMCNO sites no sources for these claims nor do they provide any corroborating data to support their claim. Representing some 7,000 Ohio prescribers, AMCNO is one of many medical associations which distort truths and facts to forward an ideological agenda which is anti-opiate.
Ohio Department of Health report can be downloaded here.
From that report these two graphs clearly show a decline in prescription opiate deaths and an increase in illegal opiate deaths.
The rise in illegal opiate overdose deaths increased between 2007 and 2015, with a marked increase between 2013 and 2015 of more than 500% when all sources of class I illegal drugs were combined. Such a dramatic rise in such a short period of time is a clear indication that Ohio’s efforts to reduce prescription opiate deaths is having a impact. And while not a long term trend, this data underscores and substantiates that opiate overdose deaths are primarily related to illegal drug abuse and are not a results of chronic pain suffers seeking out medical care.
Such data should justify research funding for long term chronic pain management further clarifying the efficacy of opiates in chronic pain management.
Other corroborating articles from other sources. “When the Cure Is Worse Than the Disease“