CDC study raises questions on the need for continued efforts to reduce the supply side of prescribed opioids and the continued funding of PDMP programs.
Opioid-Involved Overdose Deaths with Fentanyl or Fentanyl Analogs Detected in 28 States and the District of Columbia, July 2016–December 2018
Approximately two-thirds of the 70,237 U.S. drug overdose deaths reported in 2017 involved opioids. Since 2013, opioid-involved overdose deaths involving illicitly manufactured fentanyl has sharply increased. Fentanyl analogs are structurally similar to fentanyl but vary in potency, are primarily illicitly distributed, and require specific postmortem toxicology testing for detection. Deaths involving fentanyl analogs, particularly carfentanil, increased in 10 states during 2016–2017 and often co-occurred with fentanyl.
As of 2020, there are still publications from official sources such as the DEA, CDC, NIDA, NIH, and SAMHSA which continue to label the opioid overdose crisis as a prescription drug problem. While I agree that prescription drugs were a contributor at the beginning in 1999, efforts to limit the supply side, close loopholes in our healthcare system that encouraged abuse from within healthcare and from outside, all have had dramatic effects on reducing the availability of prescription opioids. As of 2013, according to the CDC, its now a fentanyl problem, none-the-less the message to the public remains one as a prescription drug problem. Here, in the governments own words, are all the reasons this is an unlikely scenerio.
There is a moral in this story which our Federal and State governments would be wise to embrace, that moral is, the lack of funding for the use of opioids in treating chronic pain, using data from opiate naive patients, first-time users of opioids or small studies of less than a 1,000 patients, is not science at all, it’s a joke. Now there’s scientific evidence to back up such a claim.
Dr. Anahi Ortiz, Franklin County Coroner, is committed to drawing attention to opioid overdose deaths, and TV 10 Columbus to reporting it, and rightly so, it’s a plague of a different kind. But something is missing from the regular updates and that’s data from Ohio’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP). Since 2010 Ohio has collected data on every controlled substance prescribed and sold in the state, at a cost of just over $1 billion a year to taxpayers. Yet no data is cross-referenced against these overdose deaths to tell Ohioans how many of these deaths come from prescription medication. Now after reducing prescribing by more than 30%, we’re starting to see where those overdose deaths are coming from, illegal and illicit opioids sold on the street. It may be an indirect inference, but these numbers don’t lie unless those behind them are lying to us.
Nationwide the addiction rate to alcohol runs at 6.6%, with Ohio’s 1.9 million population that’s 6,600 alcohol-dependent individuals per 100,000 population or 125,400 people. Whereas opioid addiction, from both illegal and prescription sources, runs at 0.78% for 780 opioid-dependent Ohioans. It’s estimated the contribution from prescribed opioids is 100 times less than that. This means alcohol addiction is 84o times more prevalent than addiction to prescribed opioids.
While Easter 2020 takes special meaning this year during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, I want to tap reality’s shoulder for a moment to remind it of another resurrection from the dead, that of being a parent. This is in part out of respect for those…
The Franklin County Coroner’s Office said Saturday there’s been a recent spike in suspected overdose deaths. The coroner warns that recent social distancing can possibly trigger substance use.
I tell myself I have a pretty good handle on what it’s like to be an addict, to recover from addiction and what ultimately kills the addict in the long run. My perceptions and informed sense of objectivity come from living with an addict for more than…
Summary What is already known about this topic? During 1999–2017, the rate of drug overdose deaths nationally approximately tripled; approximately 70,000 overdose deaths occurred nationally in 2017, with nearly 68% involving an opioid. What is added by this report? Using toxicology data, New York City identified fentanyl in 2% of…