5,500 New Non-Medical Users Of Prescription Painkillers per day

The fact that there are 5,500 new users of prescription painkillers every day for non-medical purposes is a scary statistic, but the data gets even worse.

I could go on and on.  The reality is that we have a huge problem here in the US where we have 4.6% of the world’s population but we use 80% of the world’s opioids.  This isn’t a new problem.  We’ve been watching this get worse for the past decade.  I feel like it’s finally getting some attention among all our other issues.  The White House is focused on it.  The CDC has put out several pieces on it.  

One solution has been the creation of the PMP (prescription monitoring program) which all states except Missouri have.  A good source for information on the PMPs or the PDMPs (prescription drug monitoring programs) is the Brandeis COE (center of excellence).  But, there are challenges here.  It requires physicians and pharmacists to register and access it, but it’s not part of their workflow.  It’s typically not required.  

Separately, you have some scary data that says physicians may actually prescribe certain drugs including “vicodin goody bags” to improve patient satisfaction scores.   

I could list out dozens of great reports and sources, but here’s a few:

Opioid Abuse From CDC(Source: Graphic is from the CDC website – http://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/rxbrief/) 

 

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