Every American with a family member, friend, or associate dealing with a personal opioid disorder knows the opioid crisis is real and often personally devastating.
For those who have not yet had to deal directly with this crisis, the statistics are compelling enough to deserve everyone’s attention and desire to become more educated on the effect opioids can have on a person’s health. It is wise to be prepared to take action if you or someone you know are faced with this crisis firsthand.
According to the National Institutes of Health, “every day more than 115 people in the United States die after overdosing on opioids. The misuse of and addiction to opioids—including prescription pain relievers, heroin, and synthetic opioids such as fentanyl—is a serious national crisis that affects public health as well as social and economic welfare.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that the total “economic burden” of prescription opioid misuse alone in the United States is $78.5 billion a year, including the costs of healthcare, lost productivity, addiction treatment, and criminal justice involvement. In response to the opioid crisis, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is focusing its efforts on five major priorities:
- Improving access to treatment and recovery services
- Promoting use of overdose-reversing drugs
- Strengthening our understanding of the epidemic through better public health surveillance
- Providing support for cutting-edge research on pain and addiction
- Advancing better practices for pain management
The Medication-Assisted Treatment of Opioid Use Disorder: Pocket Guide was created by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to inform and prepare physicians using medication-assisted treatment for patients with opioid use disorder. It discusses various types of approved medications, screening and assessment tools, and best practices for patient care.
Though primarily produced for the medical community, this pocket guide provides critical information to anyone looking to assist a person in need. This publication is available on the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at https://bookstore.gpo.gov/.
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About the author: Blogger contributor Ed Kessler is a Promotions Specialist in GPO’s Publication and Information Sales program office.