The Washington Post (10/22, Mufson, Zezima, 6.76M) reported that President Obama made his announcement in West Virginia, which has been so hard hit by the opiate epidemic.  The new measures by the Federal government will include increasing access to drug treatment as well as expanding the training of doctors who prescribe opiates.  Other specific programs include doubling the physicians who are able to prescribe buprenorphine to 60,000 over the next three years and doubling the number of providers that can prescribe naloxone.  Buprenorphine is a drug used to treat opiate addiction, and naloxone is used to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. 

 Reuters (10/22, Edwards) also reported on the new measures and indicated that President Obama directed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to invest $8.5 million in opioid addiction prevention.  According to Reuters, the CDC reports that 45 percent of heroin users in the U.S. are also addicted to prescription opiates.

HealthDay (10/22, Mundell, 5K) reported on these developments as well, relaying disturbing numbers from the Journal of the American Medical Association on the scope of the problem.  Their latest study found that the rate of fatal prescription drug overdoses has nearly doubled in the last decade.  The federal government has plans to work with the American Medical Association, the American College of Emergency Physicians, and other groups to help train more than 540,000 health care workers on matters relating to prescription opioids.

[author] [author_image timthumb=’off’][/author_image] [author_info]
Steven J. Lipsky MD, FACEP has been a Board Certified Emergency Physician in Arizona for the last 37 years, and a resident of the Town of Paradise Valley for the last 37 years. Steve Lipsky on Google Plus[/author_info] [/author]

Dr. Steven Lipsky

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