With a record 63 632 drug overdose deaths in 2016, Acting Health and Human Services Secretary Eric Hargan declared a nationwide public health emergency.1 Prescribed opioids play an important role in fueling this devastating epidemic. Between 1991 and 2011, opioid prescriptions nearly tripled to 219 million, with a parallel rise in opioid-related deaths. In 2017, 17.4% of the US population received 1 or more opioid prescriptions; of them, the average person received 3.4.1 Despite such extensive prescribing, most physicians have historically received little training either in pain management or in assessing or managing substance use disorders.
Farmer SA, Schreiber M, Horvath KA. Slowing the Opioid Epidemic by Controlling a Source: Disabling the Pump. JAMA Cardiol. Published online June 17, 2020. doi:10.1001/jamacardio.2020.1468
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