Sunday, May 27, 2018

One Opioid Crisis or Many?

By Richard "Red" Lawhern — May 14, 2018

US news media headlines appear daily on the so-called “opioid crisis”.  A major thread in public policy discussions is an asserted need to “solve” the crisis by limiting production of opioid analgesics and reducing medical exposure to potentially addicting drugs.   But are such steps actually a remedy?   Will US addiction and overdose problems respond favorably to such a one-size-fits-all policy?  Almost certainly not.

A recent analysis has been performed on data downloaded from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the US Agency for Healthcare Research Quality (1).  The data characterize medical opioid prescribing, opioid overdose-related deaths from legal and illegal drugs and hospital emergency room admissions from 1999 to 2016 for 50 US States and District of Columbia.  Figure 1 is constructed from the most recent CDC data..........To Read More.....

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