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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Losing The Fight Against Prescription Drug Abuse

English: Novamoxin Prescription Drug - Amoxici...
The fight against prescription drug abuse in the United States has proven to be an insurmountable challenge for officials in many parts of the country. A number of states lack effective strategies to combat the ever growing problem of prescription drug abuse, CNN reports.

A new report has found that 28 states and Washington, D.C. scored six or less out of 10 possible indicators of promising strategies.

The report called, “Prescription Drug Abuse: Strategies to Stop the Epidemic,” was conducted by the nonprofit group Trust for America’s Health (TFAH). The report found that only New Mexico and Vermont scored 10 out of 10.

Since 1999, the number of drug overdose deaths, most caused by prescription drugs, doubled in 29 states, according to the report. Prescription drug related overdose deaths now outnumber those from heroin and cocaine combined. What’s more, the number of overdose deaths is greater than motor-vehicle deaths in 29 states.

The report found that 49 of 50 states have drug monitoring programs, but only 16 states require medical providers to use the programs.

Naloxone, an opioid overdose antidote, has been known to save thousands of lives throughout the country. Unfortunately, only 17 states and Washington, D.C. allow the general population to access and administer the drug Naloxone.

“Prescription drugs can be a miracle for many, but misuse can have dire consequences. The rapid rise of abuse requires nothing short of a full-scale response—starting with prevention and education all the way through to expanding and modernizing treatment,” Jeffrey Levi, PhD, Executive Director of TFAH, said in a news release. “There are many promising signs that we can turn this around—but it requires urgent action.”
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