The centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported that there were more drug overdose deaths in 2014 than in any year previously. The majority involved opioids (prescription pain relievers and heroin). In 2014, drug overdose deaths in the U. S. Outnumbered motor vehicle crash deaths.
The report noted that the increase in overdose rates have coincided with increased prescriptions for opioid pain relievers which have quadrupled since 1999. According to a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, primary care doctors issued the most opioid pain reliever prescriptions in the U. S. In 2013, more than 35 million opioid pain relievers were prescribed by primary care doctors. In response to this so called “epidemic” the CDC has issued draft guidelines on opioid pain reliever prescriptions for chronic pain. The recommendations include considering non-pharmacological treatment, creating pain management goals, checking in with patients about the risks and benefits of ongoing use and beginning with the lowest effective dose. For short term pain the guidelines suggest beginning with the lowest effective dose only to treat the worst of the pain for no more than three days.
Showard Law Firm is Tucson’s local law firm for defective drug and medical device claims. If you believe you or a loved one have been harmed by a medication contact us for a free consultation.