July 24, 2014 – Stopping Opioids


Anchor lead:  Florida has had success in stemming the tide of opioid deaths, Elizabeth Tracey reports

Prescription opioid medications have outpaced street drugs in causing drug overdose deaths, the most recent national data demonstrate.  The state of Florida took aim at the problem two years ago with sweeping chances, Redonda Miller, an internal medicine expert at Johns Hopkins, describes.

Miller: What Florida did is they took action, and implemented a bunch of interventions designed to put a halt on some of this prescribing and to decrease the death rate for patients.  They required pain clinics to register with the state, they worked with the drug enforcement agency to conduct statewide raids and arrests in certain pain clinics, and in fact closed many of them, required mandatory reporting to the drug monitoring program by dispensing agencies.  When they looked at just prescription drug overdose deaths, there was a  decrease of 23.2 percent.  :33

Miller says balance must be struck with also providing people with adequate pain relief.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.