June 30, 2014 – Opioid Threat
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Anchor lead: What can be done about the dramatic rise in prescription drug abuse? Elizabeth Tracey reports
More people died in 2013 of prescription drug overdose than illicit drugs, the CDC reports. Johns Hopkins convened a recent conference on how to address this problem. Patricia Davidson, dean of the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, describes a multipronged approach.
Davidson: We need to address this at the level of the healthcare system. The involvement of the FDA in the regulation, marketing, and distribution of those drugs is really important. The other important issue was focusing on provider behavior. What is the threshold for us to prescribe these medications? Administer these medications? And then the other really important issue is that we need to provide much more consumer information about risks associated with these medications. :31
Davidson stresses that awareness is key on everyone’s part. Many of those who become addicted to these medications obtain them from a friend or family member’s prescription. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.