Prescription opioid pain relievers are essential to improving the quality of life for millions of Americans living with acute or chronic pain. Unfortunately, misuse, abuse, diversion, addiction and overdose of these drugs has created a serious public health epidemic in the United States. Since 2000, the rate of drug overdose deaths has increased 137%, with nearly half a million people dying from drug overdoses (47,055 deaths reported in 2014). Opioids, primarily prescription pain relievers and heroin, are the primary drugs associated with these deaths. In 2014, 61% of the drug overdose deaths involved some type of opioid.
This public health crisis touches ALL regions of the country, socioeconomic groups, and ethnicities. The federal government and the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) have intensified efforts to ensure safer prescribing of opioids. CO*RE provides continuing education to healthcare professionals for safe extended-release, long-acting (ER/LA) opioid prescribing in alignment with the FDA’s mission, following the FDA Blueprint (January, 2017).
Citation: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6450a3.htm?s_cid=mm6450a3_w and http://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/epidemic/index.html