August 28, 2020
Monday, August 31, is International Overdose Awareness Day, a time to remember colleagues, friends, and family members who have lost their lives in the deadly battle with substance use disorder. It also is an opportunity to learn more about preventing overdose deaths in your community:
The term “opioids” refers to a class of medications available by prescription for pain relief, and includes oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, morphine, and others, and illegal synthetic drugs, such as fentanyl. Due to their addictive nature, opioids have a high rate of misuse and abuse.
Although the COVID-19 pandemic has monopolized news headlines during the past months, the country’s opioid crisis continues to rage in the background. Stay-at-home orders in many states have made it more difficult—if not impossible—for many patients to receive the treatment they need to support their continuing efforts to recover. Recognizing a serious problem, the American Medical Association on August 14 released a brief urging state officials to take immediate action to address the new increase of opioid-related mortality in more than 40 states.
In Pennsylvania, state officials continue to work to support individuals with substance use disorder toward supporting recovery and decreasing opioid-related deaths. Recent efforts include:
Hospitals across Pennsylvania continue to work with state and local governments to lead the work to help patients with substance use disorder access the treatment they need to recover from this disease. HAP's Opioid Learning Action Network (LAN) supports Pennsylvania’s hospitals in working collectively to identify, create, and disseminate promising practices to measurably increase the number of patients entering evidence-based treatment for opioid use disorder and reduce overdose deaths.
For more information about efforts to address the opioid crisis, please contact Jennifer Jordan, HAP’s vice president, regulatory advocacy.
Tags: Public Health | Substance Use Disorder
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