Spotlight Status: Archived
Rhode Island is first in the country to develop standards of care. Legislation was passed after the deaths of the sons of 2 prominent families.
The standards were developed by the task force with input from hospitals and emergency departments around Rhode Island.
The minimum “Level 3” standards require hospital emergency rooms to do the following:
- dispense the opioid antidote naloxone to all patients at risk
- educate all patients who are prescribed opioids on safe storage and disposal
- provide comprehensive discharge planning to people who overdose, in accordance with the Perry-Goldner Act.
- screen all patients for substance-use disorder
- report all overdoses within 48 hours to state Department of Health
- offer patients peer recovery support services
Overdose deaths involving opioid pain medications are epidemic in the United States, in part because of high opioid prescribing rates and associated abuse of these drugs (1).
- Alleged illegal distribution of opioids
- Research on taking the addictive substances out of prescription opioids, upcoming overdose memorial
- Free naloxone!
May 5, 2016 – LA Times reporters utilize thousands of pages of documents, many previously sealed, to document the business practices of Purdue Pharma, maker of Oxycontin. The 12 hour action claim is central to $31 billion in revenue and addicting millions of people in pain who couldn’t wait that long to take the next dose. http://www.latimes.com/projects/oxycontin-part1/
When Pam Gay ran for coroner of York County, PA, heroin wasn’t considered a major public health issue. But in 2013 the office investigated 17 overdoses, and Gay’s chief deputy warned, “I think this may be a problem for us next year.” By the end of 2014 62 people died from heroin overdoses, ranking mostly rural York County sixth among Pennsylvania’s 67 counties in per capita heroin deaths. Gay set about transforming the coroner’s office, becoming an advocate for the use of naloxone to save lives. Read Full Report (USA Today Feb 16, 2017)
August 5th, 2016 – Patients are finding that while it has been easy to get their insurance to cover the opioids they became addicted to, it is a lot harder to get authorization for medication to treat that addiction. Read about Nate Turner’s experience.
July 17, 2016 – As need grows for naloxone, drug companies raise prices. Prices up 20 fold in last 10 years. Congress asks companies for explanation.
LA Times article
March 10, 2016 — Responding to a drug crisis that has contributed to more American deaths than car crashes, the Senate Thursday overwhelmingly passed a broad drug treatment and prevention bill.