At Least 2.2 Million U.S. Children Affected by Opioid Crisis: Report
A new report estimates at least 2.2 million children had been affected by the opioid crisis in the United States by 2017.
Deaths due to oxycodone overdoses declined 25 percent after Florida implemented its prescription drug monitoring program in 2011, according to a new study. The researchers attribute the drop directly to the program.
Oxycodone-related deaths in Florida increased 118.3 percent from 2007 to 2010, Medical Xpress reports. The rate began to decline in 2010 due to a variety of factors, including the introduction of abuse-deterrent oxycodone formulations, law enforcement crackdowns on “pill mills,” and a Florida law that imposed new penalties for physicians who overprescribe medication.
The prescription drug monitoring program led to an additional 25 percent decrease in oxycodone-related deaths, the University of Florida researchers report in Drug and Alcohol Dependence. The program monitors patients’ controlled substance prescriptions, and provides current data on prescribing trends in Florida.
“Forty-nine states have prescription drug monitoring programs of some kind, but this is the first study to demonstrate that one of these programs significantly reduced oxycodone-related deaths,” lead author Chris Delcher, PhD, said in a news release. “Our work fills an urgent need for rigorous evaluation of these programs, so we can see what is working and what could be done better to help save lives and improve patients’ health care.”