Opioid Overdoses Fuel Rise in Accidental Deaths
Opioid overdoses are fueling a sharp increase in accidental deaths in the United States, according to a new report by the National Safety Council.
The Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) has launched a new online training program to help doctors prescribe opioids more safely and effectively. The program’s goal is to reduce prescription drug abuse, The Boston Globe reports.
The program includes video segments of doctors talking with patients about opioids, the article notes.
“It’s no coincidence that our strategy to address our nation’s prescription drug abuse epidemic begins with education,” Gil Kerlikowske, Director of National Drug Control Policy, said in a news release. “All of us – parents, patients, and prescribers – have a shared responsibility to learn more about this challenge and act to save lives. Prescribers in particular play a critical role in this national effort and I strongly encourage them to take advantage of this training to ensure the safe and appropriate use of painkillers.”
The training materials include two online continuing medical education courses for doctors. According to National Institute on Drug Abuse Director Nora D. Volkow, these courses “provide practical guidance for clinicians in screening their pain patients for risk factors before prescribing. They also help medical professionals identify when patients are abusing their medications, using videos that model effective communication about sensitive issues, without losing sight of addressing pain.”