What You Can Do to Help Fight the Opioid Epidemic

From Drugs.com - September 13, 2017

What You Can Do to Help Fight the Opioid Epidemic

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 13, 2017 -- Proper disposal of prescription painkillers and use of safe alternatives to manage pain could help combat America's opioid abuse epidemic, doctors say.

"Today, we are in the midst of an opioid crisis," said Dr. David Ring, chairman of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons' (AAOS) Committee on Patient Safety.

In 2015, about 12.5 million Americans misused prescription opioids (such as OxyContin and Vicodin) and more than 15,000 overdose deaths were attributed to the drugs, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

"Orthopaedic surgeons, along with other physicians and health care professionals, are working diligently and collectively to reduce the strength and number of opioid pills prescribed for patients, and to change the patient-doctor conversation regarding pain: how pain can be safely managed with non-opioid medications, therapies and coping strategies; and the potential danger for opioid misuse," Ring said in an AAOS news release.

As part of Pain Awareness Month in September, the AAOS offers the following advice on pain management and proper disposal of unused opioid medications:


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