The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention just reported that deaths attributed to opioid overdose declined by 5% between 2017 and 2018—the first time they’ve fallen from one year to the next since 1990. This is no time for urgent care providers to rest on their laurels, however; the CDC says more than 68,000 people died from fatal drug overdoses in the United States last year. That’s still higher than the peak annual deaths from car crashes, AIDS, or guns in this country. Your commitment to prescribe opiates only when absolutely necessary, and for the shortest period of time, isn’t the only way keep up the fight to save even more lives. To learn how you can also help patients who have already become addicted, read Outpatient Management of Opioid Dependence in Urgent Care in the JUCM archives.
For the First Time in Decades, Opioid Overdose Deaths Are Down—but the Fight Continues