A Prescription for Tackling the Opioid Overdose Crisis - A Panel Discussion

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Although the opioid crisis has resulted in close to 600,000 deaths since 1999, evidence shows that increasing the availability of naloxone—a prescription medication that reverses the respiratory depression caused by an opioid overdose—reduces the rate of opioid overdose deaths.

Co-prescribing naloxone is supported by a broad range of stakeholders including the World Health Organization, U.S. health agencies (CDCSAMHSA), state departments of health, the AMA, and many patient, consumer and other advocacy groups

States can enact policies that require or allow physicians and other prescribers to write individual naloxone prescriptions to patients who use opioids and to their friends and family.

study of five states with required co-prescribing, including Virginia, found the dispensation of naloxone grew by 255 percent in the 90 days following implementation of the mandate compared with the 90 days prior.

Yet, despite recommendations to co-prescribe naloxone to patients at increased risk for opioid overdose, co-prescribing rates remain low overall

The urgency for co-prescribing was highlighted this week: newly released data show that at the beginning of the pandemic, the number of calls to the SAMHSA’s Disaster Distress Helpline increased by 891% from the year prior. Additionally, in June, a survey by the CDC found that 13% of Americans started or increased substance use to cope with pandemic trauma.

On Tuesday, May 25, a virtual panel conversation will discuss this topic and best practices to combat the opioid crisis. Panelists will include leading policy makers and advocates from around the country: 

  • Dr. Stephen Loyd, MD, FACP, Former Medical Director for Substance Abuse Services for the State of Tennessee and Current National Medical Director of JourneyPure Addiction Clinic
  • Assemblyman John Armato (D-NJ-2), Primary Sponsor of A. 3969, New Jersey’s Naloxone Co-Prescription Legislation
  • Dr. Kevin Zacharoff, Clinical Professor of Preventative Medicine at Stonybrook University and author of The PainEDU.org Manual: A Pocket Guide to Pain Management and Managing Chronic Pain with Opioids in Primary Care
  • Courtney Hunter, Vice President for State Policy at Shatterproof.

This event is sponsored by Opiant Pharmaceuticals. Opiant, the company that developed NARCAN® Nasal Spray, is building a leading franchise of new medicines to combat addictions and drug overdose. It’s lead development medicine is a potential new opioid overdose rescue medicine.  

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