Opioid Awareness Saves Lives

I am pleased to report that a new study has found that guidelines released by the CDC aimed at making opioid prescribing safer may have led to shorter prescriptions with lower doses. 

These guidelines cite that doctors and clinicians who treat acute pain should prescribe opioids at the lowest effective dose and for no longer than three to seven days. After the guidelines were released, the length of prescriptions decreased 5 percent in the first year and 10 percent in the second year. The study also found that patients who filled an opioid prescription decreased from 12 percent in 2011 to 9 percent in 2017.

This progress in safer prescribing is good news and evidence that awareness about the dangers of opioids can help save lives. With about one month until Knock Out Opioid Abuse Day coming up on October 6, I hope that all of you will join the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey in shining a light on the opioid epidemic.

In its sixth year, Knock Out Opioid Abuse Day is a statewide initiative organized by PDFNJ and the Community Coalition for a Safe & Healthy Morris in cooperation with the New Jersey Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services and the Governor’s Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse. It mobilizes the prevention and treatment communities, community leaders and concerned citizens to raise awareness of the potential for dependency on prescribed pain medicine and the link to heroin and fentanyl use in our state.

There are many ways that you, your organization and community can get involved in Knock Out Opioid Abuse Day.  I encourage you to visit the website for educational resources and to learn more about what you can do to leading up to October 6 to help raise awareness about the impact of the opioid crisis on New Jersey and the nation.

I also hope that you will register for the October 6 Knock Out Opioid Abuse Day Learning Series Webinar, “How You Can Help Fight the Opioid Epidemic,” featuring Dr. Jamie Mells, Lieutenant Commander, U.S. Public Health Service Overdose Data to Action Coordinator, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Continued wishes to stay safe and well.

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