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Opioid Prescribing Policy Changes: The Impact on Chronic Pain Patients

7FCB4046-9E1D-46AD-8C11-F953C9481FEB (1)Dr. Veronica Nuzzolo presents Opioid Prescribing Policy Changes and the Impact on Chronic Pain Patients. Hosted by Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan, Eastern Middlesex Opioid Task Force Meeting (December, 2019).

In the early 1990’s when it was determined that Americans were under-treated for pain, pharmaceutical companies began producing stronger and longer-acting medications.  More than 191 million opioid prescriptions were dispensed to American Patients in 2017. Recent data from the Center of Disease Control and Prevention suggests that illegally manufactured fentanyl, its analogs, and heroin are responsible for well over half of all overdose deaths.  The most common drugs involved in prescription opioid overdose deaths include: Oxycodone, Oxycontin, and Vicodin.  Noteworthy is that many who died from prescribed opioid medications were not the medically approved patient.  In addition, most deaths involve multiple substances that are used in combination, often including alcohol.  Research futher indicates that approximately 65 percent of adults in the United States have used alcohol.  Furthermore, almost 6 percent of adults used both alcohol and drugs, representing approximately 12.6 million adults in the U.S. population.  (more…)

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