3Qs: When Painkillers Kill

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently introduced a series of safety measures designed to reduce the risk of extended-​​release and long-​​acting opioid medications. Northeastern University news office asked drug policy expert Leo Beletsky, an assistant professor of law and health sciences at Northeastern University, to expound upon the threat posed by opioid analgesics, 22.9 million prescriptions of which were dispensed last year. The Q & A’s include:

  • Why has opioid abuse increased over the last decade?
  • How has President Barack Obama’s 2011 Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Plan fared in curbing the abuse of prescription drugs, the second-most abused category of drugs after marijuana?
  • What would be your strategy for improving the safe use of opioids while ensuring access to prescription drugs for patients in pain?


Source: MedicalExpress.com – August 3, 2012