Opioid overdose deaths rose 28 percent in 2016, to 42,000 men, women and children. Some 2.6 million more Americans are addicted to opioids, and communities in every region of the country are suffering from the resulting trauma. Largely as a result, life expectancy declined in 2016 for a second straight year — something that has not happened since the early 1960s.
This is a solvable problem, and through philanthropy we can make some progress. But real success requires much bolder leadership — and a far greater sense of urgency — from both elected officials and industry leaders.
- We must stop doctors from over-prescribing opioids
- Insurers and pharmacy benefit managers must better oversee opioid prescriptions.
- We must hold pharmaceutical companies accountable for the supply of prescription opioids.
- We must start treating those with addiction disorders when they come in contact with emergency rooms, hospitals and clinics.
- We must stop stigmatizing the medications that have been proven to help people recover.
- We must develop better data.
- We must do more to block the importation of heroin
Source: Bloomberg.com – January 10, 2018