The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine have created a report providing data on the harmful effects of opioid use. The main goal of this report is to gain knowledge on the societal harms and to avoid opioid misuse, while not taking away from those patients who actually need the drugs and have been prescribed and consuming them responsibly. The main focuses that the committee has identified include: “promoting more judicious prescribing of opioids, expanding access to treatment for opioid use disorder, preventing more overdose deaths, weighing societal impacts in opioid-related regulatory decisions, and investing in research to better understand the nature of pain and develop non-addictive alternatives” (Science Daily 2017). The master plan also involves communicating further with health professionals and agencies to regulate the amount of drugs administered. They want to avoid unnecessary prescriptions at all costs.
Drug overdose has become the leading cause of unintentional injury deaths, and have revolved around premature deaths as well. Opioid misuse can lead to the use of heroin, overdoses, HIV, etc. This deserves to be a public health priority, especially in the United States. The committee also recommends an FDA safety review, public-private partnerships for drug take-back programs, reimbursement models for pain management, and updated research.
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