October 09, 2019

Select Federal, State, and Tribal Legal Actions to Reduce Inappropriate - Opioid Prescribing and Increase Access to Naloxone

By Tina Batra Hershey, JD, MPH, University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, Pittsburgh, PA

Introduction

The misuse of prescription and non-prescription opioids is one of the greatest public health threats facing the United States today. Drug overdose is a leading cause of injury-related death, with 70,237 drug overdose deaths in 2017.1 Of those deaths, 47,600 (67.8 percent) involved opioids, with increased rates across states, age groups, race/ethnicity, and urbanization.2 According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), overdose deaths involving prescription opioids were five times higher in 2017 when compared to 1999.3

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