The federal government is now recommending that chronic pain patients taking high doses of extended-release/long-acting opioids also be prescribed naloxone to prevent overdose. The new recommendation was part of an update made to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) resource The Opioid Overdose Prevention Toolkit, which was developed to help address the growing number of opioid-related overdose deaths in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drug overdose deaths increased by 118% from 1999 to 2011. There were 41,340 drug overdose deaths in 2013. Of these deaths, 55% were related to prescription drugs; 74% of the pharmaceutical overdoses involved opioid analgesics.
Read full coverage and download the updated toolkit from Pain Medicine News here.