The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently reported skyrocketing increases in deaths from overdoses of prescription pain killers. According to the CDC, 15,000 people die every year from overdoses of these medications – more than those who die from heroin and cocaine combined.
According to the CDC: “Overdoses involving prescription painkillers—a class of drugs that includes hydrocodone, methadone, oxycodone, and oxymorphone—are a public health epidemic. These drugs are widely misused and abused. One in 20 people in the United States, ages 12 and older, used prescription painkillers nonmedically (without a prescription or just for the “high” they cause) in 2010. A recent CDC analysis discusses this growing epidemic and suggested measures for prevention.
Here are a few tips the CDC suggests to help protect your residents:
- Use prescription pain killers only as directed by a health care provider.
- Make sure the prescription pain killers are only used by the resident they are prescribed for.
- Monitor for selling or sharing of prescription pain killers.
- Monitor for substance abuse and mental health problems.
- Prescription painkillers should only be used when other treatments have not been effective for pain.
- Store prescription painkillers in a secure place and dispose of them properly.
As always, it is important to always follow your state assisted living regulations as well.