CDC releases new regulations to address opioid epidemic

9 months 4 weeks 1 day ago March 20, 2016 Mar 20, 2016 Sunday, March 20 2016 Sunday, March 20, 2016 8:23:00 AM CDT in News
By: Amber Smith, KOMU 8 Reporter

COLUMBIA - The Center for Disease Control released new guidelines for prescribing opioid medications for chronic pain to address the growing epidemic.

The CDC said more than 40 Americans die each day from prescription opioid medications for chronic pain. The prescription and sales of opioids have quadrupled since 1999, which the CDC said fuels the epidemic.

The new guidelines aim to help primary care physicians determine if and when to start opioids to treat chronic pain.

“Doctors want to help patients in pain and are worried about opioid misuse and addiction,” said the Director of CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control Debra Houry. “This guideline will help equip them with the knowledge and guidance needed to talk with their patients about how to manage pain in the safest, most effective manner.”

Painkiller addictions have also been a problem in Missouri. The Missouri Hospital Association released a study in 2015 that said hospital utilization for overuse in Missouri increased 137 percent between 2005 and 2014.

U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill addressed the opioid epidemic through a special senate committee in January.

That hearing addressed four main points: 

  • Opioid addiction has seen an increase in the past decade. 
  • Missouri currently does not have an PDMP program, a statewide data base system to monitor drug prescriptions.
  • Polling whether or not doctors are prescribing too many pills.
  • Health Insurance programs, like Medicare, paying for other treatment programs besides just pills and shots.

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