While great strides have been made in the U.S. as far as addressing the growing opioid overdose epidemic, more is certainly needed to curb the huge number of deaths that are seen each year due to this fatal practice. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that around 28,000 Americans die each year from drug overdose, which averages 80 individuals per day. The federal government must find a way to decrease these deaths, which often occur from drugs that are regularly prescribed in a doctor’s office.
New Laws Regarding Warnings on Addictive Substance
Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration passed a law requiring opioid manufacturers to include stronger warnings in their boxes regarding co-prescribing with benzodiazepines. Because benzodiazepines also cause drowsiness and lethargy, their side effects can be magnified when used with opioids, leading to increased risk for death. While this is an admirable step to protect people who will be prescribed opioids in the future, it does not seem to do enough to address the numerous people already taking these dangerous drugs.
Dangers & Risks of Overdose
Besides decreasing fatalities from opioid overdoses at home, this increased usage and awareness of Naloxone would also improve vital conversations that must happen between doctor and patient when an opioid is first prescribed. The doctor would be forced to discuss the dangers of opioids when writing the prescription and to warn the patient of signs of overdose for which they should watch.