A New Tool in the Fight Against Opioid Addiction

SonoSpine: A new tool in the fight against opioid addiction Written by By Virginia Kelli Rosas, RN, MSN and FNP-C - and published on...

A New Tool in the Fight Against Opioid Addiction

A New Tool in the Fight Against Opioid Addiction

Written by Gretchen Bartlett, in Section Therapy Trends

SonoSpine: A new tool in the fight against opioid addiction

Written by By Virginia Kelli Rosas, RN, MSN and FNP-C - and published on WashingTimes.com on Monday, April 9, 2018

There is a major problem that has arisen over the past 15 years with opioid dependence and overdose here in America. This is a multifactorial problem involving unethical opioid prescribing, misuse of prescription medication, and illicit opioid use. A national emergency was declared by President Trump regarding the opioid epidemic.

This is a preventable problem, but evidence shows a continuing rise in overdose deaths. This article will give an overview of opioid dependence and overdose in America and how it is being addressed on multiple levels nationally, statewide and among individual communities and providers. Finally, we will discuss how SonoSpine is cognizant of the national epidemic and how we are impacting our community and reducing opioid dependence.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that in 2016 overdose deaths increased to five times that in 1999. (1) Some 600,000 people died from drug overdose from 2000 to 2016. In 2015 alone, over 33,000 Americans died due to opioid overdose, and it is reported on average that 115 Americans die daily from opioid overdose. (3)

In comparison, the prescribing of opioids has also increased from 1999-2014 and has been reported at quadrupling in this time frame. (1) Prescribing rates increased from 72.4 to 81.2 prescription per 100 persons between 2006-2010, were constant between 2010 and 2012, and later declined to 70.6 per 100 persons from 2012-2015, a 13.1 percent decline. (2) In 2015, the number of opioids prescribed was three times higher than that of 1999, and when compared to Europe is four times higher than their prescribing rates during that same year. (2)

Opioid dependence and overdose is a problem affecting all socioeconomic groups and is being addressed on multiple levels from national to individual providers. Having the opioid crisis labeled as a national emergency will allow programs to be implemented and funded to combat this crisis. Education has been instituted through the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to inform physicians and providers about the judicious use of opioids and consideration of multimodal approach to pain management.

U.S. legislators are working on reducing the supply of illegal drugs on the streets from Mexico and China, the two largest suppliers of heroin and fentanyl, respectively. (4)

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Virginia Kelli Rosas, RN, MSN, FNP-C, holds a Masters in Nursing from Vanderbilt University School of Nursing and is certified in Family Practice. She has been working with patients with acute and chronic spine disorders since 2006.

1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2017, August 24) Opioid Basics: Understanding the Epidemic, Opioid Overdose. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/data/index.html.

2 Schuchat A, Houry DE, Gery Jr GP. (2017) “New data on opioid use and prescribing in the United States.” JAMA Viewpoint 318(7):1-2.

3 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Annual Surveillance Report of Drug-Related Risks and Outcomes — the United States, 2017. Surveillance Special Report 1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Published August 31, 2017. Accessed 02/26/2018 from https://www.cdc.gov/ drugoverdose/pdf/pubs/2017 cdc-drug-surveillance-report.pdf.

4 Blumenthal, Susan, M.D., Kaplan, Emily. (2017, August 9). “The Opioid Epidemic Is A National Public Health Emergency.” Huffington Post. Retrieved from www.huffingtonpost.com.

5 Stempniak, Marty. (2016, March 2) “How Hospitals are Fighting on the Frontlines of the Opioid Crisis.” Hospitals and Health Networks. Retrieved from www.hhnmag.com.

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