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Issues

Issues

Substance Misuse/ Abuse

  • According to the Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) in 2009, there were almost 4.6 million drug-related emergency room visits and nearly half of those (2.1 million) were due to drug misuse or abuse
  • A report from Trust for America’s Health, “Prescription Drug Abuse: Strategies to Stop the Epidemic 2013,” the cost of prescription opioid abuse is estimated to be over $50 billion in the US
  • The volume of prescription opioids written in 2010 was enough to “medicate every American adult around the clock for one month”!
  • According to the CDC, deaths from opioid pain relievers increased fivefold between 1999 and 2010 for women; while similar deaths among men increased 3.6 times. There were a reported 943,365 emergency department visits by women for drug misuse or abuse in 2010
  • 23.5 million persons aged 12 or older needed treatment for an illicit drug or alcohol abuse problem in 2009 according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA)

Examples of Commonly Abused Drugs

Opioids:

  • Fentanyl (Duragesic®)
  • Hydrocodone (Vicodin®)
  • Oxycodone (OxyContin®)
  • Oxymorphone (Opana®)
  • Propoxyphene (Darvon®)
  • Hydromorphone (Dilaudid®)
  • Meperidine (Demerol®)

Central nervous system depressants:

  •  Pentobarbital sodium (Nembutal®)
  • Diazepam (Valium®)
  • Alprazolam (Xanax®)

Stimulants:

  • Dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine®)
  • Methylphenidate (Ritalin® and Concerta®)
  • Amphetamines (Adderall®)

Club Drugs:

  • MDMA  (methylenedioxymethamphetamine) -Ecstasy
  • Flunitrazepam ( Rohypnol)
  • GHB( Gamma-hydroxybutyrate) – Xyrem

Source: National Institute on Drug Abuse. Commonly Abused Drugs Chart Retrieved from
https://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/commonly-abused-drugs-charts

Changes to U.S. Federal laws impacting prescription opioid medications

On September 8, 2014, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) updated their rules regarding how to dispose of unused pharmaceutical controlled substances.

Disposal varies depending on the type of medication and where you live http://www.disposemymeds.org/

As of Oct. 9, 2014 retail pharmacies, treatment clinics, hospitals and other DEA registered entities can take back controlled medications for disposal.

Effective Oct. 6 2014, hydrocodone combination products are more restricted in a DEA Schedule II category based on their abuse potential.

The new law will require an in-person physician visit to get a prescription. No refills will be allowed. Some examples of products affected are: Vicodin™, Norco™, Lortab™, and Tussionex™

 

Health Statistics

According to the Institute of Medicine, up to 90 million adult Americans have trouble understanding health information, and this can contribute to an additional $73 billion in healthcare spending annually

Based on the report “Low Health Literacy: Implications for National Health Policy”, the cost of low health literacy to the U.S. economy is between $106 billion to $238 billion annually.

 

According to the Centers for Disease Control

An estimated 700,000 people visit emergency rooms due to adverse drug reactions

Up to 71,000 children (18 years old or younger) visit emergency departments annually due to medication misadventures

Those 65 and older are seven times more likely to be hospitalized due to complications from adverse drug reactions

In 2010, $259 billion was spent on prescription drugs

Improving medication information quality and delivery can reduce drug-related errors and complications reducing hospitalization costs and insurance payouts.

http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hus/hus12.pdf

A 2012 systematic review published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, found non-adherence costs an estimated $100 to $289 billion annually in the US.

Source: Viswanathan M, Golin CE, Jones CD, Ashok M, Blalock SJ, Wines RC, et al. Interventions to Improve Adherence to Self-administered Medications for Chronic Diseases in the United States: A Systematic Review. Ann Intern Med. 4 December 2012, Vol 157, No. 11.