On the heels of the Milwaukee County medical examiner’s office releasing data showing a record high 255 people died of drug overdoses in 2015, an increase of 53 percent from 2012, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention issued a new guideline
March 15 designed as an “urgent response” to rein in the prescribing of opioids for chronic pain. 178 of the 255 Milwaukee County deaths involved prescription drugs, including alprazolam, diazepam, hydrocodone and morphine. Nationwide more than 165,000 overdose deaths and a quadrupling of narcotic painkiller prescriptions have occurred in the last 15 years.
As a key element of WHA’s Health Care Leaders Opioid Initiative, WHA’s Education Resource Page serves as an important resource for Wisconsin health care leaders. Meant to be responsive and dynamic, the WHA resource page will add new resources as they become available. Since the CDC does not regulate medicine, the new guideline is not binding, but it encourages physicians and patients to talk and make informed decisions while strongly discouraging the use of opioids as a first choice for chronic pain. For further information contact Steven Rush, WHA vice president, workforce and clinical practice, at firstname.lastname@example.org
As another element of the WHA Health Care Leader Opioid Initiative, on March 17, WHA hosted its second webinar in the WHA Member Forum series focused on assisting health care leaders identify their role in the opioid abuse issue. The most recent webinar focused on best practices currently in place in the health systems Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare and Aurora Health Care. The next webinar in the series focuses on drug diversion in the health care workplace, and will include strategies to prevent, detect and intervene on drug diversion. “Drug Diversion from the Health Care Workplace: A Multiple Victim Crime” is scheduled April 5 and will feature Keith Berge, MD, who heads Mayo Clinic’s drug diversion efforts at all Mayo sites. For more information or to register for this upcoming event, visit: https://events.SignUp4.net/drugdiversion-opioids