Worker health and wellness Drugs Worker Health and Wellness

Latest ‘Business Pulse’ from CDC Foundation puts opioid overdoses in the spotlight

Opioid abuse infographic
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Atlanta – Opioids, including those obtained by prescription as well as illegal forms such as heroin, were involved in more than 33,000 overdose deaths in 2015 – more than any year on record and nearly quadruple the number of overdoses recorded in 2000, according to the latest issue of Business Pulse from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The publication, released March 15, aims to raise employer awareness of the epidemic of opioid overdose deaths. CDC states that 91 Americans die from an opioid overdose each day.

“CDC’s role in this fight is unique – rather than treating individual patients, our job is to move data into action to prevent opioid overdose,” Debra Houry, director of CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, said in a Q&A published in the issue.

Houry identified three priorities to help accomplish that goal:

  • Tracking national trends and improving data on opioid overdose
  • Working with states to scale up prevention efforts that work
  • Equipping health care providers with data, tools and guidance for evidence-based decision-making

Included in the issue is an infographic spotlighting four challenges facing employers when it comes to protecting the workforce from opioid use, as well as the Q&A with Houry and Mike Menkhaus, enterprise pharmacy retail system project manager for The Kroger Co.

“Prescription opioids continue to be involved in more overdose deaths than any other drug,” CDC Acting Director Anne Schuchat said in a press release. “While they can help with some types of pain, prescription opioids must be prescribed and used carefully. CDC is committed to helping physicians and patients make informed treatment decisions to protect the public’s health and prevent opioid overdoses.”

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