The National Institute on Drug Abuse found that in 2017, there were 206 overdose deaths involving opioids in Iowa. That’s a rate of 6.9 deaths per 100,000 persons. Iowa providers wrote 56.4 opioid prescriptions for every 100 persons.
Since 2012, prescription opioid drug abuse, misuse, and addiction are considered an epidemic and a significant public health concern. The problems of pain and misuse of pain treatments are well documented. Opioids now exceed cocaine and heroin in causing unintentional overdose deaths, having increased from causing 8,048 deaths in the U.S. in 1999 to 47,600 in 2017. The misuse of opioids has become the most common form of poisoning treated in U.S. emergency departments (EDs). With regard to diversion of opioids in particular, the National Drug Intelligence Center (NDIC) estimated the costs to public and private insurers to be $72.5 billion per year.
At the same time, numerous clinical reports suggest that chronic pain remains undertreated. Approximately 50 million Americans experience chronic pain. However, 80 percent of patients worldwide receive inadequate treatment and pain management, and half of Americans who suffers from chronic pain receive inadequate treatment and pain management. In terms of financial impact, the U.S. spends approximately $560 billion to $635 billion annually on health care utilization due to chronic pain.
To address this public health concern, on Friday, Oct. 4, from 11:45 a.m. to 2 p.m. CST, Des Moines University will host the U.S. Food and Drug Administration- (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention- (CDC) approved ER/LA Opioid REMS course, “Pain Management and Opioids: Balancing Risks and Benefits.” Prescribers are able to attend for no cost at Des Moines University or online.
Supported by the American Osteopathic Association, prescribers who participate in this continuing education activity will be able to accurately assess patient with pain for consideration of an opioid trial; establish realistic goals for pain management and restoration of function; initiate opioid treatment (IR and ER/LA) safely and judiciously, maximizing efficacy while minimizing risks; monitor and re-evaluate treatment continuously; educate patients about safe storage and disposal of opioids; discontinue safely when appropriate; and counsel patient and caregivers about use, misuse, abuse, diversion and overdose.
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration. FDA’s Opioid Analgesic REMS Education Blueprint for Health Care Provider’s Involved in the Treatment and Monitoring of Patients with Pain
- National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Drug Abuse: Iowa Opioid Summary