According to the recently released 2018 National Drug Threat Assessment, there were more deaths from drug poisoning in 2016 than from motor vehicle crashes, homicides, suicides, and firearms, and for the first time there were more deaths from synthetic opioids (includes fentanyl), than other illicit drugs. This trending data is central to this annual report from the U.S. Department of Justice and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) that aims to identify threats to the US based on data from a range of public and private sources.
The report highlights Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (as of 2018 all 50 states have one) as a promising tool for connecting physicians, pharmacists, law enforcement, and more, with the data they need to better fight this epidemic. Other key highlights include an analysis of the common reported reasons for prescription misuse (number one reason was pain management), and new data on adolescent drug abuse (slight decrease from previous years).
Having access to the DEA report and others like it, allow public health organizations and policymakers to better support families and communities. CSIP and its members provide resources and tools for educating consumers. Our Opioid Addiction Resources page highlights options from our strategic collaborator, the Partnership for Drug Free Kids, to assist parents and others seeking to respond to children suffering from opioid or other addictions. We have also partnered with North Carolina, Connecticut, and a growing number of state governments to provide a portal for safe online pharmacy verification at the website VerifyBeforeYouBuy.org.
As families, communities, states, and the nation look to turn the tide in the opioid and prescription drug addiction crisis, we encourage parents, consumers, and concerned citizens to become educated and take advantage of these accessible tools to help raise their own awareness and those of others about these resources for assistance.
The Center for Safe Internet Pharmacies (CSIP) and our 10 member companies have the shared goal of helping address the growing problem of consumer access to illegitimate pharmaceutical products on the Internet. Continue to read this blog for updates on CSIP’s education, enforcement and information-sharing efforts.