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The number of drug overdose deaths in the United States exceeded 96,000 in the 12 months to March 2021, amid a national decline in opioid prescriptions over the past 10 years. statistics From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

According to the most recent data from the CDC, drug-related mortality has increased by about 30% since March 2020. In the 12-month period ending March 2021, the reported number of deaths was 96,779, but the estimated number was higher 99,106.

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According to the 2021 overdose epidemic, opioid prescriptions have decreased by 44.4%, despite a national effort to increase state prescription drug monitoring programs in every state over the past five years. report Issued by the American Medical Association.

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According to the report, prescriptions for buprenorphine and naloxone, two common drugs for opiate dependence, have increased only slightly over the past three years, with 26% fewer patients filling naloxone prescriptions during the pandemic.

In response to the worsening of the overdose epidemic, the AMA launched the AMA Substance Use and Pain Care Task Force.

Dr Bobby Mukkamala, chair of the AMA Substance Use and Pain Care Task Force, wrote in the report, “Policy makers and other stakeholders have a choice of evidence-based strategies to support patients’ access to lifesaving and life-affirming care. to follow or not. . “Every effort must be made to address health disparities and other barriers for patients suffering from substance use disorders, mental illness and pain. More of our loved ones will suffer and die if these barriers are overcome. Live

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The report urged states to adopt more telehealth options to allow the incorporation of buprenorphine at home, called for reducing drug-screening supplies and urged the CDC to reconsider its 2016 opioid prescribing guideline, Which provides recommendations on chronic pain management to make it easier. “Restoring compassionate care for patients suffering from pain.”

Recently AMA . In Press release Urging the CDC to overhaul the 2016 guidelines, Mukkamala wrote, “The threshold recommendations of the CDC are used to deny care against patients suffering from pain. and harmed patients in hospice. Restrictive policies also thwart patients who remain stable on opioids for long periods of time. Treatment

Aun, an addiction forensic psychiatrist at Columbia University and a member of the American Psychiatric Association Board of Trustees, told Granthshala News that serious intentions to change the course of the opioid epidemic will need to look beyond increasing access to treatment.

“Most people who would benefit from substance use disorder treatment are either not interested in receiving treatment, or believe they don’t need treatment,” Aun said. “The reasons for this are complex, having to do with stigma and the fact that addiction is more than just a disease of use; instead, it is a disease of thinking, which affects people’s sense of agency.”

Aun noted that formerly incarcerated individuals face a 40-fold higher risk of drug overdose death than the general population. However, much of the country is not offering evidence-based treatment interventions and psychosocial support programs to justice-served populations, he said.

“Addressing the stigma, giving people hope, a reason to live, giving them hope that they can be productive members of society, is going to be very important in reversing the course of the opioid epidemic,” Aun added in part.