Nation-Wide Opioid Prescribing Changes

Meron Mezgebe, Mercer University College of Pharmacy

The national opioid crisis has reached epidemic levels, with 33,091 drug overdose deaths involving an opioid in 2015. [1] The estimated economic burden of prescription opioid overdose, abuse, and dependence was estimated to be $78.5 billion in 2013. [2] The exposure to prescription opioids was found to be a strong risk factor opioid use disorder among individuals with a new episode of a chronic non-cancer pain condition in a 2000-2005 database analysis [3] Accordingly, in 2016 the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) Guidelines for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain outline specific criteria for the initiation and continuation of opioids for chronic pain. [4] Continue reading


Marijuana May be the Answer to Our Painkiller Crisis

Elizabeth Lai, Mercer University College of Pharmacy 2016

Prescription painkiller use correlates with the illegality of medical marijuana. States with the most painkiller prescriptions per 100 people generally haven’t decriminalized marijuana for medical purposes.

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