The Obama administration has unveiled a handful of new measures intended to fight prescription opioid and heroin abuse in America.
"I think the public doesn't fully appreciate yet the scope of the problem," said President Barack Obama, who addressed those attending the National Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit in Atlanta on March 29.
New initiatives include:
Opioids are addictive drugs that include prescription painkillers and illegal drugs such as heroin. Deaths linked to opioids increased to more than 29,000 in 2014, the highest number on record, according to the American Society of Addiction Medicine.
Earlier in March, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued its first-ever recommendations for primary care clinicians on prescribing opioids. The CDC developed materials to help providers implement the recommendations, including a decision checklist.
The Food and Drug Administration recently announced safety labeling changes for all immediate-release opioid pain medications, including requiring a new boxed warning about the serious risks of misuse, abuse, addiction, overdose and death associated with these drugs.
Mayo Clinic Minute: Heroin Overdose Drug (December 31, 2015)