More people died from drug overdoses in 2014 than in any year on record. The majority of drug overdose deaths (more than 6 out of 10) involve an opioid. From 2000 to 2014 nearly half a million people died from drug overdoses. 78 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose. It is now a national epidemic.
The Washington State Hospital Association and the Washington State Medical Association have created a task force to develop solutions and address the growing opioid epidemic. The task force will focus on driving appropriate prescribing based on national guidelines and other best practices to help reduce opioid addiction and overdoses. Drug overdoses- most of them involving opioids – recently surpassed car crashes as the leading cause of accidental death in our state and nationwide. Approximately 600 people die each year in Washington State from overdosing on prescription and illicit opioids.
As Washington State Hospital Association board chair Gregg Davidson says, “The Washington State Hospital Association is dedicated to doing our part to prevent and decrease opioid addiction. We have a responsibility to help improve prescribing practices, support patients in pursuing other effective options for pain control, and allow for safe disposal of unused medications.”
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