Opioids are powerful – patients who suffer from chronic pain say the medications can do wonders. But if they fall into the wrong hands or are used for recreational purposes, these meds can cause serious harm, including overdose and death.
“Although many Americans don’t realize it, prescription drug abuse is our swiftest growing drug problem. Many of those abuses involve opioids," said Dr. Margaret Hamburg, commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration. "In 2008, nearly 15,000 Americans died where opioids were involved. In 2009, that number went up to 16,000."
In order to cut down on abuse but still get these medications to the people who really need them, the FDA has provided a blueprint to more than 20 companies that manufacture opioid analgesics on how best to educate physicians who prescribe them.
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