FDA announces new safety plan for opioid use

FDA Announces Safety Opioid UseThe Food and Drug Administration has announced new safety measures for a class of opioid medication used to treat moderate to severe chronic pain.

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.

Full story of safety plan on opioid use at CNN Health

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Will Savage

Quantum Units Continuing Education provides online CEU training's to licensed professional mental health therapists, counselors, social workers and nurses. Our blog provides updates in the field of news and research related to mental health and substance abuse treatment.