Some People Taking Pain Medicine Prescribed to Pets

The Massachusetts Veterinary Medical Association is warning its members that some people are taking pain medicine prescribed to pets, according to The Boston Globe.

The group is working with law enforcement to educate its members about opioid abuse. “The misuse of pet medication has serious safety implications — for people and animals,” said Middlesex District Attorney Marian T. Ryan, in a letter to members of the Massachusetts Veterinary Medical Association. “Educating people about the signs of drug misuse, available treatment resources and how to properly store and dispose of all medications is a crucial part of helping to stem the tide of overdoses and death.”

Full story of people taking pets pain medication at drugfree.org

More Than 30,000 Americans Died From Opioid Overdoses Last Year

Overdose deaths associated with prescription and illicit opioids increased to 33,091 last year, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That number marks an increase of almost 5,000 deaths from the previous year, The Washington Post reports.

Deaths from heroin and synthetic opioids such as fentanyl were largely responsible for the increase, the article notes.

Full story of opioid overdoses last year at drugfree.org

CDC Announces $20 Million Program to Reduce Opioid Overdoses

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will spend $20 million in 16 states to reduce opioid overdoses, UPI reports.

Opioid overdoses have quadrupled since 1999. In 2013, more than 16,000 people died of prescription opioid overdoses in the United States, according to the CDC. In addition, more than 8,000 people died of heroin overdoses that year. Between 2002 and 2013, the rate of heroin-related overdose deaths nearly quadrupled.

“The prescription drug overdose epidemic is tragic and costly, but can be reversed,” CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden said in a news release. “Because we can protect people from becoming addicted to opioids, we must take fast action now, with real-time tracking programs, safer prescribing practices, and rapid response. Reversing this epidemic will require programs in all 50 states.”

Full story of program to reduce opioid overdoses at drugfree.org