New uses for old medicines
"To stem the tide of the opioid overdose epidemic, we need everyone to consider themselves a first responder. We need to encourage everyone in our communities to carry naloxone and know how to use it," said U.S. Surgeon General, VADM, Jerome M. Adams, M.D., M.P.H., a physician anesthesiologist who issued a Surgeon's General's advisory in 2018 calling for increased awareness and use of the medication. "When on hand, naloxone may mean the difference between life and death, and can be a first step to getting someone onto the pathway of recovery."
The Surgeon General's advisory notes that in most states, people who are or know someone at risk for opioid overdose can go to a pharmacy or community-based program to get trained on naloxone administration and receive naloxone without a prescription.
Opioids had become the go-to pain reliever for everything from backaches and injuries to post-surgical and chronic pain. In 2017, more than 190 million prescriptions were written for opioids. While they can be effective for short-term pain, chronic use can lead to abuse. Every day 130 people die from opioid overdoses, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"ASA strongly agrees with the Surgeon General and supports policies that promote access to naloxone and safe and effective pain management care," said Dr. Peterson. "All of our members have a significant interest in reducing misuse, abuse and diversion of opioids that have led to unintended deaths."
Physician anesthesiologists are pain medicine experts who help patients manage pain safely before, during and after surgery. That includes managing chronic pain, which is regarded as pain that lasts longer than 90 days. They also conduct scientific research in all areas of the specialty and are at the forefront of developing and using opioid alternatives for pain management, including a combination of medications and other interventional techniques and approaches, such as nerve blocks, meditation, massage and biofeedback. Source:
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