Every day, America’s hospitals and health systems are on the front lines of combatting the epidemic of addiction to prescription opioids or heroin. This public health crisis is rapidly growing in communities across the country and can no longer be ignored. To that end, the Administration announced this week as Prescription Opioid and Heroin Epidemic Awareness Week. To help patients, hospitals and communities combat the opioid epidemic, the AHA has a variety of resources to help, including:
- Information on advocacy efforts
- Case examples
The AHA also worked with the CDC to develop a special patient-friendly fact sheet about the use of prescription opioids. While prescription opioids can be a safe and necessary part of pain management, these drugs also carry serious risks of harm because of the potential for addiction, misuse, overdose and death. We encourage physicians and patients to use the fact sheet to talk about the best ways to manage pain and the potential risks and benefits of using prescription opioids.
The AHA will continue to share resources and tools that help everyone – hospitals, providers, patients and communities – address the epidemic of addiction to prescription opioids or heroin.