U.S. overdose death rates linked to synthetic opioids increased more than 45 percent in 2017, likely driven by illicitly manufactured fentanyl, according to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Deaths from heroin and prescription opioids remained stable. “The drug overdose epidemic continues to evolve, with the involvement of many types of drugs including opioids, cocaine and psychostimulants,” said Debra Houry, M.D., director of CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. “This underscores the urgency for more timely and localized data to inform public health and public safety action.” CDC recently added two new training modules to its online training series to help clinicians apply its opioid prescribing guidelines for adults with chronic pain. AHA also offers resources to help hospitals and health systems address the opioid epidemic, including a recently updated toolkit.

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