The unfortunate rise in the overuse of opioids is in the news daily, and this chart from the New York Times paints a chilling picture of the epidemic’s 15-year growth. The red and orange colors in the picture depict drug overdoses in the United States from 2009 to 2014.1
The opioid crisis has been the main factor driving the increase in overdose deaths. Statistics behind the epidemic include:
- Two million Americans abused or were dependent on prescription opioids in 2015.2
- Opioid-related deaths totaled more than 33,000 in 2015.3
- Every day, over 1,000 people are treated in emergency departments for misusing prescription opioids.4
Equipping Dentists With Naloxone
Working with our Medical Advisory Board, HealthFirst regularly reviews our emergency medical kits to make sure they meet current medical emergency needs. Because of the rapidly growing opioid crisis, HealthFirst is following the Board’s recommendation to add NARCAN® Nasal Spray (naloxone HCl) to the SM Series kits’ core set of medications.
Now general dentists can be equipped to save a patient’s life in the event of an opioid overdose. The NARCAN Nasal Spray is easy to administer, and SM Series kits include two of the sprays.
Learn more about the SM Series emergency medical kit.
- Haeyoun Park and Matthew Bloch. (Oct. 26, 2017). How overdose deaths rippled across the United States. The New York Times. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/26/us/opioid-crisis-public-health-emergency.html
- Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. (2016). Key substance use and mental health indicators in the United States: Results from the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (HHS Publication No. SMA 16-4984, NSDUH Series H-51).
- Rudd RA, Seth P, David F, Scholl L. Increases in Drug and Opioid-Involved Overdose Deaths — United States, 2010–2015. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2016;65:1445–1452.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Highlights of the 2011 Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) findings on drug-related emergency department visits. The DAWN Report. Rockville, MD: US Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration; 2013.