Opioid Use, Abuse and Misuse Resource Center

APhA believes it is imperative that a proper balance be maintained in delivering appropriate pain management for the millions of patients with legitimate needs for controlled substances while taking steps to minimize inappropriate use and abuse.  Pharmacists possess unique knowledge about the safe and effective use of medications and about the adverse events resulting from inappropriate use. Such knowledge enables pharmacists to play an important role in patient access to opioids, but also opioid drug abuse prevention, education, and assistance.  

Opioid News
September 20, 2018
FDA approves final opioid analgesic REMS, adds immediate-release formulations for outpatient use

  On September 18, FDA approved the final Opioid Analgesic Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS). This REMS now includes immediate-release opioid analgesics used in outpatient settings as well as the extended-release and long-acting opioid analgesics that have already been subject to a…

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August 13, 2018
Opioid use disorder skyrockets among pregnant women

  The rate of opioid use disorder (OUD) among women giving birth in hospitals more than quadrupled between 1999 and 2014, from 1.5 cases per 1,000 deliveries to 6.5 cases per 1,000 deliveries, say CDC researchers in the August 10 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.   In their study, researchers…

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July 17, 2018
Grappling with national saline and opioid shortages

In April, the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) surveyed more than 300 pharmacists from hospitals of various sizes, assessing the recovery of a preexisting small-volume parenteral (SVP) solution shortage and the impact of a current limit on injectable opioids. Findings revealed a…

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July 10, 2018
Patients can get—and pharmacists can provide—naloxone at the pharmacy. Why don’t they?

Several major chains have trained all their pharmacists on naloxone. Forty-eight states and Washington, DC, allow pharmacists to dispense naloxone without a physician’s prescription. Access to naloxone through pharmacists is a win for the pharmacy profession—the role pharmacists could play in…

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June 4, 2018
Post-procedure opioid-related ADEs deadly and costly

More than 10% of adults who undergo surgical or endoscopic procedures and receive opioids will have an opioid-related adverse drug event (ADE), according to a study published online in JAMA Surgery. Moreover, these adverse events were associated with an increased likelihood of poor outcomes. Using…

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May 24, 2018
Opioid duration, not dosage, counts after surgery in reducing misuse

Prescription opioid duration—not the dosage—is associated with an increase in opioid misuse among postsurgical patients who were opioid-naive, according to results of a retrospective, observational study published in BMJ. These results suggest that opioid-naive patients who undergo surgery should…

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