The opioid overdose epidemic, primarily driven by potent synthetic opioids, has rapidly intensified in recent years. Overdose education and naloxone distribution (OEND) efforts appear to have a positive impact on opioid-overdose mortality. As many states continue to expand naloxone access through various legislation efforts, it’s important to identify which laws have the greatest impact on reducing fatal opioid overdoses.
Guest Authors: Scott Coon, PharmD, BCPS, BCACP and Matthew Thomas, PharmD
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Opioid-use disorder (OUD), a risk factor and major contributor to opioid-related deaths, is often underdiagnosed and undertreated. Currently there are three FDA-approved pharmacologic treatments for OUD maintenance therapy: methadone, buprenorphine (with or without naloxone), and naltrexone. Despite definitive evidence that methadone and buprenorphine products are effective in the treatment of OUD, there are still considerable accessibility and availability barriers that patients face when seeking Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT). The EXtended-release naltrexone vs Buprenorphine/naloxone for Opioid Treatment (X:BOT) trial compared the efficacy and safety of XR-NTX and BUP-NX to induce and maintain a patient with OUD on MAT as well as reducing opioid overdoses, relapses, and cravings.
Guest Author: Jordan L. Wulz, PharmD, MPH, BC-ADM, CHC
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While narcotic analgesics remain a mainstay for the treatment of acute and chronic pain, urgent care visits and deaths from opioid overdoses have skyrocketed. Our panelists are Dr. Lucas Hill from the University of Texas at Austin and Jeffrey Bratberg from the University of Rhode Island. Dr. Hill practices in a primary care setting and maintains the iForumRx Opioid Safety and Overdose Prevention Resource Page. Dr. Bratberg helped develop, implement, and expand the Collaborative Pharmacy Practice for Naloxone Partnership in Rhode Island. Drs. Hill and Bratberg describe how healthprofessionals - particularly ambulatory care pharmacists - can take action to improve the safe use of opioids and prevent overdoses.