The opioid epidemic is taking lives and tearing families apart across our state and the country. More people die in North Carolina of an accidental drug overdose–usually an opioid–than from any other cause of accidental death.
Nearly every person in North Carolina has been touched in some way by addiction. Whether it’s through personal experience, or that of a family member or a friend, the opioid epidemic has hurt people all across our state.
- Five people die from opioid overdoses every day.
- More people die from opioid overdoses than car crashes.
- More than 2,000 North Carolinians died of an opioid overdose in 2017 – a 32 percent increase over the previous year.
- Between 1999 and 2017, more than 13,169 North Carolina residents have lost their lives to unintentional opioid overdoses.
- The number of unintentional overdose deaths in 2017 was nearly 17 times higher than in 1999.
- The number of unintentional opioid overdose deaths has more than doubled in the past decade.
The Strengthen Opioid Misuse Prevention (STOP) Act (2017) aims to reduce the number of people who become addicted to prescription opioids. The Act:
- Sets a 5-day limit for an initial prescription for acute pain (7 days for pain following surgery) to reduce the number of people who become addicted to pain medications and reduce the number of unused pills sitting in medicine cabinets
- Requires prescribers to check the Controlled Substances Reporting System database before prescribing opioids to reduce adverse drug interactions, duplicative prescriptions and doctor-shopping
- Requires electronic prescribing of opioids to cut down on prescription fraud
The Synthetic Opioid Control Act (2017) helps law enforcement authorities go after fentanyl traffickers by ensuring that all derivatives of this deadly drug are classified as controlled substances under state law.
More next week….
Source: NC Department of Justice