Need of the Project
In the late 1990s, pharmaceutical companies reassured the medical community that patients would not become addicted to opioid pain relievers and healthcare providers began to prescribe them at a greater rate. Increases in the prescriptions of opioid medications led to widespread misuse. Devastating consequences of the opioid epidemic include increases in opioid misuse and related overdoses, as well as the rising incidence of newborns experiencing withdrawal syndrome.1
The U.S. has a distinctive problem with opioids. The U.S. makes up 4.4% of the world’s population yet consumes over 80% of the world’s opioids.2 Since 1991, nearly 841,000 Americans have died from a drug overdose.3 The emergence of COVID-19 combined with already rising drug overdose deaths produced social isolation, economic stress, and disrupted access to treatment facilities and providers. Recently released data by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that nearly 93,331 Americans died of a drug overdose in 2020.4 This is the highest number of deaths attributable to drug overdose since records have been kept.
Arkansas has felt the impacts of the epidemic with harshness. In 2014, there were 123 opioid prescriptions for every 100 residents.5 There were more opioids in the state than people. While the most up-to-date prescription rate is significantly lower at 99.2, Arkansas remains second only to Alabama with the number of opioid prescriptions per capita.
Given this dire situation, Arkansas's Department of Human Services has created an Opioid Response Dashboard to track the impact of opioids on the state.1What is the U.S. Opioid Epidemic?” https://www.hhs.gov/opioids/about-the-epidemic/index.html2https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/03/15/americans-use-far-more-opioids-than-anyone-else-in-the-world/3Wide-ranging online data for epidemiologic research (WONDER). Atlanta, GA: CDC, National Center for Health Statistics; 2020. Available at http://wonder.cdc.gov4CDC Vital Statistics Rapid Release Provisional Drug Overdose Death Counts https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/drug-overdose-data.htm5AFMC, Opioid Prescription Rates, https://afmc-analytics.maps.arcgis.com/apps/MapSeries/index.html?appid=2977d338de974451af5ce8ff24d2a30c
This announcement is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award totaling $1 million with 100 percentage funded by HRSA/HHS and no amount or percentage funded by nongovernment source(s). The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by HRSA/HHS, or the U.S. Government.
Need of the Project