November 25, 2013
At the end of August this year, The Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) released the Opioid Overdose Prevention Toolkit as part of the International Overdose Awareness Day. The toolkit aims to reduce the number of fatal opioid overdoses by providing education for clinicians, patients, communities, first responders, overdose survivors, and their family members. SAMHSA is offering the toolkit for free on their website in both print and electronic (PDF) formats. You can also download the five parts of the toolkit in PDF format right here:
SAMHSA Opioid Overdose Prevention Toolkit
The Opioid Overdose Prevention Toolkit is the first federal resource promoting safety and prevention information for persons at risk for overdose, such as how to recognize and respond appropriately to overdose, specific drug-use behaviors to avoid, and the role of naloxone in preventing fatal overdose. The toolkit provides communities and local governments with material to develop policies and practices to help prevent and respond appropriately to opioid-related overdose. Prescribers will find evidence-based guidance for safe prescribing practices, identifying patients at risk for overdose, engaging them in prevention and risk-reduction efforts, and accessing opioid-dependence treatment.
Each year, drug overdose has claims the lives of tens of thousands worldwide. During the last decade in the U.S. alone, opioid analgesic overdoses have claimed 125,000 lives. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) In 2012, the number one cause of death in 17 U.S. states was prescription drug abuse, surpassing the number of fatalities caused by motor vehicle accidents. (American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians) In countries throughout the world, overdose deaths attributed to opioid analgesics continue to increase with no signs of slowing down. International overdose statistics can be found on the International Overdose Awareness Day website.