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Changing laws, attitudes of police response to drug overdose may lead to better outcomes
Date:9/26/2013

e caused by prescription painkillers, or opioids. In fact, there were 14,800 opioid overdose deaths in 2008, more than cocaine and heroin combined. And in 2010, more than 12 million people in the U.S. reported using prescription painkillers either without a prescription, or to get high.

Opioid pain relievers, such as oxycodone, hydrocodone and fentynal, are the most commonly involved type of drug responsible for unintentional drug overdose. These types of overdose have increased significantly in rural and suburban areas, where individuals have less immediate access to emergency medical care. In these areas in particular, providing law enforcement with the tools and training necessary to administer naloxone to reverse a drug overdose could have a significant impact on the death rate from unintentional opioid overdose.

"Educating the public about overdose incidents, the prevalence, and the importance of prevention could go a long way toward aligning public health and criminal justice objectives, and ultimately reducing the number of overdose deaths," Green said.

Green continued, "In addition to saving lives, providing law enforcement officers with naloxone, and proper training for administration may also improve the relationships between law enforcement and their respective communities."


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Contact: Ellen Slingsby
eslingsby@lifespan.org
401-444-6421
Lifespan
Source:Eurekalert

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