WV one of 13 address opioid crisis, say Nat’l Safety Council

In a startling report released April 2, National Safety Coouncil research show just 13 states and Washington, D.C., have implemented comprehensive, proven action to eliminate opioid overdoses and help protect their residents.

In Prescription Nation, a digest analyzing how states are tracking the worst drug crisis in recorded U.S. history, the Council assigned its highest mark of “Improving” to Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Washington, D.C., Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island, Virginia and West Virginia.

“The opioid crisis has affected one in four Americans and while some states are improving, other need to double down on actions that will save lives,” said Deborah A. P. Hersman, president and CEO of the National Safety Council.   “For the last five years, the Council has released Prescription Nation reports to provide a road map for saving lives.  We hope states adopt the recommended actions to stop an everyday killer.”

After comprehensive evaluations of data an prevention strategies, the National Safety Council identified the following six key actions that could have immediate and sustained impact addressing the opioid epidemic.  These actions and the number of states taking them are:

  1. Mandating prescriber education (34 states and D.C.)
  2. Implementing opioid prescribing guidelines (33 states and D.C.)
  3. Integrating Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs into clinical settings (39 states and D.C.)
  4. Implementing data collection and sharing (seven states)
  5. Treating opioid overdose (37 states and D.C.)
  6. Increasing availability of opioid use disorder treatment (36 states and D.C.)

The National Safety Council is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to eliminate preventable deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the road through leadership, research, education and advocacy.