By Kenny Schnell
Drug overdose deaths and opioid-involved deaths continue to increase in the United States. According to the latest figures, more than six out of 10 drug overdose deaths now involve an opioid, and every day 91 Americans die of opioid overdose.
And the problem goes far beyond that. Although the news media focuses primarily on opioid deaths, opioid abuse causes enormous harm throughout the country even when it doesn’t involve a fatality. In fact, workplace costs of prescription opioid use now total more than $25 billion – not just from premature death but from reduced compensation, lost employment and excess healthcare costs. And with 259 million opioid prescriptions written every year, the crisis is not likely to abate soon.
For EMS, there’s a critical role you can play beyond stocking up on naloxone. At ESO, we encourage you — our partners in clinical and agency leadership roles — to develop the data expertise that will help you become a credible leader in addressing the opioid crisis in your community. Our EHR software provides easy ways to document specific types of overdose, so you can review statistics and trends in your community. The data that results is a powerful tool that you can use not only to educate your clinical staff, but also to generate the public support (and possibly funding) you need to focus your efforts on harm reduction.
Together, let’s do what we can to make a difference in our communities.
Talk to one of our experts to learn about how ESO can help EMS in the opioid crisis.