From epi to policy: prescription drug overdose state health department training and technical assistance meeting : Atlanta, Georgia April 22 and 23, 2013
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From epi to policy: prescription drug overdose state health department training and technical assistance meeting : Atlanta, Georgia April 22 and 23, 2013

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      The challenges of the prescription drug overdose epidemic are apparent from simply looking at a map of the US. Some regions of the country have been devastated by prescription drug deaths, while others have been only lightly affected. In 2010, the state with the highest drug overdose death rate had a rate eight times higher than the lowest state. But that same map also captures the greatest opportunities for reversing this epidemic. Justice Louis Brandeis once wrote that “It is one of the happy incidents of the federal system that a single courageous state may, if its citizens choose, serve as a laboratory; and try novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country.” States control the levers to prevent prescription drug abuse and overdose, and each has adopted a different approach to addressing this crisis. It is among these 50 state “laboratories,” each working to reverse the epidemic, where public health will find the best way forward for preventing more overdose deaths. With this in mind, on April 22 and 23, 2013, CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control convened health officials from 15 states funded through the Core Violence and Injury Prevention Program (VIPP) to receive intensive training on how to translate what we know about the epidemic into effective action. The meeting sought to combine CDC’s research and epidemiology on prescription drug overdose with real-world discussions of the challenges and successes states have faced in confronting the epidemic. This report summarizes that meeting. It is organized based on the attendees’ discussions around five major interventions or practices that hold the greatest promise for turning the tide on this epidemic:

      I. Development and use of reports based on Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMP)

      II. Policies related to use of PDMP data

      III. Guidelines for prescribing prescription opioids

      IV. Pain management clinics

      V. Implementing a prescription drug poisoning prevention program

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