Your go-to place for reliable occupational health-related information.
We understand how time constraints conflict with your need to follow industry trends. Please
subscribe here and we’ll notify you when we periodically post articles and news briefs.
While commending President Trump for identifying the opioid epidemic as a public health emergency last week, national health and safety organizations issued statements saying the declaration lacks teeth. The administration said more rules and actions will follow.
In a statement, the National Safety Council (NSC) called the “strategy vague at a time when a clear path forward is critical.” The NSC said the announcement falls short of draft recommendations from the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis, which called for declaring a national emergency under the Public Health Service Act or the Stafford Act, both of which would release funding to support related initiatives.
“While an effort to find non-addictive alternatives to opioids is a step in the right direction, the federal response must include adequate funding for implementing other evidence-based strategies as well, a move the president himself said is necessary,” the NSC stated. The NSC’s mission is to eliminate preventable deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the road.
Georges Benjamin, M.D., executive director, American Public Health Association, which advocates on behalf of public health professionals and programs, said “without an aggressive, comprehensive plan and significant boost in funding to prevent overdoses, assist addiction recovery and prevent new addictions, the declaration will fall far short of our country’s needs.”
Patrice A. Harris, M.D., chair of the American Medical Association’s Opioid Task Force, said the declaration will offer needed flexibility and help direct attention to opioid-ravaged communities. In a statement she added: “This alone won’t solve a complicated problem. Ending the epidemic will require physicians, insurers, drug manufacturers and the government to follow through with resources, evidence-based treatment plans and smart public policies at the national and state levels.”
Drug overdoses kill more Americans than firearms and motor vehicle crashes combined. While the number of prescriptions written for opioids has declined, more people than ever are dying from use of substances including heroin or fentanyl. According to the annual National Survey on Drug Use and Health, an estimated 75 percent of all opioid misuse starts with people using medication that wasn’t prescribed for them.
The White House said the emergency declaration:
Quest Diagnostics analyzed the results of 8 million urine drug tests it performed in 2019...
As segments of the country reopen during the COVID-19 pandemic, many employees are returning to...
Liberty Mutual Insurance publishes an annual Workplace Safety Index on the top causes of disabling...
WorkCare has introduced an affordable online course for employers on Return to Work During the...
When you subscribe you’ll receive links to blog posts, newsletters, fact sheets, articles, news briefs and videos by email when we post them.