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Home > Health & Wellness > Health Advocacy > Opioids
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Opioids have been making national headlines. The New York Times reported the nation’s drug overdose deaths may total approximately 64,000 for 2016 once the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) finalizes calculations. CBS news referenced a report from the independent research group, Police Executive Research Forum, which put the death toll into context by comparing it to the more than 58,000 Americans who died in the Vietnam War. The CDC currently estimates 91 people die each day from opioid overdose. President Trump declared the opioid crisis a national public health emergency on Oct. 26, 2017.
Painkillers — a category of narcotics that includes prescription medications and street drugs. Common opioids include (but are not limited to):
In well-controlled dosages, pharmaceutical opioids can be helpful during end-of-life care and can make it possible for those with end-stage cancer to have a better quality of life. However, for the majority of chronic pain, and for nearly all short-term pain, the addictive nature of opioids is clearly risky. Specifically at Mercy:
Any time patients opt for a small opioid prescription, whether for dental work, a broken bone or surgical recovery, proper disposal of any leftover prescription is critical.
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