“Partners in Prevention (PIP) is very enthusiastic about this grant. The focus is to provide prevention education and outreach to doctors, dentists and general practitioners in Hudson County on the dangers associated with prescribing opioids for pain management as well as education regarding best practices, safe alternatives and use of the Prescription Management System,” says a company spokesperson for PIP. “To accomplish this, PIP will conduct a variety of outreaches to prescribers which may include, but is not limited to: direct training, virtual presentations, took-kit development and dissemination and targeted outreach campaigns to local health care providers. These training outreaches and resources are available free of charge for any Hudson County prescribers and general practitioners.”
Supporting Hudson County Physicians and Other Prescribers in their Practices
Recent data in Hudson County reveals that the impact of opioid use creates significant challenges for these prescribers. Between January and August of 2020 there have been 116,363 opioid prescription dispensed, with 114 deaths suspected as being opioid related and 569 naloxone administrations. PIP recognizes that these numbers represent a decrease from the same time in 2019 and thus an opportunity to continue reducing these numbers further through this grant. Hudson County is a fairly racially and ethnically diverse county.
The largest percentage increase in rates of drug overdose deaths involving any opioid in large fringe metro areas from 2015 to 2017 occurred among Blacks or African Americans aged 25–34 years (149%; from 7.3 to 18.2), and the largest percentage increase in overdose death rates involving synthetic opioids was in Hispanics aged 45–54 years (433%; from 1.5 to 8.0).
By offering tool-kits and presentations PIP can support the work of these prescribers and their diverse patients.
As a State, NJ sees a rise in opioid deaths
In New Jersey, where drug-related deaths had leveled off, overdose deaths in the first half of 2020 were 17 percent higher than in 2019.
The monthly bar graph outlining the first six months of opioid deaths in New Jersey is quite stark and predictably will stretch the capacity of treatment resources in 2020 that were already negatively impacted over the last few years by managed care and fee for service challenges.
The COVID-19 Pandemic exacerbates the Opioid Epidemic
We’ve heard the discussions both on the news and in our individual social circles about how the pandemic has wide reaching impact, including feelings of isolation and disconnectedness that as we know are triggers for so many folks already struggling with addiction and may result in many others turning to substance use as coping strategies.
According to the American Medical Association, more than 40 states have recorded increases in opioid deaths since the pandemic began
Partners in Prevention is committed to supporting our medical community in curbing overdoses and overdose deaths in Hudson County. Any medical professionals or healthcare organizations in Hudson County interested in receiving free resources, a training presentation, and the Hudson County Prescribers Toolkit, please reach out to Coalition Supervisor – Anthony Menafro at: AMenafro@PIPNJ.ORG
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