Overdose deaths involving prescription opioid painkillers in New York State increased from 2003 through 2012, according to a Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report released by CDC this month.
Vital statistics and Medicaid claims reveal that opioid overdose death rates were highest among males, whites, people aged 45-64 years, those residing outside of New York City, and among Medicaid patients.
In 2012, about 70 percent of prescription opioid overdose deaths in the state involved other drugs, often benzodiazepines, such as Valium, Xanax, etc.
New York implemented I-STOP, a prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP), in August 2013. PDMPs enable providers to check whether patients obtain prescriptions from other prescribers or take drugs that might interact dangerously with those being prescribed. PDMPs are a valuable strategy to reduce prescription drug misuse, abuse, addiction, and overdose death.
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