Bringing Awareness to Effective Tools Being Used to Combat Opiate Pain Reliever Overdose Deaths in the U.S.

Bringing Awareness to Effective Tools Being Used to Combat Opiate Pain Reliever Overdose Deaths in the U.S.



WHEREAS, overdose rates for all drugs in the United States have more than tripled since 1990 and have never been higher; and

WHEREAS, 100 people die from all drug overdoses every day in the United States; and

WHEREAS, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has declared prescription drug abuse and its consequences an epidemic; and

WHEREAS, in 2010, enough opioid pain relievers were sold to medicate every adult in the United States continuously for one month, reflecting a 300% increase in the sales rate of opioid pain relievers over an 11 year period of time; and

WHEREAS, nearly 48,000 women died of prescription painkiller overdoses between 1999 and 2010; and

WHEREAS, more than 6,600 women, or 18 women every day, died from a prescription painkiller overdose in 2010; and

WHEREAS, more than 10,000 men died from a prescription painkiller overdose in 2010; and

WHEREAS, state and community-based programs play a significant role in protecting the public health and regulating health care and the practice of health professions, and are critical in reversing the prescription drug epidemic; and

WHEREAS, a number of tools are being used to combat prescription opioid overdoses, including: proper disposal of prescription drugs; decreasing the availability of opioids; providing real-time monitoring of the prescription of opioids; increasing the availability of substance abuse treatment; and providing education and training on overdose risk factors, signs and symptoms; and

WHEREAS, an increasing number of community-based programs are also encouraging the administration of naloxone hydrochloride, (hereinafter naloxone), an opioid antagonist, to help reverse the potentially fatal respiratory depression caused by overdoses due to heroin, morphine, oxycodone, methadone, hydrocodone, codeine and other opioids; and

WHEREAS, naloxone is a prescription drug, administered by intramuscular injection, which resuscitates a person whose breathing has slowed or stopped as a result of opioid use; and

WHEREAS, naloxone has no potential for abuse and causes no side effects in persons who have not taken an opioid. Naloxone does not give its users a high and is not addictive; and

WHEREAS, the American Medical Association, the American Public Health Association, and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, in cooperation with the World Health Organization, have issued reports that support making naloxone available to first responders (such as police, firemen, and laypersons likely to be present when an opioid overdose occurs);

WHEREAS, since the first opioid overdose prevention program began distributing naloxone in 1996, a study concluded that these programs trained and distributed naloxone to 53,032 persons and received reports of 10,171 overdose reversals; therefore, be it

RESOLVED, that the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) duly assembled at its 120th Annual Conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is concerned about the alarming rate of overdose deaths within the United States due to the abuse of opioid pain relievers, encourages greater awareness regarding trending painkiller abuse patterns as well as available tools, such as naloxone, that are effective in minimizing overdose deaths associated with opioid painkiller abuse.


Submitted by: Narcotics & Dangerous Drugs Committee




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