Congress is in session on Capitol Hill this coming week. On Wednesday, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is holding a hearing on reforming the Postal Service and the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s health subcommittee is holding a hearing on “Health Care Solutions: Increasing Patient Choice and Plan Innovation.”
Millions of people are on opioids — most of them over 45 — and that means some are at risk of overdose. Bratberg said we should be educating patients and doctors.
“We’re really making a push nationally and regionally to educate prescribers about those risks, and to use tools available to warn folks about that.” [according to University of Rhode Island pharmacy professor Jeffrey Bratberg]
Tools that help lower the risk include naloxone, the overdose rescue drug. There’s also medication, such as buprenorphine or methadone, to assist people who have become addicted to painkillers to stop their use safely. In essence, those drugs keep a low level of opioids in the system to keep someone from going into withdrawal without getting them high.
Congress is poised to pass a bevy of laws on this issue.