Prevent Opioid Abuse Calls for Action to Accelerate the Positive Downward Trend in Opioid Painkiller Prescriptions

For Immediate Release:

Rob Horowitz,

Prevent Opioid Abuse Calls for Action to Accelerate the Positive Downward Trend in Opioid Painkiller Prescriptions

“It is up to Every State in the Nation to Act”

Responding to a recent study showing a 9% nationwide decline in the number of opioid-based pain reliever prescriptions filled by pharmacies last year, Prevent Opioid Abuse, a national organization working to educate patients and parents about the risks of opioid-based painkillers and the available non-opioid alternatives, today called on every state in the nation to arm its’ residents with the real-time information required to dramatically speed up this positive trend. The organization pointed out that even with this welcome decline, about 200 million opioid prescriptions were written last year with millions of people taking these highly addictive medications for the first time.

Prevent Opioid Abuse urged all states to follow the lead of New Jersey, Rhode Island, Nevada and Maryland, and adopt legislation giving patients and parents the information they need to prevent opioid addiction at the time when they most need it – when an opioid painkiller is about to be prescribed.

The legislation requires prescribers to inform all patients, and parents of minors , about the risk of addiction before an opioid is prescribed and when appropriate, discuss the availability of non-opioid alternative pain relief treatments. This common-sense requirement enables patients and parents to recognize signs of addiction and alerts them to less risky alternative methods of pain relief. Maryland became the most recent state to adopt this legislation with Governor Larry Hogan signing it into law on April 24, 2018.

“While it is good to see this positive downward trend, we have a long way to go before we truly accomplish curbing the opioid epidemic,” said Elaine Pozycki, Founder of Prevent Opioid Abuse. “Requiring a conversation between doctors and patients and parents before an opioid is prescribed that includes a discussion of non-opioid pain relief alternatives will speed the decline in the number of opioid prescriptions written.”

Pozycki added, “All patients and parents of patients have the right to know that the medicine they are being prescribed can lead to dependency and addiction. They should also be made aware that there are non-opioid alternatives available that will work for all but the most extreme pain.”

Unfortunately, doctors rarely discuss the addiction potential of opioids before prescribing them,” said Andrew Kolodny, MD, Co-Founder of Physicians for Responsible Prescribing and a Senior Adviser to Prevent Opioid Abuse. “Requiring this conversation will not only result in better- informed parents, patients and prescribers, it will save lives and spare many families from the devastating impact of opioid addiction.”

The over-prescribing of opioid-based pain relievers, such as Oxycodone and Vicodin, is the primary cause of today’s epidemic of opioid addiction, both to opioid-based painkillers and their illegal street cousin, heroin. Two hundred million prescriptions for opioid-based painkillers are written annually in the United States, and Americans take more than 80 percent of the opioid-based painkillers used globally, despite representing just 5 percent of the world’s population.

The results of this overprescribing can be seen in every state of the nation. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention, more than 42,000 people died from overdoses from opioids in the United States in 2016, exceeding the number of people that died from breast cancer

“The National Opioid Commission has made the proposed requirement for a conversation between prescriber and patient before an opioid is prescribed one of its major national recommendations.

New Rhode Island Laws Aimed at Combating Opioid Epidemic

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Gov. Gina Raimondo has signed three bills into law aimed at combating Rhode Island’s opioid epidemic.

The legislation allows law enforcement access to an electronic database of prescription painkillers without a warrant; requires health care professionals to discuss the risks of addiction with patients when writing opioid prescriptions; and expands the type of pharmaceuticals that can be prescribed using electronic prescriptions, while ensuring patient privacy.

Read complete article here.

Senate passes legislation that requires prescribers to discuss opioid risks

STATE HOUSE — The Senate has passed legislation introduced by Sen. Stephen R. Archambault (D-Dist. 22, Smithfield, North Providence, Johnston) that would require health care professionals to discuss the dangers of opioid addiction before prescribing the medication.

“We’re battling a lethal epidemic that is killing more people a year than motor vehicle crashes,” said Senator Archambault. “More than 52,000 Americans died from a drug overdose in 2015 — and 63 percent of those deaths involved an opioid, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

The legislation (2017-S 0493A) would require that a health care professional authorized to issue prescriptions, prior to issuing an initial prescription for an opioid drug, discuss with the patient who is 18 years of age or older or the patient’s parent or guardian if the patient is under 18, specifically the risks of developing a dependence or addiction on the prescription opioid drug and potential of overdose or death, the adverse risks of concurrent use of alcohol or other psychoactive medications.

Read more…

American Medicine Chest Challenge – Rhode Island Locations

Rhode Island will be participating in the American Medicine Chest Challenge on November 14th, with drop locations throughout the state listed here, available for download here and listed below.

The event will take place on November 14, 2015 in communities across the country. This initiative will challenge Rhode Island residents to take the Five-Step American Medicine Chest Challenge:
• Take inventory of your prescription and over-the-counter medicine.
• Secure your medicine chest.
• Dispose of your unused, unwanted, and expired medicine in your home or at an American Medicine Chest Challenge Disposal site.
• Take your medicine(s) exactly as prescribed.
• Talk to your children about the dangers of prescription drug abuse.



Barrington Police Department 110 Federal Road Barrington 401-437-3935

Burrillville Police Department 1477 Victory Highway Oakland 401-568-6255

Charlestown Police Department 4901 Old Post Road Charlestown 401-364-1212

Foster Police Department 182 Howard Hill Road Foster 401-397-3317

Hopkinton Police Department 406 Woodville Road Hopkinton 401-377-7750

Jamestown Police Department 250 Conanicus Avenue Jamestown 401-423-1212

Johnston Police Department 1651 Hartford Avenue Johnston 401-519-1903

Little Compton Police Department 60 Simmons Road Little Compton 401-635-2311

Middletown Police Department 123 Valley Road Middletown 401-846-1104

Narragansett Police Department 40 Caswell Street Narragansett 401-789-1091

Narragansett Indian Tribal Police Department 4375 B. South County Trail (Rear) Charlestown 401-364-1100

North Kingstown Police Department 8166 Post Road N Kingstown 401-294-3311

Providence Police Safety Complex 325 Washington Street Providence 401-421-2489

Richmond Police Department 1168 Main Street Wyoming 401-539-8289

Tiverton Police Department 20 Industrial Way Tiverton 401-625-6717

Warwick Police Department 99 Veterans Memorial Dr Warwick 401-468-4200

Westerly Police Department 60 Airport Road Westerly 401-596-2022

Woonsocket Police Department 242 Clinton Street Woonsocket 401-766-1212