Opioid Abuse Subject of New Health Department Report

by Billy Tarpley on July 10, 2017

Monday, July 10, 2017

In a report presented today to the Joint Interim Committee on Public Health, the Arkansas Department of Health released new data about opioid abuse in Arkansas.

According to the attached report, which was presented by Dr. Nate Smith, ADH Director, the primary points to be considered were as follows:

  • Large amounts of opioids are being sold in Arkansas. In 2016, enough pills were dispensed for every man, woman and child to take 80 pills each during the year.
  • Opioids are being prescribed to people of all ages. Starting at age 25, there is at least one opioid prescription written per capita during the year.
  • Opioids are prescribed inconsistently. In Lincoln County, 74 pills are dispensed per capita while in Crawford County 154 are dispensed.
  • The Prescription Monitoring Program has reduced doctor shopping. From January 2015 to December 2016 the number of doctor shoppers was cut in half.
  • Reports of drug-related injures and deaths are increasing. Our overdose death rate has increased from 5.1 per 100,000 in 2000 to 13.4 per 100,000 in 2016.

For a copy of the powerpoint handout, click here.



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