Shaming and blaming isn't part of improving patient safety or resolving the opioid crisis. Healthcare workers and Congress frequently blame others and rarely take personal responsibility, and that's not a culture that fosters reflection and meaningful improvement.
With the opioid epidemic occupying center stage in media and political arenas, what's gone largely overlooked is that pediatric opioid-related hospitalizations, warranting the highest level of intensive care unit admission, doubled between 2004 and 2015.
More than one hundred people are dying of opioid overdoses every day in the US, which has formed the basis for new policies and laws that are supposed to address the problem. Yet things continue to get worse. Not only are new policies failing to help, but rather, they are making an already-bad situation worse. Part one: understanding the real killer.
It's one thing to read countless stories about pain patients being subjected to indescribable suffering, thanks to a thoroughly misguided, foolish CDC attempt to "address" the opioid overdose epidemic. It's quite another to actually speak with one of them, whose story is haunting and profoundly upsetting.
America's GDP is shifting from small-town America to the cities, and at the same time the opioid overdose epidemic has hit rural states, like Kentucky and West Virginia, especially hard. As a result, from 1999 to 2015 suicides in rural America have increased over 40%, according to the CDC.
McKesson Corp. has been repeatedly fined for failing to report suspicious opioid orders, which is required by the Drug Enforcement Agency for all parties in the opioid supply chain. This is not the corporate citizenship and good stewardship its officials claim – and there is little we can do about it.
The famous singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen, as per his manager Robert B. Kory’s statement, “died during his sleep following a fall in the middle of the night on November 7th." Ironically, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) just released their estimates of the top 5 causes of preventable deaths.