Prescription opioid overdose deaths decreased by 29 percent in Staten Island from 2011 – 2013, according to a CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. This decrease followed a 435 percent increase in prescription opioid overdose deaths in the area from 2000 – 2011.
Combatting Opioid Overdose
Several targeted public health interventions implemented in Staten Island and New York City during 2011 – 2013 included:
- Citywide opioid prescribing guidelines
- Media releases about the local opioid overdose problem
- In-person office visits to provide education to prescribers
- Communications targeted to prescribers and the public about the risks of opioids
- I-STOP, a prescription drug monitoring program
Upon implementation of the public health initiatives, prescription opioid overdose deaths decreased. In addition, Staten Island saw a 9.9 percent reduction in the opioid prescription fill rate, and an 8.3 percent reduction in high dose prescribing. The decrease in opioid overdose deaths were not offset by increases in heroin overdose deaths.
What You Can Do
Similar interventions tailored to community needs could change opioid prescribing patterns and reduce overdose deaths.