JAPhA has published a special issue entitled “Opioids, Naloxone, and Beyond: The Intersection of Medication Safety, Public Health, and Pharmacy.” The 30 articles in this special issue, guest edited by Jeffrey Bratberg, PharmD, BCPS, of the University of Rhode Island College of Pharmacy, demonstrate that pharmacists are essential to initiating and sustaining effective patient-, public health-, and system-level interventions to reduce opioid-related morbidity and mortality.
“Nationally, opioid-related ED visits have doubled and opioid-related inpatient visits have increased 64% from 2005 to 2014,” Bratberg writes in his editorial. He goes on to write that more than 33,000 people were confirmed to have died from a preventable unintentional opioid overdose.
According to Bratberg, readers are encouraged to analyze, apply, and disseminate the results described in this timely special issue to policymakers, professional organizations, harm reduction advocates, and health professional students. Readers will learn that pharmacists have an essential role in the fight against the opioid epidemic in that they can advocate for more supervised safe consumption sites, educate patients on safe use of opioids and overdose awareness, provide nonprescription syringes, and dispense naloxone.
The special issue is a supplement to the March/April 2017 issue of JAPhA. Access the free supplement here.