Opioids: Changing the Paradigm on Treating Pain and Addiction : Combating the Opioid Epidemic Affecting Children

jun 5, 2018: 4:15 p.m. - 5:15 p.m.
Room 256, Level 2

The opioid epidemic knows no age limits. Newborns and young children are the most vulnerable victims of the opioid epidemic. An American Academy of Pediatrics research suggests more than 100 children test positive for opioid addiction or dependency each day in US emergency departments. Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) births in the US occur at the rate of ~6 for every 1,000 and 15 per 1,000 in some rural areas. Studies suggest there will be over 50,000 NAS infant births in 2017. 
The use and misuse of opioids is a public health crisis. Over 2.5 million in the United States have an opioid use disorder and over 80 people die each day of an overdose. Furthermore, four out of five new heroin users begin by misusing opioid prescription drugs and there are over 200 million opioid prescriptions written each year. In additional to the cost in human lives, the financial cost of substance misuse is staggering. The cost to federal, state, and local governments is $467.7 billion per year; the cost to public and private medical insurers is $72.5 billion; 5.2 million people use opioids annually generating $8 billion in annual opioid sales. Inappropriate prescribing is the fundamental upstream driver of the opioid epidemic.