Resources Focusing on the Opioid Epidemic
Posted by Carolyn Martin on May 12th, 2017
Posted in: Emergency Preparedness, Health Literacy/Consumer Health, News from NLM, Public Health
The following is news from the NIH/NLM Disaster Information Management Research Center (DIMRC)
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have declared opioid abuse an epidemic, calling it a serious public health issue. Two states, Florida and Maryland, have recently declared states of emergency in response to the opioid crisis.
NIH MedlinePlus magazine has an overview to help readers understand the opioid overdose epidemic, and the statistics are staggering: an estimated 1.9 million people in the US have a prescription opioid use disorder, while another 586,000 have a heroin use disorder. In 2014 alone, more than 28,000 people died from an opioid overdose.
The Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) has collected resources about the opioid epidemic, including resources for health professionals and law enforcement.
Issues that face first responders and first receivers include appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), treatment for overdoses, and coping with stress. The National Library of Medicine provides access to resources for responders, health professionals, and the general public:
- For first responders and healthcare professionals: Find links to detailed drug information about opioids on Drug Information Portal, and information about Naloxone. Also check the Chemical Hazards Emergency Medical Management (CHEMM) database for important information about Naloxone for first responders. NLM just added an Opiods record to TOXNET ChemIDplus, a dictionary of chemicals that includes names, synonyms and structures.
- For the general public: Learn about opioid abuse and addiction, prescription drug abuse, and heroin, including prevention, diagnosis, and treatment options. Learn more about Naloxone injection, an emergency medical treatment to reverse the effects of opiate overdoses. Family and friends can be negatively affected by a loved one’s opioid use disorder—find resources for coping with traumatic events on the NLM Disaster Health information guide to Coping With Disasters.
- Multiple languages: Information about opioid abuse and addiction is available in Spanish from MedlinePlus. HealthReach provides a handout in nine languages called What is Addiction? Text and video versions of Safe, Smart and Healthy – Keys to Success in Your New Home: Substance Use and Abuse are available in 16 languages.
- Read about one Library’s response to an opioid overdose in their library. (The American Libraries update links to an article on the Colorado Public Radio News page.)
And don’t forget the Disaster Lit® database. We have guidelines for preventing occupational exposure to fentanyl and treatment of PTSD with co-occurring opioid use disorder, as well as several other opioid-related resources.
ABOUT Carolyn Martin
Carolyn Martin is the Consumer Health Coordinator for the NNLM Pacific Northwest Region. She works with various libraries and community organizations to increase health literacy in their communities.
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