Addressing the Opioid Crisis

The spring 2018 edition of the Ochsner Journal includes a collection of articles that kicks off a year-long look at aspects related to the current opioid crisis. This crisis is attributed to the rapid increase in the use of prescription and nonprescription opioid drugs in the United States beginning in the late 1990s and continuing through the first 2 decades of the 2000s.

Our focus is on solutions: providing alerts in the electronic medical record and decreasing opioid prescriptions in the emergency department, after cesarean delivery, and in the treatment of chronic pain. In addition, a paper on Suboxone—an alternative drug for opioid-dependent patients—examines its use and common misconceptions.

This series couldn’t be more timely. In March 2018, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that opioid overdoses increased 30% from July 2016 through September 2017 in 45 states and that opioid overdoses in large cities increased by 54% in 16 states.

Real people are behind these percentages, and our solutions-focused approach recognizes this fact.

The Ochsner Journal is a quarterly, peer-reviewed medical journal that is fully searchable at PubMed. To subscribe to the Journal and receive notification each quarter when an issue is published, subscribe to the electronic table of contents by completing this brief form.