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The opioid overdose epidemic: opportunities for pharmacists

Authors Wu LT, Ghitza UE, Burns AL, Mannelli P

Received 18 June 2017

Accepted for publication 19 June 2017

Published 31 July 2017 Volume 2017:8 Pages 53—55

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/SAR.S144268

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Li-Tzy Wu,1–4 Udi E Ghitza,5 Anne L Burns,6 Paolo Mannelli,1

1Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, 2Department of Medicine, 3Duke Clinical Research Institute, Duke University School of Medicine, 4Center for Child and Family Policy, Sanford School of Public Policy, Duke University, Durham, NC, 5Center for Clinical Trials Network, National Institute on Drug Abuse, Bethesda, MD, 6American Pharmacists Association, Washington, DC, USA
 
The USA is experiencing an opioid overdose epidemic. It has been driven largely by prescription opioids and intensified by a surge of illicit opioids (e.g., heroin and fentanyl).1,2 Drug-involved overdose, mainly opioids (e.g., prescription opioids and heroin), is a leading cause of accidental death in the USA. The opioid overdose epidemic has been escalating consistently for over a decade.2 Every day, an estimated 91 Americans die from opioid-related overdose.3 Opioid overdose appears to have disproportionally affected men, adults aged 25–64 years, and non-Hispanic whites.2



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