Online Program

A Coordinated Response to Stop the Drug Overdose Epidemic

Monday, November 2, 2015 : 2:30 p.m. - 2:50 p.m.

Deborah Hersman, MS, National Safety Council, Itasca, IL
Every day in the US, 44 people die from overdosing on prescription painkillers. A significant part of the overdose problem results from prescription painkillers called opioids. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, these painkillers can be used to treat moderate-to-severe pain and are often prescribed following a surgery, injury, or for health conditions such as cancer. In recent years, there has been a dramatic increase in the acceptance and use of prescription opioids for the treatment of chronic, non-cancer pain, such as back pain or osteoarthritis. The National Safety Council (NSC) has found that more than 70 percent of people who abused prescription pain relievers report getting them from friends or relatives. Nonmedical use of prescription painkillers costs health insurers up to $72.5 billion annually in direct health care cost. The National Safety Council is working with its members and non-member organizations to address the prescription drug overdose problem. Deborah Hersman, NSC President and CEO, will explain how the NSC has worked with Madison-Dane County, WI Safe Communities to coordinate a multi-strategy response to stop the drug overdose epidemic. She will also describe other NSC efforts, including the Prescription Drug Employer Kit, which includes a proactive employer guide and tools to examine and update drug free workplace and employee benefit programs.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs

Learning Objectives:
Describe he National Safety Council efforts to address the prescription drug overdose problem through workplace partnerships and policies.

Keyword(s): Prescription Drug Abuse and Misuse

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I'm the president of the National Safety Council, an organization committed to saving lives by preventing unintentional injuries. Preventing prescription drug overdose is a strategic initiative of the Council and includes working with communities, employers and the public to take action to improve the prescribing, monitoring, treatment and availability of opioid pain relievers. In my position, I monitor injury and fatality data and with subject matter experts on staff to create solutions to the epidemic.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.