Following the CDC’s release of updated data regarding opioid-related deaths in 2020, Chris Fox, executive director of Voices for Non-Opioid Choices, issued the following statement. Chris is available for media interviews upon request.
“Yesterday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released preliminary statistics showing that more than 93,000 Americans died of a drug overdose in 2020. Of these overdose deaths, it is estimated that nearly 70,000 Americans – 75 percent of the total – died from an opioid-related drug overdose. And we know that every year, more than 3 million Americans will go on to long-term opioid use following an acute pain incident.
These statistics underscore the need to rein in the opioid use disorder crisis in our country, including by minimizing unnecessary exposure to opioids for acute pain patients where we can. One way to accomplish this is by arming health professionals with other, non-opioid pain management tools to help them treat their patients. Fortunately, there is legislation pending in Congress that can address this challenge and put non-opioid pain management approaches on the table for patients and providers. The Non-Opioids Prevent Addiction in the Nation (“NOPAIN”) Act would fully incentivize the use of non-opioid pain management approaches and, in the process, minimize unnecessary risk of patients developing a long-term opioid use habit. In doing so, the legislation presents an opportunity to address the skyrocketing rates of individuals developing opioid use disorder every year and save lives. We urge Congress to advance the NOPAIN Act; there are lives depending on it.”