Painkiller Overdoses Focus of Indian Country Program
A national epidemic of prescription drug and heroin abuse affects everyone. The Bureau of Indian Affairs, as well as Indian Health Services, realizes this and announced an agreement with the White House Office of National Drug Policy earlier this week. BIA officers will undergo an eight hour training course. Upon completion, the officers will be equipped with naloxone, which can reverse an opioid overdose.
The Center for Disease Control reports that the rate of opioid abuse among American Indians and Alaska Natives has increased almost 400% since 2009. Opioid painkillers are responsible for three-quarters of all prescription overdose deaths.
Naturally derived opioid pain medications include morphine and codeine. Semi-synthetic opioid pain medications include oxycodone, hydrocodone, hydromorphone, and oxymorphone. Synthetic opioid pain medications include fentanyl and tramadol.