What is an opioid, and what’s really behind the epidemic that was recently declared a national public health emergency? Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is working to educate consumers and raise awareness about this national epidemic by answering questions you may have about opioids. Join Blue Cross on Facebook on Thursday, Nov. 30 at 3 p.m. EST for an “Ask an Expert” Facebook Live discussion. We'll be streaming live with Dr. William T. Beecroft, medical director of behavior health for Blue Care Network, to discuss the national opioid crisis and resources available for those affected by opioid abuse. Blue Cross experts will be available to answer live questions from viewers regarding this topic. Opioid abuse is a serious issue that can be deadly, but opening dialogue to educate and create awareness about safety, alternatives, prevention, treatment, recovery services and proper responses to overdoses can help. Here are some facts and current statistics from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention illustrating the severity of the crisis:
- From 1999 to 2016, the total number of overdose deaths involving any type of opioid increased more than 17 times in Michigan, from 99 to 1,689
- In Michigan in 2016, 2,335 people died of drug overdoses – more than the number who died in car accidents
- Each day, 115 Americans die due to opioid overdose, according to the CDC
- Opioids caused at least 64,000 deaths in 2016 in the U.S.
- Since 2000, more than 300,000 Americans lost their lives to opioid overdoses
- More than 188,000 children in the U.S. can get opioids from their parents’ medicine cabinets.
Do you have questions about opioids? Leave a comment below and then join Blue Cross on the BCBSM Facebook Page to talk live with a pharmacy expert on Thursday, Nov. 30, at 3 p.m. EST to address your questions and learn more.
If you enjoyed this post, check out:
- Learning More About Blue Cross’ Opioid Task Force
- Understanding Opioids and Their Effects
- Five Steps to Avoid Prescription Medication Abuse in Teens
- Beyond the Card: Coming Together to End Michigan Opioid Epidemic
- The Safe Way to Take Prescription Opioid Pain Medications
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