The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that every day more than 115 Americans die from an opioid overdose. One all-too-common overdose scenario is that of patients recovering from opioid-use disorder  who take their usual dose of opioids after a prolonged period of sobriety. 

To raise patients’ awareness about this deadly scenario, the AMA House of Delegates modified current policy by calling on the AMA to support the development and implementation of appropriate education programs for patients recovering from opioid use disorder and their friends and family.

This program would educate patients that “opioid use after significant sobriety time can result in overdose and death,” because of reduced tolerance to opioids after the period of abstinence.   

Airplanes should carry naloxone

While commercial airlines are required to carry emergency medical kits containing a specific cache of supplies, the opioid overdose antidote naloxone is not included in the requirement list of these kits.

  • The HOD adopted new policy calling on the AMA to support and encourage airlines to voluntarily include  naloxone in their emergency medical kits. The policy also calls for naloxone to be included in the medical kits of all U.S. airlines.

“The AMA has been a longtime supporter of increasing the availability of naloxone for patients, first responders and bystanders who can help save lives and seeks to bolster efforts to increase access to this medication,” said AMA Board Member Albert J. Osbahr III, M.D. “The AMA will encourage all U.S. airlines to include naloxone in their airline medical kits.”

Read more news coverage from the 2018 AMA Annual Meeting.

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