National Public Health Award Given for Opioid Report
The National Conference of State Legislatures has given its 2017 Notable Documents Award in the category of Public Health to a report issued last November by the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office entitled, Opioids: Preventing and Addressing Prescription Drug Abuse. The 52 page report made a number of wide-ranging proposals to policymakers to improve and build on Minnesota’s response to the prescription painkiller epidemic.
“We commend [the] publication as innovative in providing substantive information on contemporary issues of interest to legislatures,” said the Chair of the NCSL Notable Documents Award Committee, who called the report “an outstanding publication in the service of government.”
The United States has less than five percent of the world’s population but uses 80 percent of the world’s painkillers. Sales of opioid painkillers have quadrupled since 1999 and so have the number of overdoses from prescription opioids. The Centers for Disease Control has called prescription drug abuse the fastest growing drug problem in the United States. Nearly 80 percent of heroin users previously abused prescription painkillers.