Why is the Drug Summit Important?
- The U.S. makes up about 5% of the world’s population and consumes over 95% of the world’s hydrocodone products.
- Prescription drug overdoses account for nearly 60% of all drug overdose deaths. Of those deaths, 73% came from opioids.
- Mississippi is a leading prescriber of opioid painkillers with the equivalent of approximately 70 opioid pills for every man, woman, and child in 2016.
- The number of painkiller prescriptions in Mississippi makes us the fifth highest per capita in the nation, with 1.07 prescriptions per person.
- In the state of Mississippi, there were 563 reported drug overdose deaths from 2013-2016 (MS Bureau of Narcotics). Of these, 481 deaths were related to opioid abuse.
- Opioid-related deaths in Mississippi are greater than we think because they are often under reported by coroners.
- We need a comprehensive plan involving all relevant parties: parents, educators, policy makers, opinion leaders, stake holders, media, physicians, pharmacists, counselors, law enforcement, clergy.
- We must decriminalize addiction and move toward a treatment model for the abusers of opioids and heroin.