Monday, July 22, 2024

NHRMC: Opioid overdoses and prescriptions down, Naloxone prescriptions up

In line with the North Carolina STOP Act and new opioid prescription guidelines, New Hanover Regional Medical Center has seen an overall reduction in opioid-related issues.

One year after complying with the North Carolina STOP Act, New Hanover Regional Medical Center announced its opinion-related statistics. (Port City Daily/File photo)
One year after complying with the North Carolina STOP Act, New Hanover Regional Medical Center announced its opinion-related statistics. (Port City Daily/File photo)

NEW HANOVER COUNTY — After tweaking its guidelines in late 2017 according to new state law, New Hanover Regional Medical Center announced its opioid-related overdoses have decreased by more than half.

Opioid prescriptions are also down — by 20 percent — with “opioid alternative” prescriptions up 700 percent.

RELATED: New Hanover County opioid overdoses spike over the holiday season, again

New Hanover Regional Medical Center enacted new opioid guidelines for its practitioners on Oct. 17, 2017. These guidelines were framed around the North Carolina STOP Act, that went into effect on Jan. 1, 2018.

The new law limited first-time prescriptions of targeted controlled substances for acute pain to five days or less; NHRMC limited these prescriptions to three-to-five days. For acute post-operative pain, the law limited prescriptions to be extended to seven days.

According to a Tuesday press release, NHRMC credits its adopted guidelines in curbing opioid-related issues. In a 10-month period, from January to October, opioid overdoses dropped from 155 in 2017, to 72 last year.

From Oct. 2017 to Oct. 19,000 less opioid prescriptions dispensed through NHRMC, a 20 percent reduction. In turn, “opioid alternative” prescriptions are up by over 700 percent, NHRMC’s release states.

Naloxone prescriptions — used by law enforcement and other relevant parties to reverse overdose symptoms — increased by 250 percent between the same time period. The increase puts life-saving treatment in the hands of people who may be in a position to assist in an overdose.


Related Articles