Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science

Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science


Emergency Medicine


Dr. Nancy Reid, MHA, DHSc, PA-C, DFAAPA


Currently, the United States is facing an opioid crisis stemming from opioid prescriptions that have led to an unprecedented amount of opioid-related overdoses. Opioid-related deaths are increasing every year and no clear end is in sight. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), various states, and large metropolitan cities have produced various guidelines on prescribing opioids, especially within the emergency department, but no specific tools. Currently, there is federal legislation working on reform to help decrease both opioid-related overdose and usage within the emergency department. Hospitals are starting to consider adopting an alternative to opioid (ALTO) program within their emergency departments to help curb this epidemic, with potentially more organizations to follow in the future.


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