Despite continuing efforts to reverse the trend of rising opioid-related deaths, the epidemic worsened last year. And President Trump on Wednesday declared the opioid epidemic a national emergency.Dr. Anne Pylkas is an addiction medicine specialist at HealthPartners and says she’s “seeing trends of less prescribing of opioids, like the primary care world and doctors have sort of gotten the message, but yet the deaths keep rising.” Dr. Pylkas says that’s likely due to people moving to heroin after they’ve already become addicted to painkillers. She says expanding access to medication-assisted treatment is one possible step toward reversing the trend. She also says expanding access to overdose-reversal agent naloxone could help.
Here’s part of MNN’s Scott Peterson’s interview with Dr. Pylkas: