Safety

Hospitals respond to rise in dangerous drug use

Hospital Safety Insider, September 4, 2014

Want to receive articles like this one in your inbox? Subscribe to Hospital Safety Insider!

A nationwide resurgence in the use of methamphetamines and heroin—bolstered by a drop in price and a rise in purity of the drugs—has led to an increase in ER visits and a struggle among hospitals to deal with an influx in patients.

A report released June 19 by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) paints an unsettling picture of the use of the drugs in the U.S., according to H. Westley Clark, MD, JD, MPH, director of SAMHSA's Center for Substance Abuse Treatment.

 The report “shows that methamphetamine use may be on the rise again, and we must do everything we can to address this serious public health problem,” Clark said in a published statement from the agency.

According to the report, the number of methamphetamine-related visits to U.S. hospital EDs jumped from about 68,000 in 2007 to almost 103,000 in 2011, the latest year for which such data is available.

Data that is three years old may not seem very ­disturbing, but the agency said that by contrast, ER visits linked to the illegal drug had fallen significantly between 2005 and 2007. Since then, officials say increased U.S. regulation of pseudoephedrine has prompted production of these drugs to shift to Mexico, leading to a lower price and a much more potent drug.

This is an excerpt from an article in the September issue of Briefings on Hospital Safety. Visit here to log in or subscribe.

 



Want to receive articles like this one in your inbox? Subscribe to Hospital Safety Insider!

    Hospital Safety Center
  • Hospital Safety Center

    Improve compliance with hospital safety standards from The Joint Commission, OSHA, and other regulators with this...

  • Healthcare Life Safety Compliance

    Created exclusively for healthcare facility managers, plant operations professionals, and directors of engineering, this...

  • Hospital Safety Insider

    Stay on top of hospital safety requirements and best practices with our free, fast-paced weekly update.

  • Basic OSHA Compliance Manual Kit

    Total compliance has never been easier. This one convenient package contains everything you need to ensure your outpatient...

  • Basic Dental OSHA Compliance Manual Kit

    Total compliance has never been easier. This one convenient package contains everything you need to ensure your dental...

Most Popular