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2020 – Record Year For Fentanyl Deaths in Nebraska

(KFOR NEWS  June 3, 2021)  The American Medical Association finds all 50 states and D.C. have now reported increases in drug overdoses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In Nebraska, it’s fentanyl.  In 2020, 49 people died of fentanyl overdoses in Douglas County…a 345% increase from 2019, when 11 people overdosed on fentanyl.

The AMA is out with a list of recommendations to prevent overdoses and strengthen the response to the worsening overdose crisis including:
* Remove prior authorization and address other barriers, including affordability, to medications for treating opioid-use disorder.
* Increase meaningful oversight and enforcement of parity laws, including requiring payers to demonstrate compliance prospectively as part of the product approval process.
* Ensure access to addiction medicine physicians, psychiatrists, and other health care professionals.
* Enhance access to comprehensive pain care, including multidisciplinary, multimodal treatment.
* Expand access to the overdose-reversing drug naloxone and coordinate care for patients in crisis. Harm reduction also must include increased access to sterile needle and syringe services.
*  Implement programs that monitor and evaluate policies and outcomes to identify what is working, and then build on those successes.

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