New CDC Director Dr. Redfield has set his sights on fighting the ever-growing opioid epidemic. Citing this as one of the top priorities for his agency, Dr. Redfield plans to decrease opioid abuse in the country by enacting strict guidelines for opioid prescription as well as improving the agency’s ability to track opioid data quickly. He also points out that it is crucial to find a way to break the stigma surrounding opioid abuse so that we may better address how to solve this issue. After all, “stigma is the enemy of public health.”
From The Wall Street Journal:
Dr. Redfield said the CDC is also stepping up its efforts to combat opioid abuse, another common factor behind suicide and one of his top priorities for the agency. “We’re going to continue to expand our efforts,” he said, including developing guidelines for prescribing opioids for acute pain and using a new system that can track opioid overdoses in a timely way using emergency-department data. The freshest opioid data used to be months old, Dr. Redfield said. Now, “we’re going to be able to track this epidemic in real time, which I think is really important to be able to respond.