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2020 – Record Year For Fentanyl Deaths in Nebraska

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 23: Bags of heroin, some laced with fentanyl, are displayed before a press conference regarding a major drug bust, at the office of the New York Attorney General, September 23, 2016 in New York City. New York State Attorney General Eric Scheiderman's office announced Friday that authorities in New York state have made a record drug bust, seizing 33 kilograms of heroin and 2 kilograms of fentanyl. According to the attorney general's office, it is the largest seizure in the 46 year history of New York's Organized Crime Task Force. Twenty-five peopole living in New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Arizona and New Jersey have been indicted in connection with the case. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

(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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