Opioids are called controlled substances for a reason. These are drugs that we have studied for years to get the dosing right. Fentanyl is often sprayed up children’s noses, for heaven’s sake, so that fear of a needle doesn’t add to their suffering. These drugs are with the good guys.
And yet fentanyl, produced illegally for street sale, is a monster, up to 100 times as potent as morphine. Drug overdoses today are the leading cause of death for Americans 50 and younger, and more than 2 million Americans may be misusing opioids. Overdoses have become so common that a nurse’s education often features lessons on reviving victims with an opioid “antidote.” This has save thousands of lives. But then what?
Read more from Dean Patricia M. Davidson’s discussion of opioid abuse and nurses’ role in recognizing and addressing it before it can kill in in her Huffington Post blog.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: PATRICIA M. DAVIDSON
Patricia M. Davidson, PhD, MEd, RN, is dean of the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing and a fellow of the Australian College of Nursing, the American Heart Association, the Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association, and the American Academy of Nursing. She is counsel general of the International Council on Women’s Health Issues and actively involved in the international activities of Sigma Theta Tau International. Follow her on Twitter (@nursingdean).