The National Safety Council has pegged the states which they consider the leaders in implementing policies to help combat the deadly opioid epidemic.
According to a release, the National Safety Council assigned its highest mark of "Improving" to Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Washington, D.C., Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island, Virginia and West Virginia.
The specification indicates that the states have implemented comprehensive, proven actions to eliminate opioid overdoses.
"While we see some states improving, we still have too many that need to wake up to this crisis," said NSC President and CEO Deborah A.P. Hersman. "For the last five years, the Council has released Prescription Nation reports to provide a roadmap for saving lives across the country. We hope states adopt the recommended actions laid out here so we can eliminate preventable opioid deaths and stop an everyday killer."
According to the release, eight states receiving a "Failing" mark – Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, and Wyoming – are taking just one or two of the six key actions identified in the report as critical and life-saving.
Those actions include:
- Mandating prescriber education (34 states and D.C.)
- Implementing opioid prescribing guidelines (33 states and D.C.)
- Integrating Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs into clinical settings (39 states and D.C.)
- Improving data collection and sharing (seven states)
- Treating opioid overdose (37 states and D.C.)
- Increasing availability of opioid use disorder treatment (36 states and D.C.)
The National Safety Council says those six programs and actions that could have immediate and sustained impact addressing the opioid epidemic.
In Ohio, only one of the six actions hasn't been met- implementing a data sharing database which would allow prescribers, law enforcement, and more to share information about crimes associated with opioid misuse and more.
Pennsylvania, meanwhile, is one of 29 states with a rating of "lagging". The Keystone state has implemented four of the six- also having yet to implement a data sharing database, as well as official standard prescription guidelines.
Pennsylvania is one of 16 states which have not adopted the Centers for Disease Control guidelines.
The National Safety Council reported that employers are taking the biggest toll in the crisis- losing eligible workers to addiction, reporting that "certain industries like construction and manufacturing, report increasing difficulties in filling open positions".
In the release, the NSC said nearly half of businesses surveyed in 2017 (48 percent) identified a negative business impact—lower productivity, missed work, an increase in near-miss or close-call events, and an increase in workplace injuries.