Troyen A. Brennan, M.D., M.P.H., Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer of CVS Health, explains how CVS Health is working to halt the prescription drug abuse epidemic through advocacy and action at the local, state and national level.
Prescription drug abuse has become a national epidemic in recent years. The use of controlled substances has increased dramatically, with prescriptions for opioids jumping more than 300 percent between 1999 and 2010.
Overdose deaths increased from 4,000 annually to 16,600 during the same period. In fact, such overdoses are now the second leading cause of accidental death in the U.S., and more than 2.4 million people were considered to be opioid abusers in 2010.