|Federal Information & News Dispatch, Inc.|
Press Briefing Transcript
Audio recording [MP3, 7.8 MB]
OPERATOR: Welcome and thank you for standing by.I'd like to inform all parties that your lines have been placed in a listen-only mode until the question and answer session of today's conference.Today's conference is also being recorded.If you have any objections, you may disconnect at this time.I would now like to turn the meeting over to Mr.
TOM SKINNER:Thank you, Calvin.Thank you all for joining us today for the release of another CDC vital signs report. We're joined today by the director of the CDC, Dr.
TOM FRIEDEN:Hello, thank you all very much for joining us.This month we have the latest in our monthly vital signs.Each month we focus on the latest data about a critical health issue that faces the country and what can be done about it.This month, the topic is overprescribing of opioid narcotics.Overdoses from opioid narcotics are a serious problem across the country.And we know that overdose deaths tend to be higher where opioids get heavier use.So you can see really two correlations.One, over time, over the past decade or more, there's been a dramatic increase in the amount of opioids prescribed and, two, across the country, there are dramatic differences.Now, prescription opiates can be an important tool for doctors to use, and some conditions are best treated with opioids.But they're not the answer to every time someone has pain.However, we found that health care providers in 2012 wrote 259 million prescriptions for opioids.That's enough for every American adult to have their own bottle of pills.In fact, we found that health care providers in some states prescribed these drugs three times as much as in other states.The opioid prescriptions ranged from a low of 52 for every 100 people, which is still awfully high in