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Steps Hospice Organizations Should Take to Tackle the Opioid Crisis

More than 90% of hospice and palliative care patients are prescribed a controlled medication to help manage their pain. While these drugs are essential for managing symptoms, they can be deadly if they end up in the wrong hands.

Opioid misuse and overdoses impact all demographic groups, and the opioid crisis is claiming more lives than ever. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were a record-breaking 100,306 overdose deaths between April 2020 and April 2021, the vast majority due to some form of opioids.

The ability to access drugs is a common denominator linking many instances of opioid misuse, and home health care—especially hospice—is replete with prescription medications that often remain in the home after a patient’s death.