November 2018

Page A25 NOVEMBER 2018 FUNERAL HOME & CEMETERY NEWS S ec t i on A Time may be only a moment so keep a memory Necklace Urn Pendants for an Everlasting Keepsake. Urns hold a portion of the cremains. Sterling Silver and Gold pieces in stock. orders or catalog : 877-303-3144 CREMATION KEEPSAKES Why Wait? Unlock Your Cash Now! Kevin Smith Vice President, Business Development 256-504-2649 Danny Smith Director of Business Development 757-714-7156 At North Carolina Mutual Financial, LLC, our funeral funding services unlock your access to fast cash for your insurance assignments. Contact us today for more information. NCMF Funeral Funding Ad_Aug 2017_4C_10.25x8_MA.indd 1 8/11/17 9:42 AM Ida R. Muorie, JD, Educational Director for the 100 Black Women of Funeral Service spoke to attendees dur- ing the NFDMA Convention in Kissimmee this past August. The presentation focused on issues surrounding today’s opioid epidemic and how it relates to the funeral director. Below are highlights from that presentation. Understanding the Opioid Epidemic Drug overdose deaths continue to increase in the United States. From 1999 to 2016, more than 630,000 people have died from a drug overdose. Around 66 percent of the more than 63,600 drug overdose deaths in 2016 involved an opioid. In 2016, the number of overdose deaths involving opi- oids (including prescription opioids and illegal opioids like heroin and illicitly manufactured fentanyl) was 5 times higher than in 1999. On average, 115 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose. From 1999-2016, more than 350,000 people died from an overdose involving any opioid, including prescription and illicit opioids. Given the surge in availability of illegally-made fentanyl starting in 2013, the CDC Injury Center is now analyz- ing synthetic opioids (other than methadone) separately from other prescription opioids. This new analysis can provide a more detailed understanding of the increase in different categories of opioid deaths from previous years. Using this analysis, in 2016 there were 17,087 deaths in- volving this more limited category of prescription opi- oids (an increase in this category of 1,806 deaths since 2015), equivalent to about 47 deaths per day. Heroin use has increased sharply across the United States among men and women, most age groups, and all income levels. Some of the greatest increases occurred in demograph- ic groups with historically low rates of heroin use: women, the privately insured, and people with higher incomes. Regardless of the analysis strategy used, prescription opi- oids continue to be involved in more overdose deaths than any other drug, and all the numbers are likely to underes- timate the true burden given the large proportion of over- dose deaths where the type of drug is not listed on the death certificate. The findings show that two distinct but inter- connected trends are driving America’s opioid overdose epi- demic: a 17-year increase in deaths from prescription opioid overdoses, and a recent surge in illicit opioid overdoses driv- en mainly by heroin and illegally-made fentanyl. America’s Dance with Pain to the Grave Emergency department (ED) visits for opioid overdoses rose 30 percent in all parts of the United States from July 2016 through September 2017. People who have had an overdose are more likely to have another, so being seen in the ED is an opportunity for action. Repeat overdoses may be prevented with medication- assisted treatment (MAT) for opioid use disorder (OUD), which is defined as a problematic pattern of opioid use. EDs can pro- vide naloxone, link patients to treatment and referral ser- vices, and provide health de- partments with critical data on overdoses. ED data pro- vide an early warning system for health departments to identify increases in opioid overdoses more quickly and coordinate response efforts. This fast-moving epidem- ic does not stay within state and county lines. Coordi- nated action between EDs, health departments, mental health and treatment pro- viders, community-based organizations, and law en- forcement can prevent opi- oid overdose and death. Continued on Page B13