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National group releases recommendations on how to prevent drug overdose after wave of fentanyl-caused overdoses


Washington, DC, Aug. 16, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Addiction Policy Forum, a national nonprofit focused on implementing a comprehensive response to addiction, released a series of recommendations for preventing casualties from substance use — Survival & Safety Rules of Using Opioids. In recent years millions of Americans struggling with addiction have experienced drug overdose, largely due to the increase of substances being laced with synthetic opioids such as fentanyl and carfentanyl. In fact, it was recently reported that the number of deaths caused by drug overdose in 2017 will reach at all-time high at approximately 72,000 deaths, a sharp increase from over 63,000 drug overdose deaths in 2016.

Key recommendations for current opioid users include: not mixing opioids with other substances, such as benzodiazepines (e.g. Xanax®), alcohol, or cocaine, and not using substances alone. These recommendations come just one day after more than 20 people experienced drug overdose in New Haven, Connecticut.

"2.1 Americans struggle with opioid use disorder, making them highly susceptible to fatal drug overdoses caused by contamination from fentanyl and other synthetic opioids," says Jessica Hulsey Nickel, president of Addiction Policy Forum. "We know that putting on your seatbelt prevents injury and death from car accidents and substance users should know the steps to take to prevent death from overdoses."

Drug overdose awareness has increased due to pop star Demi Lovato's recent non-fatal overdose from OxyContin® laced with fentanyl, and the fatal opioid overdoses experienced by legendary musicians Prince and Tom Petty in 2016 and 2017, respectively.



About Addiction Policy Forum

Addiction Policy Forum is a 501(c)(3) organization established in 2015 as a diverse partnership of organizations, policymakers, and stakeholders committed to working together to elevate awareness around addiction, and to improve programs and policy through a comprehensive response that includes prevention, treatment, recovery, and criminal justice reform. Jessica Hulsey Nickel, whose own family was devastated by addiction, is the founder of a coalition of 1,700 families impacted by substance use disorders and is available for further explanation and interviews by media.

More information on our mission and projects is available at  


Casey Elliott
Addiction Policy Forum

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