Nurses can help reduce opioid deaths – if policymakers let them

Nurses can help reduce opioid deaths – if policymakers let them

Publication date: Sep 26, 2021

Prescription-opioid-related deaths decline by about 7. 6 percent, and illegal-opioid-related deaths decline by about 5. 5 percent when NPs are granted legal authority to practice independently. But justifications for restricting their scope of practice, which erroneously appeal to the opioid crisis and patient safety, are simply not supported by the research. And states that have yet to liberalize their restrictive laws should begin to do so. Granting nurse practitioners independence will not, by itself, solve the opioid crisis. If we take access to care seriously, these simple legal changes offer an easy option for making important progress and lending a helping hand to those in need. Instead, my new research finds the opposite – that allowing NPs to practice without physician supervision reduces all opioid-related deaths by about 9. 3 percent. To expand access to care rapidly during the pandemic, states such as New York, Kentucky and Louisiana temporarily suspended their restrictions on NPs. Second, these legal changes allow NPs to increase treatment options for opioid use disorder.

Concepts Keywords
California Addiction
Decades Heroin
Mississippi Nurse practitioner
Nurses Opioid use disorder
Pandemic Opioids
Opioid epidemic
Health care
Psychoactive drugs


Type Source Name
disease MESH opioid addiction
disease MESH emergency
disease MESH COVID-19
drug DRUGBANK Spinosad

Original Article

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