Hawaii opioid prescriptions on downward trend, official says

HILO, Hawaii — The number of prescriptions written for opioid painkillers has declined over the last four years in Hawaii, a state health official said.

Dr. Daniel Galanis told state lawmakers last week that the average number of monthly opioid prescriptions has decreased from about 69,000 in 2015 to 54,500 last year, the Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported .

Opioid prescriptions have fallen by 21 percent, and that number will likely keep going down, said Galanis, an epidemiologist for the state Department of Health.

Galanis credited the decline in part to the Hawaii Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, the state database that can be accessed by physicians, pharmacists and other health care providers. The database has drastically reduced the number of patients who obtain prescriptions from multiple sources, he said.

“Without the use of (the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program), if someone’s seeing multiple providers, a physician might not know that they’re getting substance X over here and substance Y over there,” Galanis said. “There’s certainly room to improve going forward, but these are certainly trends in the right direction.”

The abuse of opioids and related deaths haven’t reached epidemic proportions in the state, Democratic state Sen. Rosalyn Baker said at the Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection and Health and the House Health Committee briefing.

The state recorded 59 opioid-related deadly overdoses and 384 overdoses that were not deadly between August 2017 and August 2018, Baker said. The state had 1,332 patients that emergency medical services treated with naloxone, a medication designed to reverse the effects of opioid overdoses.

“So, I think the state of Hawaii can pat itself on the back for making naloxone available to our first responders — police, fire and EMS — as well as to families of folks who may have prescriptions to opioids,” Baker said.

Hawaii has a “level trend or no trend” in terms of deadly overdoses from opioids, unlike much of the U.S., Galanis said.

“We don’t really have a good explanation so far why Hawaii’s different, but it’s certainly something to be conscious of,” Galanis said.


Information from: Hawaii Tribune-Herald, http://www.hawaiitribune-herald.com/

  1. Heroin January 22, 2019 3:56 am Reply

    That’s old news because the pain Doc is dead and another is targeted on the south side and west side of Kauai.

    The drug rings have flooded Hawaii with heroin and meth.

    This has to come down from a bigger conspiracy because if you look at the trend from the states, it becomes a lot more prevalent that they have to have help on importing and distribution.

    Now Kauai has a huge heroin problem and illegals and drug mules are protected by dirty cops and judicial employees serving a multinational criminal organization.

    Meth and Heroin are the cause of a lot of house fires in Kauai. Just investigate the trend and you will notice the facts.

    It’s obvious that judicial employees are getting their palms greased. The port of entries are the smuggling pipelines and some airport employees are involved.

    This was identified years ago and the Feds went after the routes but new drug slaves have infiltrated those areas and positions. Matson and YoungBrothers are smuggling entryways.

    RX drug addiction is old news and Heroin/Meth is the new drugs that’s flooded the islands by top officials.

    You can bet the house on that and win every time.

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