Death by prescription

California secures millions in grant funding to reduce opioid overdoses

California has been awarded $3.7 million from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to reduce opioid overdoses over the next four years.

Nationwide, more than 16,000 people died from opioid overdoses in 2013, while that same year 4,318 people died from drug poisoning in California alone, the majority of whom overdosed on prescription medications, according to a California Department of Public Health press release. “People often associate drug abuse with illegal drugs, but this effort targets the misuse of drugs that were prescribed for pain management,” said State Health Officer Karen Smith.

The grant was secured with help from the Prescription Opioid Misuse and Overdose Prevention Workgroup, which was formed in 2014 to raise awareness of the issue among health care providers, pharmacists and the public.