First Year Student Pharmacists’ Views on the Opioid Epidemic

Bisrat Hailemeskel* Tegesty Terefe and Keran Sun

First Year Student Pharmacists’ Views on the Opioid Epidemic

The opioid use and overdose rates have climbed tremendously in the United States.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the opioid epidemic
is a multilayered crisis that has escalated over the years.

In the 1990’s there was a marked increase in prescription opioid overdose deaths
due to a false perception that painkillers were not addictive, in 2010 there was an
increase in heroin-related overdose deaths, and in 2013 there was a rise in synthetic opioid overdose deaths.

The leading drive of opioid addiction has been known to be prescription medications,
primarily prescribed to patients for chronic pain.
However, data from 2018 to 2019 has shown that prescription opioid involved death rates
decreased by nearly 7%, and synthetic opioid involved death rates have increased by 15%.

Student pharmacists have numerous opportunities throughout their schooling
to participate in community outreach and programs contributing to the prevention
of opioid use disorder.

The purpose of this study was to explore incoming first-year student pharmacists’ views on the
opioid epidemic.

This study enrolled 44 incoming first professional year students from
Howard University College of Pharmacy. Of the 44 students enrolled in this study,
all students submitted responses, 100% response rate.

Survey questions consisted of 8 demographic questions and 7 questions using the
Likert scale. Demographic data, including age, gender, state you live in, work experience,
annual income, and education was collected through the survey.

Diabetes Res Open J. 2022; 8(1): 1-5. doi: 10.17140/DROJ-8-152