Emerging Issues in Injury Prevention

Prescription Misuse and Overdose

More than 33,000 people died in 2015 as a result of an opioid overdose.

Vital Signs: Opioid Prescribing (July 2017) notes concerns related to the opioid epidemic and outlines potential next steps to address this issue.

Current guidelines encourage healthcare professionals to prevent overprescription for chronic disease and various injuries. The guidelines call for due diligence from healthcare professionals, community members, and families.

Distracted Driving

Approximately 9 deaths and 1,000 injuries occur each day in distracted driving incidents.

Unintentional injuries and fatalities as a result of texting and driving and other innovations —
hands-free calling, self-parking cars — continue to rise.

Elder Care & Chronic Disease

Chronic diseases represent 60% of all deaths.

Unintentional injuries only intensify and reinforce this statistic. Chronic disease rates continue to pose a number of individual and societal concerns. Concerns are well outlined by the World Health Organization and other global agencies.

Elder mistreatment and abuse can be physical, emotional, sexual, financial, or neglectful.

In 2008, one in every 10 elders reported instances of abuse within the last year (CDC, 2016). Information to combat against and better recognize signs of elder mistreatment is provided through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Youth Violence

Nearly six percent of students reported missing a day or more of school because they felt unsafe in the environment.

Youth violence — bullying and cyberbullying — presents concerns related to academic success and overall well-being.

Additional concerns or other physical and social barriers can exist in at-risk neighborhoods. Although law enforcement and community-based initiatives serve as protective and preventive factors, the issue continues to persist and warrants further attention and investigation.