We, as pharmacists, are all too familiar with the lasting effects of the opioid epidemic. With the first wave of overdose deaths associated with opioid use dating back to the early 1990s, it can easily feel as if the opioid crisis is a thing of the past. However, we must take care not to lose sight of the growing impact of this epidemic, as its reach has only grown despite being overshadowed by the advent of the public health emergency related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Over the last several years, these staggering trends of opioid-related morbidity and mortality have highlighted the residual effect of failed policies, leading to increased illicit use, posing a greater danger to our communities. Pharmacists are well positioned to be crucial resources to the communities which they serve. This role allows a pharmacist to identify areas in local/federal regulations as well as community barriers that are failing to serve their communities. Beyond identification of these deficiencies, we call for pharmacists to move beyond this step and have identified individual aims and actions to address this crisis. Our aim is to outline crucial areas requiring active participation by pharmacists for the betterment of our communities.