The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Vital Signs reported that more than 119,000 Americans acquired bloodstream Staphylococcus aureus infections in 2017, and nearly 20,000 died. The CDC indicates that this rise may have some association with the opioid epidemic. In 2014, 4% of serious Staph infections were in individuals addicted to opioids; that rose to 9% in 2016. People who inject drugs are 16 times more likely to develop invasive methicillin-resistant staph infections.
In addition to referring patients with opioid use disorder for addiction treatment services, nurses and other healthcare providers can provide these patients with information about safe injection practices, wound care, and signs of infection. Learn about the nurse practitioner’s role in medication-assisted treatment of opioid addiction.