MEDICATION-ASSISTED TREATMENT & OPIOID ABUSE/ADDICTION
- One Statistic That Shows America’s Opioid Painkiller Crisis Is Truly an Epidemic
- Opioid Epidemic Fueling Hospitalizations, Hospital Costs
- In Prince’s Age Group, Risk of Opioid Overdose Climbs
- Study: One-Third of Prescribed Opioids Are Abused
- Taking The Fight Against Risky Pain Pill Use to The ER: Study Shows Promise
- Physicians Warn Mandatory Opioid Prescription Training Could Have Unintended Effects
- Parents’ Presence at Bedside Found to Decrease Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome Severity
- Research Recap: Incarceration-Related Withdrawal from Methadone Leads to Aversion to Opioid Agonist Treatment
- Addicts Turning to Anti-Diarrhea Medication to Get High
- Her Fiancé Gave Her Heroin. She Overdosed. Does That Make Him a Murderer?
LINKS TO ADDITIONAL NEWS OF INTEREST
- Prince’s Death and the Addiction Risk of Opioids – 5/6/16
- New York Times Opinion: The Opioid Epidemic We Failed to Foresee – 5/6/16
- ‘You Want A Description Of Hell?’ Oxycontin’s 12-Hour Problem – 5/5/16
- Good Question: What’s Causing People Pain? – 5/4/16
- America’s Heroin Epidemic Is Actually Helping Those Waiting for Organ Transplants – 5/3/16
- House Energy & Commerce Committee Approves Legislation to Address Opioid and Drug Abuse Epidemic – 5/2/16
- Dr. Jana Burson Blog: Probuphine Implants: Impractical? – 4/29/16
- Is Obamacare Increasing Painkiller Addiction? – 4/28/16
- Dr. Jana Burson Blog: Buprenorphine: Current Practices – 4/25/16
Categories: 2016-05-10, News Updates, TOC
“One in five: That’s the startling number of Americans who say they have a family member who’s been addicted to prescription painkillers, according to a new Kaiser Family Foundation survey published on Tuesday.
Beyond families, more than four in 10 Americans said they personally know someone who’s been addicted to the drugs. The survey was conducted in April, reaching more than 1,200 adults.
These are troubling statistics, showing that the opioid painkiller and heroin epidemic has personally affected nearly half of all Americans.
What’s more, Americans reported widespread agreement that it remains very difficult to access drug treatment. According to the Kaiser poll, 75 percent of respondents said “lack of access to care for people with substance abuse issues” is a problem, and 58 percent said it’s a major problem.”
See press release available at: http://kff.org/health-reform/press-release/most-americans-say-federal-and-state-governments-are-not-doing-enough-to-combat-prescription-painkiller-and-heroin-abuse-large-majorities-believe-wide-range-of-strategies-would-be-effective/
Categories: 2016-05-10, Addiction, Heroin, News Updates, Prescription Drugs, Research/Surveys
Tags: Addiction, Heroin, Prescription Opioids, Substance abuse treatment
“Every day, headlines detail the casualties of the nation’s surge in heroin and prescription painkiller abuse: the funerals, the broken families and the patients cycling in and out of treatment. Now, a new study sheds light on another repercussion — how this public health problem is adding to the nation’s ballooning health care costs and who’s shouldering that burden.
Published Monday in the journal Health Affairs, the study measures how many people were hospitalized between 2002 and 2012 because they were abusing heroin or prescription painkillers, and how many of them got serious infections related to their drug use. It also tracks what hospitals charged to treat those patients and how the hospitals were paid.
The findings? Hospitalizations related to use and dependence on opioids have skyrocketed, from about 302,000 in 2002 to about 520,000 a decade later. During the same time period, the number of these patients who had dangerous infections, like endocarditis or septic arthritis, increased from about 3,400 to 6,535. Those tallies are likely higher now, given the continued growth in opioid abuse, said Matthew Ronan, a hospitalist at the Veterans Health Administration in Boston, an instructor at Harvard Medical School and the study’s primary author.
Meanwhile, those same patients are becoming more expensive to treat. Hospitals charged almost $15 billion in 2012 for opioid-related inpatient care — more than double what they billed in 2002, even after accounting for inflation. More than $700 million of that went to treating patients with the associated infections. And many were uninsured or on Medicaid, the federal-state health insurance program for low-income people.”
Source: KaiserHealthNews.org – May 2, 2016
Categories: 2016-05-10, Addiction, Heroin, News Updates, Opioid Abuse/Addiction, Prescription Drugs
Tags: Addiction, Heroin, Prescription Opioids
“Evidence is mounting that opioid pain medication may have played a role in the death of pop legend Prince. While the medical examiner hasn’t yet released the results of the autopsy and toxicology tests in this case, opioid overdose in middle age is all too common.
In 2013 and 2014, according to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people ages 45 to 64 accounted for more than 40 percent of all deaths from drug overdose.
Experts say there are a number of scenarios that increase risk of overdose, which is often accidental, for people over 55. Imagine you are in that age group and you injured your shoulder a while back. It just hasn’t gotten better, so you take prescription painkillers — an opioid like OxyContin — to help with the pain. Let’s say you’ve been taking it for a couple of years. Your body has built up a tolerance to the drug, and now, you need to change it up to get the same amount of relief. When it comes to the potential for overdose, said Boston Medical Center epidemiologist Traci Green, this is one of the most dangerous crossroads.”
Source: KaiserHealthNews.org – May 6, 2016
Categories: 2016-05-10, News Updates, Opioids, Overdose, Prescription Drugs
Tags: Overdose, Prescription Opioids
“More than 30 percent of prescribed opioid painkillers — one in three prescriptions — to employees of large American companies is being abused, a new study suggests.
The study, “The Opioid Crisis in America’s Workforce,” was commissioned by Castlight Health, a California-based information company that allows employees of subscribing companies to compare providers. It used anonymous data from nearly 1 million employees of its large corporate clients, each of which used Castlight’s health benefits platform from 2011-2015.
Among its findings:
- Opioid abusers cost employers nearly twice as much in healthcare expenses, on average, than non-abusers.
- Baby boomers are four times more likely to abuse opioids than are the younger millennials — although that may be because the risk of developing a condition that causes chronic pain increases with age. Opioid abusers, the study said, have twice as many pain-related conditions as do non-abusers.
- Opioid abusers are most likely to live in the rural South. The study ranked American cities, and the Tri-Cities area in upper East Tennessee was No. 9 in the country for opioid abuse rates, with 8.6 percent of residents abusing painkillers, and No. 13 for the percentage of opioid prescriptions being abused. Nearly half — 46.7 percent — of opioid prescriptions written in Johnson City and Bristol are abused, the study said.”
Source: KnoxNews.com – April 22, 2016
Categories: 2016-05-10, Addiction, News Updates, Opioid Abuse/Addiction, Opioids, Prescription Drugs
Tags: Prescription Opioids
“As America battles an epidemic of deaths from misused pain pills, a new study suggests an inexpensive way to cut risky use of these drugs by people who have a high chance of overdosing.
And it could happen exactly where many patients get those drugs in the first place: the emergency room of their local hospital.
Just a single half-hour session with a trained therapist during an ER visit was enough to motivate people who misused prescription opioid painkillers to reduce their use as well as their riskiest behaviors, the study finds.”
Source: University of Michigan Health System – April 19, 2016
Categories: 2016-05-10, News Updates, Prescription Drugs
Tags: Prescription Opioids
“As deaths and medical costs associated with opioid painkiller addiction and abuse continue to rise in the U.S., the Obama administration is considering a recommendation to mandate new training for doctors who prescribe the drugs.
Following two days of hearings on improving the safety of opioid use, the Food and Drug Administration Drug Safety and Risk Management Advisory Committee agreed Wednesday to recommend that doctors be required to complete specialized training in order to be able to prescribe them.
The FDA does not have to follow the recommendations of its advisory panels, but it often does. Imposing this mandate would require congressional action.
Despite a similar expert panel recommendation in favor of mandatory training in 2012, the FDA had opted to make educational courses on safe pain prescription voluntary. As of March 2015, less than half of the 80,000 doctors the agency wanted to complete that training had done so.”
Source: CBSAlbany.com – May 5, 2016
Categories: 2016-05-10, Addiction, News Updates, Opioid Abuse/Addiction
Tags: Addiction, Prescription Opioids
“New research to be presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) 2016 Meeting suggests a key to easing the opioid withdrawal symptoms of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) is to ensure parents can spend plenty of time at the baby’s bedside during treatment.
Lead author Mary Beth Howard, MD, MSc, of the Boston Children’s Hospital/Boston Medical Center Combined Residency Program said previous studies already established strong evidence that non-pharmacologic interventions such as breastfeeding can ease NAS symptoms. But underlying mechanisms related to why breastfeeding helps, she said, are less clear. It is hypothesized that the skin-to-skin contact during breastfeeding plays a role, with some prior research showing that having parents “room-in” or share a hospital room with babies undergoing NAS treatment decreases the need for pharmacologic therapy. She said this study supports the idea that a parent’s physical closeness has therapeutic effects on babies with NAS.”
Source: ScienceDaily.com – April 20, 2016
Categories: 2016-05-10, Addiction, News Updates, Opioids
Tags: Addiction, Heroin, Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome, Pregnancy, Prescription Opioids
Research Recap: Incarceration-Related Withdrawal from Methadone Leads to Aversion to Opioid Agonist Treatment
Up to 25% of incarcerated people meet criteria for opioid use disorder (OUD), but few jails and prisons offer opioid agonist treatment (OAT), and some limit it to certain populations (i.e., pregnant women). This qualitative study explored attitudes toward medications for treatment of OUD among 21 former inmates (defined as ≥1 day of incarceration in the previous 5 years) with OUD. Interviews were one hour in length and were conducted by a trained research assistant. An interview guide was used to elicit participants’ experiences with treatment for OUD, incarceration, community reentry, and attitudes toward methadone and buprenorphine.
- The median age of the sample was 49 years; all were African American or Hispanic; 18 were male. Participants were incarcerated for a median of 16 years (interquartile range 5.5–26 years) and prison or jail release was a median of 7.5 months prior to the interview (median 10 days to 4 years).
- 20 out of 21 participants received non-pharmacologic treatment for OUD while incarcerated; at the time of the interview 6 were receiving buprenorphine and 3 were receiving methadone.
- Participants who received methadone treatment immediately prior to an incarceration episode reported severe and prolonged withdrawal symptoms from rapid dose reductions or disruption of their methadone treatment during incarceration, leading to a subsequent aversion to reengagement in OAT post release.
Although the sample is drawn from a single region, the results of this study underscore the negative effect that OAT disruption can have on retention in care and should inform policy change with regard to medication administration during incarceration. Jeanette M. Tetrault, MD
Maradiaga JA, Nahvi S, Cunningham CO, et al. “I kicked the hard way. I got incarcerated.” Withdrawal from methadone during incarceration and subsequent aversion to medication assisted treatments. J Subst Abuse Treat. 2016;62:49–54.
Source: Alcohol, Other Drugs, and Health: Current Evidence – March/April 2016
Categories: 2016-05-10, Addiction, Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT), Methadone, News Updates, Opioid Abuse/Addiction
Tags: Heroin, Methadone Treatment, Prescription Opioids
“Some opioid addicts are turning to an over-the-counter alternative to get high — and it’s probably not one you’d expect.
A growing number are taking dangerous doses of Imodium A-D, a widely available gastrointestinal medication, CBS New York reports.
According to a report published in the Annals of Emergency Medicine, the anti-diarrhea medication has growing appeal with substance abusers because it’s cheap and readily available.”
Source: CBSNews.com – May 6, 2016
Categories: 2016-05-10, News Updates, Opioid Abuse/Addiction
Tags: Addiction, Heroin, Prescription Opioids
“When Jarret McCasland and his fiancée decided to celebrate her 19th birthday with heroin, it meant the end of her life and the end of his freedom.
Flavia Cardenas, who worked in a nightclub, died of an overdose the next morning in Baton Rouge. After a prosecutor convinced a jury that McCasland administered the fatal dose, the 27-year-old pipe fabrication shop worker was found guilty of second-degree murder. He was sentenced to life in prison in February with no chance for parole.
With deaths from heroin and opioids at their highest level in U.S. history, prosecutors have begun charging those who supplied the final dose with murder, even when that person is the deceased’s friend, lover, sibling or spouse.”
Source: WashingtonPost.com – May 8, 2016
Categories: 2016-05-10, Addiction, Heroin, News Updates, Overdose
Tags: Addiction, Heroin, Injecting Drug Users