- New Care Model Closes Significant Gap in Addiction Treatment
- Group: Fentanyl to Fuel Opioid Deaths 5 More Years
- Chemists Develop Method to Quickly Screen, Identify Fentanyl and Other Drugs of Abuse
- Fighting Overdose Epidemic, US Bans All Fentanyl-Type Drugs
- It’s Far More Than Overdoses: IV Opioid Users’ Diseases Overwhelm Hospitals
- The CDC Has Launched the First Wave of Its Awareness Campaign About Prescription Opioids
- Commentary: The Opioid Crisis Is at Its Worst in Rural Areas. Can Telemedicine Help?”
- Two Thirds of Pain Patients in a New Study Used Cannabis to Get Off Opioids
- ‘This Is Just the Beginning’: Scope of Opioid Lawsuits Widens to Include Hospital Accreditor
- CMS Policy Paves Way For Expanded Access To Opioid Treatment
- Science Suggests There’s No Such Thing as an ‘Addictive Personality’ — Here’s Why
- Alkermes Calls for Impartial National Review of Scientific Data Supporting the Use of FDA-Approved Treatment Options for Opioid Dependence
Links to Additional News of Interest
- Ending the opioid epidemic requires multi-stakeholder commitment – 11/10/17
- Health experts to Trump administration: Treat addiction like a disease – 11/9/17
- Opioid Crisis Inflaming Hep C, HIV in Hard-Hit Communities – 11/8/17
- How Urine Testing Became Big Business – 11/7/17
- Dr. Nora Volkow: Opioid Crisis Requires Multipronged Plan – 10/27/17
“A new program at Boston Medical Center’s Grayken Center for Addiction is showing that connecting patients to addiction treatment when they are hospitalized for other conditions can be a powerful tool in closing a gap in addiction treatment. In fact, early results show that many of these patients continue treatment after they are discharged, underscoring the importance of reaching patients who might otherwise not get treatment for their addiction.
Approximately 17 percent of patients admitted at BMC have an active substance use disorder. This led providers to look for new ways to engage patients in addiction treatment when they were already here. To accomplish this, they developed and implemented an inpatient addiction consult service, which is staffed by a multidisciplinary care team with expertise in treating addiction.”
Source: Eurekaalert.org – November 8, 2017
“The deadly synthetic fentanyl and a shortage of treatment facilities will fuel the opioid epidemic over the next five years — and fatalities will climb before finally tapering off, according to mathematical models developed by Northeastern researchers.
“Things are going to get worse before they get better,” said James Benneyan, professor of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research. “No single intervention is going to make the difference.”
An army of students, faculty and post-docs at the university have spent the last year developing models to predict the future of the opioid crisis, down to deaths by ZIP code.”
Read more at: http://www.bostonherald.com/news/local_coverage/2017/11/group_fentanyl_to_fuel_opioid_deaths_5_more_years
Source: BostonHerald.com – November 1, 2017
See related article on fentanyl: New DEA plan for illicit fentanyl aims to make prosecution easier available at: http://www.cnn.com/2017/11/09/politics/dea-fentanyl-plan/index.html
“Researchers at McMaster University have developed a new drug screening technique that could lead to the rapid and accurate identification of fentanyl, as well as a vast number of other drugs of abuse, which up until now have been difficult to detect by traditional urine tests.
The method, outlined in the current edition of the journal Analytical Chemistry, addresses a serious public health emergency related to opioid addiction and unintentional overdose deaths: the lack of a reliable and inexpensive test that allows for comprehensive surveillance of synthetic drugs flooding the illegal market.
The new method would eliminate a two-stage process currently in use for drug monitoring by allowing technicians to run many tests at once in a high throughput manner — dramatically cutting processing time while improving screening accuracy with quality assurance. Importantly, this mass spectrometric method can also screen for a wider range of drugs of abuse, as well as identify designer drugs that elude conventional tests.”
Read more at: http://dailynews.mcmaster.ca/article/new-tools-to-tackle-the-opioid-crisis-chemists-develop-method-to-quickly-screen-accurately-identify-fentanyl-and-a-broad-range-of-other-drugs-of-abuse/
Source: DailyNews.McMaster.ca – November 1, 2017
“The US Justice Department on Thursday announced a ban on all fentanyl-like drugs amid skyrocketing rates of overdoses from the synthetic opioids.
“Anyone who possesses, imports, distributes, or manufactures any illicit fentanyl analogue will be subject to criminal prosecution in the same manner as for fentanyl and other controlled substances,” the Justice Department said.”
Source: MedicalExpress.com – November 9, 2017
“Sarah Bolin’s heart infection got so bad last month, the longtime heroin user was passing out by the time she got to Cincinnati’s Christ Hospital. She was relieved the infection — called endocarditis — didn’t require her to get a pacemaker or replacement heart valve like so many other “girls on the streets.”
It did require surgery to remove lesions from infected valves, a 10-day hospital stay and weeks of IV antibiotics and nursing home care.
As opioid overdoses dominate headlines, more hidden casualties of intravenous drug use are overwhelming the hospitals tasked with treating them. Addiction clouds users’ judgment so much that patients thwart or reject treatment for their infectious and other diseases. And hospitals, taxpayers and people with commercial insurance foot the bill for repeated return visits that can cost from tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars a year per patient.”
Source: USAToday.com – November 8, 2017
“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is telling the personal stories of people who were addicted or knew someone who was addicted to prescription opioids in a new campaign called Rx Awareness.
The stories will be told through videos, radio spots, and social media, with the message that prescription opioids can be addictive and “it only takes a little to lose a lot.”
The campaign began in hard-hit states including Ohio, Kentucky, Massachusetts, and New Mexico, in September, and will run through the end of the year. There are plans already in place to expand the campaign to other areas of the country.”
Source: PRWeek.com – November 3, 2017
“Some of the communities hit hardest by the opioid epidemic are in rural America. However, many of those same communities lack access to comprehensive treatment.
To address the epidemic’s increasing reach, the White House declared a public health emergency on Oct. 26. The administration outlined a need to expand treatment in rural communities, most notably by making telemedicine more readily available. Telemedicine, also referred to as telehealth, aims to improve treatment access by allowing people to consult their provider remotely – for example, by using videoconferencing.
As a researcher of opioid treatment in Michigan, I’m excited to see the call for greater availability of telemedicine as a way to help rural communities. However, telemedicine has important limitations that need to be considered.”
Source: CNBC.com – November 10, 2017
“Two out of three pain patients were able to replace opioids with cannabis in a new study, further illustrating the dire need for drug policy reform in those states hardest hit by the country’s ongoing opioid epidemic.
The study by Aclara Research surveyed more than 400 patients and 500 pharmacists on medical marijuana and opioid addiction.
Among polled patients, 67 percent said they were able to quit opioids once they had access to a state medical marijuana program. Another 29 percent said they were able to reduce their opioid use thanks to cannabis. That means only four percent of those surveyed did not have their opioid use affected by cannabis.
Moreover, 30 percent of the patients polled by Aclara said they were able to quit all prescription drugs after they started using cannabis.
Among pharmacists, 87 percent of those surveyed said medical marijuana should be legal, and 69 percent said they believe pharmacists should dispense the drug and provide guidance to patients.”
Source: Civilized.Life – November 6, 2017
“Government officials grappling with the nationwide opioid crisis, from the sandy beaches of Florida to the far reaches of the Alaskan frontier, have filed lawsuits against drug companies at a steady clip this year. These suits seek to hold manufacturers and distributors financially responsible for the strain on public services that drug addiction has caused.
Now local officials in West Virginia — the state with the nation’s highest drug death rate — have taken aim at a different target: the medical experts who recommended their use. This past week the cities and towns of Huntington, Charleston, Kenova, and Ceredo filed a class-action lawsuit against the Joint Commission, the influential nonprofit that both inspects hospitals’ performance and sets practice standards for their physicians. Hospitals must abide by the group’s standards, on opioids or anything else, in order to get reimbursed for care provided to Medicaid and Medicare patients.”
Source: StatNews.com – November 7, 2017
“The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has announced a new policy to allow states to design demonstration projects that increase access to treatment for opioid use disorder and other substance use disorders.
CMS’s new demonstration policy was prompted by President Donald Trump’s directive and provides states with greater flexibility to design programs that improve access to appropriate, quality treatment. The agency is also announcing the immediate approval of both New Jersey and Utah’s demonstration waivers under the new policy.
Source: HealthcareFinanceNews.com – November 1, 2017
- There are no universal character traits that are found in all addicted people.
- According to some research, addictions stem from being unable to seek pleasure from everyday things like work, friendships, and romantic relationships.
- Experiments have shown that happy environments make people less inclined to become addicted to drugs.
- There are also some biological markers that suggest someone may become an addict.
“The reasons someone becomes an addict are complicated. Some think it’s down to having an “addictive personality,” where certain people find it incredibly difficult to resist temptation. However, this is more of a colloquialism, as no single addictive personality trait common to everyone with addictions has ever been found.”
Source: BusinessInsider.com – November 8, 2017
Alkermes Calls for Impartial National Review of Scientific Data Supporting the Use of FDA-Approved Treatment Options for Opioid Dependence
“Amid one of the nation’s deadliest and most significant public health crises of our time, Alkermes is calling for a formal review by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) of data related to all FDA-approved medication-assisted treatment (MAT) options for opioid dependence. The goal of this review should be to establish a shared national understanding of the characteristics of these medicines and the scientific and medical evidence supporting their use. This review should evaluate the efficacy and safety of these treatment options, the specific patient populations most likely to benefit from them, as well as the data relating to overdose prevention, diversion, illicit use, craving, patient satisfaction and other important aspects of recovery. With a complete understanding of the body of evidence supporting MAT, treatment providers in the community will be better equipped to make data-driven treatment decisions customized to individual patient needs.”
Source: Businesswire.com – November 9, 2017
Opioid Crisis Inflaming Hep C, HIV in Hard-Hit Communities – 11/8/17
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Categories: News Updates