Research News Tip Sheet: Story Ideas from Johns Hopkins Medicine

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Johns Hopkins Medicine Media Relations is focused on disseminating current, accurate and useful information to the public via the media. As part of that effort, we are distributing our “COVID-19 Tip Sheet: Story Ideas from Johns Hopkins” every other Wednesday.

Opioid overdose reduced in patients taking buprenorphine

The drug buprenorphine is an effective treatment for opioid use disorder, but many who misuse opioids also take benzodiazepines — drugs that treat anxiety and similar conditions. Many treatment centers hesitate to treat patients addicted to opioids who also take benzodiazepines. Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis studied overdose risk in people taking buprenorphine and found that the drug lowered risk, even in people taking benzodiazepines.

Barriers to addiction care fell because of COVID-19, experts say; now the challenge is keeping them down

The opioid epidemic didn’t go away when the coronavirus pandemic began. But rapid changes in regulations and guidance could also help many more people get care for addiction, experts say. They caution that it will take more changes to truly lower barriers that stand in the way of delivering evidence-based addiction care to more people via telemedicine.

Study Reveals Pharmacy-level Barriers to Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder in Appalachian Kentucky

A new study led by University of Kentucky researcher April Young and Emory University researcher Hannah Cooper shows that a number of pharmacies in the Appalachian region of Kentucky are limiting the dispensing of buprenorphine, a medication used to treat opioid use disorder (OUD).