Overdose Risk More Than Tripled from 2014-2019 among NJ Medicaid Users

A rise in heroin and fentanyl in New Jersey between 2014-2019 led to the tripling of medically treated opioid overdoses despite the state’s strict limiting of prescription opioids for pain and substantial state initiatives to expand access to treatment for opioid use disorder, according to a Rutgers-led study.

Pain medicine specialists innovate to tackle America’s ongoing opioid epidemic by reducing misuse after surgery

CHICAGO – Drug overdose deaths broke records during 2020, and while the pandemic no doubt contributed, surgery plays a significant and often overlooked role in America’s ongoing opioid epidemic because many patients continue to use their prescribed opioids months after their procedures. Pain medicine specialists are leading the way in addressing the opioid epidemic by developing strategies to reduce opioid misuse related to surgery, from helping to ease pain before the procedure to ensuring at-risk patients have access to naloxone to prevent an accidental overdose, according to the American Society of Anesthesiologists.

‘Flushing’ out drug use trends early in the COVID-19 pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic drastically affected people’s lives, especially early on. Today, scientists report that wastewater analysis identified drugs that people turned to for relief and those that plummeted in use, between March and June 2020. They will present their results at ACS Fall 2021.

Focusing on Solutions to the Opioid Crisis, Foundation for Opioid Response Efforts (FORE) Announces Family- and Community-Based Initiatives to Prevent Substance Use Disorder and Overdose

Recognizing the urgent need for comprehensive approaches to opioid use disorder that address the needs of the entire family, the Foundation for Opioid Response Efforts (FORE) is today issuing a new Request for Proposals for projects that will engage and empower vulnerable families and communities to prevent opioid use disorder and overdose.

Secret Shopper Study Sheds Light on Barriers to Opioid Treatment for Women

After a 2020 Vanderbilt University Medical Center study showed women have a difficult time accessing treatment for opioid use disorder (OUD), investigators analyzed comments received from the study’s participants to further shed light on barriers to care, which included everything from long on-hold times to difficult interactions with clinic receptionists during phone calls seeking appointments.

Civil commitment for substance use disorder treatment – What do addiction medicine specialists think?

Amid the rising toll of opioid overdoses and deaths in the U.S., several states are considering laws enabling civil commitment for involuntary treatment of patients with substance use disorders (SUDs). Most addiction medicine physicians support civil commitment for SUD treatment – but others strongly oppose this approach, reports a survey study in Journal of Addiction Medicine, the official journal of the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM). The journal is published in the Lippincott portfolio by Wolters Kluwer.

House Reintroduces Bill to Modernize Medicare’s Chiropractic Coverage

The Chiropractic Coverage Modernization Act (H.R. 2654), introduced April 19 in the U.S. House of Representatives, would increase Medicare coverage of services provided by doctors of chiropractic within the full extent of their state licensure, enabling chiropractic patients to conveniently and safely access needed care.

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.

Experts to Discuss the Essential Efforts of Clinical Laboratories to Fight the Opioid Epidemic at the 2020 AACC Annual Scientific Meeting

The opioid epidemic has only gotten worse since the advent of COVID-19, with some areas in the U.S. reporting a 50% increase in drug overdoses due to the pandemic. With no end in sight to this public health crisis, scientific sessions during the virtual 2020 AACC Annual Scientific Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo will highlight the integral role of clinical laboratories in efforts to manage it, as well as the latest drug tests needed to do so.

Negative side effects of opioids could be coming from users’ own immune systems (video)

Opioid users can develop chronic inflammation and heightened pain sensitivity. These side effects might stem from the body’s own immune system, which can make antibodies against the drugs. The researchers will present their results at the American Chemical Society Fall 2020 Virtual Meeting & Expo.

Linking Hospital and Other Records Can Predict Both Fatal and Nonfatal Opioid Overdoses, Study Suggests

A new study by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that the odds of a fatal opioid overdose were 1.5 times higher for individuals with one to two visits to the emergency department for any medical issue than for people with no hospital visits.

Opioid Dependence Found to Permanently Change Brains of Rats

Approximately one-quarter of patients who are prescribed opioids for chronic pain misuse them, with five to 10 percent developing an opioid use disorder or addiction. In a new study, UC San Diego researchers found that opioid dependence produced permanent changes in the brains of rats.

Epidemic levels of chronic pain, opioid use disorder add to challenges of managing patients in pain

A series of seven articles in AACN Advanced Critical Care focuses on the challenges of safe, effective pain management in the ICU, including more Americans reporting daily chronic pain and the rapidly increasing prevalence of opioid misuse and opioid use disorder.

Northwestern Medicine to Host Five Medication Collection Sites for National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

Northwestern Medicine is once again coming together with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to participate in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day with five medication collection sites on Saturday, October 26 from 10 am to 2 pm at locations in Chicago, Winfield, Lake Forest, St. Charles and Sandwich. This DEA initiative provides the community with a safe, convenient and responsible way to dispose of unused opioids and other prescription medications.

Other treatments can reduce need for addictive pain medication

Hardly a day goes by without the public being warned about the dangers of opioids. But still, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, more than 130 people die every day of opioid overdose and the problem is getting worse. A Houston Methodist pain specialist says new advancements in pain management are giving patients options.

Patients in the U.S. and Canada are Seven Times as Likely as those in Sweden to Receive Opioids After Surgery

Patients in the United States and Canada are seven times as likely as those in Sweden to receive a prescription for opioid medications after surgery, according to a new multi-institutional study led by researchers from Penn Medicine.