Initiative to Get COVID-19 Vaccines to People with Substance Use Disorder Launched by Addiction Policy Forum (APF) and Foundation for Opioid Response Efforts (FORE)

The Foundation for Opioid Response Efforts (FORE) and the Addiction Policy Forum (APF) are launching a program to assist people with substance use disorder obtain COVID-19 vaccinations.

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Foundation for Opioid Response Efforts (FORE) Announces Grants Totaling $1.3 Million to Assess Impact of COVID-19 on Opioid Use Disorder Treatment and Equity

The coronavirus pandemic has led to several temporary regulatory relaxations and policy innovations in treatment for opioid use disorder aimed at making it easier for those seeking care to access treatment without risking in-person interactions. The Foundation for Opioid Response Efforts (FORE) today announced it is providing grants totaling $1.3 million to six organizations to assess the impact of these temporary measures and inform future policies to improve access and promote equity for the treatment of opioid use disorder.

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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.

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Mexico’s poor have little luck obtaining opioids intended for palliative care

Despite a Mexican government initiative launched in 2015 to improve access to prescription opioids among palliative care patients, the country has seen only a marginal increase in dispensing levels, and inequities in dispensing have left many of the nation’s poorest residents without comfort in their final days

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COVID poses hardships for people with substance abuse problems

FACULTY Q&ABoth fatal and nonfatal overdoses have increased this year compared to last, according to a recent report by the Overdose Data Mapping Application Program. And, anecdotal information suggests that compared to last year, people in recovery are relapsing at alarming rates.Faculty from the University of Michigan School of Nursing’s Center for the Study of Drugs, Alcohol, Smoking and Health discuss why the pandemic has hit people with substance abuse problems especially hard and the expanded role of virtual recovery programs.

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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.

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Medication Treatments Led to 80 Percent Lower Risk of Fatal Overdose for Patients with Opioid Use Disorder than Medication-free Treatments

Patients with opioid use disorder (OUD) receiving treatment with opioid agonists (medications such as methadone or buprenorphine) had an 80 percent lower risk of dying from an opioid overdose compared to patients in treatment without the use of medications.

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Battling treatment resistant opioid use disorder

Similar to treatment resistant depression, there is a subpopulation of those addicted to opioids who do not respond to standard opioid use disorder (OUD) treatments. In a new paper, an addiction expert at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis suggests a new category for these types of patients: treatment resistant opioid use disorder (TROUD).

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UCI researchers identify a connection between early life adversity and opioid addiction

Individuals with a history of early life adversity (ELA) are disproportionately prone to opioid addiction. A new UCI-led study reveals why.

Published in Molecular Psychiatry, the study titled, “On the early life origins of vulnerability to opioid addiction,” examines how early adversities interact with factors such as increased access to opioids to directly influence brain development and function, causing a higher potential for opioid addiction.

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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.

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FAU and Georgia State Partner to Assist Children and Families Affected by Addiction

FAU and GSU have partnered on a program to assist children and families affected by addiction. They have received a $2.64 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for a program aimed at improving outcomes of Georgia’s children and families and strengthening the partnership between the Division of Family and Children Services and family treatment courts.

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Tulane team researching ways to end opioid addiction

A Tulane University researcher is part of a nationwide initiative to improve treatment of chronic pain and ultimately achieve long-term recovery from opioid addiction.

Michael J. Moore, professor of biomedical engineering in the Tulane School of Science and Engineering, is part of a $945 million National Institutes of Health project called the HEAL Initiative, or Helping to End Addiction Long-term Initiative.

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Designing a new class of drugs to treat chronic pain

A UC Davis research team, led by Vladimir Yarov-Yarovoy and Heike Wulff, will receive a $1.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to develop a novel class of peptides that are better at treating pain and don’t have the side effects of opioids. The grant is part of the NIH initiative Helping to End Addiction Long-Term (HEAL Initiative).

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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.

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WashU Expert: Opioid cases represent tipping point in addiction fight

An Oklahoma judge ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $572 million for its role in the opioid crisis in a historic ruling Aug. 26. A federal case in Ohio involves at least 1,600  lawsuits from cities and counties throughout the country. Oxycontin maker Purdue Pharma has offered to settle more than 2,000 lawsuits from states and cities for between $10 billion and $12 billion.

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