More evidence is urgently needed on opioid use in Black communities

Although the prevalence of opioid use among Black people is comparatively low, the rate of opioid deaths has increased the sharpest and fastest among that population in recent years, according to an article in the March/April issue of Harvard Review of Psychiatry. The journal is published in the Lippincott portfolio by Wolters Kluwer.

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.

COVID poses hardships for people with substance abuse problems

Both 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.

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.

Recognize an overdose, save a life

Every day nearly 200 people die from an overdose of drugs or from alcohol poisoning, with opioids responsible for the majority. Recognizing the signs and knowing how to respond to medical emergencies, including carrying and administering naloxone in cases of opioid overdose, can save lives says the ASA.

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.

American Chiropractic Association Launches Website to Enhance Public Understanding of Chiropractic

Hands Down Better, a website launched by the American Chiropractic Association (ACA), is a new resource for those who seek alternatives to pain medications and surgery for common musculoskeletal conditions such as back pain, neck pain, joint pain and headaches.

New Opioid Prescription Dosages Drop 22 Percent in Penn Medicine’s New Jersey Practices Following Changes to State Law and Health Record Alerts

The total amount of opioids dispensed per new opioid prescription decreased by 22 percent in Penn Medicine outpatient practices in New Jersey after the state passed a law limiting prescriptions to a five-day supply for new opioid prescriptions. Penn Medicine implemented an electronic health record (EMR) alert, or “nudge,” to notify clinicians if that limit had been reached. The study, published online today in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, is one of the first evaluations of a state law’s impact on prescribing outcomes, and is the first report of an EMR being used to make compliance with prescribing limits easier. Importantly, after the prescribing limit and alert went into effect there was no evidence to suggest pain control worsened.