Poll: Aching joints make older adults reach for many forms of pain relief – but health risks could follow

Popping a pill may bring short-term relief for arthritis-related joint pain, but many older adults may not realize that what they swallow could raise their risk of other health problems, or that other non-drug options could help them, a new poll suggests.

UCLA researchers use artificial intelligence tools to speed critical information on drug overdose deaths

Fast data processing of overdose deaths, which have increased in recent years, is crucial to developing a rapid public health response. But the system now in place lacks precision and takes months. To correct that, UCLA researchers have developed an automated process that reduces data collection to a few weeks.

Children and teens getting spinal surgery don’t need so many opioids, study suggests

Children and teens with scoliosis undergoing spinal fusion can be prescribed fewer opioids while still receiving adequate pain control after surgery, a new study finds. Patients receiving preoperative education on the risks of opioids and the importance of nonopioid pain management options consumed fewer opioids after surgery.

Nonopioid pain prescriptions increased after 2016 CDC guideline, study finds

After the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a guideline for prescribing opioids to patients experiencing chronic pain in 2016, the prescribing rate of non-opioid pain medication increased each year above and beyond what would be expected based on the preexisting trends, a new study finds. Researchers say the findings suggest more clinicians are carefully considering the risks of prescribing opioids.

New Documents Show McKinsey’s Role in Opioid Epidemic

The UCSF-JHU Opioid Industry Documents Archive released more than 114,000 documents related to McKinsey & Company’s work showing how they advised opioid makers to help increase sales, despite the growing public outcry over the opioid epidemic.

University Hospitals and UC Irvine Announce New Co-Leadership of BraveNet, a Practice-Based Integrative Medicine Research Network

University Hospitals (UH) Connor Whole Health and Susan Samueli Integrative Health Institute (SSIHI) at University of California, Irvine have joined in collaboration to lead BraveNet — the first and largest whole health, practice-based research network in the U.S.

Wisconsin bioethics project chronicles pregnancy, substance use disorder and the law

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is embarking on a massive research project to shed light on early child development, including the health and developmental implications of opioid use during pregnancy. The very first task is to ensure the study — the HEALthy Brain and Child Development study (HBCD) — is on solid legal and ethical ground.

Emergency department visits related to opioid overdoses up significantly during COVID-19 pandemic

Emergency department visit rates because of an opioid overdose increased by 28.5% across the U.S. in 2020, compared to 2018 and 2019, recent Mayo Clinic research finds. Emergency visits overall decreased by 14% last year, while visits because of an opioid overdose increased by 10.5%. The result: Opioid overdoses were responsible for 0.32 out of 100 visits, or 1 in every 313 visits, which is up from 0.25, or 1 in every 400 visits, the previous two years.

AANA Joins Bipartisan Congressional Movement to Expand Use of Non-Opioid Pain Management

o help increase access to the availability of non-opioid pain management treatments, the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) supports the recent introduction of the Non-Opioids Prevent Addiction in the Nation (NOPAIN) Act introduced by U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell (D-AL), along with Reps. David McKinley (R-WV), Ann Kuster (D-NH), and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA). The Senate version of this legislation (S. 589) was previously introduced.

Older Adults with Functional Impairments Linked to Prescription Drug Use/Misuse

Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine found that functional impairments among adults aged 50 and older are associated with a higher risk of medical cannabis use; and prescription opioid and tranquilizer/sedative use and misuse.

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.

Arkansas Society of Anesthesiologists and American Society of Anesthesiologists Applaud Arkansas Senate Public Health Committee on Passing SB 505 Giving Protection to Patients Prescribed Opioids

The Arkansas Society of Anesthesiologists (ARSA) and the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) today applaud bill sponsor Sen. Cecile Bledsoe and the Arkansas Senate Public Health, Labor and Welfare Committee for helping to ensure the safety of patients prescribed opioids. Arkansas State Drug Director Kirk Lane and Jonathan Goree, M.D., a physician anesthesiologist and pain medicine specialist, testified for the bill.

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.

A Trio That Could Spell Trouble: Many with Dementia Take Risky Combinations of Medicines

People over 65 shouldn’t take three or more medicines that act on their brain and nervous system, experts strongly warn, because the drugs can interact and raise the risk of everything from falls to overdoses to memory issues.
But a new study finds that 1 in 7 people with dementia who live outside nursing homes are taking at least three of these drugs.

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

Patients on Chronic Opioids Likely to Live in Disadvantaged Neighborhoods, Have Worse Anxiety and Depression

People treated with chronic opioid therapy for pain are more likely to live in socially disadvantaged areas and self-report worse anxiety, depression and pain that interferes in their lives, according to a new study presented this week at the Association of Academic Physiatrists Annual Meeting.

Children’s Hospital Los Angeles Surgeon Establishes First-Ever Guidelines for Pediatric Opioid Prescribing

Dr. Lorraine Kelley-Quon forms team of health care providers and community advocates to establish recommendations for safe opioid use. According to the National Institutes of Health, opioid misuse and addiction in the United States is a national crisis, with an economic burden upwards of $78 billion. Opioids are useful for pain management following surgery and other major procedures, but until now there have been no recommendations guiding safe use of opioids in children.

Studies Show Subcutaneous Methylnaltrexone Provides Safe, Effective, and Rapid Relief of Opioid-Induced Constipation in Patients with Cancer

In a study of cancer patients treated with methylnaltrexone, about 50%–70% experienced relief from opioid-induced constipation within 4 hours without the use of additional treatments, compared with 15% of placebo-treated patients. In addition, more patients treated with methylnaltrexone maintained a response at 24 hours after dosing compared with patients treated with placebo.

Real-time opioid overdose tracking system shows rise in the time of COVID-19

An epidemic that was already raging before COVID-19 arrived has flared up in recent months, according to a real-time tracking system in Michigan. It shows a 15 percent rise in suspected opioid overdose deaths since March, compared with the same time last year, and a 29% rise in first responders’ use of the rescue drug naloxone.