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.

Opioid Use Disorder? Electronic Health Records Help Pinpoint Probable Patients

A new study suggests that patients with opioid use disorder may be identified using information available in electronic health records, even when diagnostic codes do not reflect this diagnosis. The study demonstrates the utility of proxies coding for DSM-5 criteria from medical records to generate a quantitative DSM-5 score that is associated with opioid use disorder severity. The study methods are unique in deriving a severity score that aims to mirror severity scores from more traditional interview-based diagnostic procedures.

Clinical Utility of Hana® Orthopedic Table Highlighted in New Study: 97% of Direct Anterior Approach Hip Replacement Patients Needed Little to No Opioid Pain Medication After Surgery

Mizuho OSI®, a leading manufacturer of specialty surgical tables and pressure injury abatement solutions would like to announce the publication of a new clinical study titled “23-hour Total Hip Replacement Requiring Only 3.5 Opioid Pills Through 6 Weeks: A Non-selected Prospective Consecutive One Year Cohort”, by Andrew Wickline MD, now appearing in the peer-reviewed Journal of Orthopedic Experience & Innovation (JournalOEI)

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.

Managing Pain After Sports Medicine Surgery

A Henry Ford Hospital study published in the Journal of Arthroscopic and Related Surgery has found that patients who underwent knee surgery and other types of sports medicine procedures could manage their pain without opioids or a minimal dosage. “This is a large prospective study and our hope is that non-opioid use will gain momentum and that others may tweak our protocol and use it throughout orthopedics, from joint surgery to spine surgery and other surgeries” says Vasilios (Bill) Moutzouros, M.D., chief of Sports Medicine, a division of the Department of Orthopedic Surgery and the study’s lead author.

Delta Opioid Receptor Identified as Promising Therapeutic Target for Inflammatory Pain Relief

Delta opioid receptors have a built-in mechanism for pain relief and can be precisely targeted with drug-delivering nanoparticles—making them a promising target for treating chronic inflammatory pain with fewer side effects, according to a new study from an international team of researchers. The study, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), was conducted using cells from humans and mice with inflammatory bowel disease, which can cause chronic pain.

Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Older Adults at Higher Risk for Substance Use

Middle-aged and older adults who identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual have higher rates of using certain substances in the past year than those who identify as heterosexual, according to a new study led by researchers at NYU Grossman School of Medicine and the Center for Drug Use and HIV/HCV Research (CDUHR) at NYU School of Global Public Health.

Pain doesn’t take a holiday: Dental opioids study points to need for better prescribing

As dentists and their teams across America get back to their regular schedules after a sharp COVID-19-related reduction, a new study shows a key opportunity to reduce the use of opioid painkillers by their patients.
The analysis shows that those who had dental procedures on a Friday or a day before a holiday were much more likely to fill a prescription for an opioid than other patients.

HEALing Communities Strategy Fast-Tracked Due to COVID-19

When Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear announced the early release of some Kentucky inmates due to COVID-19 concerns, the team behind the HEALing Communities Study worked quickly to fast-track one of the evidence-based practices for preventing opioid deaths that was due to launch later this year: the distribution of naloxone to individuals at highest risk for overdose, particularly those being released from local jails.