Opioid Crisis

11 Jan 2019 6:35 PM | Jenaveve Tucker
  1. Judge dismisses opioid crisis lawsuits against drugmakers (07Jan18) By The Associated Press. A Connecticut judge has dismissed lawsuits against Purdue Pharma and two dozen other drug companies brought by 37 cities and towns in the state, which blame them for the opioid crisis and seek to recoup millions of dollars spent on emergency response and other services.

  2. Should Fatal Opioid-Related Drug Overdoses Be Classified as Suicides? (November 30, 2018)  (Scientific American.) — New research suggests it is time for a categorization change.

  3. The Myth of What’s Driving the Opioid Crisis. (26Oct18) "Doctor-prescribed painkillers are not the biggest threat." As an addiction psychiatrist, I have watched with serious concern as the opioid crisis has escalated in the United States over the past several years, and overdose deaths have skyrocketed. … I have also watched a false narrative about this crisis blossom into conventional wisdom: The myth that the epidemic is driven by patients becoming addicted to doctor-prescribed opioids, or painkillers like hydrocodone (e.g., Vicodin) and oxycodone (e.g., Percocet). 
  4. THE SO-CALLED 'OPIOID OVERDOSE CRISIS' EXPLAINED (26Oct18) "In the U.S. and in countries politically influenced by it, authorities are proclaiming the existence of an 'opioid overdose crisis' or simply an 'opioid crisis'. However, as with all things related to policy concerning drugs other than alcohol, tobacco and caffeine, it is pure fabrication designed to justify and help perpetuate a human-rights abuse, the 'War on Drugs'."
  5. The truth about the US ‘opioid crisis’ (26Oct18)–  "Prescriptions aren’t the problem The overdose epidemic is unmistakable. But it’s driven by illicit use of drugs. If moral panic results in more patients in pain, that would be a disaster."
  6.  Children, families in need get nods in opioid bill: (12Oct18) An agreement between the House and Senate regarding a sweeping opioid response bill last week contains a number of provisions, mostly modest, promoting the welfare of children and foster youth, according to The Chronicle of Social Change. Small boosts to family reunification and family-focused residential substance abuse treatment also emerged. 
  7. Biopsychosocial Approach to Pain Management (12Oct18) “Pain affects more Americans than diabetes, cancer, and heart disease combined and has been cited as the number one reason to seek medical care in the United States. Medications including opioids remain important resources for pain management, but therapeutic techniques utilized by clinical social workers as part of interdisciplinary approaches to pain management are also effective. Learn about therapeutic techniques clinical social workers can use to help patients manage pain. 
  8. Up and Coming: Congressional Appropriators Propose Increase in HHS Budget to $90B . “Congressional appropriators have proposed to raise HHS' budget by $2.3 billion to $90.5 billion this year, which includes $3.8 billion in funding to fight the opioid abuse crisis. The spending package would allocate $1.5 billion of the opioid funding to state response grants, while community health centers will receive $200 million to fund their behavioral, mental health and addiction treatment services.”  Number of Opioid Abusers Fell Slightly Last Year . “Figures from the HHS' National Survey on Drug Use and Health showed the number of people who misused or were addicted to opioid painkillers dropped to 11.4 million last year from 11.8 million in 2016 and 12.7 million in 2015. Hydrocodone and oxycodone were the most commonly abused opioid drugs, and most opioid users got their drugs free from friends or relatives, but 34.6% got them from a physician, the survey found.” 
  9. Up and Coming: Congress Finalizes Opioid Legislative Package . “House and Senate lawmakers finalized a major opioid legislative package late Monday, and it won't include a technical change to Medicare Part D's "doughnut hole" language pushed by pharmaceutical firms. The final package includes a measure by Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, that would temporarily lift restrictions on use of Medicaid funds for inpatient addiction treatment.” 
  10. Current Trends: Standard Drugs to Address Opioid Crisis. “At a time when the U.S. government is trying to deal with a nationwide opioid epidemic, many jails across the country are only now rolling out medicines to help inmates overcome addiction. And most of those jails dispense only one of the drugs currently available.” “Medication, when paired with counseling and social support, is considered the standard treatment for opioid addiction. Three medications treat addiction to opioids. Methadone and buprenorphine diminish opioid withdrawal symptoms and can reduce cravings. Naltrexone blocks the effect of opioids and also treats alcoholism.”

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