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Hospices Struggle to Stop Opioid Theft When Patients Die at Home

by jtnn

by Kaiser Health News Nothing seemed to help the patient — and hospice staff didn’t know why. They sent home more painkillers for weeks. But the elderly woman, who had severe dementia and incurable breast cancer, kept calling out in pain. The answer came when the woman’s daughter, who was taking care of her at home, […]

The Pains of Prescribing Opioids

by jtnn

By Suneel Kamath, MD August 21, 2017 Most doctors would say they went into medicine to help people by making them feel better or live longer. Sometimes helping people means refusing to do what they want. One of the many challenges of opioid addiction is the need to deny patients the painkillers they so desperately crave in […]

Dentists: On the Front Line of the Opioid Epidemic

by jtnn

By Erin McHenry For years, family gatherings had become contentious for Harold Tu, D.M.D., M.D., director of the Division of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry.  Somehow, conversations always drifted to opioids. Tu, a longtime prescriber of opioids, would argue with his son-in-law about the safety and effectiveness of these pain medications. […]

Teen drug overdose death rate climbed 19% in one year

by jtnn

By Nadia Kounang, CNN (CNN) The rate of teen drug overdose deaths in the United States climbed 19% from 2014 to 2015, from 3.1 deaths per 100,000 teens to 3.7 per 100,000, according to data released this week. The new numbers involve teens ages 15 to 19 and were released by the National Center for Health […]

U.S. Opioid Crisis Continues to Worsen

by jtnn

By Dennis Thompson TUESDAY, Aug. 8, 2017 (HealthDay News) — Drug overdose deaths continue to climb in the United States, despite efforts to combat the nation’s ongoing opioid addiction crisis, a new federal report states. The drug overdose death rate reached 19.9 cases for every 100,000 people during the late summer of 2016, compared with 16.7 […]

Trump says opioids are a national emergency. Here’s what happens next.

by jtnn

By Christopher Ingraham President Trump on Thursday said he considers the opioid crisis to be “a national emergency,” starting a process aimed at giving the federal and state governments more resources and flexibility to deal with the epidemic. “The opioid crisis is an emergency, and I’m saying officially right now it is an emergency,” Trump told reporters at his golf […]

Opioid-Related Deaths Might Be Underestimated: CDC

by jtnn

By Dennis Thompson HealthDay Reporter April 25, 2017 America’s prescription drug abuse epidemic may be even more deadly than expected, a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests. Some opioid-related deaths may be missed when people die from pneumonia and other infectious diseases spurred on by drug abuse. Their death […]

Deadly Fentanyl Changes the Rules for Those Who Abuse Opioids

by jtnn

By Martha Bebinger WBUR April 11, 2017 There’s a clear culprit in the rising drug overdose death count in Massachusetts — the synthetic opioid fentanyl. More powerful and more deadly than heroin, fentanyl has sparked a new set of survival rules among people who abuse opioids. About 75 percent of the state’s men and women who […]

Kids Getting Hands on Adults’ Pain Pills, Study Finds

by jtnn

By JoAnne Viviano The Columbus Dispatch March 20,2017 Poison-control centers nationwide receive calls about children and teenagers exposed to opioid-prescription pain pills an average of 32 times a day, a new study shows. That’s once every 45 minutes. Centers received 188,468 such calls from 2000 through 2015, according to the study by the Center for […]

Opioid Painkillers and Xanax or Valium a Deadly Mix: Study

by jtnn

By Steven Reinberg HealthDay News March 15, 2017 Mixing opioid painkillers with common anxiety and sleep medications is a prescription for a deadly overdose, a new U.S. study shows. Of all fatal overdoses from narcotic medications, nearly 30 percent also involved benzodiazepines, such as Xanax, Klonopin and Valium, the researchers said. “It’s not news that this […]