Trump Administration Will Face Hurdles in Reducing Opioid Overdose Deaths

Trump Administration Will Face Hurdles in Reducing Opioid Overdose Deaths
President-Elect Donald Trump, who has pledged to solve the nation’s opioid crisis, faces significant hurdles in achieving that campaign promise, according to The Wall Street Journal. Much of the work of preventing drug overdose deaths is done at the local level, the article notes. Newer and deadlier versions of opioids are continually appearing. In addition, complex regulatory changes are often needed to rework federal drug policies. Trump has vowed to dismantle parts of the Affordable Care Act, which requires millions of subsidized health plans to cover treatment for substance use and mental health disorders. He has vowed to prosecute illegal drug traffickers more aggressively, and to close shipping loopholes that he says allow the Chinese to mail synthetic fentanyl into the country. He also called for reducing the amounts of legal prescription opioids that can be manufactured and sold in the United States, and increasing access to naloxone for first responders...
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Drug Overdose Deaths Lead to Increase in Organ Donations

Drug Overdose Deaths Lead to Increase in Organ Donations
The increasing number of drug overdose deaths has led to a rise in the number of organ donations, according to The New York Times. In New England, which has seen a surge of drug overdose deaths, there have been organ donations this year from 69 people who died of an overdose. This accounts for 27 percent of all donations in the region. In 2010, 4 percent of donors in New England died of drug overdoses. More than 970 people who died of drug overdoses nationwide have donated organs so far this year. This accounts for about 12 percent of total donations. In 2010, about 4 percent of U.S. organ donations came from people who died of drug overdoses. Dr. David Klassen, Chief Medical Officer for the United Network for Organ Sharing, which administers the nation’s organ procurement network, told the newspaper that these donors tend to be younger and healthier than...
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Medical Examiners and Coroners Struggle to Keep Up With Drug Overdose Deaths

Medical Examiners and Coroners Struggle to Keep Up With Drug Overdose Deaths
Medical examiners and coroners around the nation are struggling to deal with the large number of drug overdose deaths, the Associated Press reports. The surge in overdose deaths is leading to a shortage of places to store bodies, and long waits for autopsies and toxicology testing, the article notes. The coroner’s office in Hamilton County in Cincinnati has a 100-day backlog of DNA testing for police drug investigations, in large part due to the rise in overdose deaths. Medical examiners in Connecticut and Wisconsin have had to find new places to store bodies when their storage area nears capacity. Overdose deaths have added to existing problems in medical examiner and coroner offices, which include inadequate facilities, budget woes and a shortage of forensic pathologists who are qualified to perform autopsies. Some offices risk losing accreditation because their pathologists are likely to perform more than 325 autopsies a year—the limit set by...
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