More Schools Stocking Naloxone in Response to Heroin Epidemic

More Schools Stocking Naloxone in Response to Heroin Epidemic
A growing number of schools across the country are stocking the opioid overdose antidote naloxone in response to the heroin epidemic, The New York Times reports. Schools in Massachusetts, Kentucky, Connecticut and New Mexico have naloxone for emergency use. New York State provides naloxone for free to schools, and almost 250 schools in Pennsylvania have received a free supply. In Rhode Island, all middle schools and high schools must have naloxone on the premises. Any high school in the country can receive two free doses of Narcan (a brand name for the nasal spray version of naloxone), through a partnership between the drug’s producer, Adapt Pharma, and the Clinton Foundation.
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Fatal Drug Overdoses Play a Role in Rise in Accidental Deaths

Fatal Drug Overdoses Play a Role in Rise in Accidental Deaths
The rate of accidental deaths in the United States is rising, fueled in part by the opioid painkiller and heroin epidemic, according to a new report by the National Safety Council. The report found poisonings, largely from drug overdoses and prescription opioids, are the leading cause of preventable death among adults ages 25 to 64. More than 136,000 people died accidentally in the United States in 2014, the highest number ever recorded, NPR reports. The accidental death rate increased 4.2 percent from the previous year and 57 percent since 1992. More than 42,000 people died from overdose and accidental poisoning in 2014—quadruple the number of poisoning deaths in 1998. In contrast, motor vehicle crashes killed 35,398 in 2014—22 percent fewer than a decade ago. In 1980, more than 53,000 people died in motor vehicle crashes. Deaths from falls, such as slipping on a kitchen or bathroom floor, also have increased...
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U.S. House Task Force Introduces Bills to Fight Opioid Addiction

U.S. House Task Force Introduces Bills to Fight Opioid Addiction
A bipartisan group of members of the U.S. House of Representatives presented 15 bills aimed at fighting opioid addiction, according to The Hill. The legislation introduced by the Bipartisan Task Force to Combat the Heroin Epidemic includes $85 million in local grants, as well as $10 million for prescription drug monitoring programs. It also includes legislation that would reform opioid prescription practices, increase access to the opioid overdose medication naloxone, and update Veterans Administration pain treatment procedures. In March, the U.S. Senate voted 94-1 to pass the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA). The measure authorizes funds for various drug treatment and prevention programs for a wide range of people, including those in jail. CARA expands prescription drug take-back programs and establishes monitoring to prevent over-prescribing of opioid painkillers. It expands the availability of medication-assisted treatment, including in criminal justice settings, and supports treatment as an alternative to incarceration. The...
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