Millennials and Baby Boomers Hardest Hit by Opioid Epidemic

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Millennials and Baby Boomers appear to be the age groups hardest hit by the opioid crisis, doctors at Columbia University conclude. Millennials (people in their 20s and 30s) have higher death rates from heroin than other age groups, while Baby Boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964) have higher rates of death from both prescription opioids and heroin, the researchers report in the American Journal of Public Health . The study found Baby Boomers were up to 27 percent more likely to die of a prescription opioid overdose, compared with people born in the late 1970s, HealthDay reports. They were up to one-third more likely to die of a heroin overdose. Millennials were 23 percent more likely to die of a heroin overdose compared with those born in the late 1970s.
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Some Experts Question Opioid Commission’s Marijuana Warning

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The chair of President Trump’s Opioid Commission warned about the dangers of marijuana, in a letter accompanying the release of the commission’s final report. Some experts are questioning the commission’s view that marijuana could further fuel the opioid crisis. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, the chair of the commission, warned against legalizing marijuana in the midst of the opioid epidemic. One researcher, Dr. Chinazo Cunningham, a professor of medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, told CNN she is surprised to see negative language about marijuana in the opioid report. “Research that examines pain and marijuana shows that marijuana use significantly reduces pain,” she said. “In addition, the majority of studies examining marijuana and opioids show that marijuana use is associated with less opioid use and less opioid-related deaths.” Dr. Cunningham is conducting the first long-term study to test whether medical marijuana reduces opioid use among adults with chronic...
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DEA Collects Record Number Of Unused Pills As Part Of Its 14th Prescription Drug Take Back Day

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The public returns record number of potentially dangerous prescription drugs Americans nationwide did their part to reduce the opioid crisis by bringing the DEA and its more than 4,200 local and tribal law enforcement partners a record-setting 912,305 pounds-456 tons-of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs for disposal at more than 5,300 collection sites. That is almost six tons more than was collected at last spring's event.This brings the total amount of prescription drugs collected by DEA since the fall of 2010 to 9,015,668 pounds, or 4,508 tons. Now in its 8th year, National Prescription Drug Take Back Day events continue to remove ever-higher amounts of opioids and other medicines from the nation's homes, where they could be stolen and abused by family members and visitors, including children and teens. The DEA action comes just days after President Donald J. Trump announced the mobilization of his entire Administration...
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SPOTLIGHT: Jamestown, NY Affiliate’s Opioid Prevention Program

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  Recently, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo announced distribution of $25 million in federal funding to address the opioid crisis in New York State. The Chautauqua Alcohol & Substance Abuse Council (CASAC) in Jamestown, NY was one of the award recipients and will receive $100,000 to provide evidence-based prevention programs to underserved, hard-to-reach youth, and other at-risk populations in the City of Dunkirk. CASAC has established a collaboration with the Boys & Girls Club of Northern Chautauqua County and the Salvation Army’s After School Programs. Youth and adults will have the opportunity to engage in the “Too Good” evidence-based after school program. This program focuses on prevention education through social and emotional learning, empowering youth and teens with skills needed for academic, social and life successes. Elementary and middle school students will engage in positive, engaging, age-appropriate activities including games, stories and songs. The program reinforces basic prevention concepts,...
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SAMHSA Reaffirms Efforts to Address the Public Health Emergency on the Opioid Crisis

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President Trump’s declaration of the opioid crisis as a public health emergency reaffirms the role of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) as leaders in solving one of America’s most pressing public health issues. The President recently appointed Dr. Elinore F. McCance-Katz as the first Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use, underscoring the urgency of the issue. “SAMHSA looks forward to continuing its role in helping American communities fight the opioid crisis through evidence-based programs in prevention, treatment, and recovery services,” said Dr. McCance-Katz. “The announcement today by President Trump reflects our commitment to this cause and inspires us to redouble our efforts on behalf of all who have suffered the effects of opioid addiction.” HHS is implementing five specific strategies that are guiding SAMHSA’s response. The comprehensive, evidenced-based Opioid Strategy aims to: Improve access to...
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Opioid Crisis Fast Facts

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The United States is in the midst of an opioid crisis, the impact surpassing annual car crashes, and the AIDs epidemic in the 1990s. Over two million people in the U.S. have become dependent on or abused prescription pain pills and/or an illicit drug. At the onset, many users become addicted after a legitimate injury or surgery requires them to take prescription painkillers. Legal painkillers like morphine, oxycodone, or hydrocodone are prescribed by doctors for acute or chronic pain. However, drug overdoses are on the rise, with 52,000 overdose deaths in 2015. In the same year, the International Narcotics Control Board reported that Americans represented about 99.7 percent of the world's hydrocodone consumption.
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TUNE IN: 3rd Meeting of the Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis

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On September 27, the President’s Commission will convene for its third meeting. This discussion will include statements to the Commission from invited government, nonprofit, and business organizations regarding Innovative Pain Management and Prevention Measures for Diversion, followed by discussion of the issues raised. Join this meeting virtually at www.whitehouse.gov/live on September 27 starting at 12:30pm. Written comments or recommendations can be submitted to the Commission by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . More information about the Commission can be found on the Commission's webpage at https://www.whitehouse.gov/ondcp/presidents-commission
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Trump Declares Opioid Crisis a National Emergency

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President Trump has declared the opioid crisis a national emergency, according to CNN . “Building upon the recommendations in the interim report from the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis, President Donald J. Trump has instructed his Administration to use all appropriate emergency and other authorities to respond to the crisis caused by the opioid epidemic,” the White House said in a statement. Two days before Trump declared a national emergency, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price suggested such a move was not necessary. The President’s Commission recommended enforcing requirements that health plans provide the same level of services for those with physical health issues as those with mental health and substance use issues. The group also recommended equipping all law enforcement officers with the opioid overdose antidote naloxone; providing funds for federal agencies to develop sensors that can detect fentanyl; and increasing the use...
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Governors Say Medicaid Cuts Could Hurt State Efforts to Fight Opioid Crisis

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A bipartisan group of governors says Medicaid cuts could impact states’ efforts to fight the opioid crisis. “We’re kidding ourselves if we don’t think what’s happening with healthcare in Congress right now is affecting this issue,” North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said at a recent meeting of the National Governors Association. “We cannot have millions of Americans lose their health coverage and still effectively attack this crisis. We can’t significantly reduce Medicaid spending and still be successful in fighting opioid addiction.” Governors said many of their residents rely on Medicaid to receive treatment for opioid addiction, Reuters reports. They noted they are focusing much of their efforts on increasing the availability of addiction treatment and requiring doctors to reduce opioid prescriptions.
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CDC Report Finds Mixed Results for Opioid Prescribing in New Jersey Counties

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Since the opioid crisis began to grip New Jersey and our nation, one of the crucial goals in stemming the tide of addiction was addressing the overprescribing of pain medication. The good news is that the number of opioid prescriptions decreased nationwide from 2010 to 2015. The bad news is that doctors gave out longer prescriptions and the average strength of prescriptions was still high, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report released last week. The report also revealed that the number of prescriptions in parts of New Jersey remained high. An NJ.com report detailed the disparity in prescriptions written across the state’s 21 counties. While the rate of prescriptions per person dropped in 10 counties from 2010 to 2015, it increased in nine counties and did not change in two others, the report said. The totals are measured in “morphine milligram equivalents,” or MME, “which measures...
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