Collaborative Care Shows Promise for Opioid and Alcohol Use Disorders

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A NIDA-funded randomized clinical trial found that primary care patients with opioid and alcohol use disorders (OAUD) who were offered a collaborative care intervention were more likely to receive evidence-based treatment and refrain from using opioids and alcohol six months later, compared to patients receiving usual care. The collaborative care intervention increased both the proportion of patients receiving evidence-based treatment for OAUD (39.0% vs. 16.8%) and the number refraining from opioids or alcohol use at six months. (32.8% vs. 22.3%). Collaborative care was designed to increase the delivery of either a six-session brief psychotherapy treatment, and/or medication-assisted treatment, with either buprenorphine/naloxone for opioid use disorders or long-acting injectable naltrexone for alcohol use disorders. Usual care participants were given a number for appointment scheduling and a list of community referrals for OAUD treatment. The authors suggest the findings indicate that treatment for OAUDs can be integrated into primary care settings effectively....
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Bev Haberle, Executive Director of The Council Of Southeast Pennsylvania In Doylestown, to Retire at End Of Year

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  Beverly Haberle has, for thirty-two years, been the Executive Director of The Council of Southeast Pennsylvania, Inc. (formerly Bucks County Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc.), a non-profit education advocacy association. And for the past twelve years, Ms. Haberle has been the Project Director for the Pennsylvania Recovery Organization/Achieving Community Together (PRO-ACT), a grass roots organization mobilizing the recovering community family members and other interested advocates. Ms. Haberle holds a Master’s degree in Human Services, is a Licensed Professional Counselor, and a Certified Addictions Counselor. Ms. Haberle has been a past member of the Board of Directors for the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. and currently sits on a number of Boards and state-wide drug and alcohol coalitions and committees. In addition, Ms. Haberle has been a part time faculty member at Penn State University since 1991. 2011 Elected National Board Member Faces and Voices...
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Family Physicians Have a Better Chance Treating Substance Use Disorders

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AMA Source recently published an article noting that patients with substance use disorders may experience stigma that can interfere with treatment options. But when substance use disorders are recognized and treated as a chronic disease, that stigma can be reduced. The article goes on to note that treating patients with substance use disorders in a family medicine setting can be a unique situation because physicians are often treating other members of the patient’s family as well. At first, patients may be reluctant to discuss substance use but once the condition is out in the open, having the family involved can be beneficial. And since many primary care physicians (especially those in family medicine) know many of their patients very well and have established a long-term relationship. That can be advantageous when a patient begins to show signs of a substance use disorder. Once the physician and patient have had a...
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Women Who Inject Drugs May Be At Greater Risk of HCV Than Men

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There is a clear body of research assessing sex and gender differences in risk behaviors among people who inject drugs, however little or no research has investigated sex differences in hepatitis C (HCV) susceptibility. A newly published analysis examining data from more than 1800 people suggests that women who inject drugs have a 38% higher risk of contracting HCV than their male counterparts. Interestingly, while sharing of syringes and other injection equipment is a significant risk factor for HCV, differences in these behaviors did not account for the higher risk among women. The research was funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National institutes of Health. The analysis used data from the International Collaboration of Incident HIV and HCV in Injecting Cohorts, a project of pooled biological and behavioral data from ten prospective cohorts of people who inject drugs, including the United States, Australia, Canada...
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Meth Use Linked to Heightened Stroke Risk in the Young

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The stimulant methamphetamine, also popularly known as 'speed,' 'ice' and 'meth,' is linked to a heightened risk of stroke among young people, reveals a review of the available evidence, published online in the Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery & Psychiatry . According to a recent article in Medical News Today, a stroke caused by a bleed into the brain (haemorrhagic) rather than a clot (ischaemic) is the most common type associated with taking this drug, with men twice as likely to succumb as women, the findings show. Given the often disabling or fatal consequences of a stroke, and the increasing use of methamphetamine among young people, particularly in countries around the Pacific rim, the findings are a cause for concern, warn the researchers. They base their findings on a comprehensive trawl of research looking at a potential link between methamphetamine use and associated stroke risk in young people (under the age...
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Marijuana Use Triples Risk of Death from Hypertension

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The risk of death from hypertension is three times greater in adults who use marijuana, compared with nonusers, based on data from a retrospective study of 1,213 adults. According to an article in Cardiology News , the recent changes in the legalization of marijuana may promote increased recreational use, but data on the long-term effects of marijuana use on cardiovascular and cerebrovascular mortality are limited, wrote Barbara A. Yankey, PhD, of Georgia State University, Atlanta, and her colleagues. The researchers collected data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from adults aged 20 years and older who were asked between 2005 and 2006 whether they had ever used marijuana, and those who answered “yes” were defined as users. Data on 686 users and 527 nonusers were combined with the 2011 mortality data from the National Center for Health Statistics. Overall, marijuana users had a 3.42 times greater risk of...
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Study Finds Large Increase in Alcohol Use, High-Risk Drinking and Alcohol Use Disorders

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The percentage of Americans who use alcohol, engage in high-risk drinking or have an alcohol use disorder has risen substantially, a new study finds. The study, which included face-to-face interviews with 40,000 Americans, found alcohol use disorders increased 49 percent between 2001-2002 and 2012-2013, according to CNN . Alcohol use has increased most among women, older adults, racial/ethnic minorities and the socioeconomically disadvantaged, the researchers report in JAMA Psychiatry. Alcohol use disorders rose 106.7 percent among individuals age 65 and older during the study period. The researchers conclude that almost 30 million Americans are struggling with an alcohol use disorder.
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Cities Across U.S. Report Increase in Drug Overdoses Related to Fentanyl

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Cities across the United States are seeing a steep increase in the number of overdose-related deaths related to fentanyl, The Washington Post reports. Fentanyl-related overdose deaths rose almost 600 percent from 2014 to 2016 in 24 of the nation’s largest cities and surrounding counties. In 2014 there were 582 fentanyl-related fatal overdoses. That number jumped to 3,946 last year. Officials expect a much larger number of deadly fentanyl-related overdoses this year, the article notes. “If anything can be likened to a weapon of mass destruction in what it can do to a community, it’s fentanyl,” said Michael Ferguson, the special agent in charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New England Division. “It’s manufactured death.”
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CDC Reports 19% Increase in Teen Drug Overdose Deaths

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Teen drug overdose deaths rose 19 percent from 2014 to 2015 in the United States, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There were 772 drug overdose deaths among U.S. teens ages 15 to 19 in 2015, the report notes. The rate increased from 3.1 deaths per 100,000 teens to 3.7 per 100,000, CNN reports. Most overdose deaths among teens were unintentional, although female deaths were more than twice as likely as male deaths to be suicides. Overdose death rates among those ages 15 to 19 were highest for opioid drugs, specifically heroin.
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ICUs See Sharp Increase in Opioid Overdose-Related Admissions

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Intensive care units have seen a rapid increase in the number of admissions related to opioid overdoses, according to a new study. Admissions jumped 34 percent over seven years. Between 2009 and 2015, opioid deaths in the ICU almost doubled. “This study tells us that the opioid epidemic has made people sicker and killed more people, in spite of all the care we can provide in the ICU, including mechanical ventilation, acute dialysis, life support and round-the-clock care,” study lead author Dr. Jennifer Stevens of the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston said in a news release. The study found the average cost of care per ICU overdose admission rose 58 percent between 2009 and 2015, to more than $92,000, HealthDay reports. The study appears in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society .
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