FDA Calls on Online Companies to Police Opioid Sales

24241194
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Scott Gottlieb this week called on Internet service providers and social media companies to more carefully monitor online sales of opioids. “We find offers to purchase opioids all over social media and the Internet, including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Reddit, Google, Yahoo and Bing,” Gottlieb said at the National Rx Drug Abuse and Heroin Summit in Atlanta. Many illicit drugs that enter the U.S. are bought and sold online, including drugs laced with fentanyl, he said. Gottlieb plans to meet with leaders of Internet companies and advocacy groups “to identify technology gaps and new solutions,” The Wall Street Journal reports. Such solutions might include search algorithms to alert potential buyers about treatment programs and the deadly risks of opioids.
  1674 Hits
  0 Comments
1674 Hits
0 Comments

Drug Makers Pay Doctors Who Prescribe Large Amounts of Opioids, Analysis Finds

prescription
Doctors who prescribe large amounts of opioids are receiving big payments from drug makers, according to an analysis by CNN and researchers at Harvard University. The more opioids doctors prescribe, the more money they receive. Hundreds of doctors received six-figure sums in 2014 and 2015 for speaking, consulting and other services from drug manufacturers. Thousands more were paid more than $25,000. Doctors who prescribed the largest amounts of opioids were the most likely to receive payment, the analysis concludes. The researchers said it is not clear whether the payments entice doctors to prescribe more opioids, or whether the drug companies reward doctors who are already prescribing large amounts of the drugs. “I don’t know if the money is causing the prescribing or the prescribing led to the money, but in either case, it’s potentially a vicious cycle. It’s cementing the idea for these physicians that prescribing this many opioids is...
Continue reading
  532 Hits
  0 Comments
532 Hits
0 Comments

“Deaths of Despair” Caused by Opioids, Alcohol and Suicides: Report

19155570
The incresing rate of deaths due to opioids, alcohol and suicides are part of a public health crisis described as “deaths of despair” in a new report published recently. Life expectancy in the United States has decreased for the second year in a row because of these factors, researchers wrote in BMJ . The drop was particularly steep among middle-age white Americans and people living in rural areas, USA Today reports. “Why white Americans are dying at higher rates from drugs, alcohol, and suicides is unclear, complex, and not explained by opioids alone,” the researchers wrote. They note that possibilities include the collapse of industries and the local economies they supported, the erosion of social cohesion and greater social isolation, economic hardship, and distress among white workers over losing the security their parents once enjoyed.
  1770 Hits
  0 Comments
1770 Hits
0 Comments

Cashing in Gift Cards to Pay for Opioids Becoming More Common

gift-card
Law enforcement officials report an increase in cases of people are stealing items from major retailers, returning them for gift cards, and cashing in the cards to pay for opioids, CNBC reports. People steal items and return them to another store without a receipt, and receive a gift card in return. They sell the gift card to a pawn shop or secondary store at a discount. The cards are then resold to an online exchange. In Knox County, Tennessee, police found 16 of 19 drug overdoses were linked to the sale of gift cards during a one-month period this year. In the city of Knoxville, police linked almost 100 overdoses to gift cards during a three-month period.
  1162 Hits
  0 Comments
1162 Hits
0 Comments

FDA Approves First Monthly Injection to Treat Opioid Addiction

syringe
The Food and Drug Administration has approved the first ever buprenorphine injection for the treatment of moderate-to-severe opioid use disorder (OUD) in adult patients. The new injection is the medication-assisted treatment (MAT) option, Sublocade, which provides a new treatment option for patients in recovery from opioid addiction who may value the benefits of a once-monthly injection, compared to other forms of buprenorphine treatment. MAT is a comprehensive approach that combines approved medications (currently, methadone, buprenorphine or naltrexone) with counseling and other behavioral therapies to help provide effective treatment and long-term recovery in patients with OUD. “Given the scale of the opioid crisis, with millions of Americans already affected, the FDA is committed to expanding access to treatments that can help people pursue lives of sobriety. Everyone who seeks treatment for opioid use disorder deserves the opportunity to be offered the treatment best suited to the needs of each individual patient,...
Continue reading
  1554 Hits
  0 Comments
1554 Hits
0 Comments

Surgeons Try Prescribing Fewer Opioids to Combat Addiction Risks

89306373
NPR reports that a group of surgeons at the University of Michigan has devised an approach that could lead to significant changes in how opioids are prescribed and help curb the nation’s opioid epidemic – prescribing fewer opioids after surgery. Their findings were published this week in the journal, JAMA Surgery . The group of surgeons suggests that to lower the risk of opioid addiction, surgeons should prescribe patients fewer painkillers after surgery — a critical time when many people are first introduced to what can be highly addictive opioid medications. They should also talk with patients about proper use of opioids and the associated addiction risks. The researchers identified 170 post-surgery patients and surveyed them within a year of their gallbladder operations, inquiring about how many pills they actually used. They employed the findings to create new hospital guidelines that cut back on the standard opioid prescription for gallbladder...
Continue reading
  952 Hits
  0 Comments
952 Hits
0 Comments

Deaths During Opioid-Related Hospital Stays in U.S. Quadrupled

722176
A new study released earlier this week confirms that deaths in opioid-related hospital stays in the U.S. have quadrupled between 1993 and 2014, PBS NewsHour reports. Zirui Song, an assistant professor of health care policy at Harvard Medical School and a physician at Massachusetts General Hospital, launched the study in 2016 in an effort to gain a better understanding of the patients he treated. Dr. Song analyzed nearly 385,000 hospital stays involving patients who were admitted for opioid use with data from the National Inpatient Sample of the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project, a national database compiled by the Agency for Healthcare Research Quality. His research confirmed that by 2014, four times as many patients died from opioid-related causes while staying in the hospital, rising from 0.43 percent before 2000 to 2.02 percent. Over the same time period, the study also found that patients admitted to the hospital for opioid...
Continue reading
  750 Hits
  0 Comments
750 Hits
0 Comments

Millions of Dollars Needed for Trump’s Anti-Opioid Ad Campaign, Advocates Say

109264248
The anti-drug ad campaign advocated by President Trump’s opioid commission will need millions of dollars in funding, advocates tell The Hill . It is not clear how such a campaign would be funded, the article notes. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who chaired the commission, said the campaign should be paid for by the federal government, with private sector partners. The report, released recently, included 56 recommendations, including an aggressive multimedia campaign to fight the opioid epidemic. An ad campaign must be part of a more comprehensive approach that includes strengthening treatment and changing opioid prescribing patterns, advocates say. In order to be effective, a campaign must be based on evaluations of what has been effective in the past, and must frequently test the ad’s message with the target audience, they note. “We’ve learned a lot about how to communicate about these issues in the past three decades or so....
Continue reading
  832 Hits
  0 Comments
832 Hits
0 Comments

Addressing the Opioid Crisis Means Confronting Socioeconomic Disparities

Opioid-crisis
Blog by Dr. Nora Volkow, Director, National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) The brain adapts and responds to the environments and conditions in which a person lives. When we speak of addiction as a chronic disorder of the brain, it thus includes an understanding that some individuals are more susceptible to drug use and addiction than others, not only because of genetic factors but also because of stress and a host of other environmental and social factors in their lives that have made them more vulnerable. Opioid addiction is often described as an “equal opportunity” problem that can afflict people from all races and walks of life, but while true enough, this obscures the fact that the opioid crisis has particularly affected some of the poorest regions of the country, such as Appalachia, and that people living in poverty are especially at risk for addiction and its consequences like overdose...
Continue reading
  1012 Hits
  0 Comments
1012 Hits
0 Comments

Drug Use Disorder vs. Drug Misuse - What is the Difference?

Disorder
In 2016, approximately 2.1 million Americans over the age of 11 suffered from addiction to opioids such as the prescription pain medications OxyContin and Vicodin or the illegal drug heroin. Yet, 11.8 million people – nearly six times as many – reported misusing opioids, primarily prescription medications. Although it does not receive the same media attention as addiction – clinically known as opioid use disorder - this startling figure highlights a serious yet often overlooked problem within our society: the issue of opioid misuse. WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN “DRUG USE DISORDER” AND “DRUG MISUSE”? As the clinical term for drug addiction, drug use disorder (DUD) describes a complex disease that affects both the brain and the body. DUD, characterized by the compulsive use of one or more drugs, such as opioids, despite serious health and social consequences, typically develops during an individual’s adolescence and may affect him/her for an...
Continue reading
  1288 Hits
  0 Comments
1288 Hits
0 Comments
×

Facing Addiction and The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) are proud to announce the merger of our organizations – creating a national leader in turning the tide on the addiction epidemic.
The merged organization will be called:

logo v2

Learn More