Deaths Rise From Unintentional Drug and Alcohol Overdoses in the Workplace

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Deaths from unintentional drug and alcohol overdoses in the workplace rose more than 30 percent in 2016, a new report concludes. According to The Wall Street Journal , 217 U.S. workers died on the job as a result of an unintentional overdose from the nonmedical use of drugs or alcohol, compared with 165 workers the previous year. The findings come from a report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries. The Department of Labor will work “with public and private stakeholders to help eradicate the opioid crisis as a deadly and growing workplace issue,” said Loren Sweatt, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
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Black Americans Hard Hit by Drug Overdoses in Urban Counties

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Drug overdoses are on the rise among black Americans, especially in urban counties where fentanyl has become pervasive. The New York Times reports the drug death rate is rising steeply among blacks ages 45 to 64. The findings come from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which analyzed racial and geographic data. The CDC found drug deaths among blacks in urban counties increased 41 percent in 2016, faster than any other racial or ethnic group. In contrast, the drug death rate among whites in those same counties rose 19 percent. The emergence of fentanyl in Washington, D.C. led the rate of drug deaths to double in a single year, the article notes. Drug deaths have also dramatically increased in cities including St. Louis, Baltimore, Philadelphia and Jacksonville, Fla.
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Rise in Opioid Deaths Contributes to Reduction in U.S. Life Expectancy

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A new government report finds life expectancy in the United States decreased for the second consecutive year in 2016, in part due to an increase in fatal opioid overdoses. Until recently, life expectancy was rising in the United States, according to NPR . Life expectancy fell from 78.9 in 2014 to 78.7 in 2015 to 78.6 in 2016. “For any individual, that’s not a whole lot. But when you’re talking about it in terms of a population, you’re talking about a significant number of potential lives that aren’t being lived,” said Robert Anderson, Chief of the Mortality Statistics Branch at the National Center for Health Statistics. “I’m not prone to dramatic statements. But I think we should be really alarmed. The drug overdose problem is a public health problem, and it needs to be addressed. We need to get a handle on it.”
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Social Media is Bringing Our Teens Down

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According to data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there was a 33% increase in the number of teens experiencing depression, a 23% rise in teen suicide attempts, and a 31% surge in the number of teens who died by suicide in the five years between 2010 to 2015. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Foundation says suicide is now the second leading cause of death for young people between the ages of 10 to 24. What has gone wrong in the lives of our teens and why at such an alarming rate? Despite the critical nature of this question, there are no clear answers. There is, however, a great deal of speculation, and many say our kids’ use of social media contributes this high suicide rate. In a paper published in Clinical Psychological Science , researcher Jean Twenge and her colleagues found significant increases in depression, suicide attempts,...
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FDA Launches Campaign to Counter Tobacco Promotion

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With smokers experiencing a number of triggers to use at popular retail locations, the federal government has decided to fight back on the same playing field. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that its “Every Try Counts ” campaign will display at convenience stores and gas stations a number of messages encouraging smokers to quit. The two-year campaign, which will launch in 35 U.S. markets in January, will try to capitalize on research showing that smokers who have previously tried to quit are more likely to try again. One of the campaign's print advertisements reads, “You Didn't Fail at Quitting. You Just Haven't Finished the Process.” The FDA and the National Cancer Institute have partnered to establish an Every Try Counts website that offers consumers tips on quitting and words of encouragement, as well as a mobile app to track triggers and information on access to coaching assistance.
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Cigarette smoking is increasing among Americans with drug problems

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Odds of smoking among Americans with a substance use disorder are more than five times greater than the overall population --- science daily While cigarette smoking has declined in the U.S. for the past several decades, since 2002 the prevalence of smoking has increased significantly among people with an illicit substance use disorder, according to a new study by researchers at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health and the City University of New York. Until now, little was known about whether the decline in smoking was also occurring among individuals with illicit substance use disorders. The findings are published online in the journal Addiction . The data show that smoking rates increased among those with substance use disorders, including hallucinogens, inhalants, tranquilizers, cocaine, heroin, pain relievers, simulants, and sedatives, while cigarette smoking decreased among individuals with cannabis use disorders, as well as among those without any substance use disorders. Source:...
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South Carolina Partners with Law Enforcement on Naloxone Program

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State prevention leaders joined forces with local police departments to create an effective naloxone training, distribution, and monitoring program. On June 3, 2015, then Governor Nikki Haley signed the South Carolina Overdose Prevention Act into law, increasing medical professionals' access to the anti-overdose drug naloxone and authorizing first responders, including firefighters and police officers, to carry and administer it.1,2 The need to expand the safe use of this life-saving medication was urgent. In 2015, 468 people in South Carolina had died from opioid-related overdoses, up from 453 deaths the previous year.3 Police involvement in administering naloxone was critical, as police officers were frequently first on the scene of many overdoses. "Many of our counties are very rural. It takes anywhere from six to eight minutes for an ambulance to respond to a 911 call, whereas law enforcement typically responds in four minutes or less," says Michelle Nienhius, Prevention Manager for the...
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National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week® (NDAFW) is coming January 22-28, 2018

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NDAFW is a national health observance linking teens to science based facts to SHATTER THE MYTHS ® about drugs! National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week ® links students with scientists and other experts to counteract the myths about drugs and alcohol that teens get from the internet, social media, TV, movies, music, or from friends. It was launched in 2010 by scientists at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to stimulate educational events in communities so teens can learn what science has taught us about drug use and addiction. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism became a partner starting in 2016, and alcohol has been added as a topic area for the week. NIDA and NIAAA are part of the National Institutes of Health.
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Children of Alcoholics Week 12-18 February 2018

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Imagine coming home from school and dreading what you might find. Imagine having no friends because you’re too embarrassed to bring them home in case Mum or Dad are drunk, or worse. Imagine living in a home full of fear and having no one to turn to because everyone denies there’s a problem. Children of Alcoholics (COA) Week is a campaign led by Nacoa (The National Association for Children of Alcoholics) to raise awareness of children affected by parental alcohol problems. COA Awareness Week will be held February 11-17, 2018. Together we can increase awareness of this hidden problem and the support available. Find out how you can help children of all ages know they are not alone. Children of Alcoholics Week is celebrated internationally each year during the week in which Valentine’s Day falls. There are organizations holding COA Week activities in USA, Germany, Poland, Sweden and Slovenia.
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Aetna Will Waive Co-Pay for Narcan for Some Customers

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The health insurance company Aetna said it will waive co-pays for the opioid overdose antidote Narcan (naloxone) starting in January, CNN Money reports. “Aetna is committed to addressing the opioid crisis through prevention, intervention and treatment,” Harold L. Paz, MD, MS, Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer of Aetna said in a news release. “Increasing access to Narcan can save lives so that individuals with opioid abuse disorder can live long enough to get into evidence-based treatment.” According to research from the company that makes Narcan, almost 35 percent of Aetna members prescribed the drug between January to June 2017 did not pick up their prescription. Members are less likely to fill Narcan prescriptions as co-pays increase. “Cost is clearly a factor in whether individuals with substance abuse disorder obtain medication that could save them from a fatal overdose,” Paz said. “By eliminating this barrier, we hope to keep our...
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