Boston's WBUR had MassINC Polling Group conduct a survey of 660 Massachusetts residents this month to gauge perceptions on opioid addiction in the state. The results of this poll reveal that 53% of participants identify the severity of "addiction to heroin and other opiates such as prescription painkillers in Massachusetts" as "a crisis." Fifty-seven percent of respondents know someone who has struggled with opioid addiction in the last year. The survey also asked the question, "Do you support sending people to prisons or jails against their will for addiction treatment?" to which 69% of respondents answered with "strongly oppose" or "somewhat oppose."
The WBUR article quotes Senator Cindy Friedman, who speaks on the matter of imprisoning those with substance use disorder:
On the contrary, Plymouth County saw a 26% decrease in opioid-related deaths, and as a whole, the state of Massachusetts experienced a gradual decline in the death rate from 2016 to 2018.
"I understand that, in some cases, we need to just get people into a safe place," she said. "But it's all treatment-focused; it's all about getting people healthy and in treatment. And I firmly believe that can't happen in an environment where the structure is about corrections and punishment."
The Boston Globe reports on the findings of the quarterly report on opioid-related deaths that was recently released by the Department of Public Health (DPH), narrowing in on the areas of Massachusetts that saw the greatest increases and sharpest declines in overdose deaths. The news release highlights the death toll in Springfield:
Among that city's residents, 80 died of opioid-related overdoses in 2018, more than double the number in 2017 and 2016.
On the contrary, Plymouth County saw a 26% decrease in opioid-related deaths, and as a whole, the state of Massachusetts experienced a gradual decline in the death rate from 2016 to 2018.
The article shares a list of interesting findings from the DPH report:
WFPL News Louisville published a story this week regarding the rising occurrence of grandparents raising their grandchildren in Kentucky, often as a result of opioid abuse on the parent's behalf. According to the article, six percent of children across the state of Kentucky are under the primary care of their grandparents. The author relates this finding to the opioid crisis:
A great number of these cases arise from issues related to the opioid epidemic: incarceration, abuse or neglect. This can put a grandparent in a difficult situation — especially in a state where many people live in poverty and have big health issues.
Research conducted by Lydia Anderson of the Social, Economic, and Housing Statistics Division of the U.S. Census Bureau suggests a correlation between the opioid prescription rate and the instance of adults raising grandchildren at the state level, though not at a country-wide level. Anderson's findings show Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Alabama as having the highest percentages of grandparents raising grandchildren as well as the highest rates of opioid prescriptions.
Xtelligent Healthcare Media, LLC published an article on the efforts and initiatives being taken in Mississippi and Iowa to address the opioid crisis, describing resulting improvements in patient care.
In Mississippi, the amount of opioids prescribed has significantly lowered over the course of the last few year, more physicians have become certified to prescribe buprenorphine, and naloxone has become more easily assessible. According to researchers, the state's efforts have saved more than 2,000 lives just in 2017. The list of initiatives in Mississippi continues, with a program aimed towards reducing the stigma around substance use disorder, the development of alternatives to opioids in pain management, and the improvement of insurance form regulations.
As for Iowa, the state approved a bill this month that will increase patient access to medically assisted treatment. Marygrace Elson, MD, President of the Iowa Medical Society, elaborates:
"The Iowa Medical Society (IMS) worked hard to get this bill enacted because medical evidence clearly demonstrates how MAT improves recovery, reduces health care costs and most important—saves lives. No patient should have to face a delay or denial of evidence-based care for opioid use disorder—this bill helps remove those barriers to our most vulnerable patients."
An update from Bethesda Beat indicates that while the death rate from opioid-related overdoses has almost quadrupled across Maryland in the last decade, deaths in Montgomery Country declined in 2018. Raymond Crowel, chief of Behavioral Health and Crisis Services for Montgomery County's Department of Health and Human Services, credits an increase in the availability of Naloxone as a contributor to this decline. The article includes more from Crowel:
Crowel said he is "cautiously optimistic" that the state's opioid crisis is declining because prescription opioid painkillers are being prescribed less due to the state's drug monitoring program. He said in the county, deaths have decreased due to the availability of drugs aimed at countering the effects of opioids.
Read the full article here, or find doctors who provide medically assisted treatment in Maryland.
The Pratt Tribune recently published a story about an alternative to prescription opioids for mothers who undergo C-sections—the ON-Q Pain Relief System. Nicknamed "the pain ball," this elastomeric pump releases a nonaddictive anesthetic to help ease post-surgery pain. Dr. Anita Somani, gynecologist and obstetrician, speaks on the use of opioids for pain management:
"Most studies show that if you only take (opioids) for seven days and you don't get refills, you're less likely to then become addicted," Somani said. "It's the people who are getting multiple prescriptions, they tend to become more dependent."
"We prescribe less narcotics, and our patients are using less narcotics," Somani said. "That's the goal, to adequately treat pain without creating a situation where someone becomes dependent."
Inmates with opioid use disorder at a Louisiana prison are receiving surgical implants intended to help prevent opiate effects and reduce drug cravings, according to a recent story published by The Advocate. The implant releases the commonly known drug naltrexone over a span of three to four months, varying from the standard method of daily pills or monthly shots. This pilot program, though run under the precedent of voluntary participation, faces criticism and arouses concern due to the lack of FDA approval on the implant. The Advocate mentions the first implant procedure and features commentary from Natalie Laborde:
"The first inmate had the implant surgically inserted into his abdomen at the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola on Wednesday, said corrections department spokeswoman Natalie Laborde."
"It's not FDA approved, which is why this is a completely voluntary program," Laborde said. "I can't stress how voluntary."
She added that although it's not FDA approved, the implant device is still available for purchase and used by doctors in the U.S., although it's not covered by insurance.
Pittsburgh's NPR News Station 90.5 WESA reports on the research of Saadyah Averick, a chemist at Allegheny General Hospital, who is in the process of developing a longer-lasting type of naloxone. This longer-acting naloxone is intended to be gentler and work longer, to prevent the rare occurrence in which naloxone doesn’t last long enough and causes the patient to become unconscious. Averick is currently testing the modified polymer molecules on mice in the lab. While this medication may prove beneficial in some cases, overdose prevention project coordination Alice Bell shares that this longer-lasting naloxone would not need to be used in standard overdoses:
"I'm sure there's some particular overdose cases where this might be useful," said Bell, "but I would not see this as something that should be generally used in opioid overdose cases."
The University of Buffalo (UB) is joining forces with the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) in the Action Collaborative on Countering the U.S. Opioid Epidemic, according to a recent announcement, as covered by UBNow. UB issued a statement affirming their commitment:
We commit to the goals of the Opioid Action Collaborative of the NAM, and look forward to collaborating with our partners in the Action Collaborative to generate groundbreaking evidence on safe prescribing practices and the causes, prevention and treatment of opioid use disorders.
The Action Collaborative is a public-private partnership of more than 100 organizations, including the American Heart Association, Mayo Clinic, Yale School of Medicine, and numerous other esteemed groups, that share the goal of merging knowledge and forming solutions to reduce opioid misuse.
Faculty and researchers at UB’s Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and Clinical Research Institute on Addictions (CRIA) have already made significant efforts in combatting the opioid crisis and will continue to progress in collaboration with NAM.
Minnesota biotech firm Stemonix has joined the federal HEAL (Helping to End Addiction Long-term) Initiative of the National Institutes of Health to assess how human brain cells respond to opioids, according to a recent article from the Star Tribune. Stemonix co-founder and CEO Ping Yeh speaks on the initative:
NCATS' goal "is to find the best model to advance new discoveries. It turns out that the human microBrains that we make from iPSCs have receptors to the opioid [compounds], and can be used as a model to find other potential therapeutics that are less addictive and have less issues like withdrawal symptoms."
If the research is successful, the opioid-response model could be used to screen drug compounds for the signature opioid response, helping researchers determine which compounds present fewer addictive issues.
The HEAL Initiative Research Plan consists of 26 research projects aimed towards reducing opioid related deaths, as detailed on the National Institutes of Health website.
University of Kentucky News recently shared an update regarding a new opioid stewardship program intended to provide Kentucky hospitals with the resources needed to assure safe opioid use. The program, formed by a partnership between the Kentucky Hospital Association (KHA) and the Cabinet for Health and Family Services as part of the Kentucky Opioid Response Effort (KORE), consists of a committee of medical experts who will aid hospitals in the implementation of the program's initiatives. According to the article, 62 hospitals have committed to participation in the program, with more medical facilities continuing to join. The chief medical officer of UK HealthCare, Dr. Phillip Chang, speaks about the program:
"This is the first statewide program of its kind where all hospitals in Kentucky collaborate together to combat the opioid crisis at its root – inappropriate or excess opioid prescribing. We will leverage data, analytics and the spirit of healthy competition amongst Kentucky hospitals to reduce and eliminate opioid addiction while still ensuring adequate pain control. This preventive work will complement the tremendous efforts through our state on recovery, rehabilitation and harm reduction."
Pinnacle Treatment Centers opened another treatment center in South Jersey this March, aiming to meet the increasing need for opioid addiction treatment in the community. Vineland Daily Journal captures commentary from the Executive Director of Vineland Treatment Services, Stephanie Lamancusa, who speaks to the need for a treatment center in the area:
"There's no treatment provider within a 30- to 40-mile radius for the opioid epidemic that we have," said Stephanie Lamancusa, the center's executive director, noting Cumberland County residents were commuting to their nearest location in Pennsauken. "It's needed down here."
Since opening, the center has acquired 50 clients and is staffed by seven medical professionals. According to the article, the center offers "medication-assisted treatment including methadone and Suboxone, medically-assisted detox, individual and group therapy, meditation, and mindfulness programs to help those over 18 dealing with addition."
Modern Healthcare reports that health service company Cigna is partnering with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to help improve care for veterans in an effort to reduce opioid misuse. The article shares a quote from Cinga's CEO, David Cordani:
"Public-private partnerships are critical to address the opioid epidemic in the U.S.," said David Cordani, president and CEO of Cigna in a written statement. "We look forward to sharing our resources and best practices to benefit Veterans and the communities that support them."
The Pew Charitable Trusts offer some statistics on opioid use disorder among veterans, indicating that "Veterans are twice as likely to die from accidental overdoses."
Cities across the United States offered prescription drug collection sites this past weekend as part of the "17th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day," an initiative intended to encourage proper disposal of unused prescription medications. By encouraging people to take part, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) aims to "prevent drug addiction and overdose deaths." Since beginning the initiative nine years ago, the DEA has collected nearly 11 million pounds of unused prescription drugs from these Take Back Day events, as the DEA reports in a recent press release.
James Carroll, the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) Director, released a statement regarding the event on Thursday:
"Our efforts to reverse the pattern of addiction in America start with preventing drug misuse before it's too late. In homes across the country, medicine cabinets are full of leftover prescription drugs that have the potential to take someone's life. National Take Back Day helps eliminate this threat by presenting an opportunity for Americans to safely dispose of their unused, expired, or unwanted prescription medications," ONDCP Director James Carroll said.
Numerous cities report significant participation in the collection event, with pounds upon pounds of unwanted drugs being turned in for proper disposal. KMCH of Eastern Iowa reports 48 pounds collected in Manchester; WEAU News announces that Eau Claire County in Wisconsin accumulated 3050 pounds; WBIW shares that the Paoli Police Department in Indiana gathered over 60 pounds during their first time hosting a Take Back Day.
Lake County News quotes Chief Brad Rasmussen of the Lakeport Police Department in Lakeport, California, who speaks to the success of the city's collection event:
"We had a steady stream of community members coming throughout the event and we collected over 97 pounds of prescription and over-the-counter drugs. Many of these drugs were dangerous controlled substances including opioids," reported Chief Brad Rasmussen.
For more information on Take Back Day or to find a drug collection point near you, click here. To find doctors and treatment centers in your area who help treat opioid addiction, search our directory.
A revamped version of Reach NJ, an addiction taskforce initiated by former Governor Chris Christie, has received significant investment from the Murphy administration, according to NJ Spotlight. The campaign will include a series of print and online advertisements with a hotline number. The program aims to target Atlantic, Camden, Essex, Middlesex, Monmouth and Ocean counties, were the opioid crisis has had a major impact. DHS Commissioner Carole Johnson speaks on the mission of the program:
"When you are struggling with substance use disorder and are ready for treatment, we want to be ready for you. That's why we are piloting a new approach to our addiction treatment hotline. We’ve restructured the program so that when you call for help you reach live, trained responders who have worked with New Jersey’s treatment providers and know how to connect you with help."
Rochester Drug Co-Operative and two of its chief executives were charged this week for conspiracy and suspicious pharmaceutical orders, as reported on by RochesterFirst.com. The pharmaceutical company agreed to a $20 million settlement to be paid over five years, with three years of compliance monitoring. The article includes commentary from U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman:
"This prosecution is the first of its kind: executives of a pharmaceutical distributor and the distributor itself have been charged with drug trafficking, trafficking the same drugs that are fueling the opioid epidemic that is ravaging this country. Our office will do everything in its power to combat this epidemic, from street-level dealers to the executives who illegally distribute drugs from their boardrooms."
Addictions damage the lives of addicts and those around them. Those looking for help may quickly learn that simply talking to the addict does not get the results that are needed. For many, the next step is an intervention.
An intervention can be successful in getting addicts to admit they need help, but don't be fooled by TV shows – they are also complicated and can even be risky. Here's what you need to know about an intervention if you are thinking one could help in your situation.
Insider NJ reports on the newly announced efforts that the Office of the New Jersey Coordinator for Addiction Responses and Enforcement Strategies ("NJ CARES") intends to implement to combat the opioid crisis. Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced these three actions, according to the article:
Mark Tyndall, public health expert and researcher at British Columbia's CDC, has a solution for offering a safer supply of opioids to those who need medically assisted treatment: an opioid vending machine. Wired covers the story, providing details about the vending machine:
The machine, designed in partnership with a Canadian tech company, would allow preapproved drug users who receive a prescription from their doctors to access safer opioids using a biometric scan of the veins in their hands. Such a mechanized approach, Tyndall believes, is the only way that an intervention like this can match the scope of the problem. After a year and a half of development and endless delays, Tyndall expects the first of these machines to arrive in Vancouver before summer. Whether he'll ever get the government approval or funding to actually test the thing is another question altogether.
This technology would allow patients to skip the doctor's office and receive treatment quickly and easily, though the radical idea remains controversial.
Imagine you discovered a new pill for people in recovery. This pill helps you abstain from substance use, improves your mental health, and helps rebalance your brain chemistry. Not only does this pill have no negative side effects, it actually has positive side effects, improving your health and well-being. On top of all that, it's completely free! As you've probably guessed, this "pill" is physical exercise -- read on to find out how it can help you if you're in recovery.Read More...
Nassau County in New York is expanding its medically assisted treatment programs with a new pilot program, Newsday reports.
While the article could not fully predict how many people would be helped by the program, it did go into some detail on how the program would work:
While the patients are in detox, Maryhaven employees will work with insurance companies, Medicaid and Medicare on paperwork and approvals, said Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas, who was part of discussions on developing the program.
"Those in crisis are seldom equipped to navigate the insurance complexities, the voluminous paperwork, the delays for [long-term residential] beds and the simple logistics toward treatment," she said. "We needed to close the gap between a person in crisis at the emergency room and the lifesaving treatment that they needed."
The article went on to report:
George Tsunis, chairman of NuHealth, the public benefit corporation that runs NUMC, said the medical center will devote 22 more beds to medically assisted treatment for addiction.
There currently are 20 such beds for medical treatment and detox, said Dr. Anthony Boutin, chief medical officer at NUMC.
NUMC employees also will make available the anti-opioid-addiction medicine Vivitrol to inmates from the Nassau County Correctional Center who want it, Tsunis said.
I Love Recovery has released a series of articles recently covering a variety of recovery-related topics, including stories from the perspective of an adult child of alcoholics, and anecdotes reminding us to breathe and avoid falling into self-destructive behavior.
In the article Days in The Life of an Adult Child – Movies, author Sherry Hawn explores films and recovery. The article says:
My recovery parallels to the film were plentiful, writ large. The unexpected crash of my family through mental illness and alcoholism. The hope for rescue that never comes; the serious consideration of suicide as a teenager. The desperate, dependent need for relationship of any kind, even with a volley ball. The inability to heal my roots, or find the right tools for living free from emotional intoxication. The unexpected appearance of an odd higher power that gave just enough "ice skates and tulle" to save me; what use were these in my pathetic condition?
In One Foot In Front Of The Other; One Breath At A Time, Kyczy Hawk discusses self-awareness and breathing:
So – when I fall into a fit of adrenaline-fueled action it lasts less long, I can spot it sooner, I can catch my breath and then breathe so my nervous system can repair. I can pause and talk and listen to others. I can then put one foot in front of the other to more pleasantly resolve the situation.
I Love Recovery also has a call for writers and bloggers at the moment—click here to learn more.
The Odessa American carried an article from the Associated Press covering an interview with the CEO of American Addiction Centers, Michael Cartwright, who discusses the use of medically assisted treatment. The following excerpts are from Cartwright:
We give very little formal education to physicians, nurses in school or in college getting their degrees, on the disease of addiction. They don't get very much information. So how would they know to use MAT (medication-assisted treatment) when someone shows up their doorstep? Until we start educating health care providers, it's going to be hard to get more access for folks at the primary care clinic or wherever they show up for health care services.
We ought to be competent to have those discussions to the point that they know how to treat it. And to be clear, MAT isn't the panacea. It's a good tool in your toolbox.
Everybody is very excited about buprenorphine. It's been around for 20 years and we've been using buprenorphine for 20 years in our clinics. I think what we're trying to do as a company is to say, "What are the best practices out there and then how do we adopt them?"
The Telegram from Worchester, Massachusetts recently presented an in-depth piece on the opioid crisis, discussing the role of medically assisted treatment in combatting the epidemic. The article, by Susannah Sudborough, tracks the history to the crisis back to 1990 with the introduction of OxyContin by Purdue Pharmaceuticals. Sudborough brings us from then to present day, writing:
In 2016, Massachusetts started a prescription monitoring program that requires doctors to report every time they prescribe certain controlled substances, including opioids. The state said this has caused a 30 percent decrease in opioid prescriptions. Additionally, the state passed a law that year that restricts opioid prescriptions for first-time users and minors to a seven-day supply.
The article goes on to cover future plans:
Baker's proposed budget recommends $266 million in funding across several state agencies for substance misuse treatment and services. It also includes a 15% excise tax on sales of prescription opioids in Massachusetts that would generate an estimated $14 million to fund programs and efforts to combat the opioid crisis.
Sudborough includes commentary from Senate chair Julian Cyr, who leads the mental health, substance abuse and recovery committee, who states:
"The governor's proposed tax is bold and encouraging. We need to throw the kitchen sink at it (the opioid crisis) in terms of resources."
Philadelphia Mayor James Kenney, former Vice President Joe Biden, and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush spoke on a panel regarding the opioid epidemic on Thursday at the University of Pennsylvania, as covered by the Philadelphia Inquirer. Kenney voiced support for a supervised injection site in Philadelphia despite opposition from residents of Kensington:
"It’s very, very difficult to explain to neighbors, this is a good thing, that we’re saving lives," Kenney said. A supervised injection site, he added, is a place "to interact with social workers and addiction services. You can’t do that when a person is living" in a homeless encampment.
Biden and Bush directed attention towards concerns around the drug providers and doctors who overprescribe painkillers, ultimately sparking the opioid crisis nationwide. The Daily Pennsylvanian shares a summary of Biden’s commentary:
Biden decried the over-prescription of opioids by American doctors and the "greed" of drug companies. The former VP noted that the death tally from the current opioid crisis was larger than the American death toll from the Vietnam War.
Rhode Island Senate President Dominick Ruggerio just proposed a bill that would require all drug manufacturers that sell or distribute opioids in the state of Rhode Island to pay an opioid tax, according to a news update from the Providence Journal. The goal of this tax is to generate funding to buy naloxone to help offset the opioid crisis and help treat overdoses. Ruggerio speaks on the matter:
“It is critical that we do all we can to educate Rhode Islanders about the crisis, prevent overdose incidents when possible, and support treatment and recovery programs. One bill I am submitting today puts the financial burden where it belongs, on the manufacturers profiting from the sale of opioids, so that we can better address this crisis.”
Read the full story here, or use our directory to find doctors who help treat opioid addiction in Rhode Island.
San Antonio Express-News just published a comprehensive story on medically assisted treatment (MAT) for opioid addiction, noting a lack of providers in the area and the stigmas around MAT.
The article begins with an anecdote about Jennifer Ramirez, who experienced substance use disorder beginning in her teenage years, and her path from taking methadone, then buprenorphine, throughout her recovery. At the public clinic where Ramirez received methadone, only five of the 620 patients receive buprenorphine. Ruben Gonzalez, the manager of treatment services at the clinic, explains:
That's because the state only funds five "slots" for that particular medication. That imbalance reflects the nature of the clinic’s patient population, Gonzalez said: Most are long-term, heavy users of heroin.
The article identifies the small number of doctors who are certified to prescribe buprenorphine:
In Texas, as elsewhere in the nation, not many health-care providers have gone through the government-required training to obtain a "waiver" to prescribe it, experts say. Last year in Texas, fewer than 2,500 providers had taken the eight-hour workshop that lets them prescribe buprenorphine. In Bexar County, the number was 92.
Read the full story here, or search our directory to find doctors who prescribe buprenorphine in the San Antonio area.
Approximately 100 protesters and activists gathered around the Department of Health and Human Services building in Washington D.C. on Friday, April 5, 2019 in an effort to push the FDA to more thoroughly address the impacts of opioid crisis. The protesters brought along a giant sculpture of a spoon used to cook heroin, created by artist-activist Domenic Esposito, as well as signs shaped like headstones to contribute to the message. Hyperallergic Media provides Esposito's commentary:
"The spoon sculpture — engraved with the FDA's logo — signifies the responsibility the FDA bears in first causing and now fixing this urgent national health crisis," Esposito said in a statement regarding Friday's protest. "We deliver customized spoon sculptures to show those responsible that the recovery community and the general public are watching and will not rest until everyone steps up and cooperates in ending this crisis."
This protest comes as Scott Gottlieb, FDA commissioner, steps down from his role, which will be filled by Ned Sharpless, director of the National Cancer Institute, according to an update from STAT News.
Find opioid addiction treatment in Washington, D.C. through our directory.
Shatterproof, a non-profit organization focused on addiction awareness and advocacy, has started a campaign called Hope Stems, with the goal of generating awareness around opioid addiction and the stigmas that often accompany it. The campaign uses a flower arrangement depicting how opioids alter the brain, with celosia forming the brain shape and black poppies representing opioids.
The Fix reports on the flower exhibit that Shatterproof recently displayed in New York City in front of Macy's, during which passerby were encouraged to remove a black poppy from the brain flower formation, which symbolized, "the restoration that happens when someone gets treatment and is able to overcome their opioid addiction." The Hope Stems campaign can be seen next in Atlanta at the Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit from April 22-25, 2019.
Pain specialists at the University of Arizona and Banner – University Medicine recently conducted research on chronic pain treatment that doesn’t involve opioid use, determining that pain clinics could be beneficial in reducing opioid usage, according to a press release from the University of Arizona. The primary objective of the study was to “evaluate the role of a pain clinic staffed by fellowship-trained pain physicians in reducing pain and opioid use in chronic nonmalignant pain patients,” as explained in the Pain Physician Journal.
UA News highlights the outcomes of the study:
Patients were asked to rate their pain on a scale of zero to 10, with results showing the average pain score decreased by almost 34 percent. The pain frequency and number of pain episodes improved. Also, the patients reported better ability to sleep, work and perform chores. Finally, the patients were able to reduce their total opioid use by about 55 percent.
Read more about the study here, or find doctors who can help with opioid addiction in Arizona.
The Pew Charitable Trust recommends more resources for Medically Assisted Treatment to the
Delaware government, according to a news update from The Beacon. The Pew Trust started with the Delaware program in July of 2018, conducting a comprehensive needs assessment including interviewing stakeholders.
The article from the Milford Beacon states:
“Delaware has made great strides in addressing the opioid crisis, a complicated public health problem that demands multifaceted solutions,” said Beth Connolly, director of The Pew Charitable Trusts’ substance use prevention and treatment initiative. “It’s a problem that also requires commitment and collaboration from state leaders to get more Delawareans the evidence-based treatment they need. We are pleased to help further this crucial work in partnership with the Behavioral Health Consortium, Lt. Gov. Hall-Long and the Delaware General Assembly.”
The Pew report states:
A conclusive body of research has demonstrated that MAT is the most effective way to treat this disorder. Based on the strength of the evidence and clear barriers to accessing MAT, Pew focuses its efforts on policy change that could expand access to all three U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved medications and behavioral health counseling. The exclusion of prevention, harm reduction, and recovery support interventions does not reflect their lack of importance. Rather, the focus on treatment access reflects the scope of the state’s invitation to Pew and the pathway that responds most directly to the pressing need to curb opioid overdose deaths. Stigma towards individuals with OUD is another important issue not directly addressed in this report. Many of the recommendations could help address stigma by improving the integration of OUD treatment with physical and mental health care; however, stigma is not the direct target of any single recommendation.
Find doctors who treat substance use disorder in Delaware through our directory.
The Oklahoma State University Center for Wellness and Recovery will be receiving the majority of the funds from the settlement with Purdue Pharma in the Oklahoma opioid lawsuit, according to the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). The center, which opened in October 2017, hopes to become "the premier addiction research center in the nation," a goal to which this newfound budget will surely contribute. The Oklahoman references Dr. Kayse Shrum, President of OSU-CHS and Dean of the OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine, who speaks on the benefits of the funding:
"These grants will give us more resources to help educate and treat those suffering from addiction, as well as prevent the next generation from becoming addicted to these drugs that can become deadly when misused."
NPR reports that beginning on May 1, 2019, China will institute regulations to treat all fentanyl-related drugs as controlled substances—an effort intended to cut the supply of a drug that significantly contributes to the opioid crisis in the United States. NPR's news update explains the issue:
"Authorities in China already regulate 25 variants of fentanyl, a synthetic opioid linked to thousands of drug overdose deaths in the U.S. But some manufacturers in China, seeking to evade controls, have introduced slight changes to the molecular structure of their drugs, giving them the legal loophole to manufacture and export before the government can assess the products for safety and medical use".
This decision comes after an earlier discussion between President Xi Jinping and President Trump that occurred in December 2018, after which President Trump tweeted In favour of China implementing the death penalty for fentanyl distributors and pushers.
Governor Ron DeSantis has announced that Florida will be re-establishing its office of drug control with the intent of reducing substance abuse in the state, according to an update from NBC 6 South Florida. DeSantis has appointed Attorney General Ashley Moody to lead the task force.
Moody recently spoke at a Florida Association of Counties event, during which she explained her objectives in addressing the opioid epidemic and human trafficking in Florida. Florida Politics offers highlights from her discussion:
“From the moment I started as a candidate, we were losing 14 people a day to the opioid epidemic in Florida alone. From the time that it took for me to go from saying, ‘I am a candidate,’ to now becoming the 38th Attorney General, we now lose 17 people a day. And the projections are that is going to keep increasing unless we, as a state, can start making progress and using data-based approaches to aggressively attack this epidemic.”
Explore addiction treatment options in Florida through the directory.
Judge Torresen of the United States District Court for the District of Maine has ruled in favor of Brenda Smith receiving buprenorphine treatment during her 40-day jail sentence, as reported by WGME CBS 13 News. Smith has been in recovery from opioid use disorder for nearly ten years, with medically assisted treatment aiding in the process. The court's decision was based on the maintenance of Smith's health and abidance with the Americans With Disabilities Act. Attorney James Monteleone offers commentary:
"Combating the stigma against medication-assisted treatment for opioid disorders is crucial to overcoming the opioid crisis in Maine and across the country. That means recognizing that medication-assisted treatment is essential medical care for many patients."
The New York Times just published an opinion piece on the opioid crisis and the inaccessibility of medically assisted treatment (MAT). The article references a recent consensus study report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, sharing a striking statistic:
More than 80 percent of the roughly two million people struggling with opioid addiction in the United States are not being treated with the medications most likely to nudge them into remission or prevent them from overdosing
The article continues on to recount the history of the approved medications for treating opioid dependence and explains the effectiveness of these prescription drugs in reducing the likelihood of death from addiction. The Editorial Board highlights the difficulty patients face in receiving buprenorphine treatment, including the lack of treatment availability, stigmas around MAT, and the rigorous process doctors must undergo to administer treatment.
Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, has agreed to a $270 million settlement in a lawsuit brought by the Oklahoma attorney general, according to CNN. The New York Times reports that this settlement is considerably higher than those of earlier lawsuits in different states, including a settlement between Purdue Pharma and Kentucky of $24 million in 2015.
Purdue Pharma was accused of deceptive marketing and aggressive promotion that downplayed the OxyContin’s addictive properties. The settlement comes two months before the scheduled trial date at the end of May, in which the trial was to be televised in Oklahoma, as NBC News explains in its coverage of the lawsuit. The New York Times gives context:
But the settlement also means that the public will not hear a full recounting of Purdue’s actions in promoting OxyContin to doctors and underplaying its addictive properties, including testimony by members of the Sackler family.
See doctors who help treat opioid dependence in Oklahoma City.
The NC Council of Churches recently held a summit in Raleigh, North Carolina focusing on the opioid crisis and the importance of Medicaid coverage for patient treatment, according to an article by North Carolina Health News. Advocates in the faith-based group urge for Medicaid expansion to include health insurance for substance abuse treatment as a means of helping address opioid addiction.
The article references Steve Mange, senior policy and strategy counsel at the North Carolina Department of Justice, who discusses how increased insurance coverage could help law enforcement:
If North Carolina closed the coverage gap, more people would get into addiction treatment and it would help relieve the pressure on law enforcement, jails and district attorneys across the state, Mange said.
Read the full article here.
The governor of Virginia approved a bill this month permitting staff members of Virginia schools to administer naloxone in opioid-related emergencies, according to a recent article from The Breeze. This preventative measure is rooted in the rise in deaths caused by opioid overdose in Virginia over the past year, and the concern of waiting too long for an ambulance to arrive in an emergency situation.
The superintendent of Goochland County Public Schools, Jeremy Raley, speaks on the matter:
"I do believe it's a positive change. One may never know when a situation arises when someone may be in crisis. We want to have all the tools to meet the many needs of our students. This would be an additional tool that we would have at our disposal should a student ever need it."
Read the full article here.
Find doctors who specialize in the treatment of opioid addiction in Virginia.
An increasing number of pharmaceutical companies are launching generic versions of Suboxone in the United States since the court ruling that opened the market to competition, according to Bloomberg’s recent update on the topic. In February, after over two years of legal disputes regarding the potential infringement on Indivior’s Suboxone patent, the U.S. Supreme Court authorized Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories to resume selling its generic version of Suboxone.
Bloomberg quotes Brendan Saloner, an assistant professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, who speaks on the significance of this occurrence:
“It’s potentially a really big deal. (Suboxone Film has) a really important role in the overall strategy of combating the overdose crisis.”
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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently issued a warning to Nutra Pharma Corp. for illegally marketing multiple products with fraudulent claims, as detailed in a news release published on the FDA website. These products were portrayed as being able to treat addiction, chronic pain, and a series of other conditions. FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D. expressed the FDA's concerns regarding the fraudulent marketing, stating, "We're especially focused on those who would exploit Americans harmed by the opioid crisis with the false promise of products that can treat pain or addiction, but that offer no such benefit."
The news release continues to explain the FDA's goal of increasing the availability of medication assisted treatment for individuals with opioid addictions:
"The FDA is taking steps to make safe and effective MAT available to those who suffer from OUD and to reduce the stigma that is sometimes associated with use of these therapies. Using products with unsubstantiated claims may prevent those addicted to opioids from seeking approved treatments that have been demonstrated to be safe and effective, delay their path to recovery and put them at greater risk of death."
Read the full news release here.
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Governor Janet Mills of Maine is making access to medically assisted treatment (MAT) a priority in fighting the opioid crisis in her state. According to Fosters.com, the proposed initiatives include removing limits on Medicaid-funded methadone, buprenorphine, and naloxone, as well as making MAT available in Maine's prisons.
Fosters.com quotes Kirsten Figeuroa, Mills' finance chief, who states:
"Drug overdoses took 282 lives in Maine in just the first 9 months of 2018 — one overdose per day. Evidence is clear that medication-assisted treatment is a critical tool in fighting opioid addiction".
Read the full article here.
WGME CBS 13 in Portland cites Gordon Smith, Director of Opioid Response, who clarifies that addiction is "medical" and not "criminal":
"People with substance use disorders are ill, they're not criminals. Almost all of them at some point in their journey have violated one or more laws, but primarily they're ill."
Read the rest of the story here.
Looking for doctors who administer buprenorphine in Maine? Click here.
Investigative journalist Katie Wedell of Dayton Daily News recently composed an article about her takeaways from covering the opioid crisis in Ohio, sharing just how much she learned about addiction and recovery throughout the process. Wedell summarizes what she learned in three points, the first relating to varying paths of recovery:
"No two people I interviewed took the same path to recovery. Some preferred abstinence programs and 12-step meetings. Some swore by Vivitrol shots that block cravings for 30 days. Some said being locked up saved them from themselves. Almost everyone tried and failed multiple times until they found the program that worked for them. There’s still much debate in the industry about what kind of treatment works best, but many in recovery say it’s the one that works for you."
The article continues to point out the desire of those in recovery to give back, and the wide-reaching effects of addiction throughout the community.
Coverage on the new media campaign revolving around buprenorphine availability in Philadelphia continues, bringing the opioid crisis in the city to the forefront of public attention. The Inquirer Editorial Board of Philly.com highlights the surplus of vacant spots in medically assisted treatment (MAT) programs and discusses the controversy around MAT:
"Because of ill-conceived notions that the only real recovery is sobriety, using medication to treat opioid addiction is stigmatized as nothing more than replacing one substance with another. People who use bupe or methadone are told they aren't "clean". But there is nothing "dirty" about good medicine. There is increasing understanding that addiction is a disease, and should be treated as one — and that just like a person with diabetes needs insulin, some people in opioid addiction need bupe or methadone."
CNN recently published a story about a mobile treatment program in Pennsylvania run by Positive Recovery Solutions, featuring the experiences of Stuart Masula and Amanda Cope, who run the program. Masula talks about his work at the clinic, stating, "I literally probably have the best job you could ever have. I get to go to work and see people who are trying to change their lives every single day for the better."
The mobile addiction clinic administers monthly injections of Vivitrol to patients in recovery from opioid addiction.
Read the full article here, or find doctors who administer buprenorphine in Pennsylvania.
I Love Recovery Café offers tips on returning home after treatment, listing ways to create a calming home environment conducive to recovery. Familiarity is encouraged, but change is suggested to help avoid setbacks. The author provides recommendations:
"Remove any emotional triggers that might set them off and consider changing the interior design scheme just a bit to promote feelings of well-being, calmness, and health."
The Marietta Times recently published an article on the evolving medically assisted treatment (MAT) options available to people in its community, in which the drug treatment court in Washington County can approve MAT upon the recommendation of a clinician. The court aims to institute treatment plans most suitable for each individual, following the standards of the Ohio Supreme Court in determining the best course of treatment.
The article quotes Coda Kyle, the Marietta clinical coordinator for Rigel, who explains Vivitrol treatment:
"It's a medical treatment, appropriate, for example, for someone with severe opioid use disorder", she said. The recommendation would come from a medical professional such as a nurse practitioner, she said.
Despite public stigmas around MAT, using medication in the addiction recovery process is becoming more common, especially as medical and scientific professionals continue to endorse this form of treatment. Kyle elaborates on her experience:
"Years ago there was an emphasis on abstinence, but as the epidemic got more attention, and more research was done, the evidence showed that MAT generally has better outcomes, and public perception of it is shifting into more positive perspective."
Read the full article here.
"I am living proof that bupe works", proclaims signs around the city of Philadelphia, sharing the message of a new media campaign aimed towards building awareness around the availability of medically assisted treatment. The PhillyVoice covers the news around this new campaign, quoting David Jones, Commissioner of the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services, who states that, "This campaign is largely to say to individuals, 'If you are ready to participate in treatment, we have a slot for you". The advertisements feature individuals who have used medically assisted treatment in the recovery process.
With the prevalence of opioid and heroin-related deaths in the Philadelphia area, this $200,000 ad campaign lets locals know that help is available.
When someone has a drug addiction, many changes occur within the body that interfere with its normal functioning. What many people do not know is that these changes affect the brain and other vital organs. Within the brain, drug addiction impacts the areas for pleasure, stress, and decision making. This causes the individual to only feel pleasure from the drug, become anxious and stressed without the drug, and have less impulse control. Drug addiction also affects the portion of the brain that controls heart rate, sleeping, and breathing, which are essential to sustaining life.Read More...
There can be many challenges associated with talking to a loved one about their addiction that could result in the conversation not occurring. However, addressing addiction to a loved one is important because they need a lot of empathy and support during this difficult time. Knowing how to prepare and approach your loved one is crucial to having a beneficial conversation about addiction. They need you during this time because they are likely to express their feelings more freely to someone they are comfortable with. Once you have this conversation with your loved one, you can get a better understanding of their addiction and how you can further help them during this difficult time.Read More...
Once the great achievement of sobriety is accomplished through addiction treatment, it is now time for you to take on the world in this new life journey. Things will need to change in your life, so you can be able to maintain sobriety after rehab. Explore these 10 Steps to Staying Sober to learn how you can increase your chances for long-term success in recovery.Read More...
Being employed full time or even part time is crucial for many Americans because it provides a steady income and necessary benefits. Unfortunately, certain issues can impact employment status such as misconduct and breaking company policies. That is why it is understandable for you to question whether going through Suboxone treatment is acceptable when working full time.Read More...
Buprenorphine-doctors.com wants to assist you in finding the Suboxone doctor that will help you regain control of your life. You can use our in-depth database to search for a Suboxone clinic in your area, but do you know what to do when you have found one that seems right for you? Don’t worry – we have compiled a list of 12 questions you will want your Suboxone clinic to answer, whether you find these answers on their website or by calling them for more information.Read More...
Suboxone, which was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2002, is a medication assisted treatment for addictions to both opioids and opiates. It consists of the two drugs Buprenorphine and Naloxone and needs to be administered under medical supervision. The benefit of Suboxone is that it lessens the brain’s need for an opiate and prevents withdrawal symptoms. However, as with any medication, there are side effects to Suboxone that you want to be aware of when seeking Suboxone treatment.Read More...
Suboxone treatment can help those suffering from opioid addiction find their path to recovery by relieving pain and alleviating withdrawal symptoms. However, Suboxone itself is a drug and has the potential to be addictive, which is why you should always seek Suboxone treatment under the care of a licensed professional – find a Suboxone doctor near you.Read More...
One of the major concerns people suffering from drug addiction have about substance abuse treatment is whether their treatment can remain confidential – and this often prevents them from seeking treatment at all. They fear losing their job, family, and friends if anyone were to find out about their addiction struggles. This is why it is so important for those seeking treatment to know their rights and the federal laws protecting their confidentiality. After all, privacy and protected health information is an important aspect of treatment, and any breach in this privacy can adversely affect you or a loved one’s recovery.Read More...
Learn more about Buprenorphine and its use in the treatment of opioid addiction.Read More...
Learn more about Generic Suboxone.Read More...
Find out what is classified as an opioid.
Learn what does it means to have an opioid dependence.
Learn more about the first prescription drug made available from a doctor's office for opioid dependence.
Learn more about the Subutex and its use in treating opioid dependence.
Learn more about Methadone and its use in the treatment of opioid dependence.
Read about the differences of Methadone and Suboxone.
Learn more about the Drug Addiction Treatment Act of 2000
Learn more about the common side effects of taking Suboxone.
Summary, description, and examples of opiates and their effect on the body.
Stats of emergency room visits involving Buprenorphine.
Helpful information about Buprenorphine.