“We were intrigued by the idea that the opioid crisis might be behind the massive increase in hepatitis C,” said Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse. News on the epidemic is from Massachusetts, Maryland, Missouri, New York and Ohio, as well.
Reuters: Injected Heroin Use Still Near All-Time Highs In U.S., May Explain Hepatitis-C Rise
Heroin use by injection has leveled off in recent years but had been rising steadily for more than a decade, a study finds. Rates of heroin use, injection and addiction all rose steadily between 2008 and 2016, then apparently plateaued or fell slightly during subsequent years, researchers say. (2/12)
Boston Globe: Opioid-Related Overdose Deaths Down In Mass.
Fatal overdoses are dropping in Massachusetts, the state Department of Public Health said Wednesday. In a statement, the DPH said the rate of opioid-related overdose deaths in Massachusetts fell by 5 percent in 2019 from the peak of the crisis in 2016. (Andersen, 2/12)
The Baltimore Sun: Auditors Question $750,000 Grant From State Opioid Office To Buy Former Caroline County Country Club
State auditors are questioning a $750,000 grant awarded by a state body created to fight opioid addiction to an Eastern Shore nonprofit for the purchase of a former country club and golf course. That grant, awarded in fiscal year 2019 but never funded, and several others were deemed “questionable” in a report released Wednesday by investigators at the Office of Legislative Audits, which launched the review after receiving a tip to the state’s fraud, waste and abuse hotline. (Opilo, 2/12)
Kaiser Health News: No Quick Fix: Missouri Finds Managing Pain Without Opioids Isn’t Fast Or Easy
Missouri began offering chiropractic care, acupuncture, physical therapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy for Medicaid patients in April, the latest state to try an alternative to opioids for those battling chronic pain. Yet only about 500 of the state’s roughly 330,000 adult Medicaid users accessed the program through December, at a cost of $190,000, according to Josh Moore, the Missouri Medicaid pharmacy director. (Weber, 2/13)
HuffPost: How Hospitals Are Helping Patients Manage Pain With Fewer Opioids
Dane Fischer, a 31-year-old personal trainer and former professional athlete, had torn his ACL during a pickup soccer game in a New York City park. To repair the painful injury, he turned to orthopedic surgeon Kirk Campbell at NYU Langone Health. As part of the reduced-opioid protocol, Fischer was released with a prescription for one oxycodone pill a day, for up to 10 days after surgery, with no refills: just enough to get him to his first follow-up appointment. Instead, the emphasis is on replacing opioids with nonaddictive, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Advil). (Gertz, 2/12)
Cincinnati Enquirer: Meth Wave Is Latest Drug In U.S. Epidemic Of Addiction, Opioids
The floor seemed filthy and she could not get rid of the grime. Amie Detzel frantically scrubbed that nursing home floor with cleaning supplies she’d found when no one was looking. On hands and knees, dragging her IV pole with her, the gravely sick woman incessantly scrubbed. Meth had found its way into the nursing home. She was suffering from addiction. So she used it. (DeMio, 2/13)
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