Americans Are Filling Fewer Prescriptions for Opioids Amid Rising Fear of Addiction

(TRENTON, N.J.) — New data show that the number of prescriptions for opioid painkillers filled in the U.S. fell dramatically last year. They showed their biggest drop in 25 years. The decline comes amid increasing legal restrictions and public awareness of the dangers of addiction. A health data firm released a report Thursday showing a 9 percent average drop nationwide in the number of prescriptions for opioids filled by retail and mail-order pharmacies. All 50 states and the District of Columbia had declines of more than 5 percent. The U.S. is estimated to consume roughly 30 percent of all opioids used worldwide. The number of prescriptions for opioid painkillers filled in the U.S. fell dramatically last year, showing their biggest drop in 25 years and continuing a decline amid increasing legal restrictions and public awareness of the dangers of addiction, new data show. Health data firm IQVIA’s Institute for Human Data Science released a report Thursday showing an 8.9 percent average drop nationwide in the number of prescriptions for opioids filled by retail and mail-order pharmacies. All 50 states and the District of Columbia had declines of more than 5 percent. Declines topped 10 percent in 18 states, including all of New England and other states hit hard by the opioid overdose epidemic, such as West Virginia and Pennsylvania. “We’re at a really critical moment in the country when everybody’s paying attention to this issue,” said Mich...
Source: TIME: Health - Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Tags: Uncategorized healthytime medicine onetime Source Type: news

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The widespread U.S. opioid &overdose crisis is an ever-increasing tragic concern for everyone: writhing victims, family members being fain to see their relatives suffer or die, doctors prescribing opioid pain-killers what they thought before as safe, and regulators imposed to handle a tough situation. Addiction. It’s painful to even read about the skyrocketing numbers of people suffering, thus we decided to map how digital health could help tackle the opioid crisis. Why is it so difficult to deal with the opioid crisis? Once you become addicted, it sticks with you for a long time, if not for life, just as a ...
Source: The Medical Futurist - Category: Information Technology Authors: Tags: Bioethics Mobile Health Virtual Reality in Medicine AI artificial intelligence data data analytics drugs future gc3 Innovation opioid opioid crisis pharma technology wearables Source Type: blogs
In 2015, the opioid crisis was escalating to emergency-level proportions, claiming as many lives as car accidents. As the daughter of a longtime drug addict, the current burgeoning opioid epidemic managed to be both familiar and strange to me at the same time. My mother developed her addictions during the height of drug epidemics that occurred in New York City in the mid-1980s. The timeframe also marked the infancy of the AIDS crisis and the height of Reagan-era “Just Say No” programs. Back then, addiction was treated and viewed more as a crime than a disease, supposedly committed by scoundrels and misfits. The...
Source: Harvard Health Blog - Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Tags: Addiction Behavioral Health Source Type: blogs
This past week, Governor John Kasich of Ohio issued an executive order limiting the amount of opioids doctors and dentists can prescribe to no more than a 7 day supply. Failure to comply could result in disciplinary action, including loss of license. Exceptions exist only for patients with cancer or those enrolled in hospice programs. For all the rest, it represents a hard full stop. No longer will the chronic pain sufferer, the woman status post lumbar back fusion x 3, be able to get a prescription for a month's supply of oxycodone with 3 refills.On the surface this appears to be a reasonable initiativ...
Source: Buckeye Surgeon - Category: Surgery Authors: Source Type: blogs
Written By Myra ChristopherMy mom was a steel magnolia (i.e., southern and perfectly charming), but she had a steel rod up her back. After her first surgery for stomach cancer at age 53, she refused pain medication because she said that she “could take it.” She was young and strong and committed to “beating cancer.” After nearly two years of chemotherapy, radiation and two more surgeries, the cancer won. Eventually, I watched her beg nurses to give her “a shot” minutes before another was scheduled and be told they were sorry but she would have to wait. I could tell by the expressions on ...
Source: blog.bioethics.net - Category: Medical Ethics Authors: Tags: Health Care chronic pain Opioid addiction Opioid Epidemic Opioid prescriptions syndicated Source Type: blogs
Bribery. Conspiracy. Racketeering. Those are just three of the accusations that federal prosecutors leveled against two Alabama physicians in April as part of a 22-count criminal indictment ― alleging that Drs. John Couch and Xiulu Ruan ran an opioid pill mill in exchange for hundreds of thousands of dollars in kickbacks from a pharmaceutical company. Couch and Ruan were arrested in 2015 after prescribing Medicare patients a combined $4.9 million in Subsys ― a potent form of fentanyl, taken via mouth spray and designed to treat severe cancer pain ― between 2013 and 2014. Some of those prescription...
Source: Healthy Living - The Huffington Post - Category: Consumer Health News Source Type: news
After months of sending mixed messages on the role of emergency medicine in stemming the tide of opioid abuse, the CDC has published guidelines that could prove useful in the emergency department. Opioid abuse is no longer merely a topic for medical discussion. It has become a public health concern of the highest magnitude, even making its way into the speeches of this year’s presidential candidates. The numbers speak for themselves, justifying the concern. Over 10 million Americans reported nonmedical use of prescription opioids in 2014. Visits to the emergency department (ED) for misuse or abuse of prescription o...
Source: EPMonthly.com - Category: Emergency Medicine Authors: Tags: Uncategorized Source Type: news
When I was in medical school, doctors only wrote prescriptions for opioid painkillers for terminal cancer patients, surgical patients and critical emergencies. That's because they knew these drugs were lethal. Opioids come from the same poppy plant used to make opium and heroin. And just like those addictive street drugs, the risk of getting hooked on them is extremely high. It's incredible how things have changed since then… What are opioids prescribed for? Today, you're likely to get a prescription for opioids for just about any kind of pain. That includes chronic pain, fibromyalgia, depression, heada...
Source: Al Sears, MD Natural Remedies - Category: Complementary Medicine Authors: Tags: Health Natural Cures Source Type: news
Back pain is one of the most common ailments chronic pain patients face. For some, a neurosurgical approach can offer much relief and may be an alternative to long-term opioid therapy. Here ’s what one neurosurgeon and member of the AMA Task Force to Reduce Prescription Opioid Abuse had to say about treating patients with chronic pain and the Task Force’s efforts to end the opioid overdose epidemic.Treating chronic back pain in neurosurgery Jennifer Sweet, MD, is a neurosurgeon at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland and the physician representative for the American Association of Neurological...
Source: AMA Wire - Category: Journals (General) Authors: Source Type: news
I am a woman with a family history of addiction who is also in chronic pain. What if someday I need opioids to manage that pain? First, two discs in my lower spine degenerated. Then, they herniated, both bulging out and impinging nerves, inciting an excruciating, sciatica-like pain that affected me around the clock. More than a year since my discs were damaged, pain has become my daily reality. I wake up stiff and sore as though I’ve just been hit by a car (having been hit by a car as a kid, I actually know what that feels like). The only thing I struggle with as much as the pain itself is finding the best way to tre...
Source: World of Psychology - Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: Tags: Addiction Health-related Personal Publishers The Fix Chronic Pain Drug Addiction drug counseling Epidemic Family History Laura Kiesel Medication Methadone opiods opioid addiction overdoses Pain Relief prescription drug ab Source Type: blogs
A panel of physician experts offered three actions every physician can take to appropriately treat patients with acute or chronic pain. Presenting at the 2016 AMA Annual Meeting, they also discussed tools that can help keep patients safe from overdose and improve their quality of life. The panel was comprised of physician representatives from the AMA Task Force to Reduce Prescription Opioid Abuse and one of the nation’s leading health policy experts. In light of the opioid epidemic, the task force has put forth recommendations for physicians. “These recommendations come from our colleagues,” Patrice A...
Source: AMA Wire - Category: Journals (General) Authors: Source Type: news
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