More Research Shows It's Not The Prescriptions, It's The Prohibition

Jeffrey A. SingerThe latest issue ofPublic Health Reports (the official journal of the Office of the Surgeon General and U.S. Public Health Service) presents a study by researchers at Boston University and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health which provides further evidence that the narrative driving present opioid overdose policy —that it results primarily from doctors prescribing opioids to patients in pain—is wrong. It results from non-medical drug users accessing drugs in the black market that results from prohibition. In the early part of this century the “drugs of choice” for non-medical users were diverted pres cription pain pills. But users have long since moved on to cheaper, more available, and more dangerous drugs.The researchersexamined data on opioid-related overdose deaths in Massachusetts for the years 2013 through 2015, using records from the Massachusetts prescription drug monitoring program and postmortem toxicology reports to determine if the decedents had an active opioid prescription for the opioid(s) detected in the toxicology report on the date of death as well as the proportion of overdose deaths for which no prescribed opioid was detected in toxicology results.The authors found:Of 2916 decedents with complete toxicology reports, 1789 (61.4%) had heroin and 1322 (45.3%) had fentanyl detected in postmortem toxicology reports. Of the 491 (16.8%) decedents with ≥1 opioid prescription active on the date of death,prescrib...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - Category: American Health Authors: Source Type: blogs

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Conclusion: Safer prescribing policies may take multiple years to fully implement and need to be employed across the jurisdiction to minimize doctor-shopping and adverse effects on patients with chronic pain. Approaching pain management through the social-ecological model can address potential root causes of addiction and establish a framework for doctors to provide compassionate care, community leadership, and advocacy for these patients. PMID: 31790125 [PubMed - in process]
Source: Journal of the American Osteopathic Association - Category: Complementary Medicine Tags: J Am Osteopath Assoc Source Type: research
This is not new news, but it's strong confirmation of earlier observations that have been somewhat controversial, and also bad news that the trend is continuing.That trend is declining life expectancy in the U.S. I'm not linking to the full report in JAMA because it's incredibly wonky and behind a paywall anyway, but rather to the associated editorial, which tells you what you need to know.Before we get into the substance of this, let me explain the concept of life expectancy. I'll try to put this simply, but some people find it confusing. It's really a fictitious, though useful, construct. It isn't really a prediction of ...
Source: Stayin' Alive - Category: American Health Source Type: blogs
Jeffrey Miron andErin PartinMany people blame excessive painkiller prescriptions for the rise in opioid overdose deaths over the past two decades; and the government has responded with strict limits on how physicians prescribe opioids. Many pain patients lost access to medications with little warning and no alternative other than illicit opioids. However, arecent Policy Analysis finds that the opioid epidemic has resulted from too many restrictions on prescribing, not too few.A reader who read the PA reached out to us with his story:Your article is spot on. My adult son was prescribed several opioids at a pain clinic for d...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - Category: American Health Authors: Source Type: blogs
Cliffside Malibu does not condone the use of the term “addict” when referring to people suffering from the disorder of addiction. However, we do understand that others still may use the term in order to find information. Many people may find themselves asking the question, “am I an opioid addict?” if they feel as if their use has spiraled out of control. There are many ways to find out if you may have become addicted to opioids, as well as ways to get help and find treatment. How Opioid Addiction Begins Nearly 80% of heroin users started with prescription opioids, which puts prescription drugs and ...
Source: Cliffside Malibu - Category: Addiction Authors: Tags: Addiction Addiction to Pharmaceuticals addiction treatment opioid opioid crisis opioids pharmaceutical addiction pharmaceutical drug abuse treatment Source Type: blogs
The largest risks that come with using opioids are addiction and overdose. An overdose occurs when the body has received too much of a substance or a combination of substances. An opioid overdose can be fatal, which makes it important for all individuals to know the signs of one and what to do if it happens. What Happens During an Opioid Overdose? Opioid overdose can occur at any time, even if the opioids are being used as directed and as prescribed. Doctors can accidentally over-prescribe medications or the body can have a reaction that wasn’t expected. Opioids are a depressant, meaning they slow down the central n...
Source: Cliffside Malibu - Category: Addiction Authors: Tags: Addiction Addiction to Pharmaceuticals Heroin Painkiller Substance Abuse drug overdose heroin addiction heroin users opiates opioid opioids prescription drug abuse prescription drug addiction prescription medication Source Type: blogs
On average, 130 Americans die from an opioid overdose every day. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) considers opioid overdose an epidemic in the United States, estimating it responsible for nearly 68 percent of 70,000 drug-related deaths in 2017. Understanding the effects of opioids can prevent opioid overdose, and knowing the opioid overdose signs can save lives. What Are Opioids? Opioids are a class of drugs naturally found in the opium poppy plant. Opioid drugs reduce pain by binding to opioid receptors in your brain, spinal cord and other areas of the body, creating morphine-like effects. The CDC ide...
Source: Cliffside Malibu - Category: Addiction Authors: Tags: Addiction Heroin Painkiller Substance Abuse drug overdose opiate opiate abuse opiate addiction opiates opioid opioids Source Type: blogs
Jeffrey A. SingerA new study reported in the November 1, 2019Annals of Emergency Medicine pours more  cold water on the false but persistent narrative that the opioid overdose crisis was caused by doctors prescribing opioids to patients in pain.This prospective cohort study by researchers in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine followed 484 “opioid naïve” patients prescribed opioids for acute pain upon release from the emergency department during a six month period. The statewide prescription drug monitoring program was employed in addition to regular f...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - Category: American Health Authors: Source Type: blogs
OBJECTIVES: Dramatic increases in opioid and drug overdose mortality have occurred in the United States (US) over the past two decades. To address this national public health crisis and identify gaps in the literature, we analyzed recent empirical trends i...
Source: SafetyLit - Category: International Medicine & Public Health Tags: Alcohol and Other Drugs Source Type: news
The opioid epidemic is a significant public health concern linked to chronic pain. Despite efforts to change opioid prescribing practices for chronic pain, opioid-involved overdoses remain at an all-time high. Research focused on identifying individual dif...
Source: SafetyLit - Category: International Medicine & Public Health Tags: Alcohol and Other Drugs Source Type: news
CONCLUSION: These findings have significant opioid policy and practice implications related to the need for cancer-specific prescribing guidelines, how to optimally allocate health delivery services, and the urgent need to improve data interoperability and access related to POMs. PMID: 31682546 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
Source: JOP - Category: Gastroenterology Authors: Tags: J Oncol Pract Source Type: research
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