ScienceBlog: Team Reveals Cost-Effective and Life-Saving Treatment For Nation’s Opioid Disorder Epidemic

Expanding access to a treatment that combines medication and counseling for opioid addiction may generate significant cost savings while also saving many lives, according to a study by researchers at Stanford and the Veterans Health Administration.

Politico: Telehealth Shouldn’t Mean ‘Videohealth’ for Opioid Treatment

Since April 2020 under rules adopted during the pandemic, clinicians like us have been able to provide buprenorphine treatment over the phone to people struggling with opioid use disorder. This policy change has had great results, improving our ability to provide treatment to people who otherwise would not be able to access care.

New England Journal of Medicine: Business Not as Usual — Covid-19 Vaccination in Persons with Substance Use Disorders

Persons with substance use disorders (SUD) in the United States have been disproportionately affected by the Covid-19 pandemic — not only are they, like patients with other chronic diseases such as diabetes, at increased risk for severe disease and death due to Covid, but data show that overdose deaths have increased during the pandemic…. I believe it’s imperative not only that persons with SUD — particularly those in living conditions that increase Covid risk — be prioritized to receive the vaccine, but also that rollout plans account for specific barriers to uptake in this population.

Columbia Daily Tribune: Prosecutors try to keep people out of pandemic-clogged courts through diversion programs

Prosecutors in St. Louis County, Greene County and Jackson County have initiated pre-charge programs, which they believe can help alleviate the bottleneck of low-level cases building up due to pandemic court restrictions.

EurekaAlert: After CDC Guidance, Little Change in Opioid Prescriptions to Those at Risk of Misuse

Research from Saint Louis University finds that among patients at risk for opioid misuse, the odds of receiving a schedule II opioid for non-cancer pain were similar to those not at risk, despite new prescribing guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Health Affairs: Confronting An Opioid Crisis And Promoting Health From All Angles

The University of Kentucky (UK) researchers were outsiders, so they brought food. They purchased a tent and a grill, set up in a gas station parking lot in the foothills of eastern Kentucky, and started cooking hot dogs.

On that 2017 day, they led with free food and a listening ear. They told anyone who stopped by that they were interested in learning more about how opioids had impacted them or their community in Appalachian Kentucky.

The Logan Banner: Childhood Trauma Especially Common among Rural Women with Substance Use Disorders

Rural women with substance use disorders may have experienced significantly more childhood trauma than their male counterparts, according to new research from the West Virginia University School of Medicine.

New York Daily News: When Abstinence Is Not the Answer: How a Drug Saved Me From Opioid Addiction

While the American Society of Addiction Medicine considers Medically Assisted Treatment [MAT] and counseling the standard of care for opioid addiction, MAT is offered in just a third of rehabs, owing to the predominance of abstinence-based models.

KIFI/KIDK News: Fighting the Opioid Epidemic in Idaho

Governor Little says he is committing to combating substance misuse in Idaho. In July of 2019, he tasked the Opioid and Substance Use Disorder Advisory Group with researching, evaluating, and providing recommendations….[On] October 15, the advisory group presented their recommendations.

The Pew Charitable Trusts: Opioid Overdose Crisis
Compounded by Polysubstance Use

In the first half of 2018, nearly 63% of opioid overdose deaths in the United States also involved cocaine, methamphetamine, or benzodiazepines, signaling the need to address polysubstance use as part of a comprehensive response to the opioid epidemic.

EMS1: Reinventing EMS Response to Substance Abuse, Mental Health Emergencies

Is it time to reinvent public safety response to mental illness? Many communities are moving toward change.

The Durango Herald News: RVs Deliver Addiction Treatment to Rural Communities in Colorado

Access to addiction treatment remains a challenge in Colorado, so a new state program has transformed six RVs into mobile clinics to reach isolated farming communities and remote mountain hamlets.

POZ: Substance Use Disorders Linked to Increased COVID-19 Risk

People with a substance use disorder (SUD)—meaning they are dependent on opioids, cocaine, cannabis, alcohol or tobacco—were more likely to be diagnosed with the new coronavirus and to have worse COVID-19 outcomes, according to a recent study.

Clinical Pain Advisor: Access to Opioid Use Disorder Treatment Dependent on Insurance Status

Pregnancy and insurance status were significant barriers to obtaining appointments for opioid use disorder treatment.

Philadelphia Inquirer: Even with a License to Prescribe a Popular Addiction Treatment Drug, Many Doctors Aren’t Giving It to Their Patients

Only about half of the physicians licensed to prescribe buprenorphine — an opioid-based medication to treat addiction — actually prescribe it to patients, a national study from the Pew Charitable Trust and the Deerfield Institute has found.

American Society of Addiction Medicine: COVID-19 Resources

As the leader in developing clinical guidelines and standards in addiction medicine, we take our responsibility very seriously. We realize that many providers and programs are trying to mitigate circumstances related to COVID-19. We have convened the ASAM Caring for Patients During the COVID-19 (CPDC) Task Force. The Task Force includes a national panel of experts that are recognized in the field of addiction medicine. They are rapidly producing comprehensive resources tailored to addiction medicine treatment within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

New York Governor’s Press Office: Governor Cuomo Signs Legislation Authorizing the Use of Life-Saving Opioid Overdose Reversal Medications by Public Entities

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today signed legislation (S8259/A7812A) authorizing the use of opioid antagonists by additional people and entities for opioid overdose prevention. This measure expands the entities authorized to possess, distribute and administer an opioid overdose reversal medication to restaurants, bars, malls, beauty parlors, theaters, hotels and retail establishments.

Association of American Medical Colleges: COVID-19 and the Opioid Crisis: When a Pandemic and an Epidemic Collide

More than 20 million people in the United States have a substance use disorder. Now, COVID-19 has left many locked down, laid off, and flooded with uncertainty. So far, experts see signs of relapses, rising overdoses, and other worries. What can be done?

Chicago Tribune: Opioid Overdoses Skyrocket in the Face of COVID-19 Pandemic; Stronger Drugs, Scarce Treatment Blamed

As opioid-related deaths have sharply increased so far this year, Brandi, 45, is among Chicago drug users navigating increasingly unsafe drugs on the market and a changed landscape due to the societal impacts of COVID-19.

Stat: Opioid Overdoses Have Skyrocketed Amid the Coronavirus, but States Are Nevertheless Slashing Addiction Treatment Program Budgets

Drug overdoses have skyrocketed and demand for addiction treatment medicine has soared as the coronavirus pandemic continues. But many cash-strapped states are nevertheless slashing budgets for opioid crisis programs.

St. Louis NPR: Opioid Overdoses Are Killing More Black Men In St. Louis, As Deaths Fall For Others

The number of black men in St. Louis and St. Louis County who died of opioid drug overdoses increased between 2018 and 2019, even as those deaths declined 7% in the region.

AMA Advocacy Resource Center: Reports of Increases in Opioid-related Overdose and Other Concerns During COVID Pandemic

The AMA is greatly concerned by an increasing number of reports from national, state and local media suggesting increases in opioid-related mortality—particularly from illicitly manufactured fentanyl and fentanyl analogs.

Rolling Stone: With COVID-19, Life Got Even More Dangerous for People Addicted to Opioids

Daily visits to harm-reduction centers can be a lifesaver — but how do you keep an at-risk population safe during a pandemic?

Nature Medicine: An Overdose Surge Will Compound the COVID-19 Pandemic If Urgent Action Is Not Taken

In the USA and around the world, the COVID-19 pandemic arrived as the population was fighting a devastating opioid overdose epidemic. Urgent and decisive action is needed to protect particularly vulnerable populations….

Annals of Internal Medicine: Collision of the COVID-19 and Addiction Epidemics

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is causing untold challenges to health care and wider social structures. Among the vulnerable populations are persons who smoke or vape, use opioids, or have a substance use disorder (SUD). Because of direct challenges to respiratory health, those with SUD may be especially susceptible to infection by the virus that causes COVID-19 and associated complications.

U.S. News and World Report: To Battle Opioid Crisis, Some Track Overdoses in Real Time

Drug overdose patients rushed to some emergency rooms in New York’s Hudson Valley are asked a series of questions: Do you have stable housing? Do you have food? Times and location of overdoses are noted, too…

JAMA: Trends in Intentional and Unintentional Opioid Overdose Deaths in the United States, 2000-2017

Increasing rates of opioid overdose and suicide deaths have fueled interest in defining the extent to which these 2 urgent public health problems are syndemic. Although it has been assumed that approximately one-quarter of opioid overdose deaths are intentional,1 prior research has not evaluated the national distribution of opioid-related deaths by manner. Reevaluation of officially classified poisoning deaths of undetermined intent suggests that 21% may be misclassified suicides.2 We evaluated trends in US drug overdose deaths involving opioids certified as unintentional, suicide, or undetermined intent.

Washington Post: How the Opioid Epidemic Evolved

Exclusive data – obtained by The Washington Post from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – shows how individual counties moved through the three waves of the opioid crisis: prescription pills, heroin and fentanyl. This graphic illustrates how the opioid responsible for the majority of overdose deaths shifted from 2011 to 2017 in more than 1,300 U.S. counties.

New York Times: The Class of 2000 ‘Could Have Been Anything’

The high school yearbook is a staple of teenage life. But for some, it reflects the devastating toll of the opioid crisis.