The Opioid Epidemic Impacts the Film and TV Industry

The opioid epidemic’s human toll has now become well-known, and in 2021 it’s been more prominently shown on television than ever before.

OxyContin was a central theme in Hulu’s Dopesick Hulu’s Dopesick, as well as several other episodes, such as HBO’s Mare of Easttown, AMC’s Kevin Can F*** Himself, and Showtime’s Dexter: New Blood and American Rust, which dealt with opiate addiction.

With their widespread use, opiates appeared in everything from a suspenseful murder investigation to a darkly humorous parody of old-school comedies.

How the Opioid Crisis Has Been Portrayed

Kaitlyn Dever, who plays Betsy Mallum in the show Dopesick, said she was aware of the situation but didn’t know much about the circumstances. After suffering an accident on the job, her coal miner character develops an addiction to OxyContin. She added that she was …

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Washington DC Sees Overdoses From New, Potent Opioids

Opioids that are stronger than the deadly drug fentanyl are the cause of a spate of overdoses in Washington DC. The drugs, called protonitazene and isotonitazene, were found to be several times more potent than fentanyl. Fentanyl has been responsible for a series of overdose deaths in the past two years. Fentanyl is said to be over one hundred times as strong as morphine. For inexperienced users, exposure or use results in deadly overdoses.

These new drugs, called nitazenes, are passed off as other opioids, are even more potent, and likely cause an overdose.

Who Found These Nitazenes?

The District of Columbia has a lab that frequently monitors the contents of drugs anonymously.

“The DFS Public Health Lab discovered two nitazenes — synthetic opioids — in used syringes submitted to the lab as part of the District’s Needle …

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AMA Says Opioid Crisis Worsened By COVID-19

The American Medical Association put out an article this week about the opioid epidemic. Just like other public health crises, opioid addiction seems to be on the backburner. Yet people who are addicted to opioids are more vulnerable to COVID-19.

In many places, both the COVID-19 crisis and the opioid epidemic are currently both causing casualties. In the state of Illinois, DuPage County has suffered 315 deaths so far this year from the novel coronavirus. But the agency also reports that there have been 303 overdoses reported in the Emergency Room this year.

Last year, 96 people overdosed on opioids. But the numbers are growing for 2020. For three weeks between April and May, the county experienced 22 fatal overdoses.

Fewer Resources For Addicted During COVID-19

Many of the people who overdosed in Dupage County were alone and practicing social …

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In Delaware, 3000 People Run 5K to Raise Awareness of Addiction

More than 3,000 people rallied, ran and walked in Old New Castle, Delaware last Saturday morning to raise awareness for what organizers say is the public health crisis of this generation. Family members, friends, and people in recovery ran the annual atTAcK Addiction “Erase the Stigma 5K” is an event that attracts people personally affected by addiction.

The annual race was started by parents who lost (or almost lost) their children to opioid overdose. They bonded and created a nonprofit to combat opioid abuse and addiction in Delaware. Their grassroots nonprofit helps to educate people about addiction in the community. They have a special high school just for students in recovery from addiction and they also provide addiction-related services such as support groups.

AtTAcK Addiction provides services directly to people who are looking for safe sober housing. Their 5K has …

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How/Why Are Children Overdosing on Opioids?

Children are overdosing on opioids, but it’s not something that’s being mentioned often. The media often mentions the opioid epidemic regarding addiction that lands people on the streets. The current addiction epidemic is taking place in communities that house lower to middle-class residents. Few news reports tell us about the people who love the addicted that live under the roof each home. Often there are spouses, babies, children, and pets in families affected by opioid addiction.

In 3 and four bedroom homes in counties across America, children are becoming victims of the opioid epidemic in depressing ways. Almost 900 children have died from opiate overdoses since 1999, according to a new study conducted by Julie Gaither, an instructor at the Yale School of Medicine.

Causes of Overdoses

Using numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and other data sources, they …

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Fentanyl is Officially America’s Deadliest Drug

According to a new CDC report, deadly fentanyl overdoses are now costing more lives than any other illicit drug. Fentanyl is an opioid similar to morphine, but 50 to 100 times more potent. Doctors use the drug in major surgeries and cancer treatment, but now that it’s become a street drug, drug dealers add it to other drugs like heroin or cocaine.

Fentanyl was the deadliest drug in 2016 according to the CDC, but heroin and oxycodone were the most dangerous in previous years. About 29% of drug overdose deaths involved fentanyl. However, as the drug shows up with other substances, fentanyl has often become a culprit without the user themselves knowing they ingested it. Overdoses of heroin and cocaine have also gone up, which may also be thanks to fentanyl.

Drug use trends aren’t getting better, either. Heroin …

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Chinese Surgeons Treat Opiate Addiction by Removing Brain’s Pleasure Center

Doctors in China are experimenting with an extreme treatment for addiction. The experimental procedure consists of destroying portions of the brain’s pleasure center in an attempt to stop cravings for opiate drugs like heroin. Possible side effects including permanently disabling an addict’s ability to experience the entire range of human emotions, including the capacity to feel joy.

Attempts to Ban Controversial Procedure

The controversial procedure was banned by the Chinese Ministry of Health in 2004, due in part to pressure from Western media related to ethical concerns. There are also suspicions that researchers have not been truthful about results of the procedure and have exaggerated the benefits in order to be published in leading medical journals. The Ministry of Health’s decision was also reported to be based on the lack of long term data about effects of the procedure.…

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Early Marijuana Use Linked to Prescription Drug Abuse

For decades, drug authorities have described marijuana as a gateway drug that can lead to abuse of more serious drugs. Although the theory has often been ridiculed, a new study conducted by researchers at Yale School of Medicine is lending credence to marijuana’s role in prescription drug abuse.

The study, which has been published online in the Journal of Adolescent Health, found that teenagers who drink alcohol or smoke cigarettes or marijuana are two to three times more likely to abuse prescription drugs as young adults, with the most-abused drugs being opioid painkillers like OxyContin, Vicodin and Percocet.

According to Dr. Lynn Fiellin, Yale associate professor and lead author of the study, previous studies have focused on the link between marijuana and illicit drugs like cocaine and heroin. This is one of the first studies to examine the connection between …

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Opana Overtaking OxyContin as Most Abused Painkiller

Fort Wayne, Indiana, a medium-sized city of 200,000, has experienced more than a dozen pharmacy robberies since the beginning of 2012. In almost every case, the robbers were after a powerful prescription painkiller named Opana. Less well-known than OxyContin, Opana is the brand name for oxymorphone. Like OxyContin, Opana is an opiate medication that carries a high risk of abuse, dependency and overdose. Unlike OxyContin, Opana is still available in an extended-release formula that appeals to abusers who are seeking a more intense high. According to drug enforcement experts, the rising popularity of Opana can be attributed to a change made to OxyContin that makes pills harder to crush for snorting or dissolve for injecting. Individuals who are addicted to prescription drugs have a tendency to adapt according the drug availability and many are now turning to Opana to feed…
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Doctors Call for an End to Long-Term Prescriptions for Opioid Painkillers

In response to the growing problem of prescription painkiller abuse in the U.S., three California doctors are calling on their colleagues to rethink the use of narcotic prescription drugs as medication for patients who experience chronic pain.  In the U.S., opioid painkillers including OxyContin, Percocet and Vicodin are now prescribed more than any other drugs.  According to the doctors, up to 20% of patient visits to physicians result in a prescription for one of these opioid drugs.

Dr. Deborah Grady, Dr. Seth Berkowitz and Dr. Mitchell Katz have published their plea as an editorial in the Archives of Internal Medicine.  The doctors state that 20-40% of adults report non-cancer chronic pain and that opioids have become the most common form of treatment even though few studies are available that examine the use of these drugs for the long-term treatment of …

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