FDA Adds Naloxone Info to Opioid Scripts

The Food and Drug Administration announced a new requirement for drugmakers to help inform consumers about naloxone. Naloxone is a drug that helps reverse opioid and other drug overdoses. The new rule means that every prescription drug containing opioids will now include information about naloxone. The naloxone notice is just one small thing that they’re hoping will help people stay alive during the pandemic. People who are abusing opioids may not be aware that it’s an option. Many people are isolated from other drug users and staying home during the pandemic. Overdoses Are Increasing During Pandemic Drug overdoses are multiplying quickly during the age of COVID-19, and numbers of deaths were higher than ever in 2019 before the pandemic even touched American lives. Public health officials have warned the public and doctors to expect significant increases in “deaths of despair.” Unemployment, drug addiction, lack of addiction treatment, or lack of healthcare can all cause more suicides or accidental deaths. Many cities and counties across America have begun to offer…

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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 isolation. They found that the people who overdosed had family problems, mental health issues, or a history of addiction. Isolation appeared to make things worse for the people who…

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Research Proves Opioid Agonists Prevent OD’s and Relapse

  Using Medication-Assisted Treatment once carried stigma in the recovery community. However, recent research has shown how much these aspects of treatment can save lives. Opioid agonists keep people from relapse and overdose death. Many people have a lack of understanding about why the drug is useful or how it helps people begin the path to recovery. This stigma can keep people from getting the help they need to stay clean and sober. This is a big gap in the recovery world, unfortunately. A lack of MAT options could mean the difference in recovery versus relapse. Researchers say that one group of MAT options, opioid antagonists, are especially effective when used by people new to recovery. What Are Opioid Agonists? Opioid agonists help people with heroin or prescription opioid use disorder abstain from those drugs. In recovery, doctors may prescribe these drugs to reduce the negative effects of withdrawal and cravings. Contrary to popular belief, these drugs can be used without producing the euphoria of heroin or other opioids…

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Does the Dental Industry Has an Opioid Script Problem?

Recent studies show that the dental industry in America may be an essential link in the addiction crisis, with nearly half of dental prescriptions exceeding prescription guidelines for acute pain management. The research, published today in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, covered a five-year study period of dental prescriptions. What Do the Numbers Say? Dentists are a vital component in addiction prevention that has often been overlooked in research studies. However, the dental industry is responsible for 10% of all opioid prescriptions in the United States. Yet, in three out of ten prescriptions, dentists prescribed a more powerful opioid than necessary following painful procedures. And the prescriptions were typically for longer than three days, which is the current opioid prescription guideline for acute surgery pain. For the study, the researchers analyzed data on nearly 550,000 dental visits by adult patients between 2011 and 2015. "Dental procedures like extractions can leave patients with a lot of pain that needs to be managed, and many dentists are doing a wonderful…

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Did Abuse-Deterrent Oxy Work? Purdue Won’t Say

In 2010, a reformulated version of Oxycontin was released. The pharma giant, Perdue Pharma, said the new formula would help deter abuse. The new version of the pill couldn't be crushed, snorted or smoked. This change was expected to make it more difficult for drug abusers to misuse it. It’s been nine years since the different drug formula went into effect, and neither the government nor Purdue Pharma will release information to the public on results. “We asked for that data probably 40 or 50 times in last four or five years and were denied every time,” Dr. Raeford Brown, whose term as an FDA adviser ended last March, recently told the Washington Post. The committee she served on is still waiting to get the numbers from either the FDA or Purdue. New Oxy Formula May Have Caused Other Public Health Crises A study earlier this year by the RAND Corporation think tank showed that heroin use, overdoses, and overdose deaths skyrocketed when Oxycontin usage started to dip. When…

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How Sackler Family, Purdue Pharma Targeted Veterans

In Massachusetts, veterans are three times more likely than others who take prescription painkillers to die from an overdose. A new court filing in an ongoing lawsuit between the state and the pharmaceutical company and its stakeholders says that this statistic may have been by design. Discovery in a Massachusetts lawsuit against the private company Purdue Pharma, the maker of Oxycontin, and their stakeholders, the infamous Sackler family, has uncovered documents that appear to show how they specifically developed a marketing campaign to target veterans for Oxycontin sales, hoping to increase their usage dramatically. The unredacted complaint filed against the pharmaceutical manufacturer, as well as a total of eight members of the Sackler family, unveils a targeted marketing campaign facilitated through a self-help book for service members. Similar to an infomercial, the “survival guide” targeted newly home veterans, telling them if they were in pain, they should request opioid prescriptions. The “guide” assured readers that the pills were non-addictive unless substance abuse ran in the family. The lawsuit says…

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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 were able to discover the types of deaths children suffer through opioids. Many children accidentally took the drugs, while others were poisoned or took them recreationally. Some of the…

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New Class Action Suit Lawsuit Launched on Behalf of Opioid Babies

In Philadelphia, a law firm is taking action to file a class-action lawsuit against some opioid manufacturers on behalf of babies born addicted to opioids or otherwise affected medically by their exposure to drugs in the womb. John Weston, an attorney from Sacks Weston Diamond, brought the suit Friday on behalf of an anonymous baby boy and his mother. Similar to other lawsuits filed by states, counties, and municipalities, he believes that this case is the first of its kind, at least in the state of Pennsylvania. Other states have chosen to file lawsuits sometimes, usually on behalf of babies diagnosed with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS). Many of these babies suffer severe withdrawal effects from the lack of opioids in their system, as well as birth defects, racing heartbeats, and other medical symptoms. Most lawsuits are merely seeking monetary help from the pharmaceutical manufacturers for the treatment and study of the long-term effects. Weston admits the lawsuits are similar to others filed against opioid manufacturers and distributors in recent…

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House Will Vote to Potentially Ban Kratom, Synthetics

The House of Representatives faces nearly two dozen votes on new drug-related bills in an effort to stem the addiction epidemic. Among those bills is H.R. 2851, The Stop Importation and Trafficking of Synthetic Analogues (SITSA) Act, a bill aimed at Kratom and other synthetic drug imports, even those that have not been created yet. The bill, if passed and made into law, will significantly expand the powers of the Department of Justice, under the guise of unilaterally prohibiting any synthetic drugs the DOJ decides is chemically similar to currently banned drugs. People who import such drugs would face similar penalties to people who import substances that are alreadu banned. While the measure may have been proposed with good intentions, critics say that if passed, a new era will be entered in the War on Drugs, and it may cause more harm than good. Indeed, it seems that many people with opioid use disorders and other addictions import drugs online. While this has given rise to overdoses from drugs…

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Is Kratom an Opioid? The FDA Says Yes

The Food and Drug Administration put out new warnings about kratom, saying that the drug is best classified as a substance with “opioid properties” and linking it to 44 deaths. Previously, the DEA took steps to outlaw the drug altogether but halted their actions as Kratom advocates led campaigns against the agency involving petitions and phone calls. Kratom has become popular among people with opioid use disorder trying to get clean from heroin and other potent, addictive drugs. People with chronic pain, depression, and a myriad of other diseases. Often, sellers of Kratom market the drug in capsule, powder, and tea form. People claim it helps ease the symptoms of a wealth of diseases. While these benefits sound great, there are many people in the addiction community that believe that replacing opioids with Kratom is a dangerous and unsustainable practice. For years, people in Southeast Asia similarly used Kratom – as a substitute for opioid drugs and to ward off symptoms of opiate withdrawal. However, once a person has…

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