Americans Urged To Carry Naloxone. So What Is It, Where Can You Get It, And What Do You Do If It Fails?
Following the surgeon general's rare public health advisory, The New York Times offers a look at common questions surrounding the anti-overdose medication. In other news on the epidemic: Congress is wrapping up work on legislation aimed at fighting the crisis; a panel of advisers warns NIH about accepting money from drug manufacturers; a study finds that accidental drug overdoses in Rhode Island have declined; and more.
The New York Times:
Naloxone Stops Opioid Overdoses. How Do You Use It?
The United States surgeon general issued a rare national advisory on Thursday urging more Americans to carry naloxone, a drug used to revive people overdosing on opioids. The last time a surgeon general issued such an urgent warning to the country was in 2005, when Richard H. Carmona advised women not to drink alcohol when pregnant. (Dias and Correal, 4/6)
Week Ahead: Congress Nears Finish Line On Opioid Legislation
Lawmakers in both chambers of Congress this week will start wrapping up work on legislation aimed at curtailing the opioid epidemic. They hope to pass a major package, likely the last effort ahead of November's midterm elections, by the end of May. In its final hearing in a series of meetings on the topic, the House Energy and Commerce Committee will consider bills that would harness Medicaid and Medicare to help manage the epidemic. (Luthi, 4/7)
NIH Advisers Warn Of Industry Funds In Opioid Partnership
The National Institutes of Health should avoid accepting money from drug manufacturers as it pursues an industry partnership to address opioid abuse, a panel of advisers to the agency's director said Friday. The NIH advisers tasked with considering the ethics of the partnership think it is potentially fraught with conflict. For nearly a year, the NIH has been working out the details of the industry partnership, which is intended to result in the development of non-addictive pain medication and more effective treatments for opioid use disorder. (Siddons, 4/6)
The Associated Press:
Drug Overdose Deaths Decline After Years Of Steady Increases
State health officials say the number of accidental drug overdose deaths in Rhode Island declined in 2017 after years of steady increases. There were 323 deaths last year, down from 336 in 2016. That's about a 4 percent decrease.Health Department Director Nicole Alexander-Scott says it's a "small bit of momentum" that's energizing. (4/9)
Exercise And Yoga Can Ease Chronic Pain Better Than Drugs
It took several months and a team of half a dozen doctors, nurses and therapists to help Kim Brown taper off the opioid painkillers she'd been on for two years. Brown, 57, had been taking the pills since a back injury in 2010. It wasn't until she met Dr. Dennis McManus, a neurologist who specializes in managing pain without drugs, that she learned she had some control over her pain."That's when life changed," she said. (Herman, 4/6)
The Baltimore Sun:
Prescriptions Of Methadone For Pain Have Declined, Study Finds
Doctors have made progress in recent years to reduce the prescription of methadone to fight pain amid efforts to reduce use of the drug after a spate of overdose deaths, a study by The Pew Charitable Trusts found. Nationwide, the number of prescriptions written by doctors for methadone declined 26 percent between 2013 and 2016, according to the Pew study. (McDaniels, 4/6)
Federal Prosecutor Takes On New Case As DOJ Point Person For Opioid Crisis
As a federal prosecutor in New York and Virginia, Mary Daly worked narcotics cases involving gangs and international drug traffickers. Now, she's the Justice Department's point person on the biggest drug case of all—the opioid crisis that is killing an average of 115 Americans every day. (Lucas, 4/9)
Funding Complexities Remain For Mass. Drug Recovery High Schools
The schools, which help students working to overcome drug and alcohol addictions, are small, averaging only a few dozen students, and are therefore more expensive on a per-pupil basis. ... As budget season kicks into high gear on Beacon Hill, the negotiations have turned a spotlight on the complexities of budgeting — and operating — drug recovery schools. (Pohle, 4/9)