Drug Overdose Fatality Rate Soars 260% Among Women From 1999-2017, CDC Reports
"The stereotype is a man who's addicted to drugs who's ODing on the street, and we know that that stereotype is clearly not complete. It's inaccurate," said Dr. Georges Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association. Other drug epidemic news looks at equipping police with naloxone; tracking doctors who over-prescribe opioids; puppy programs; childhood trauma and research on safe-injection facilities.
Drug Overdose Deaths Among Women Have Skyrocketed, CDC Study Says
As America continues to combat its opioid epidemic, the rate of deaths from drug overdoses among women has soared in recent years, according to new data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. From 1999 to 2017, the drug overdose death rate among women 30 to 64 years old climbed more than 260%, according to the report published Thursday. (Howard, 1/10)
The Washington Post:
D.C. Police Don’t Carry The Overdose Antidote Naloxone. Should They?
As government officials across the country struggle to slow the death toll of America’s opioid epidemic, thousands of police departments from coast to coast have equipped their officers with naloxone, a lifesaving overdose antidote. But police officials in the nation’s capital — which in recent years has experienced one of the country’s sharpest increases in fatal overdoses — refuse to do so, prompting D.C. lawmakers to advance legislation that would require officers to carry the medication. (Jamison, 1/10)
Oregon Doctors Face Little Regulation For Opioid Over-Prescription
State officials know of 160 doctors with suspicious prescribing patterns, but Oregon law shields those doctors from further scrutiny. Legislators put few teeth into a 2018 law that requires doctors to register for a program that monitors drug prescriptions. Doctors, for instance, face no sanction if they don’t join, according to state officials. Doctors identified as perhaps improperly prescribing opioids only get a letter from the state suggesting more education. Doctors can and do ignore even those mild letters with no fear of a sanction. (Withycombe, 1/10)
The Associated Press:
Inmates Battling Addiction Get An Unlikely Ally: A Puppy
Caitlin Hyland’s New Hampshire jail cell looks like those of many of her fellow inmates, featuring family photos, a few books and a cot. But one thing sets it apart: the cage on the floor for a 4-week-old puppy. Hyland, a 28-year-old from Concord, New Hampshire, who is serving time for a drug conviction, is one of four inmates at the Merrimack County jail who are training puppies for the next month. In a partnership between a group called Hero Pups and the jail, two male and two female inmates, who are all in the jail’s drug treatment program, will raise the puppies for the next two months. They will eventually be handed over to military veterans and first responders who are struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder and other challenges. (Casey, 1/11)
Addiction Rooted In Childhood Trauma, Says Prominent Specialist
Dr. Gabor Maté, a well-known addiction specialist and author, spent 12 years working in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, a neighborhood with a large concentration of hardcore drug users. The agency where he worked operates residential hotels for people with addictions, a detox center and a pioneering injection facility, where drug users are permitted to shoot up and can get clean needles, medical care and counseling. (Waters, 1/10)
Boston, Cambridge Mayors Will Tour Supervised Injection Facilities In Canada
The mayors of Boston and Cambridge head to Canada next week to tour facilities where doctors and nurses are on hand while patients inject illegal drugs. ...There are no such supervised injection sites in the United States, although a handful of cities battling the drug overdose epidemic are in the planning stages. (Bebinger, 1/10)