Naloxone Is Saving Lives, But Not Changing Them, Experts Say
Health providers want to try to find a long-term solution to those who have been caught in the opioid epidemic. Media outlets also report on the crisis in Maryland, Arizona, Kansas and Georgia.
The CT Mirror:
After The Save: A Drug Can Reverse An Overdose. Then What?
Dr. William Horgan has seen his share of patients go through life-changing experiences – and the changes that come from them. “A chronic smoker who has a heart attack and then recovers, the likelihood of them picking a cigarette back up is so infinitesimally small,” said Horgan, the associate chief of emergency services at Backus Hospital in Norwich. But heroin is different, Horgan says: Its grip is so strong, it seems to defy that logic. (Levin Becker, 1/25)
The Associated Press:
Hogan Announces New Measures To Address Opioid Addiction
Gov. Larry Hogan and Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford announced Tuesday they are rolling out new legislation that would counter Maryland’s growing opioid addiction crisis. The Prescriber Limits Act would prevent doctors from prescribing more than seven days’ worth of opioid painkillers during a patient’s first visit or consultation. The law exempts patients going through cancer treatment and those diagnosed with a terminal illness. (Taylor, 1/24)
Drugs In Your Water? Arizona Experts Want Better Tracking Methods
The Arizona health community distributed 305 million pain reliever pills last year – enough to provide 24-hour medication for every adult in the state for two straight weeks, according to the Arizona Criminal Justice Commission. As those pills are taken or tossed, some of the chemicals found in them can end up in the water supply. Chemical contaminants, ranging from prescription drugs to hygiene products, can enter the environment through landfills, flushed waste and shower drains. (Maki, 1/24)
Kansas City Star:
Jackson, St. Louis Counties Team Up To Track Prescription Drug Abuse
Jackson County announced Tuesday that it will join St. Louis County in a prescription drug monitoring program as a way to fight abuse of painkillers. Missouri is the only state in the nation without a system to track the sales of prescription drugs. Despite repeated attempts over the past decade and wide support from health advocates, law enforcement and others, the General Assembly has been unable to pass legislation that would set up a statewide program. A small number of opponents have blocked those bills, citing privacy concerns. (Hendricks, 1/24)
Georgia Health News:
Injectable Drugs Can Kill, But Clean Syringes Can Save Lives
The RV belongs to the Atlanta Harm Reduction Coalition, which administers Georgia’s only “above-ground” syringe and needle exchange program. Bennett, who co-founded the organization, is careful not to call the program “legal,” because, she admits, “there’s a question of legality.” But it operates out in the open. Under Georgia law, it is not permitted to distribute syringes or needles without a “legitimate medical purpose,” and Bennett says AHRC has such a purpose. The group is trying to stop the spread of HIV, hepatitis C, and other blood-borne infections, she says, “and just promote general health and wellness.” (Landman, 1/24)