Opioid Addiction’s ‘Go-To’ Drug Remains Elusive In Pharmacies
Buprenorphine curbs opioid cravings and treats withdrawal symptoms but there are a number of reasons why pharmacists are hesitant to stock it. Other news related to the nation's epidemic comes from Missouri, Washington and other states.
It's The Go-To Drug To Treat Opioid Addiction. Why Won't More Pharmacies Stock It?
Louis Morano knows what he needs, and he knows where to get it. Morano, 29, has done seven stints in rehab for opioid addiction in the past 15 years. So, he has come to a mobile medical clinic parked on a corner of Philadelphia's Kensington neighborhood, in the geographical heart of the city's overdose crisis. People call the mobile clinic the "bupe bus." Buprenorphine is a drug, also known by its brand name, Suboxone, that curbs cravings and treats the symptoms of withdrawal from opioid addiction. Combined with cognitive behavioral therapy, it is one of the three FDA-approved medicines considered the gold standard for opioid-addiction treatment. (Feldman, 8/13)
St. Louis Public Radio:
Local Experts Talk Next Steps To Address Missouri’s Opioid Crisis After Discouraging 2018 Outcomes
A few weeks ago, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released some positive statistics related to the ongoing opioid crisis. While drug overdose deaths in the U.S. had reached record levels in 2017, the nation saw an overall 4.2% decline in 2018. In Missouri, though, the 2018 outcomes were far less hopeful – despite an influx of $65 million in federal funds aimed at addressing the crisis over the past few years. Provisional data for the state indicates a 16% increase in drug overdose deaths over the course of last year. (Hemphill, 8/12)
It’s Hard To Get Drug Treatment While Homeless. King County Wants To Change That.
Amid an opioid overdose crisis that’s seen hundreds of deaths in recent years, King County is planning to bring medication-assisted treatment for opioids to homeless encampments and shelters this fall. The county last month put out a $1 million request for proposals, with bidders to be picked in September. Another $500,000 is going to a new street medicine team on wheels to meet with people living in tents and shelters starting this month. (Brownstone, 8/12)
Missouri Inmates Are Overdosing On Drugs. How Are They Getting Them?
According to DOC records, since 2017, prison medical staff has administered dozens of doses of naloxone, or Narcan, a life-saving drug that quickly blocks the effects of opioids and reverses an overdose. Still, the data show at least five inmates have died in the past two years in Missouri after taking controlled substances like heroin, fentanyl and synthetic cannabinoids. (Farzan, 8/12)
Where Doctors Can Recommend Marijuana To Replace Opioids
New Mexico, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania allow people with an opioid addiction to qualify for a medical marijuana card. But many physicians and medical experts strongly oppose such policies, pointing out that science hasn’t yet shown that dispensary-bought marijuana can deliver the same pain-killing punch as a prescription drug, nor that it can help people kick an opioid addiction. (Quinton, 8/13)