Privacy Concerns Stoke Distaste For Drug Monitoring Programs In Midst Of Opioid Crisis
Because of one lawmaker who battled against a prescription drug monitoring program, Missouri is the only state without one. But the sentiment could be spreading as privacy threats to health data loom large. Meanwhile, the number of babies born addicted to opioids triples, Ohio lawmakers try to find ways to better educate students on the opioid crisis, and people look for ways to fight pain without pills.
Missouri PDMP: Quaint Outlier, Or Harbinger Of Privacy Backlash?
When officials try to explain why Missouri, alone among 50 states, has failed to create a monitoring program that tells doctors when patients are abusing narcotics, they point to a right-wing state senator who has repeatedly filibustered the program. The effort to block the program is championed by Rob Schaaf, a Republican family doctor who has intense worries about privacy — even going so far as to suggest the Pentagon is using health care databases to find out who has guns. (Tahir, 8/11)
US Babies Born Addicted To Opioids Has Tripled, CDC Says
The number of babies being born in the United States addicted to opioids has tripled in a 15-year stretch, according to a government report published Thursday. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in its most recent Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report that the findings, based on hospital data, are likely underestimates of the true problem and point to an urgent need for public health efforts to help pregnant women deal with addiction. The CDC found that the incidence of neonatal abstinence syndrome jumped to 6 per 1,000 hospital births in 2013, up from 1.5 per 1,000 in 1999. The data came from 28 states with publicly available data on opioid addiction. (Ross, 8/11)
The Columbus Dispatch:
State Seeks To Upgrade Drug Abuse Education For Students
Legislative leaders and Attorney General Mike DeWine today began pushing for more effective ways to educate Ohio students about drug abuse amid an ongoing epidemic. The 22-member Ohio Joint Study Committee on Drug Use Prevention Education will have 90 days to study the issue and recommend solutions to DeWine and state lawmakers. The focus will be on "comprehensive, age-appropriate drug use prevention education" for students in kindergarten through 12th grade. Calling the current wave of abuse "the worst drug epidemic that I've seen in my lifetime," DeWine said the state needs to enhance education and prevention or "we will continue to face this problem decade after decade." (Johnson, 8/11)
The Philadelphia Inquirer:
How To Fight Chronic Pain With More Than Opioids
In addition to medications and surgical procedures, veterans can receive physical and occupational therapy as well as a type of cognitive behavioral therapy developed specifically for pain patients. There's a pain school, a program that helps veterans understand and manage their pain. There's exercise, massage, weight-loss counseling, help with sleep, meditation, acupuncture, chiropractic care, and more. (Burling, 8/12)