States Start To Swoop In Where Doctors Fail To Police Selves On Opioid Prescriptions
As the opioid epidemic rages across the country, states have begun passing laws to rein in opioid prescriptions. Meanwhile, an analysis shows that the number of opioid prescriptions are in fact down in the past three years, but related deaths have gone up.
The Washington Post:
The Days Of Freely Prescribed Painkillers Are Ending. Here’s What’s Next.
For more than a decade, doctors, dentists and nurse practitioners liberally prescribed opioid painkillers even as evidence mounted that people were becoming addicted and overdosing on the powerful and addictive pain medications. Now, in the face of a prescription drug overdose epidemic that killed more than 14,000 people in 2014, a handful of states are insisting that health professionals do a little research before they write prescriptions for such highly addictive drugs as Percocet, Vicodin and OxyContin. (Vestal, 5/20)
Prescriptions For Opioids Decline Amid Epidemic
Nearly 30,000 deaths a year can be attributed to the abuse of heroin and prescription painkillers - opioids like oxycontin, vicodin, percocet, and methadone. But a new report indicates that opioid prescriptions in the last three years have declined. New York Times science correspondent Sabrina Tavernise joins Alison Stewart to discuss. (5/21)
In other news about the epidemic —
The Associated Press:
States Ban Kratom Supplement Over Abuse Worries
A little-known plant-based substance often sold as an herbal supplement to address chronic pain is raising alarm bells in states concerned that it could be as addictive as heroin. The controversy around kratom — a plant originating in Southeast Asia — has led Alabama to become the sixth U.S. state to ban it. Kratom is now a Schedule 1 drug in Alabama, the same classification as heroin and ecstasy. (Brown, 5/20)
The Columbus Dispatch:
Franklin County Jail Lacks Medications To Ease Withdrawal
Earlier this month, the county issued felony arrest warrants for 38 people who tried to pass drugs, including the anti-withdrawal drug Suboxone, to inmates in books, magazines and undergarments. (Ronan, 5/22)