Uptick In Teen Overdose Deaths ‘A Red Flag’ Mirroring A Trend Seen In Adults
But experts say the increase might just be statistical noise and not indicative of a crisis quite yet. Meanwhile, a look at the company behind the software that links prescription drug monitoring databases.
The Washington Post:
Teen Overdose Deaths Inched Up In 2015 After Declining For Several Years Before Then.
Drug overdose deaths among U.S. teens edged upward in 2015 after declining for several years, according a new report. The report, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, looked at drug overdose deaths among Americans ages 15 to 19 over a 16-year period. The report showed that from 1999 to the mid-2000s, drug overdose deaths in this age group more than doubled, from 1.6 deaths per 100,000 people in 1999 to 4.2 deaths in 2007. (Rettner, 8/19)
The Company Quietly Making Opioid Addiction Searchable
Appriss, a 600-employee company in Louisville, is working to mitigate a U.S. opioid crisis blamed for more than 20,000 fatal overdoses a year—33,000 when heroin-related deaths are included—and $79 billion in annual response costs and lost productivity. President Trump said on Aug. 10 that opioid addiction represents a national emergency. While privacy advocates worry about misuse of data as sensitive as a person’s prescription history, states are pushing to link the information ever more quickly to simplify diagnoses for doctors, who hand out 259 million opioid prescriptions each year and often have little time to question patients. (Green, 8/21)
And in other news from the crisis —
The Washington Post:
Community Health Leaders Say D.C. Isn’t Doing Enough To Curb Opioid Overdoses
James Washington has used naloxone to reverse six overdoses in the past six months.Six times, he has watched the drug stop addicts from dying in parts of the District hit hardest by the city’s growing opioid epidemic. “It’s a dream, a best-kept secret,” said Washington, who supervises peer educators at Family and Medical Counseling Services in Southeast Washington. “And we don’t have enough.” (Chason, 8/20)
Could This Back-Pain Device End Need For Opioids?
A new pain pellet that scientists are developing in Columbus is about half the size of a grain of rice, but researchers say it delivers a big dose of relief that could one day help fight the opioid epidemic. The tiny rod holds a nonaddictive painkiller that doctors could insert in the lower back, much like an epidural, to give a patient a break from chronic or acute pain, said Dr. Ali Rezai, director of the Neurological Institute at Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center. (Viviano, 8/20)
Arizona Has High Buy-In From Police Of Using Naloxone, Records Show
Despite lingering consternation in some law-enforcement circles nationally about officers carrying naloxone to reverse opioid overdoses, Arizona has seen overwhelming buy-in from police groups, records show. Law-enforcement officers across the state administered naloxone 63 times in the past 60 days — about once a day on average, according to data The Arizona Republic reviewed after filing a records request with the state health department. (Pohl, 8/19)