Latest Kaiser Health News Stories
Relaxed regulations in response to the pandemic means more access to addiction treatment medications. But recovery programs are accepting fewer people, and the danger of overdose remains high.
Dr. Nora Volkow, who heads the National Institute on Drug Abuse, details how emerging science points to added challenges for these patient populations and the public health system.
Under the national emergency, the government has waived a law that required patients to have an in-person visit with a physician before they could be prescribed drugs that help quell withdrawal symptoms, such as Suboxone. Now they can get those prescriptions via a phone call or videoconference with a doctor. That may give video addiction therapy a kick-start.
State officials in California have achieved some success in promoting the use of medication-assisted treatment for people with opioid addictions, but they are bumping up against familiar resistance and constraints.
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Sarah and Andy fell in love while working to keep drug users from overdosing. But when his own addiction reemerged, Andy’s fear of returning to prison kept him from the best treatment.
KHN Midwest correspondent Lauren Weber was interviewed by KBIA’s Sebastián Martínez Valdivia to discuss the challenges Missouri faces in managing patients’ pain amid the opioid epidemic.
In the first nine months of an alternative pain management program in Missouri, only a small fraction of the state’s Medicaid recipients have accessed the chiropractic care, acupuncture, physical therapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy meant to combat the overprescription of opioids.
Indiana was ground zero for shifting ideas about needle exchanges after a small town had an HIV outbreak in 2015 brought on by needle-sharing. But even as other parts of the country start to embrace needle exchanges amid the ongoing opioid epidemic, the sites remain controversial in Indiana. Only nine of the state’s 92 counties have them, after a series of closures and reopenings.
Helping a loved one overcome addiction isn’t easy. Start by listening to people who have been through it. They can help find effective treatment and avoid unethical or incompetent operators.
KHN’s Shefali Luthra examines the president’s talking points on a range of topics — from insurance coverage, access to care and affordability issues to preexisting condition protections and prescription drug costs.
For rural physicians, the burden of responding to the opioid epidemic falls squarely on their already loaded shoulders. For one doctor in a small Wisconsin village, there was no question that she wanted to rise to the challenge.
People with sickle cell disease aren’t fueling the opioid crisis, research shows. Yet some ER doctors still treat patients seeking relief for agonizing sickle cell crises as potential addicts.
The opioid epidemic is intergenerational, with tens of thousands of babies born every year dependent on opioids. Advocates worry that settlement dollars resulting from lawsuits against the drug industry might not benefit these children.