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Public health officials are adopting a law enforcement tool, the mass spectrometer, to instantly identify potentially deadly levels of opioids in local drug supplies.
While the U.S. continues to focus mainly on the opioid crisis, cocaine is quietly making a comeback and has become one of the biggest overdose killers of African Americans when tainted with fentanyl.
Doctors are less likely to prescribe opioids in Germany and quicker to notice if a patient is at risk of abuse. And, for those who do experience addiction, treatment is easier to come by.
A few hundred hospitals have banded together to sue drugmakers in state courts, but far more are staying on the sidelines to avoid ‘unflattering attention’ about their role in the opioid crisis.
The topic, which polls show is top of mind among voters, kept returning throughout the fourth debate of Democratic presidential candidates.
The Democratic presidential candidates have hit hard on health care, but generally the debates have centered on what kind of system candidates propose. The candidates’ ideas on many other issues, such as mental health and gun safety, have attracted much less attention.
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Naltrexone, commonly used for opioid and alcohol use disorders, may also help patients with chronic pain — when prescribed in low doses. But few doctors or patients seem to know about it.
Programs for health care professionals addicted to opioids generally bar a proven recovery method: the use of drugs like buprenorphine and methadone to relieve cravings.
Barbara Van Rooyan lost her son to the drug 15 years ago and has fought ceaselessly since then to hold Purdue Pharma accountable for its role in the opioid crisis.
An average of three people a day died of opioid overdose in Philadelphia in 2018. But efforts to combat the crisis with a supervised injection site could be stymied by “the crackhouse statute,” a portion of federal law meant to protect neighborhoods during the crack epidemic of the 1980s.
KHN’s Sarah Varney discussed opioid painkillers in India with NPR’s Rachel Martin on “Morning Edition” Thursday.