Babies born addicted to opioids cost U.S. more than half a billion dollars a year


Babies born addicted to opioids cost the U.S. health care system more than half a billion dollars a year, a new study finds.

The rate of infants born with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) was 6.7 per 1,000 hospital births in 2016, four times the rate of 1.5 per 1,000 in 2004 but down from the 8 per 1,000 rate in 2014, researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report.

Those births cost nearly $573 million in 2016, the study says, and 4 of 5 of those dollars came from Medicaid.

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As Tens of Thousands Died, F.D.A. Failed to Police Opioids

From the New York Times:

The agency, whose oversight of opioid safety has largely eluded scrutiny, did not improve flawed programs designed to reduce addiction and overdoses, documents show.

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‘It only took one pill’: How addiction starts

From the Washington Post:

The road to Paul Little’s addiction began during a hard day at work. He took one pill to ease a headache, which turned into nine-month habit.

“I got up to 20 to 30 Percocets a day,” the former Air Force doctor said. “I was eating them like M&Ms.”

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This Was The Decade Drug Overdoses Killed Nearly Half A Million Americans

From Buzz Feed News:

“It was also the decade we finally started treating drug addiction like a disease, spurred by an overdose epidemic that ravaged white, rural America.”

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The Class of 2000 ‘Could Have Been Anything’

From the New York Times:

“The high school yearbook is a staple of teenage life. But for some, it reflects the devastating toll of the opioid crisis.” 

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How Germany averted an opioid crisis


“Unlike in the U.S., opioids have never emerged as a front-line medical treatment in Germany.”

HAMBURG, Germany ― In 2016, 10 times as many Americans as Germans died as a result of drug overdoses, mostly opiates. Three times as many Americans as Germans experienced opioid addiction.

Even as the rates of addiction in the U.S. have risen dramatically in the past decade, Germany’s addiction rates have been flat.

That contrast, experts say, highlights a significant divergence in how the two countries view pain as well as distinct policy approaches to health care and substance abuse treatment.

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University Hospital STOMPs emergency department opioid scripts by 70 percent


University Hospital announced on Wednesday that its S.T.O.M.P. program successfully reduced emergency department opioid prescriptions for discharged patients by nearly 70 percent since 2016.

The program, which stands for  Stewardship to Transform OUD while Medicating for Pain, was developed at Newark’s University Hospital as a hospital-wide opioid stewardship program to directly address the prevention and treatment of Opioid Use Disorder (OUD).

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Dad Writes Emotional Obituary After Daughter, 31, Dies of Overdose: ‘She Lost Control of Her Life’


A father from Vermont wrote an impassioned obituary for his daughter who died after a years-long battle with opioid addiction and used the moment to call for more paths toward rehabilitation for those hoping to recover from substance abuse.

Edwin Webbley’s 31-year-old daughter, Megan Webbley, was at a New Hampshire rehabilitation clinic seeking help for opioid addiction when she passed away unexpectedly on September 29, he explained in an obituary published on October 7.

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Majority of Physicians Fear Another Prescription Drug Crisis, Finds New Quest Diagnostics Health Trends™ Report

From Quest Diagnostics:

“First-of-its-kind study shows nearly three in four physicians trust their patients to take controlled substances as prescribed, yet half of all patient test results show misuse of these drugs

Non-prescribed gabapentin use accelerating, growing 40% in past year, making it the most commonly detected non-prescribed controlled medication in tested patients.”

As Opioids Ravage Communities, Locals Unite in Response

From the Epoch Times:

NEW YORK—As efforts to combat the opioid epidemic ramp up at the federal level, countless nonprofits and organizations at state and local levels spend each day dedicated to fighting the battle, oftentimes on the front lines.

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