Opioid Addiction Is ‘A Disease Of Isolation,’ So Pandemic Puts Recovery At Risk

Before the spreading coronavirus became a pandemic, Emma went to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting every week in the Boston area and to another support group at her methadone clinic. She says she felt safe, secure and never judged.

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Still A Crisis: How Congress Continues To Battle Opioid Addiction

From Forbes.com:

We have to keep talking about the opioid crisis. Our approach to dealing with America’s addiction is expensive, and still struggling. Yes, we have seen a reduction in opiate overdose deaths since the widespread distribution of lifesaving Narcan administered in emergencies. And yes, significant work has been accomplished on state and federal levels to provide more access to treatment, but the costs, casualties, and care are still not where we need to be. 

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National legislation discussed

Elaine Pozycki and the Prevent Opioid Abuse team recently met with U.S. Representative, [TAG: David Trone], to discuss national legislation regarding the Patient Notification law. Our goal is to give all patients the right to know about the potential for dependence and addiction to #opioid-based painkillers at the time of prescription.
Thank you for your time, David!

Payout From a National Opioids Settlement Won’t Be as Big as Hoped

From the New York Times:

Expectations of a whopping payday set off thousands of lawsuits. But lawyers for the suing cities and states now concede that companies will shell out far less.

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

From CBSNews.com:

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

From NBCNews.com

“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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