Opioids in the News

April 2019

Want to Reduce Opioid Deaths? Get People the Medications They Need
(The New York Times)

This editorial compiles a variety of statistics and examples of responses when faced with pushback to MAT, but is also very effective in telling the story of the current climate around opioids. It ends with a final call to action: "Public health forecasts indicate that the opioid overdose epidemic might claim another 500,000 lives in the next decade. Many of those deaths could be avoided — if existing technologies would just be put to use."

View the full Network Digest from April 2019.

March 2019

Doctors Are Writing Half as Many New Opioid Prescriptions as They Used To, Study Says
A new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that new prescriptions for opioids dropped by about half from 2012 to 2017. However, physicians who continued to prescribe opioids were more likely to prescribe them for longer periods and at higher doses than the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines currently recommend for first-time users.

View the full Network Digest from March 2019

February 2019

We strongly recommend that you read and share this article that supports the type of low-threshold, easy access MAT that we are aiming to promote in the California MAT expansion model. It includes evidence behind home inductions, not requiring counseling for all patients, and use of buprenorphine for other substance use disorders.

"When we shift our focus to providing individualized care that incorporates patient-centered outcomes, we can better help our patients with OUD achieve remission and lead improved lives." Click to read more.
View the full Network Digest from February 2019.

January 2019

Despite an opioid crisis, most ERs don’t offer addiction treatment. California is changing that. 

(VOX, January 8, 2019) 

California is at the forefront of integrating addiction treatment into all points of care. According to Dr. Kelly Pfeifer from the California Health Care Foundation, “We’re trying to use the money and attention to the opioid epidemic to support our efforts to build a robust addiction treatment structure that is integrated with our health care system so that any person with addiction can get the care they need.” The Public Health Institute's Bridge Program is gearing up to award more than $8 million to as many as 30 hospitals in the coming weeks. Read the full article here.




The New York Times spent months interviewing addiction experts, individuals who developed addictions to opioids, and their families in an effort to answer two questions: Why do people use these drugs? And why is it so hard for them to stop? Take a look at the visual journey they created to convey the experience of addiction, from the lure of the first high, the agony of withdrawal, and the difficult work of recovery.



View the full Network Digest from January 2019.

December 2018

Study: Dental painkillers may put young people at risk of opioid addiction
(The Washington Post, December 3, 2018)
Dentists who prescribe opioid painkillers to teenagers and young adults after pulling their wisdom teeth may be putting their patients at risk of addiction, a new study finds. The study, published in JAMA Internal Medicine Monday, shines a light on the largely overlooked role dental prescriptions play in an epidemic of addiction that has swept the United States, leading to a record 70,237 drug overdose deaths in 2017.

View the full Network Digest from December 2018

November 2018

In early October, Congress passed bipartisan opioid legislation, which authorized more than $3.3 billion in spending over 10 years. On October 24, 2018, President Trump signed the bill into law. The legislation consists of over 70 bills by Republicans and Democrats, and aims to increase access to effective treatment within Medicaid and Medicare, expand alternative pain management options, reduce over-prescribing, and more. See here for a summary of the bills by the California Health Care Foundation.

View the full Network Digest from November 2018.

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