Lidocaine Shortage Seems to be Hitting Family Medicine Hardest
San Diego Union-Tribune - 08/07/2018
Drug shortages, especially those associated with injection opioid painkillers, have been a continuous problem for medical providers at all levels this year. A survey of San Diego County health providers found that, in general, the lidocaine shortage seems to be hitting independent practitioners in primary care the hardest. The largest systems seem to be doing better and stockpiling supply.
Opioid Awareness Workshop held in Dunsmuir
The Siskiyou Daily News - 08/06/2018
On July 26, one of many locally scheduled Opioid Awareness Workshops was held at the Dunsmuir Community Center. The workshop, attended by community members and sponsored by Siskiyou Against Rx Addiction, was an educational opportunity to learn about the science of addiction and opioids, their combined devastating effects on families and communities, and how Naloxone nasal spray can save lives by reversing overdoses.
SJ Public Health Giving out Free Narcan Kits to Fight Opioid Overdose
San Joaquin Record - 08/01/2018
To prevent overdose deaths San Joaquin County Public Health Services has launched a naloxone distribution program in the county with the goal of getting the overdose-reversal drug into the hands of a family member, friends or anyone who can help someone who is at risk of overdose.
Orange County Supervisors OK Lawsuit to Stop Needle Exchange Program
NBC Los Angeles - 08/03/2018
Orange County supervisors voted to seek a temporary restraining order to block a needle exchange program scheduled to begin August 6th. Local officials have said the program is a public health hazard, but in a statement, state officials defended the program saying that there "is a public health need for these services due to the significant risk for transmission of HIV and hepatitis C among people who inject drugs in Orange County."
State gives OK to Orange County Mobile Syringe Exchange Program, Over Local Objections
The Orange County Register - 07/31/2018
A mobile needle exchange program opposed by Orange County and four affected cities was approved this week by the California Department of Public Health. State officials have allowed for the Orange County Needle Exchange Program to operate for two years starting in August. Supporters say such programs help reduce the spread of diseases such as HIV and hepatitis C, and are often the only regular contact injection drug users have with healthcare professionals.
Congressmen Dig into Opioid Epidemic at Simi Valley Roundtable
VC Star - 07/30/2018
Congressmen Steve Knight of Palmdale and Michael McCaul of Texas hosted a roundtable at Simi Valley City Hall to gather input from local leaders to help federal efforts to combat the nation’s opioid epidemic and human trafficking. Lack of drug treatment beds and overprescribing were some of the subjects focused on at the meeting.
Grant Helps Solano Opioid Safety Coalition Move Forward
The Reporter (Solano) - 07/30/2018
A new grant from Fairfield-based MedMark Treatment Centers will help the Solano Coalition for Better Health (SCBH) progress with the development of The Solano Opioid Safety Coalition. The Opioid Safety Coalition was founded in 2017, and aims to reduce the number of patients currently using opioids and to “improve medication safety and treatment strategies.” While the SCBH is coordinating the Solano Opioid Safety Coalition, numerous agencies are on board with the effort.
San Bruno Police to Soon Carry Opioid Overdose Kits
The San Mateo Daily Journal - 07/27/2018
San Bruno police will soon carry Naloxone Hydrochloride, commonly called Narcan, to help treat opioid overdoses. The kits’ use by police officers is intended as a “critical bridge” of care until paramedics arrive to begin treatment, Lt. Troy Fry said.
To Overcome Opioid Crisis, California Needs Legislators who Will be Real Leaders (Opinion)
Sacramento Bee - 07/26/2018
We need legislators to become knowledgeable on addiction and its human impact. They need to instinctively consider the role of addiction in mental health issues. Elected officials must hold press conferences and town halls and get out in front of the issue instead of just reacting. Only a handful of ave authored or backed legislation, with limited success.
US Opioids: Number of Addicted Women Giving Birth Quadrupled over 15 Years
The Guardian - 08/09/2018
The number of US women who gave birth addicted to opioids has quadrupled in the last 15 years, increasing the number of infants who face withdrawal at birth according to new government data. There was great regional variation in the data, and states with the highest increases each year were Maine, New Mexico, Vermont and West Virginia. The lowest increases were in Hawaii and California.
FDA Will Broaden How it Evaluates New Addiction Treatment Drugs
STAT - 08/06/2018
The Food and Drug Administration announced a shift in the way it evaluates drugs to treat opioid addiction that the agency says will give it more flexibility to approve new treatments, potentially increasing the use of MAT. Now, rather than merely examining whether a potential treatment reduces opioid use, the agency will consider factors like whether a drug could reduce overdose rates or the transmission of infectious diseases.
Addiction is a Disease. My Drug-Addicted Parents Showed me That (Opinion)
The Washington Post - 08/03/2018
The feelings that come with losing a parent or loved for an addiction can be complex, and it can be hard to recognize that addicts often have little ability to make choices in their lives. We must see beyond the statistics and headlines. We must remember that buried under disease are real people and real families.
City Is Making Strides In Addressing Drug Abuse, Officials Say
WFPL Louisville - 08/02/2018
Louisville is on track to meet established goals to address substance abuse in the city after The Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness released a plan to address drug abuse earlier this year. One priority of this initiative is to address substance abuse among young people, including those affected by adverse childhood experiences.
Facing Wave of Opioid Lawsuits, Drug Companies Sprinkle Charity on Hard-Hit Areas
Bloomberg - 08/02/2018
The drug industry is dishing out millions in grants and donations to organizations in cities, counties, and states that have sued the companies over the deadly U.S. opioid epidemic. This includes San Francisco-based drug wholesaler McKesson Corp., which seeded a standalone nonprofit dedicated to fighting the opioid-abuse crisis with $100 million.
Listen: Inexpensive Nerve Drug Often Abused As Opioid Epidemic Grows
California Healthline - 08/02/2018
Kaiser Health News reporter Carmen Heredia Rodriguez joins the host of “On Point,” Anthony Brooks, to discuss public health officials’ concerns about the increasing use of the drug gabapentin by people addicted to opioids.
Patients With Chronic Pain Feel Caught In An Opioid-Prescribing Debate
California Healthline - 08/01/2018
New laws in many states such as Arizona place restrictions on prescribing and limit the maximum dose for most patients. Now, some patients who saw their doses lowered say they are becoming collateral damage and are suffering as a result.
Opioid Prescribing Hasn't Declined In The Last Decade Despite Addiction Crisis
Forbes - 08/01/2018
Opioid prescription rates have remained flat for insured patients over the last 10 years, according to data published today in the BMJ. And even though prescriptions doled out to Medicare patients have recently shown signs of leveling, prescribing rates for some of those older people are actually higher than they were a decade ago.
A New Study Shows Just How Much Doctors Prescribe Opioids
TIME - 07/28/2018
A quarter of patients treated for ankle sprains between 2011 and 2015 left the hospital with an opioid prescription, according to a paper published in the Annals of Emergency Medicine. While the average opioid prescription was relatively low-dose and supplied about 15 pills, a smaller number of patients received prescriptions equivalent to more than 30 tablets of mid-strength oxycodone– which the Drug Enforcement Administration says has “high potential for abuse.”
Study finds Americans More Likely to See Opioid Crisis Nationally than Locally
The Guardian - 07/26/2018
Americans are three times more likely to be aware of a national drug epidemic than to recognize addiction in their own communities, according to a survey by Laguna treatment hospital in Aliso Viejo, California. It found only 13% of those questioned from the Southern US and 10% of those from the Northeastern US felt “drugs posed a crisis in their own communities" even though many Northeastern and southern communities have been hit the hardest by opioids
Research and Reports
Older Adults Not Counseled on Handling Leftover Opioids
Med Page Today - 07/30/2018
According to a study from the National Poll on Healthy Aging, while most older adults in the U.S. reported discussing how often to take their prescribed pain medication with healthcare providers, only a fraction said they talked about how to handle leftover pills.