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Substance dependence drives significant health care costs for payors through a combination of factors that include acute inpatient utilization and unaddressed co-morbidities. The Substance Dependence problem is pervasive, largely untreated and costly. Stay informed on these topics by visiting our blog periodically. You can also sign up for the Catasys On Healthcare Newsletter to receive the latest in health care news. » Sign Up for Newsletter
By ReduceYourWorkersComp The hottest workers’ compensation topic currently is the run-away cost of opioids, which are very strong narcotics, in the treatment of employee injuries. Key findings from the recent WCRI conference state that most injured workers received opioids for pain relief, over 80% in some states. In addition, the amount of opioids received per claim has been unusually high in some states with fewer longer-term users of opioids receiving services for monitoring and management. » More
By Mark Hoffman There is now solid research based on official data about the recreational use of prescription opioids, which is part of the epidemic rise in deaths from prescription drug overdoses, now one of the major causes of death in the US. Researchers at Columbia University found that the rate of drug overdose from prescription opioids increased seven-fold in New York City over a 16-year period and was concentrated especially among white residents of the city, in one of the earliest and most comprehensive studies of how the opioid epidemic has affected an urban area.
Analysing data from the city's Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for the period 1990-2006, the researchers examined the factors associated with death from prescription opioids versus heroin, which historically has been the most common type of opioid fatality in urban areas.» More
By Tyler Kula, Sarnia Observer Prescription painkillers, even in small doses, can significantly increase the chances of injury or death behind the wheel, a provincial study says.
Researchers with the Institute for Clinical and Evaluative Sciences (ICES) found people taking daily doses of opioids, equivalent to 20 mg of morphine, increased their risk of collisions by 21% to 42%.
“What's key is making sure the people who are being prescribed the opioids are aware of some of the safety concerns surrounding these drugs,” said Tara Gomes, lead author of the first-of-its-kind study: Opioid dose and risk of trauma in Canada: A population-based study.
The study looked at nearly 550,000 cases where patients — ages 18-64 — used opioids via a publicly-funded prescription between 2003 and 2011.» More
By compnewsnetwork Palm Beach Gardens, FL (WorkersCompensation.com) - In a recent interview to discuss the National Workers’ Compensation and Disability Conference® (NWCDC) session Opioid Addiction: The Causes, Costs and Solutions, Dr. Gary Franklin, Medical Director at the Washington Department of Labor and Industries, stated that the opioid crisis is a problem created by man which will require man-made solutions. Dr. Franklin’s session, being held during the 21st Annual NWCDC, November 7 - 9, 2012 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, is one of several that will explore solutions for battling opioid abuse in workers’ comp.
“The opioid crisis is a public health emergency right now,” said Dr. Franklin. “The goal of my session is to educate attendees and get them fired up to try to solve this problem.”» More
By Prithi Yelaja, CBC News The move to replace the prescription painkiller OxyContin with a newer formulation less prone to misuse won’t solve the crisis of widespread abuse, experts say, unless there is additional training for physicians and treatment for addicts.
Following a similar move in the U.S. in 2010, Purdue Pharma will stop manufacturing OxyContin in Canada and replace it —starting Thursday — with OxyNeo pills, which have been treated to make them extremely difficult to break down. » More
By Dr. Frieden Thirty years ago, I attended medical school in New York. In the key lecture on pain management, the professor told us confidently that patients who received prescription narcotics for pain would not become addicted.
While pain management remains an essential patient right, a generation of health care professionals, patients, and families have learned the hard way how deeply misguided that assertion was. Narcotics - both illegal and legal - are dangerous drugs that can destroy lives and communities.
Millions of Americans struggle with substance abuse. Across the United States, overdoses involving opioid painkillers - a class of drugs with narcotic effects that includes hydrocodone, methadone, oxycodone - have skyrocketed in the past decade.» More