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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 Joanna Lyford, Senior medwireNews Reporter The number of deaths from drug overdoses in the United States in 2010 rose for the 11th consecutive year, show data from the National Center for Health Statistics.
The majority of these deaths involved pharmaceuticals, particularly opioid analgesics and benzodiazepines; worryingly, most deaths were unintended.
"Tools such as prescription drug monitoring programs and electronic health records can help clinicians to identify risky medication use and inform treatment decisions, especially for opioids and benzodiazepines," suggest Christopher Jones (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA) and co-authors.» More
Drug overdose deaths increase for 11th consecutive year
Written by Press Release Atlanta, GA--(ENEWSPF)--February 20, 2013. Drug overdose deaths increased for the 11th consecutive year in 2010, according to an analysis from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The findings are published today in a research letter, “Pharmaceutical Overdose Deaths, United States, 2010,” in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).
CDC’s analysis shows that 38,329 people died from a drug overdose in the United States in 2010, up from 37,004 deaths in 2009. This continues the steady rise in overdose deaths seen over the past 11 years, starting with 16,849 deaths in 1999. Overdose deaths involving opioid analgesics have shown a similar increase. Starting with 4,030 deaths in 1999, the number of deaths increased to 15,597 in 2009 and 16,651 in 2010.» 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
From Workers Comp Forum The commission released a draft report that assesses screening for higher-risk prescribing practices in the workers' comp system and information on opioid prescribing that can be used to develop screening criteria for assessing opioid prescribing risk. An additional memo summarizes the evaluation of guidelines for using opioids to treat pain among injured workers.
"Opioids can be an appropriate means of treating patients with chronic pain, particularly those with moderate to severe pain," the report says. "Nevertheless, the increasing use of opioids has been accompanied by real risks of substance misuse, addiction, diversion, overdose, and death."» 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 Keith Humphreys Overdose from prescription opioids (e.g., Oxycodone or Hydrocodone) has become one of the most common causes of accidental death in the United States. Two new articles in BMJ suggest that overdose is not the only risk about which patients, prescribers and policy makers should be concerned.
Khademi and colleagues conducted a prospective study of a cohort of 50,045 Iranians. They followed up over 99 percent of the sample and then assessed the impact of opium use on mortality. After statistically adjusting for cigarette smoking, education, age and other factors, the research team reported that opium use nearly doubled the risk of death. The number of diseases with increased incidence among opium users was large, and included tuberculosis, cancer and COPD. The results held even when the researchers excluded from analysis individuals who started using opium in response to the onset of a chronic illness.» More