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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 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 HeathPop Staff Abusing painkillers is a big problem in the U.S. - about 12 million people said they used painkillers for non-medical reasons in the past year, according to recent CDC estimates.
A new study found rates of newborns born addicted to opiate drugs tripled over the past decade, driven by legal and illegal use of opioids like hydrocodone and oxycodone, CBS News reported. The number of newborns with withdrawal symptoms increased from a little more than 1 per 1,000 babies in 2000 to more than 3 per 1,000 in 2009, according to the study.» More
Doctors need access to education and training programs that are free of industry bias.
By Andrew Kolodny; President of Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing and chairman of the department of psychiatry at Maimonides Medical Center in New York City
Doctors have contributed to an epidemic of overdose deaths and addiction by overprescribing opioids. We didn’t do this out of malicious intent. For most of us, it was a desire to treat pain more compassionately that led to overprescribing. To bring this public health crisis under control, doctors must prescribe more cautiously.
In response to an industry-funded campaign, sales for opioids increased exponentially. Doctors were taught that unrealistic fear of addiction was resulting in needless suffering and that opioids would provide long-term relief of chronic pain. Doctors were misinformed.» More
By Radley Balko; Senior Writer and Investigative Reporter, The Huffington Post "I don't want to be doped up all the time," says Mary Maston. "I want to be able to function. I have to be able to function for my kids. But the pain prevents me from doing so."
In 2008, Maston, 37, was diagnosed with Medullary Sponge Kidney, a congenital disorder that causes her to form large, painful kidney stones. She has since had three lithotripsy surgeries, all of which she says were unsuccessful, and has had to be hospitalized to drain the blood from her kidneys. She has also been diagnosed with stage two Chronic Kidney Disease.
For the first few years after her diagnosis, Maston lived in Tennessee. There, she says, "my doctor was pretty good about writing me a prescription for pain medication when I needed one." But in March 2011, Maston and her family moved to Florida to be closer to her husband's family, and her condition worsened. Florida doctors, she says, were much less willing to prescribe the level of medication she needed. In September, the daily pain from her condition forced her to quit her job. She says she's been to the emergency room seven times in the last eighth months, all due to overwhelming pain.» More
By Amy Bell Two years ago, 28 percent of patients admitted to the Dawn Farm rehabilitation center in Ann Arbor had opiate addictions. Last year, that number rose to 55 percent, said Jim Balmer, president of the organization.
"Opiates overall are dramatically on the rise," he said.
Though the numbers are increasing at an alarming rate, painkillers are still in demand and drug manufacturers are cashing in.
Zogenix, a San Diego-based pharmaceutical company, has plans to apply early this year for U.S. Federal Drug Administration approval of its product, Zohydro. Zogenix is one of four companies that have started testing the pain reliever product. If approved, Zohydro could be on the market beginning in 2013.» More
By Rick Nauert, PhD Senior News Editor
Reviewed by John M. Grohol, Psy.D. Mood Disorders Up Risk of Opioid AbuseResearchers have discovered that people suffering from mood and anxiety disorders are more likely to use and abuse non-prescription opioids.
The illnesses associated with abuse of opioids include bipolar disorder, panic disorder and major depression. Mood disorders in general heighten the risk for substance abuse. In this study, investigators made a distinction between prescription opioids commonly used for treatment of chronic and acute pain and opioid use that occurs absent a prescription.» More