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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 Sharon Meieran The abuse, misuse and diversion of prescription drugs is a public health crisis. This is particularly apparent to those of us working in the emergency department, which is the largest ambulatory source of opioid medications. We all too frequently see individuals with untreated addiction issues, with life-threatening overdoses, and trying to obtain opioid medications for recreational use or to sell for profit.
The costs to individuals and society are devastating:
In 2009, for the first time, drug overdose exceeded motor vehicle collision as the leading cause of accidental death in Oregon.
Oregon is the fifth-highest state for nonmedical use of prescription painkillers, with nearly 700 associated poisoning deaths in 2003-2007.» More
By Shara Park Chances are you or someone you know is being affected by prescription drug abuse. Hundreds of Utahns die each year from prescription drug overdose, and some of them are children who are too young to even know what they're getting into.
Prescription pain medications are the most frequently abused substances in the state. And it's the addicting power of opioids, found in prescriptions like OxyContin and Lortab that takes even the youngest users down a dark and sometimes unforgiving path.
Angela Watson cherishes the mementos and memories of her son Connor. He died last year of a prescription drug overdose. He was 13.» More
State Representative Paul Brodeur writes about prescription drug abuse in Massachusetts and how the legislature will aim to prevent it.
By Sara Jacobi Drug abuse occurs everywhere- regardless of status, social class, age, or lifestyle. It is time we do all that we can to crackdown on drug abuse throughout the Commonwealth.
Over the next few months, my colleagues and I in the Legislature are considering legislation that aims to minimize prescription drug diversion, abuse, and addiction in Massachusetts.
In 2008 the Legislature formed a commission to study opioid abuse. What we concluded is astonishing. Massachusetts has one of the highest rates of opioid abuse in the nation. Here in the Commonwealth, there are more opioid related deaths than there are deaths due to car accidents. Nearly 54% of parents say their kids have easy access to prescription pain medication, and 14% of parents have given prescription pain relievers to their children without consulting a doctor. Counting tranquilizers and sedatives, more people now experiment with prescription medication than marijuana, cocaine, and heroin combined. After marijuana, Vicodin and amphetamines are the drugs of choice for high school seniors. Court fees, jail time, and social services for prescription drug abusers cost Massachusetts taxpayers $4.5 billion every year. These statistics are simply unacceptable.» 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