It seems self-evident: one way to address the epidemic of opioid deaths is to make prescription opioids harder to misuse. OxyContin, for example, is especially dangerous when it is crushed for ingestion, inhalation, or injection. In 2010, the FDA approved a reformulated, abuse-deterrent version of OxyContin that made the pill difficult to crush or dissolve. The new version immediately replaced the old one, marking a substantial reduction in the supply of abusable prescription pain relievers.
In MDM Policy & Practice, LDI Senior Fellows Zachary Meisel, Jeanmarie Perrone, Karin Rhodes, and colleagues assess the factors physicians consider when treating pain with opioids in the emergency department (ED). With 42% of all ED visits in the United States related to pain, the ED is an ideal setting to target to curtail the current opioid overdose epidemic and develop opioid prescription guidelines and policies. The researchers interviewed 52 physicians at a national emergency medicine conference. They identified three main domains that contributed to the participants’...
Last week the Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek Murthy, released the groundbreaking, comprehensive report Facing Addiction in American: The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health. The report comes at a critical juncture, with more than 27 million Americans misusing illicit and prescription drugs, and more than 66 million misusing alcohol.
At a recent campus-wide opioid task force at Penn, one noted researcher and clinician pointed out a painful truth: “We know how to treat addiction; it’s the systems that aren’t responding to the need.”
Public health advocates have been concerned about rising e-cigarette use (“vaping”) among teens. For the first time in 2014, teens reported being more likely to use e-cigarettes than regular cigarettes.
Prescribers are drawing a lot of attention as a key target of initiatives to combat the opioid crisis. This week, the US Surgeon General, Vivek Murthy, took the unprecedented step of sending 2.3 million clinicians a letter calling for a national movement to turn the tide on the opioid crisis.
This issue brief discusses the role of primary care teams in identifying illicit drug use disorders in their patients, the continuum of treatments that they can offer, and opportunities for successful collaboration and integration with specialists. The authors find opportunities exist for increased patient screening and delivering medication-assisted treatment as well as established models for collaboration and integration of opioid treatments.
[reposted from the CHERISH blog]
In Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, SeungHoon Han, Charles Branas and John MacDonald investigate whether alcohol availability in state-run liquor stores affects a neighborhood’s crime rates, and if the relationship between alcohol availability and crime differs based on a neighborhood’s socioeconomic status (SES). In 2003, Pennsylvania repealed the Sunday alcohol-sales ban for a portion of its state-run stores. The authors utilized this policy change for their analysis. They find that the repeal was associated with a significant increase in total and property-crime...
[cross-posted from the Health Cents blog on Philly.com]
This Issue Brief discusses treatments for opioid use disorders and summarizes a new systematic review of economic evaluations of these interventions. The review reveals strong evidence that methadone maintenance therapy is an economically advantageous form of treatment; the economic evidence for buprenorphine and naltrexone treatments is more limited.