We have noted the facts: At the same time that opioid addiction is a public health emergency, opioid addiction treatment is strengthening. But increasingly, the opioid addiction problem is seen among young adults and even youths. What’s happening?

Recent studies outline the trend. And in this guide, we connect the dots around:

  • How young adults can get introduced to opioids
  • The increase in prescription drug abuse in young adults
  • The role of medication to combat addiction
  • The need to reduce “stigma”
  • Tips for parents

Can Medical Procedures Serve as Opioid Gateway?

In one study, Calista Harbaugh, MD, of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and colleagues, found that young people can become addicted to opioids following common surgical procedures, according to MedPage Today. In the study, “a large database of nearly 90,000 patients, ages 13 to 21 years, with no history of prior opioid prescriptions. These patients underwent 13 common surgeries from 2010 to 2015. They were compared with a control group of patients without opioid prescriptions or procedural codes for surgery during a similar time frame.”

The results found:

  • “Risk factors for new opioid use included older age, if the patient was a girl, higher comorbidity score, anxiety, and substance and drug use.”
  • “New, persistent opioid use following surgery may represent a ‘significant pathway to nonmedical opioid use among adolescents,’ and that identifying alternative methods of perioperative pain management for this population should be a priority.”

And do these events lead to opioid addiction?

MedPage further reports that another group examined data from the Nationwide Emergency Department Sample. They “found over 250,000 visits to the ED during the study period among children up to age 21 that included diagnosis codes for opioid abuse or dependence. Nearly 90% of those visits were from patients ages 18 to 21 years, with only 8% among those ages 16 to 17 years. More than half (56%) of the patients were boys.”

Importantly: “Overall, the number of ED visits that included a diagnostic code for opioid abuse or dependence rose from over 33,000 visits in 2008 to nearly 50,000 visits in 2013. ‘Unspecified’ opioid abuse and opioid dependence were the most common diagnostic codes.”

Prescription Drug Abuse Among Young Adults

Infographic shows young adult opioid addiction Meanwhile, the National Institute of Drug Abuse, part of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, published an infographic titled “Abuse of Prescription (Rx) Drugs Affects Young Adults Most.”

The agency reports that “Young adults (age 18 to 25) are the biggest abusers of prescription (Rx) opioid pain relievers, ADHD stimulants, and anti-anxiety drugs. They do it for all kinds of reasons, including to get high or because they think Rx stimulants will help them study better. But Rx abuse is dangerous. In 2014, more than 1,700 young adults died from prescription drug (mainly opioid) overdoses—more than died from overdoses of any other drug, including heroin and cocaine combined—and many more needed emergency treatment.”

Additionally:

  • “The nonmedical use of prescription drugs is highest among young adults. Past year nonmedical use of prescription drugs is shown on a bar chart by age group. Six percent of 12- to 17- year-olds, 12 percent of 18- to 25- year-olds, and 5 percent of persons age 26 or older, used prescription drugs nonmedically in the past year.”
  • “More than 1,700 young adults died from Rx drug overdose in 2014–a 4-fold increase from 1999, that’s nearly 5 persons per day. A line graph shows prescription-drug-related overdose deaths increasing among persons ages 18- to 25- years-old from 418 deaths in 1999 to 1,741 deaths in 2014.”
  • “Among young adults, for every death due to Rx drug overdose, there were 22 treatment admissions6 and 119 emergency room visits.”

Infographic shows young adult opioid addiction How Did We Get Here?

The American Academy of Pediatrics offers an excellent history of opioid epidemics in the U.S., including one that was addressed in the early 1900s. But then:

“Twenty years after the Vietnam War, powerful oral opioid pain medications entered the market, simplifying outpatient pain treatment. Around the same time, a National Academy of Medicine (formerly Institute of Medicine) report encouraged physicians to more aggressively treat pain, and the Joint Commission on Hospital Accreditation asked patients to rate physicians on the basis of how well they addressed pain. Opioids were marketed to both medical professionals and patients as safe and nonaddictive and were heralded for improving quality of life in patients who suffered from painful conditions. A cultural movement that demanded that all aspects of life be “pain free” put tremendous pressure on medical professionals. Patients were willing to consume a lot of opioid pills, and nonpatients, including adolescents and often their parents, believed these medications to be safe. Between 1999 and 2014, the number of opioids prescribed increased by threefold,14 creating a reservoir distributed among medicine cabinets throughout the country. The oral formulation that averted the need for intravenous injection lowered the bar for initiating opioid use and helped to ignite the current epidemic.”

The further identifies connections between the current opioid epidemic and behaviors that can start even pre-adulthood:

  • “New strategies for prevention and treatment are required to reverse the current epidemic of opioid addiction.”
  • Substance use initiation most often occurs during childhood or adolescence; hence, prevention efforts are well within the purview of primary care pediatricians.”
  • “Furthermore, providing interventions for substance use, including OUD treatment that incorporates MAT within primary care pediatrics, is a logical strategy for creating developmentally appropriate access for youth with opioid addiction.”
  • “In addition to helping bring the current epidemic to an end, the integration of SUD treatment into primary care offers the additional benefits of extending treatment for the more common alcohol, marijuana, and tobacco use disorders and also builds an infrastructure that helps to prepare us for the next epidemic of drug addiction.”

Opioid Use Can Start With Simple Dental Procedure

A key challenge to the opioid epidemic: Initial exposure to the drugs can occur following a simple dental procedure common among teenagers: The pulling of wisdom teeth.

The Journal of the American Medical Association asks: “Are opioid prescriptions from dental clinicians that are written for pain management of third molar extractions from adolescents and young adults associated with subsequent opioid use and abuse?”

The report notes that “through prescription writing, dental clinicians are a potential source of initial opioid exposure and subsequent abuse for adolescents and young adults.” The study’s objective: “To examine the association between index dental opioid prescriptions from dental clinicians for opioid-naive adolescents and young adults in 2015 and new persistent use and subsequent diagnoses of abuse in this population.”

The findings were remarkable: “Index opioid prescriptions in opioid-naive adolescents and young adults compared with age- and sex-matched controls were associated with a statistically significant 6.8% absolute risk increase in persistent opioid use and a 5.4% increase in the subsequent diagnosis of opioid abuse.”

In other words: “The findings suggest that dental opioid prescriptions, which may be driven by third molar extractions in this age group, may be associated with subsequent opioid use and opioid abuse.”

Or, as the Stanford University write-up puts it: “Opioid prescriptions from dentists linked to youth addiction risk. In teenagers and young adults, receiving opioids from dental providers is linked with elevated risk for continued opioid use and abuse, a Stanford study has found.”

Medication Prescription for Young Adult Addiction Down

“Both the American Academy of Pediatrics and the 2016 surgeon general’s report highlight that intervention early in the life course of youth addiction is critical for preventing progression to more severe disease, yet our data indicate that medications are underutilized for youth.”

– JAMA

Another challenge for young adults: Access to proper medication for opioid addiction. Another JAMA report investigated an important question: “How often do youth with opioid use disorder receive buprenorphine or naltrexone, and how has this changed over time?”

In the face of a worsening opioid crisis in the United States, strategies to expand the use of pharmacotherapy for adolescents and young adults are greatly needed, and special care is warranted to ensure equitable access for all affected youth to avoid exacerbating health disparities.”

– JAMA

The study highlights the underlying issues in stark relief — and incredible statistic-based detail:

  • “Drug overdose deaths in the United States—the majority of which are caused by prescription opioids and heroin—have reached an unprecedented level, having tripled from 2000 to 2014 and surpassed annual mortality from motor vehicle crashes.”
  • Hospitalizations and emergency department visits for overdose, drug treatment admissions,8 and new hepatitis C infections related to opioids have risen dramatically over a similar timeframe.”
  • “Risk for opioid use disorder (OUD) frequently begins in adolescence and young adulthood, with 7.8% of high school seniors reporting lifetime nonmedical prescription opioid use.”
  • “Two-thirds of individuals in treatment for OUD report that their first use was before age 25 years, and one-third report that it was before 18 years.8 Intervening early in the development of OUD is critical for preventing premature death and lifelong harm.”
  • “However, only 1 in 12 adolescents and young adults (collectively termed youth) who need care for any type of addiction receive treatment. Compounding this situation, black and Hispanic youth are even less likely than white youth to receive addiction treatment.”

The study’s results are just as telling:

  • “In this large national study of buprenorphine and naltrexone dispensing among commercially insured youth with OUD, we found that only 1 in 4 youth received pharmacotherapy within 6 months of diagnosis during the 2001-2014 study period.”
  • “From 2002 (when buprenorphine was introduced) to 2009, the percentage of youth receiving medication increased more than 10-fold, but subsequently declined amidst escalating OUD diagnosis rates.”
  • “The odds of receiving pharmacotherapy were lower with younger age and among females compared with males, and non-Hispanic black and Hispanic youth compared with white youth.”
  • “Overall, buprenorphine was dispensed 8 times more often than naltrexone. Naltrexone was more commonly dispensed to younger individuals and females and to youth in metropolitan areas, higher educational level neighborhoods, and lower poverty level neighborhoods.”

The bottom line: “Both the American Academy of Pediatrics and the 2016 surgeon general’s report highlight that intervention early in the life course of youth addiction is critical for preventing progression to more severe disease, yet our data indicate that medications are underutilized for youth…In the face of a worsening opioid crisis in the United States, strategies to expand the use of pharmacotherapy for adolescents and young adults are greatly needed, and special care is warranted to ensure equitable access for all affected youth to avoid exacerbating health disparities.”

Need to Reduce ‘Stigma’

MedPage Today notes that “an accompanying editorial by Brendan Saloner, PhD, of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and colleagues, argued that in addition to changes in clinical practice, a “cultural change” towards medication-assisted therapy is needed to reduce ‘stigma.'”

The post continues: “‘There is a need for research on how physicians, patients, and families communicate about [medication-assisted treatments] and how youth-specific concerns about buprenorphine use could be addressed in office-based settings,’ they wrote, adding that it was ‘troubling’ that these medications were used less commonly among girls and youth from minority backgrounds.”

“Further work is needed to understand the source of these discrepancies,” Saloner’s group wrote.

Advice for Parents

The Philadelphia Inquirer offers important facts around opioids and young adults:

  • “Teenagers may use those leftover pills even if they don’t need them. Then they may go looking for more, and they may become addicted. A recent study out of Stanford University School of Medicine addresses this issue. Among nearly 15,000 teenagers and young adults who received initial opioid prescriptions from their dentists in 2015, almost 7 percent had additional opioids prescribed within a year, and almost 6 percent were diagnosed with opioid abuse within that time. By comparison, only a fraction of those who did not receive an opioid prescription from their dentists got another opioid prescription (0.1 percent) or were diagnosed with opioid abuse (0.4 percent) over the same period.”
  • “The developing teen brain is especially vulnerable to addiction. Research now suggests that the human brain is still maturing during the adolescent and young adult years. Teens’ brains may be particularly vulnerable to the acute effects of drugs and drug use may significantly increase a young person’s risk for developing a substance use disorder.”
  • “The American Dental Association says enough is enough. Dentists and oral surgeons should limit opioid dosage and duration for acute pain to no more than seven days, according to new recommendations from the ADA. Instead, they should first consider prescribing non-opioid painkillers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen.”

The piece also offers advice for parents:

  • Be the gatekeeper for medications, including those prescribed after wisdom teeth extraction. Don’t just hand your teen the bottle of pills after surgery. And be sure to properly dispose of leftover prescription drugs. You can search online for convenient drug drop-off locations in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware.
  • Talk with your adolescents about your expectations that they will not use drugs and alcohol because (sometimes) they really do listen to you. Research confirms that when parents talk to their children about drugs and alcohol, those children are much less likely to become users. Not sure how to start the talk? The American Academy of Pediatrics has a useful resource.

 

Opioid addiction treatment is being taken seriously. Recent findings have led to an increase in availability of opioid treatment centers and strengthened research on how this kind of substance abuse can be treated to save countless lives and curtail the gateway from prescription opioids, like oxycodone, to synthetic opioids like heroin.

(For more information, see “The Opioid Epidemic: Role for Substance Abuse Programs)

This year, the White House declared opioid addiction to be a public health emergency. The announcement was based on devastating numbers surrounding Americans and opioid use: According to 2017 data, 11.4 million Americans have misused prescription opioids; 2.1 million Americans have an opioid abuse disorder; and 130 people die every day from opioid-related drug overdose.

The alarming numbers surrounding opioid misuse have provided an opportunity for Americans to take a harder look at the realities of addiction. In response to the opioid crisis, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services set five priorities:

  1. Improve access to treatment and recovery services
  2. Promote the use of overdose-reversing medications
  3. Strengthen public health awareness of communities at-risk or facing opioid addiction
  4. Provide support for more research on addiction
  5. Advance practices for pain management, as pain is often a  reason for individuals to begin misusing opioids.

Opioid Addiction Treatment: Approaches

But what makes opioid addiction so urgent to address is the gripping nature of the addiction.

Opioids are a class of drugs that act in the nervous system to produce feelings of pleasure and pain relief,” the Genetics Home Reference, a government site dedicated to expanding knowledge on genetic conditions. “Opioid addiction is characterized by a powerful, compulsive urge to use opioid drugs, even when they are no longer required medically. Opioids have a high potential for causing addiction in some people, even when the medications are prescribed appropriately and taken as directed. Many prescription opioids are misused or diverted to others. Individuals who become addicted may prioritize getting and using these drugs over other activities in their lives, often negatively impacting their professional and personal relationships. It is unknown why some people are more likely to become addicted than others.”

Because of the lack of existing knowledge as to why some people become more dependent than others on opioids, and the high-risks of the addiction, treatment is carefully tailored depending on specific misuse. Treatment can involve many aspects of other personalized addiction recovery, such as outpatient support, counseling, behavioral therapy and sobriety. But in addition, the case for pharmacological treatment has become increasingly recommended and helpful for those battling addiction.

Depending on the severity of the addiction and the opioid at misuse, medications such as methadone, buprenorphine and naltrexone may be administered to combat the physical grippings of opioid addiction. Methadone treatment has actually increased more in the past four years nationwide than it has in the past decade, as it has proven success on many counts.

Best practice states that tailored treatment geared towards the individual’s specific circumstances, physical and mental state and depth of addiction is the most successful. Having a personalized recovery plan, with help from professionals, can help keep addiction at bay.

 

Among the many dangers of the opioid epidemic are the overdose risks. The key, of course, is to help addicts not only understand the benefits of substance abuse programs, but also to find the strength to take advantage of the opportunities they present.

As we note: “Long-term use also of opioids can lead to physical dependence – the body adapts to the presence of the substance and withdrawal symptoms occur if use is reduced abruptly. This can also include tolerance, which means that higher doses of a medication must be taken to obtain the same initial effects. Note that physical dependence is not the same as addiction – physical dependence can occur even with appropriate long-term use of opioid and other medications. Addiction, as noted earlier, is defined as compulsive, often uncontrollable drug use in spite of negative consequences.”

CBS News reports: “Addiction is a disease, they’ll tell you, and the national opioid epidemic does not discriminate. With more than 115 Americans dying each day from an overdose, addicts can be found in homeless shelters, mansions or your own home.”

60 Minutes showed just how dire the situation can be for opioid addicts — and the role for Naloxone. The National Institute on Drug Abuse, which is part of the National Institutes of Health, explains what Naxalone is and how it works: “Naloxone is a medication designed to rapidly reverse opioid overdose. It is an opioid antagonist—meaning that it binds to opioid receptors and can reverse and block the effects of other opioids. It can very quickly restore normal respiration to a person whose breathing has slowed or stopped as a result of overdosing with heroin or prescription opioid pain medications.”

Click on the below 60 Minutes video to watch the report.

 

The need for opioid treatment remains one of the biggest health care stories in America. And the importance of getting people who need help into treatment is key to helping address the epidemic.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse notes that “Every day, more than 115 people in the United States die after overdosing on opioids. The misuse of and addiction to opioids—including prescription pain relievers, heroin, and synthetic opioids such as fentanyl—is a serious national crisis that affects public health as well as social and economic welfare. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that the total “economic burden” of prescription opioid misuse alone in the United States is $78.5 billion a year, including the costs of healthcare, lost productivity, addiction treatment, and criminal justice involvement.”

A closer look at the statistics shows how big the problem is. The NIDA reports:

  • Roughly 21 to 29 percent of patients prescribed opioids for chronic pain misuse them.
  • Between 8 and 12 percent develop an opioid use disorder.
  • An estimated 4 to 6 percent who misuse prescription opioids transition to heroin.
  • About 80 percent of people who use heroin first misused prescription opioids.
  • Opioid overdoses increased 30 percent from July 2016 through September 2017 in 52 areas in 45 states.
  • The Midwestern region saw opioid overdoses increase 70 percent from July 2016 through September 2017.
  • Opioid overdoses in large cities increase by 54 percent in 16 states.

But is there hope?

Importance of Opioid Treatment

According to Utah Public Radio: “Early data indicate the number of deaths are beginning to level off, according to Alex Azar, secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, citing ‘encouraging’ results in overdose trends.”

At the Milken Institute health summit, “Azar walked through statistics suggesting deaths were plateauing and he highlighted efforts he says may be turning the tide in the drug epidemic.”

While Azar noted that the numbers are “finally bending in the right direction,” the piece notes that “he added that the death toll flattening out is “hardly a victory,” especially at such high levels.”

Of course, to help ease access to opioid treatment and reduce drug usage, Congress recently signed the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act. As NBC News notes: “The legislative package directs funding to federal agencies and states so they can make increasing access to addiction treatment a priority, and sets in place interventions to help mitigate the crisis, like preventing overprescription and training law enforcement to intercept shipments, including the deadly and highly addictive drug fentanyl, at U.S. borders.”

 

NSS-2 Bridge: A New Device Approved to Aid in Opioid Withdrawals

The innovative NSS-2 Bridge is a new de vice recently approved by the FDA to aid in opioid withdrawal pain.  For many this is very exciting news!  The bridge looks similar in size to a hearing aid.  It fits behind the ear with attached wires that connect to brain nervous.  Originally created to lessen chronic pain, epilepsy, and surgery soreness, the NSS-2 Bridge has now been approved for opioid withdrawal pain as well.

This is a breakthrough for many individuals who have feared the painful withdrawal from addictive opioids.  Developed by Dr. Arturo Taca, a certified addictionologist in Missouri, it costs between $500-600.  The Bridge sends electrical impulses to the brain and branches of nerves.

Many individuals have unsuccessfully attempted to battle opioid addictions but the pain of withdrawal often stops the process.  People report withdrawal symptoms that are extremely intense and have nausea, shakes, chills, and anxiety as well.  Reports of the device usage indicate that within only 30 minutes of withdrawal symptoms forming, the NSS-2 Bridge through the electrical impulses, lowers heart rate, lessens or erases anxiety symptoms, and lessens nausea.  Although the drug remains in the individual’s systems until complete withdrawal is over, the symptoms are extremely lessens or are simply not felt due to the device.

Some individuals report that the device has allowed them to feel hop for the first time since becoming addicted to opioids, although it will not prevent relapse.  Being able to work through the physical symptoms of withdrawal much easier also gives individuals who have become addicted to opioids energy to work through the emotional and mental side of recovery due to the use of the new NSS-2 Bridge.

Moms and Drug Abus

Ten years ago, it was reported that at least 18 million women aged 26 and older take prescription medications for unintended purposes.  Today, that number is even higher, and many of those abusing drugs include women who are moms.  Some are surprised to find out how many moms deal with drug abuse, but it must be remember that no one is immune to addiction and drug abuse.  Moms are just as vulnerable to drug abuse as anyone else and may turn to drugs to avoid guilt, stress, boredom, or any number of other things.  Today, an increasing number of moms are becoming addicted to pain medications.

The most commonly abused prescription drugs by moms include: sedatives, muscle relaxants, and opioid painkillers. Just like so many others, most moms started out their drug use legitimately—that is, they received a prescription from their doctor for a valid health issue.  However, some moms continue to use and abuse the drug they were safely prescribed after their treatment for the health issue is resolved.

Further, other drug addictions that seem to be rising with moms include alcohol addiction and abuse, and marijuana use.  Becoming aware of triggers that may turn moms toward drug abuse can stop the addictions before they start.  These triggers increase vulnerability and include: past trauma (such as being abused as a child), a family history of drug abuse problems, a history of drug or alcohol addiction, and the presence of mental health conditions (such as depression).

Also noteworthy is that many moms experience depression and stress after giving birth and these heightened reactions to the hormonal changes and lifestyle changes that occur can increase a mom’s vulnerability to addiction. In fact, any period of heightened stress increases the risk of using and depending on prescription drugs to feel better.

A main reason for the rise in prescription drug abuse by moms is the same as for everyone else: prescription drugs can be obtained and purchased relatively easy.  Moms may lie or or buy from less legitimate pharmacies online in order to maintain their drug habits.  These factors have directly impacted the rise in prescription drug abuse among all groups of people.  Some people simply think that if a doctor prescribes medicine it will not cause any harm.  Understanding side effects and addiction tendencies, and drugs that build tolerance, can also prevent further drug abuse issues. It is important to remember that no on is immune to addiction, even moms.

source: workingmother.com

Could a Natural Nasal Spray Replace Addictive Opioids

Could a nasal spray actually help people avoid opioid addiction?  Researchers at the University College London say “yes” and they are moving toward testing their theory on human subjects.

When individuals need medicine for pain they are often given opioids to combat their intense pain and help them resume feeling normal.  However, as evidenced in the recently growing opioid epidemic, more and more individuals are becoming dangerously addicted to opioids and more and more overdoses are occurring.  The nasal spray tested by the researchers is a natural opioid  compound and lessens the pain while having no addictive side effects.  This is exciting news because it means that if valid, then individuals treated for pain will not become overly euphoric, tolerant, and addicted to the opioid drugs they may be given for their pain.

In the study, the researchers tested the pain-relieving  opioid nasal spray on mice and found no signs of tolerance or any signs of craving, such as reward-seeking behavior.  “If people don’t develop tolerance, you don’t have them always having to up the dose. And if they don’t have to up the dose, they won’t get closer and closer to overdose,” Ijeoma Uchegbu, a professor of pharmaceutical nanoscience who is leading the research through Nanomerics, a UCL startup, told The Guardian, in an article entitled, “Natural painkiller nasal spray could replace addictive opioids.”

The researchers have now moved to raising money for clinical trials involving humans to test their theory.  The results form their previous studies involving mice seem very hopeful and the researchers are definitely striving to find an alternative to opioid drugs such as fentanyl and oxycontin to aid in the management of pain in the future.

source:https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/feb/01/natural-painkiller-nasal-spray-could-replace-addictive-opioids-trial-indicates

Suicide Rates on Rise in U.S.

In a new report by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) they indicate that suicide rates are on the rise in the United States and have been increasing in number since the year 2000.

In fact, from 1999 to 2015, approximately 600,000 U.S. residents died by suicide, with 2015 being the deadliest year. Interestingly, the groups that are ranked highest are not those from the big cities, instead they are from the rural areas.  Further, the ethnic groups dealing with the increase in suicides the most is the Native Americans and those who are white.

Of note is that the report shows a steady climb with a spike around the year 2008.  In speculating why this spike occurred, one thought is that it may have been due to the pressures of the financial recession that occurred in our country at that same time.  Many individuals felt hopeless and stressed in their financial predicaments when businesses were closing their doors and the stock market plummeted.  In more detail is the fact that the rural communities suffered more in the recession due to poverty and social isolation along with less mental health treatment facilities and that may explain why the rates of suicide there are higher.

Further, since the year 2000, the CDC points out that men are 4 times more likely to commit suicide than women and the rate worsened in almost all categories assessed after 2008.

The findings of the CDC indicate that more mental health institutions need to be available in rural areas to help those struggling with suicidal thoughts.  The opioid crisis doesn’t help either along with other drug issues and the rural communities have been especially hard hit by that as well.  Finding solutions and having more preventative help in place for these ethnic groups, and in rural locations would be helpful in combating the increasing rate of suicides in the United States.

source: vocavtiv.com

Bill Moving Forward to Fight Detox Deaths in Utah Jail

With the opioid crisis in full swing, many county jails across Utah are seeing more and more people detained while withdrawing from their addiction.  Legislators are working to pass a bill in which research would be implemented where alcohol and substance abuse withdrawals within county jails would be studied and the results would be reported and presented to the legislature to prevent deaths due to detox, also called “detox deaths.”.

KSL.com reported, “Madison Jensen had been fighting an opioid addiction when she died in the Duchesne County Jail from the effects of withdrawal in December 2016, Moss said. One nurse was criminally charged in the 21-year-old woman’s death, and Jensen’s father filed a federal lawsuit against Duchesne County.”  They further report that, “Jensen didn’t get any medical treatment and was found dead in her jail cell within four days after losing 17 pounds from the vomiting and diarrhea during her withdrawal.”

Most think that when their loved ones are sent to jail they are fairly safe and taken care of.  But jails are not treatment facilities and many addicted people are ended up in jail, especially with the opioid crisis.

In 2017 there were 24 deaths that occurred in county jails.  Finding solutions to this problem is key is preventing detox deaths.  Hopefully the bill will promote some great research and make changes to include treatment for addictions in jails to prevent detox deaths.

source: ksl.com

Extra warnings of addiction with opioid use in Utah

In Utah, lawmakers recently pushed forward some bills indicating that extra warnings for patients about addiction risks when taking opioid painkillers will be required.  The new bills indicate that pharmacies are required to label pill containers with the following caution: “Caution: Opioid. Risk of overdose and addiction” or an similar warning the state Department of Health approves of.

Further, another bill moving forward requires prescribers to, “discuss the risks of using an opiate with a patient or the patient’s guardian before issuing an initial opiate prescription,” according to a summary attached to the bill (ksl.com).

The representatives involved believe that these bills are critical to patient education and allowing patients to be completely informed of the risks they are taking when they choose to take prescription opioids.

Although some representative have voiced opposing opinions indicating that they feel that the bills would manage doctors too closely, other lawmakers feel that more must be done to stop the increasing opioid crisis.

source: ksl.com

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