Tag Archive: Treatment

Opioid treatment is available, but even the insured aren’t getting it

The co-author of a new study in JAMA Pediatrics has a message for parents. "If you have a child struggling with opioid addiction, understand that there are medications that support and sustain recovery." That seems straightforward, but the study found that many people may not realize there are effective treatments available for addiction to opioid medications like OxyContin, Vicodin and Xanax — even methadone, fentanyl and heroin. Unfortunately, it seems that most young addicts aren’t getting that treatment, even when they have good insurance. The study considered the medical records of almost 21,000 opioid addicts between the ages of 13 and 25 who were insured through UnitedHealthcare. Even during the period of 2001 and 2014 when opioid addiction was skyrocketing,... Read More »

Senators consider adding new mandatory minimums for fentanyl

The drugs fentanyl and carfentanil have been playing outsized roles in the opioid epidemic, which is already high-profile. Fentanyl is considered to be about 100 times more powerful than morphine, while carfentanil is perhaps 10,000 times more powerful. Yet even though carfentanil is meant to tranquilize large mammals like rhinos and hippopotamuses, the drug is sometimes mixed with heroin or other opiates used by addicts. These potent synthetic opioids pose a real risk to law enforcement, according to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. He recently warned officers to avoid any exposure to the drugs, as people are overdosing in record numbers. He warns that America doesn’t have time to debate whether the opioid epidemic is a public health crisis or... Read More »

Medical marijuana implementation collapses on dispensary issue

  • On behalf of Mike G Law posted in on Thursday, May 18, 2017

How many retail dispensaries should a medical marijuana treatment center reasonably operate? The Florida House thinks it’s around 100 dispensaries per treatment center, but the Senate thinks it should be around 5. This disagreement has stalled the implementation of Florida’s medical marijuana amendment, to the consternation of many who voted for it. The bill looks dead for now. A spokesperson for the Department of Health said they continue to review public comments. If the agency makes rules at this point, litigation is expected. "The legislature chose political gamesmanship over the will of 71 percent of voters," said the executive director of Florida for Care. "The House got to poke the Senate in the eye one last time, but the real... Read More »

CDC: Opioid abuse costs $78 billion a year. Treatment cuts that.

"The most important reason to support treatment is to improve the well-being and social function of people with addiction disorders," writes the co-director of the University of Chicago Crime Lab. But "the economic value of crime reduction largely or totally offsets the costs of treatment." According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the cost to the public sector of prescription opioid abuse, addiction and overdose response, combined with the cost of the related crime, is $23 billion a year. The cost to the private sector in terms of healthcare expenses and lost job productivity is another $55 billion. The total yearly economic burden of substance abuse is somewhere in the hundreds of billions. Those costs are skyrocketing. Around... Read More »