Opioid use—and abuse—among construction workers has become the industry’s silent crisis. It frequently begins with pain, typically from jobsite-related injuries, including falls, or from tasks involving repetitive motion. Excessive exposure to vibration—in addition to bending, twisting and awkward postures—inflicts particularly hard wear and tear on backs, knees, shoulders and other joints.
And then the cycle of seeking relief for those ailments begins.
After a couple of weeks of intense discussion, however, Dr. Makary’s group reached consensus and gave its blessing to guidelines setting maximum numbers of opioid-containing pills for 20 common medical procedures.
In some cases, the right number of opioids is zero, the group concluded. Indeed, it recommends no opioids for patients heading home after uncomplicated labor and delivery, or after cardiac catheterization, a procedure in which a thin, hollow tube is inserted into the heart through a blood vessel to check for blockages.
Almost every time he or his partners write a prescription for one of these drugs, it’s denied for not being part of the insurer’s formulary, or list of drugs that are covered, Dr. Loudermilk said.
Buprenorphine and methadone can cut the chances that someone who survives an opioid overdose will succumb to yet another one, but too few patients get the treatments, a new study shows.
The Food and Drug Administration approved the first generic version of an oral intake film for treating opioid addiction.
An analysis by the White House Council of Economic Advisers — using an approach that attempts to calculate the economic costs of loss of life — suggests that the overall cost of the crisis to the U.S. economy in 2015 was over $500 billion, or around 3 percent of GDP.
One of the first proposals expected to be considered for funding calls for a court-ordered drug treatment program for male offenders — similar to the successful Women Recovering with a Purpose program.
On Tuesday, the National Institutes of Health revealed its new plan to tackle the opioid crisis, which it dubbed the Helping to End Addiction Long-term, or HEAL, initiative. Among the ideas presented are research programs devoted to better understanding chronic pain, developing new non-opioid painkillers and addiction treatments, and speeding up the clinical trial process to test out these potential drugs.
From drug searches to peer-support groups, schools across the nation are taking a number of approaches to combat the opioid epidemic.
Public libraries have always been about more than just books — and their mission of community support has taken on new urgency during the current opioid epidemic. After witnessing overdoses at her library in Philadelphia, Chera Kowalski learned how to administer naloxone, a drug that reverses the effects of narcotics, and she’s put it to use to save patrons’ lives. In this personal talk, she shares the day-to-day reality of life on the frontline of the opioid crisis and advocates for each of us to find new ways to keep our communities safe and healthy.