Spring opening seen for ASAP hub: Group’s new board charts organizational path

December 9, 2018 By Julie McClure

The Alliance for Substance Abuse Progress, an organization formed to provide prevention and recovery services to people affected by the opioid crisis in Bartholomew County, hopes to have its hub ready to open by the second quarter of 2019.

The hub is a crucial component to the strategy of addressing substance abuse locally, Jones said. The hub will provide resources needed to recover from substance abuse, including referrals to already existing programming, help with navigating the health care and insurance systems and resources for connecting to community services, down to the basics of obtaining food, housing and transportation.

 

For One Rural Community, Fighting Addiction Started With Recruiting The Right Doctor

December 9, 2018 By Bram Sable-Smith

Many rural communities lack basic resources for substance abuse. There are fewer services available than in urban areas—as many as 82 percent of rural Americans may live in counties that lack detoxification services, for example.

 

‘It didn’t happen overnight’: How the U.S. opioid crisis got so bad

December 9, 2018 By Adriana Belmonte

Brett Giroir, assistant secretary for health and senior adviser for opioid policy at the Department of Health and Human Services, told Yahoo Finance that there’s “no simple answer” for how the epidemic began.

“It’s taken a couple of decades to get us to this point,” he said. “It didn’t happen overnight.”

Giroir explained that many factors play a part in this crisis, including “the overprescription and inappropriate prescription” of opioid painkillers to patients, the “availability and importation” of low-price, high-potency drugs, and “the role of state and society” in allowing the opioid crisis to build.

 

Scientists used Google searches to predict heroin overdoses

December 9, 2018 By Olivia Goldhill

What if we could know about overdoses before they happen?

Scientists in California have opened the possibility of having such preemptive knowledge by creating a model that uses Google searches to predict overdoses from heroin. Their research, published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence in September and reported on this week in Scientific American, shows that Google searches for certain drugs, including slang terms, can be used to explain heroin-related visits to hospitals.

 

Beyond the Stigma: Son’s addiction and recovery inspires insurance executive to help others

December 8, 2018 By Shawne K. Wickham

William Brewster is a physician and his wife, Jo-Ann, is an ICU nurse. So they both were accustomed to dealing calmly and compassionately with emergencies. But for years, they could only watch helplessly as their funny, gifted son fell ever deeper into the abyss of drug addiction.

It was like living “in the middle of a hurricane,” Dr. Brewster recalls.

Now 32, Zachary Brewster has been in recovery for five years. He works for a faith-based program that helps teens and adults overcome addiction, and he’s planning to attend medical school after he graduates from college next spring.

 

Survey: Drug Abuse a Critical Challenge For Local Leaders

December 6, 2018 By Alex Brown

The 2017 Indiana Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations Survey, which is conducted every two years, was sent to more than 1,300 county, city, town, township and school officials throughout the state.

Jamie Palmer, director of the IACIR and senior policy analyst at the IU Public Policy Institute, says the main challenges identified by respondents were drug abuse and local roads and streets. The survey says 70 percent listed drug abuse as a major problem in their community with another 25 percent reporting it as a moderate problem.

 

This Drug Could Stop The Opioid Epidemic

December 5, 2018 By Laura Castañón and Lia Petronio

Ganesh Thakur, an associate professor in Northeastern’s Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, is hunting for a way to stop this epidemic. He has created a chemical compound that could enhance the body’s own ability to relieve pain without putting patients at risk of becoming addicted.

 

Fighting the Drug War in Budget Motels and Prisons

December 3, 2018 By Tessie Castillo

On paper, Nicole’s job is to deliver opioid overdose prevention supplies and make referrals, but in reality, she is a health care worker, mental health counselor, legal advisor, social worker, confidant and more.

As an outreach worker with the North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition (NCHRC), Nicole offers harm reduction services to people who use drugs problematically in Wake and Johnston counties. Through a grant from the Aetna Foundation, she provides free overdose prevention resources and referrals to social services such as housing, medical care, and drug detox.

It is not easy keeping track of such a transient population; many of her regular participants hang out at budget motels, but frequent police raids scatter them, leaving Nicole to figure out where they landed. So each morning she makes a list:

Who was arrested last night?
Who became homeless?
Who died?

 

Is wisdom tooth surgery getting teens hooked on opioids?

December 3, 2018 By Jared Gilmour

Wisdom teeth are an expensive and painful problem for countless Americans.

Oral surgeons pull out 10 million wisdom teeth yearly, according to 2007 research. That’s roughly 5 million swollen patients across the United States, with the cumulative medical cost totaling more than $3 billion every year.

But a new study published in JAMA Internal Medicine finds that the surgery can bring more than pain and medical bills: Teenagers are at a significantly heightened risk for opioid addiction after undergoing wisdom tooth removal surgeries that come with opioid painkillers to ease their recovery, according to Stanford University researchers.

 

America’s new opioid law ‘is historic in its breadth’

December 2, 2018 By Adriana Belmonte

On October 24, President Donald Trump signed a bipartisan bill aimed at tackling the nation’s growing opioid epidemic.

The opioid legislation, officially titled the Substance-Use Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment for Patients and Communities Act, indicates clear progress in America’s fight against opioid addiction and treatment.