Majority say drug companies should be held responsible for opioid crisis
A new poll by NPR and Ipsos finds a third of Americans have been touched directly by the deadly opioid epidemic that still kills more than 100 people every day. "One in three have been personally affected in some way, either by knowing someone who has overdosed or by knowing someone with an opioid addiction," said Mallory Newall, lead Ipsos researcher on the survey.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says more than 200,000 Americans have died from prescription opioid overdoses since the addiction crisis began in the late 1990s, after pharmaceutical companies began aggressively marketing highly addictive painkillers.
The survey found that 57% of Americans now say pharmaceutical companies should be held responsible for making the crisis worse. Read more
FDA approves first generic naloxone nasal spray to treat opiate overdose
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently granted final approval of the first generic naloxone hydrochloride nasal spray, commonly known as Narcan, a life-saving medication that can stop or reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. The agency is also planning new steps to prioritize the review of additional generic drug applications for products intended to treat opioid overdose, along with the previously announced action to help facilitate an over-the-counter naloxone product.
“In the wake of the opioid crisis, a number of efforts are underway to make this emergency overdose reversal treatment more readily available and more accessible. In addition to this approval of the first generic naloxone nasal spray, moving forward we will prioritize our review of generic drug applications for naloxone. Read more
Scientists identify genes associated with heavy drinking and alcoholism
ne of the largest genomic studies of its kind has revealed new insights into the genetic factors that may make some people vulnerable to heavy drinking and alcohol use disorder (AUD). A total of 18 new genetic variants have been associated with heavy alcohol consumption, AUD, or both. The findings could lead to better treatments and screening methods for people who carry these risky genes. Read more
Research shows some in recovery continue to experience chronic physical disease
Excessive use of alcohol and drugs can lead to mental and physical health issues, some of which include anxiety, depression, diabetes, liver disease, and heart disease. Many of these conditions may improve after recovery, but some may linger and diminish the quality of life.
A study carried out at the Massachusetts General Hospital Recovery Research Institute in Boston analyzed the impact of recovery on medical conditions that are caused or aggravated by alcohol and drug abuse. The researchers published their findings in the Journal of Addiction Medicine
, in a paper titled "Medical burden of disease among individuals in recovery from alcohol and other drug problems in the United States."
"The prodigious psychological, social, and interpersonal impact of excessive and chronic alcohol and other drug use is well-characterized," Read more
Sobriety seen as just one pathway to recovery. Harm reduction considered another
In Washington state, where I live and work, the only kind of substance-use treatment currently allowed by state law is abstinence-based treatment, or treatment that demands sobriety. So as a substance-use treatment professional, that’s what I’ve been providing.
But I started realizing that this approach wasn’t reaching many of those struggling with substance use disorders. In fact, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health showed that 19 million American adults had a substance use disorder in 2016, but only 11 percent of those who needed treatment received it. Of the other 89 percent, nearly 96 percent said they “didn’t need treatment.” For whatever reason, our abstinence-based treatments are not reaching the vast majority of people with substance use disorders. Read more