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Prescription Drug Abuse

Policy/Advocacy
Dan Schneider, the subject of a Netflix series that chronicled efforts to track down the individual who killed his son in a drug deal gone bad, has formed a lobbying group to advocate for education, recovery, treatment and research to address the nation’s opioid crisis.
Technology
Epidemiologists from the West Virginia Board of Pharmacy discuss how non-fatal overdose data was integrated into the state’s prescription drug monitoring database and how that move has helped prescribers across the state.
Special Populations
A recently released study found that high school students who reported they are currently misusing prescription opioids were significantly more likely to have considered attempting suicide, planned a suicide attempt or attempted suicide compared to those who had engaged in past misuse.
Medications
A low dose of naltrexone was found to be a promising alternative to opioids prescribed for patients with orofacial and chronic pain, according to a new study from the University of Michigan School of Dentistry.
Therapies/Treatments
A study that was presented this month at the Association of Academic Psychiatrists Annual Meeting suggests that patients being treated for pain with chronic opioid therapy are more likely to live in socially disadvantaged areas and self-report feelings of anxiety, depression and pain more frequently.
Medications
With drug overdose deaths reaching historic levels during the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers from the Lerner Center for Public Health Promotion at Syracuse University noted how inconsistent prescribing of anti-anxiety medications has been a significant contributing factor and will continue to be post-pandemic.
Special Populations
In study findings presented at the 2020 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, women who received a mastectomy and reconstructive surgery after a diagnosis of breast cancer were found to be at a greater risk of chronic controlled substance use, per media reports.
General Psychiatry
Positive tests for non-prescribed use of fentanyl and opioids, as well as heroin, increased during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a recently published study of nearly 900,000 de-identified lab results conducted by Quest Diagnostics. Use of fentanyl in combination with other drugs also surged.
Medications
Not-for-profit organization Mothers Against Prescription Drug Abuse, life sciences firm Emergent BioSolutions, and three Major League Baseball clubs team up for Overdose Awareness Day initiative.
Pain Management
John Temple, author of “American Pain,” will share findings from his book on a Florida pain clinic that recklessly prescribed opioids, as well as how some operators have now shifted into running treatment centers and sober living facilities.
Trends
Journalist Beth Macy, who will speak on a panel at the Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit in April, discusses her findings while reporting for her New York Times bestselling book ‘Dopesick.’
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