NY Senator Schumer calls for more federal funds to combat opioid epidemic

March 06, 2018 in Opioids

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand recently announced $132,899 as federal funding to combat the opioid crisis in Allegany, Cattaraugus and Chautauqua counties of New York. The grant, given under the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Development Distance Learning and Telemedicine program, will aid in improving emergency response to opioid overdoses in the Southern Tier Region to promote a distance-learning program in the region.

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 RICO’s Safe Passage Program helps patients fight opioid addiction, stay out of jail

February 09, 2018 in Opioids

To deal with the growing fatality caused by opioid overdose, Rock Island County (RICO), Illinois has adopted a new way involving various police departments. The sheriff’s office, along with various police departments, is planning to work in collaboration with local treatment centers and help individuals struggling with addiction in RICO. The Safe Passage Program, as it’s called, will help thousands of addicts trudge safely through their recovery with the help of volunteers.

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 How US became world’s biggest consumer of opioid painkillers

November 08, 2017 in Opioids, Substance Abuse

The United States, with a population of over 326 million, is home to more than 4.3 percent of the world population. And just like its gross domestic product (GDP) which is the highest in the world, the nation is also the top consumer of opioids. As per an estimate, the U.S. accounts for approximately 25 percent of the drug-related deaths worldwide, including overdose deaths driven mostly by opioids.

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 As Florida’s opioid crisis worsens, concern over new drug laws rises

August 01, 2017 in Drug Abuse, Drug Addiction, Opioids

The Florida Medical Examiner Commission’s 2016 Interim Drugs in Deceased Persons Report has identified fentanyl as the drug responsible for the highest number of overdose deaths in the state during the first six months of 2016. The report, released in May 2017, presents the most recent and accurate summary of Florida’s lethal opioid crisis. The first half of 2016 saw 704 deaths due to fentanyl overdoses, which is nearly the same as the total number of fentanyl overdose deaths during 2015.

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 Evidence of reduced heroin abuse among teens

June 19, 2017 in Drug Abuse, Opioids

The rise of heroin use following the surge of the opioid crisis that ravaged the United States is only fanning the problem of addiction. With more and more individuals resorting to lesser cost heroin after the heavy crackdown and monitoring of prescription-grade pills, the need of the hour calls for public health and law enforcement agencies to come together to prevent the outbreak of another substance use epidemic.

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 Alaska Governor taking initiatives to combat opioid abuse

June 08, 2017 in Drug Addiction, Opioids

The United States has been witnessing a rise in episodes of opioid abuse that has resulted in an epidemic situation across various parts of the country. Countless propositions have been put forth to curtail the rising opioid crisis stemming from misuse or overdose of prescription medications. In February 2017, the Alaska Governor, Bill Walker, announced a disaster declaration on the state’s opioid condition. The administrative order aims to address the issue of opioid epidemic similar to previous orders dealing with natural disasters and related problems.

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 Rarely abused drugs – 3: Venlafaxine

May 19, 2017 in Addiction, Drug Abuse, Opioids, Substance Abuse

The use of pharmaceuticals for non-medical purposes has become more common than ever before, especially among college-going students. The surge in prescription drug abuse in the United States is largely driven by the easy availability of such drugs in medical stores, or at times, even at homes. Prescription drug addiction is a grave problem since most people do not hesitate from sharing these drugs openly among friends and family, as well as other near and dear ones. But, the worst part is that most people perceive such medications to be safer than other illegal drugs, primarily driven by the fact that most of them are prescribed by doctors and are also legally sold in pharmacies.

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 Rarely abused drugs – 2: Dicyclomine

May 15, 2017 in Addiction, Drug Abuse, Opioids, Substance Abuse

Taking medicines without doctor’s recommendation or consuming more than the prescribed dosage can lead to serious health repercussions. A prolonged use of such prescription medications may lead to a dependence on them, owing to their ability to cause a euphoric “high”. However, one of the major causes of prescription abuse, especially among teenagers, is the illegal sharing of prescribed medicines among peers and friends. But, when it comes to women and the elderly people, the primary reason behind the high rate of prescription drug abuse is the tendency to over use and misuse the prescribed medication (usually the painkillers).

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 Fake pot caused ‘zombie’ outbreak in NYC last summer

February 27, 2017 in Addiction, Marijuana, Opioids, Substance Abuse

The rate of abuse of synthetic cannabinoids has seen a rapid increase across the United States. Banned in the U.S., these compounds are produced in underground labs in South Asia and China. Their non-detectability in most drug tests and low price make it so popular with the masses.

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 Antibiotic Resistance

February 20, 2017 in Drug Abuse, Drug Addiction, Opioids

Antibiotic resistance has become a global threat, so much so that the UN General Assembly took it up for consideration in September 2016. This is the fourth health issue ever to be considered by the United Nations as a global threat after HIV, non-communicable diseases and the Ebola virus. It is an imminent problem of which the world needs to take cognizance because:

– according to a high level report released in 2014, it is estimated to claim 10 million lives a year by 2050

– at least 2 million people get infected by bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics, and at least 23,000 people die due to these infections, each year in the United States alone.

Understanding antibiotic resistance

Antibiotics are medicines used to prevent and treat bacterial infections. Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria change to become resistant to such antibiotics. No amount or type of medicines work on antibiotic-resistant bacteria or superbugs.

Essentially, this translate into rendering treatment of what were earlier common infections like TB, blood poisoning, pneumonia, and the likes increasingly harder and sometimes even impossible. This condition leads to prolonged hospital stays, skyrocketing medical bills and in severe cases, even death.

It is important to understand antibiotic resistance as it is escalating to dangerous proportions with new resistance mechanisms emerging and spreading across the globe making treatment processes complicated and at times, ineffective. And without proper direction, we would just be driving headlong into an era where the tiniest of injuries and infections would have the power to claim lives.

Putting an end to antibiotic resistance

According to a CDC report, one in every three outpatient antibiotic prescriptions is unnecessary. This means that at least 30 percent such prescriptions can be easily avoided. And yet these medicines are prescribed, bought and ingested.

Antibiotics tend to become lesser and lesser effective with each use. Working towards preventing antibiotic resistance from spreading, CDC has launched the Hospital Antibiotic Stewardship Programs  which provides toolkits and guidelines to health care providers with the aim to improve the use of antibiotics.

On the patients’ part, it is essential to be aware of the antibiotics that we are taking and stop the over and unnecessary use of these. It is also time for us to join hands with health care providers and put to an end to the misuse, overuse and abuse of antibiotics. However, it is us, the consumers who have to question if the antibiotic is really necessary before popping them.

What also needs to happen hand-in-hand is a change in behavior of the health care providers. They must ensure that a prescription for antibiotics is given only when it is really warranted. Otherwise, what we would eventually end up doing is push our race towards that very dark and uncertain post-antibiotic era which we are fighting so hard to resist.

Recovery road map

The global Ebola outbreak was lesson enough that there are really no barriers and that every superbug is just a plane ride away to your town. Only when each one us – every consumer, patient and health care provider joins in the fight against superbugs will the war be won.

If you or your loved one is struggling with prescription drug or substance abuse, you can contact the 24/7 Drug Addiction Helpline for information on inpatient drug abuse treatment centers USA. You can chat online or call our 24/7 helpline number 866-403-5607 for expert advice on help for drug addiction.

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