opioid addiction

New Sobering Center Under Construction Aimed At Lowering Costs

Oct 19, 2016
Kristin Gourlay/RIPR

A new sobering center opens next month at a homeless shelter in Providence. It’s a place where inebriated people who would typically be brought to the emergency room can safely sober up. It's meant to save money and guide those patients toward recovery.

 


On the final day of June 2015, Colin LePage rode waves of hope and despair. It started when LePage found his 30-year-old son, Chris, at home after an apparent overdose. Paramedics rushed Chris by helicopter to one of Boston's flagship medical centers.

Doctors revived Chris' heart, but struggled to stabilize his temperature and blood pressure. At some point, a doctor or nurse mentioned to LePage that his son had agreed to be an organ donor.

"There was no urgency or, 'Hey, you need to do this.' I could see genuine concern and sadness." LePage says, his voice quavering.

Long-Term Implants: A New Tool In The Treatment Of Opiate Addiction

Oct 5, 2016
LYNNE MCCREA / VPR

Doctors in Vermont and across the country are being introduced to a new tool for treating opioid addiction. It’s an implant: four tiny plastic rods, inserted into a patient’s arm, deliver a steady dose of buprenorphine. 

The drug counters the craving for heroin or other opioids.

 


How The Nation’s Opioid Epidemic Is Morphing — And Growing

Oct 3, 2016
Mementosis/via Flickr

The nation’s opioid epidemic shows no signs of abating—and in fact may be headed in a far more dangerous direction.

That’s the conclusion of journalist David Armstrong, who has been chronicling the scourge this year for STAT, a new health and medicine website. Armstrong has written about how heroin and, increasingly, fentanyl have overtaken narcotic painkillers as the drugs of choice for addicts — presenting new challenges for law enforcement and health professionals.

Almost half of all Americans take prescription painkillers, tranquilizers, stimulants or sedatives, according to results of a federal survey released Thursday. The prevalent use of these drugs could help explain why millions of Americans end up misusing or abusing them.

Nurses Step In To Fill Shortage Of Doctors Treating Opioid Addiction

Sep 6, 2016
Boston Medical Center

As the opioid epidemic advances, public health officials nationwide are calling on doctors to help stanch overdose deaths and salvage shattered lives by prescribing medications that have proven highly effective at keeping people away from drugs.

Bram Sable-Smith / KBIA/Side Effects Public Media

Deana Kilpatrick smoked crack for the first time when she was 13 years old. “From there,” she says, “I really just spiraled down hill.”

For the next 30 years, drugs and alcohol were part of her life. Then last November, at the age of 43, she moved to Branson, Missouri looking for a new start. It was going pretty well until loneliness drove her to relapse a few months ago. She got a fourth DWI and faced up to four years in jail.

Opioid Dependence Leads To ‘Tsunami’ Of Medical Services, Study Finds

Aug 1, 2016
David K/via Flickr

In one of the first looks at privately insured patients with opioid problems, researchers paint a grim picture: Medical services for people with opioid dependence diagnoses skyrocketed more than 3,000 percent between 2007 and 2014.

Prisons To Expand Opioid Addiction Treatment

Jul 27, 2016
Photo by Rhode Island Executive Office of Health and Human Services

Rhode Island’s prison system is offering drug treatment to more inmates. Until now, only inmates who entered prison on medication for opioid addiction were allowed to continue that medication. And only for 60 days. Now, the Adult Correctional Institutions will continue medication for six months or longer, thanks to an infusion of cash in this year’s state budget. 

Some Missouri Counties To Get Federal Support To Monitor Prescription Drugs

Jul 24, 2016
DURRIE BOUSCAREN/ST. LOUIS PUBLIC RADIO

St. Louis County could receive federal funds to establish a regional prescription drug monitoring database, under a new law passed by Congress that President Barack Obama has said he will sign.

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