Opioids

Department of Foreign Affairs / https://www.flickr.com/photos/dfataustralianaid/

Indiana’s Medicaid will soon cover methadone treatment for people suffering from opioid addiction. That could mean more people seeking treatment, and savings for people already receiving it.


It's always appealing to think that there could be an easy technical fix for a complicated and serious problem.

For example, wouldn't it be great to have a vaccine to prevent addiction?

"One of the things they're actually working on is a vaccine for addiction, which is an incredibly exciting prospect," said Dr. Tom Price, secretary of Health and Human Services.

32 Churches, No Methadone Clinic: Trying To Heal In A 'Treatment Desert'

Aug 14, 2017
Brian Rinker / Kaiser Health News

Heather Menzel squirmed in her seat, unable to sleep on the Greyhound bus as it rolled through the early morning darkness toward Bakersfield, in California’s Central Valley. She’d been trapped in transit for three miserable days, stewing in a horrific sickness only a heroin addict can understand. Again, and again, she stumbled down the aisle to the bathroom to vomit.

Opioid abuse is a crisis, but is it an emergency?

That's the question gripping Washington after President Trump's Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis recommended that the president declare the epidemic a national emergency.

Update 3:35 pm August 10: Two days after making a few general remarks about the opioid crisis, President Trump on Thursday called it "a national emergency" and said his administration would be drawing up papers to make it official.

"We're going to spend a lot of time, a lot of effort and a lot of money on the opioid crisis," Trump told reporters at his golf club in Bedminster, N.J.

In Prince George's County, Md., every first responder carries naloxone, the drug that can reverse an opioid overdose.

"We carry it in our first-in bags," says Bryan Spies, the county's battalion chief in charge of emergency services. "So whenever we arrive at a patient's side, it's in the bag, along with things like glucose, aspirin and oxygen."

Two summers ago, we met a woman who went by the name Teacup.

"I'm an active heroin user," she told us. "Thirty-three years as a matter of fact."

Bram Sable-Smith / KBIA/Side Effects Public Media

For five years now, the Missouri legislature has considered legislation to create a prescription drug monitoring database that would allow pharmacists and physicians to look at their patient's prescription history for signs of misuse of narcotics. And for five years, Missouri pharmacists like Erica Hopkins have watched those efforts fail with disappointment.


Ashley Gardner / Shaw Air Force Base

Well-paying manufacturing and industrial jobs—the same kinds of jobs that were promised to American workers in the last election cycle—are sitting unfilled, thanks to applicants' inability to pass employer-required drug tests, according to a report in the New York Times

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In June, Middletown, Ohio, council member Dan Picard suggested that every time an ambulance responds to a drug overdose, the receiving patient be required to pay for the cost by performing community service. If that person experiences more than two overdoses but have not completed their community service, the 911 dispatcher will not send an ambulance.

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