In one study, Greg Rhee, Ph.D., an adjunct assistant professor in the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy, examined prescribing trends in outpatient settings of opioids and benzodiazepines. His analysis found that between 2006-07 and 2014-15, the prescription rates of benzodiazepine drugs such as Xanax and Halcion increased from 4.8 percent to 6.2 percent; the rate of prescription opioids alone increased from 5.9 percent to 10 percent, and the co-prescribing rate of both benzodiazepines and opioids increased over time from 1.1 percent to 2.7 percent, respectively. Continue reading
Calling upon the nation’s oral health providers to do their part in addressing a national opioid crisis that claims an estimated 115 lives a day, the American Dental Association (ADA) has endorsed statutory dosage and seven-day duration limits on opioid prescriptions for the treatment of acute pain.
In a recent announcement, the professional group, which represents more than 161,000 dentist members*, also supported mandatory continuing education to inform dentists about evidence-based opioid prescribing practices. Continue reading
In the face of sky-rocketing rates of chronic disease and addiction, some health care leaders are searching beyond pills and procedures for solutions to America’s health care crisis.
They are turning toward integrative health, a field that combines conventional Western medicine with self-care coaching and complementary therapies such as meditation and acupuncture.
“We do not have a chronic disease model that works. That is why we are in a crisis in health care,” said physician Wayne B. Jonas, speaking at the panel “Newest Efforts in Integrative Health” during Health Journalism 2018. Continue reading
Investigative journalism from Stat News, Wired and the New York Times recently revealed how the alcohol industry is influencing the kind of research the National Institutes of Health will conduct as the NIH seeks funding for alcohol research. That story simply adds more evidence to what some journalists and public health folks have been pointing out: alcohol is one of the most dangerous, destructive drugs there is, but it rarely gets treated as such. Continue reading
In December 2016, Charles Piller (@cpiller), the west coast editor for Stat, reported that a genetic test to identify patients who could be prone to addiction lacked a firm scientific basis.
With an eye-opening headline, “Called ‘hogwash,’ a gene test for addiction risk exploits opioid fears,” the article raised important questions about the Proove Opioid Risk test from Proove Biosciences in Irvine, Calif. Continue reading
Now two years into her health coverage of the epidemic, Wolford was driven by a journalist’s instinct to find out what was happening in her community, from those using the drugs, police officers and government officials, to family members on all sides of the crisis.
“When I repeatedly heard daily overdose calls over the office scanner, I asked my boss if I could dive into the crisis,” she said. Continue reading