Tag Archives: addiction

New data resource on opioids available in AHCJ’s medical studies topic area

Tara Haelle

About Tara Haelle

Tara Haelle (@TaraHaelle) is AHCJ's medical studies core topic leader, guiding journalists through the jargon-filled shorthand of science and research and enabling them to translate the evidence into accurate information.

Deaths from drug overdose in 2017 alone exceeded the total number of Americans who died during the entire Vietnam War, according to the Drug Policy Alliance. The majority of those, of course, were opioids.

It’s virtually impossible to report on health today and not cover the opioid epidemic, whether in-depth, occasionally or tangentially. That’s particularly true in areas hit hardest by opioid use and overdoses, such as Appalachia (Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia), Maryland/D.C., and New England (Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts). Continue reading

Beyond addiction: Medical consequences for opioid misuse

Catherine Wendlandt

About Catherine Wendlandt

Catherine Wendlandt is a graduate research assistant at AHCJ, pursuing a master's degree in journalism-magazine editing at the University of Missouri. She has a degree in journalism-magazine publishing in 2018 from MU and minored in Spanish and religious studies. As an undergrad, she worked at Vox Magazine and the Columbia Missourian.

Photo: Sharyn Morrow via Flickr

What are people leaving out in the conversation about the opioid crisis?

Joshua Barocas, who teaches Boston University’s School of Medicine, said the answer is embedded in the question. “Opioids themselves aren’t the crisis,” he said. “Overdoses are the crisis.” Continue reading

More adults over 50 risk benzodiazepine misuse

Liz Seegert

About Liz Seegert

Liz Seegert (@lseegert), is AHCJ’s topic editor on aging. Her work has appeared in NextAvenue.com, Journal of Active Aging, Cancer Today, Kaiser Health News, the Connecticut Health I-Team and other outlets. She is a senior fellow at the Center for Health Policy and Media Engagement at George Washington University and co-produces the HealthCetera podcast.

Prescription rates of opioids and benzodiazepines are on the rise among the older adult population, according to two recent studies. And that is cause for concern, say researchers.

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

Dental leaders, researchers take new look at opioid crisis

Mary Otto

About Mary Otto

Mary Otto, a Washington, D.C.-based freelancer, is AHCJ's topic leader on oral health and the author of "Teeth: The Story of Beauty, Inequality, and the Struggle for Oral Health in America." She can be reached at mary@healthjournalism.org.

Photo: ME via Flickr

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

Examining the latest efforts in integrative health

Mary Otto

About Mary Otto

Mary Otto, a Washington, D.C.-based freelancer, is AHCJ's topic leader on oral health and the author of "Teeth: The Story of Beauty, Inequality, and the Struggle for Oral Health in America." She can be reached at mary@healthjournalism.org.

Photo: City of Santa Clarita via Flickr

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

Are you up to date on alcohol use disorder?

Tara Haelle

About Tara Haelle

Tara Haelle (@TaraHaelle) is AHCJ's medical studies core topic leader, guiding journalists through the jargon-filled shorthand of science and research and enabling them to translate the evidence into accurate information.

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