Every day, stories about the U.S. opioid epidemic appear in daily newsfeeds, and rightly so: they are responsible for two out of every three drug overdoses in the country.
But there’s another drug not included in the usual drug overdose stats which kills almost twice as many people a year as opioids — alcohol. And yet, a casual perusal of the daily headlines usually turns up as many fun or fluff stories about alcohol as ones that suggest the risks and harms of drinking. Continue reading
As the opioid crisis has continued to plague the nation, a less-reported story for journalists to consider is the surging number of bacterial and viral infections threatening to make the crisis worse.
The rise includes an increase in bacterial infections caused by Staphlococcus aureus, a pathogen that is often resistant to antibiotics – and a climb in new HIV, hepatitis, sexually transmitted diseases and skin and soft tissue infections.
“A converging public health crisis is emerging because the opioid epidemic is fueling a surge in infectious diseases,” said the Journal of Infectious Diseases in August 2019. Continue reading
President Donald Trump has pledged to unveil a new plan to repeal and replace the ACA – but we haven’t seen it, and it’s not clear that we ever will. If the president does announce a plan, it’s to campaign on in 2020, not to try to enact before the November elections with a Democratic-controlled House and a divided Senate.
There’s no way to know how the Ukraine scandal will factor into health care and domestic policy. Trump may focus on impeachment and politics to the exclusion of health care – or he may try to change the subject with some kind of health platform. Continue reading
Photo: ME via Flickr
While oral health and dentist-use are generally similar in United States and England, U.S dentists write 37 times as many opioid prescriptions as their English counterparts, according to a newly published study.
The findings, reported in May in JAMA Network Open, highlight an ongoing concern about the prescribing habits of US health practitioners and how they may be contributing to America’s epidemic of opioid abuse. Continue reading
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
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