A social autopsy.
That’s what West Virginia Health Commissioner Dr. Rahul Gupta called his efforts to examine opioid deaths in his state, one of the hardest hit by the drug epidemic.
In an interview with WBUR, Gupta said he was crunching the data on hundreds of those who die in hopes of seeing past the medical causes and into the social issues that may have contributed. Understanding that, and the stigma, may better help him and other officials tackle the scourge that is sweeping the state. Continue reading
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
Photo: Pia Christensen/AHCJCharles Piller, Paul Raeburn and Christopher Robertson (left to right) discussed the science of genetic testing on the first day of Health Journalism 2018.
Health insurers struggle to understand whether genetic tests give physicians actionable information about how to diagnose and treat patients’ illness. If health insurers struggle, then journalists certainly will as well. For example, see this tip sheet that Beth Daley (@BethBDaley) wrote for AHCJ when she was at the New England Center for Investigative Reporting.
Genetic testing holds immense promise, but as speakers explained during the “Science of Genetic Testing” session at Health Journalism 2018, misuse and misinterpretation of these tests have undercut that promise. Continue reading
Photo: Ryan Basen Baltimore Health Commissioner Leana Wen, right, helps demonstrate how naloxone is administered.
Health journalists in Washington, D.C., participated in an all-day training session about reporting on the opioid crisis, hearing from treatment experts, medical providers and public health advocates.
The event took place Feb. 23 at the University of Maryland’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism, and was a partnership between the D.C. chapter of the Association of Health Care Journalists and the National Press Foundation. Continue reading
Chronic pain is fairly common among older adults. Nearly half of community dwelling and up to 75 percent of institutionalized adults over 65 report some type of persistent pain. Coping with pain frequently involves a combination of prescription and over-the-counter medications, from NSAIDs to opioids. However, that approach can create a host of issues, including drug-drug interactions, balance and sleep problems, or addiction. Is there another way?
As this story in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch aptly stated, pain management in older adults has to extend beyond painkillers. That’s where integrative medicine comes in. Continue reading