Some Opioid-Related Deaths May be Missed When People Die from Infectious Diseases

A new government study suggests some opioid-related deaths may not be counted when people die from pneumonia or other infectious diseases that are worsened by drug use.

In these cases, the death certificate may only list the infection as the cause of death, according to the researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Full story of opioid related deaths and infectious diseases at drugfree.org

Attorneys General Tell Trump Health Law Replacement Must Fund Drug Treatment

The attorneys general of 19 states have told President Trump and Republican leaders of Congress that any replacement for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) must adequately fund drug treatment, the Associated Press reports.

In a letter, the attorneys general said the initial ACA replacement plan, which was pulled from consideration in the House last month, eventually could have cut more than $13 billion annually in treatment funding through a combination of direct cuts and caps on Medicaid.

Full story of Trump Health Law and drug treatment at drugfree.org

Patients Treated for Opioid Addiction in General Health System at Higher Risk of Death

Patients treated for an opioid use disorder in a general healthcare system instead of an addiction treatment center face a higher risk of death, a new study concludes.

Researchers at UCLA found patients treated for opioid addiction in primary care offices or hospitals are more than twice as likely to die than those treated in addiction treatment centers, according to HealthDay.

Full story of general health treatment for opioid addiction at drugfree.org

Longer-lasting pain relief with MOFs

To treat headaches, back pain or fever, most of us have reached for ibuprofen at one point or another. But we often have to take doses every four to six hours if the pain warrants it. Now scientists are working on a way to package the commonly used drug so it can last longer. Their approach, reported in ACS’ journal Molecular Pharmaceutics, could also be used to deliver other drugs orally that currently can only be taken intravenously.

Recently, scientists have been studying compounds called metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), which are made of metal ions linked to organic ligands, for drug delivery. Active ingredients can be packed inside MOFs, which are porous, and some of them have additional traits such as water solubility that make them good candidates for drug couriers. But few studies have so far investigated whether such MOFs could be used in oral formulations. J. Fraser Stoddart and colleagues wanted to test promising MOFs using ibuprofen as a model drug.

Full story of pain relief with metal-organic frameworks at Science Daily

‘Alarmingly high’ risk of death for people with opioid use disorder in general medical care

Almost one-fifth of patients with opioid use disorder (OUD) in a large healthcare system died during a four-year follow-up period, reports a study in the Journal of Addiction Medicine, the official journal of the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM). The journal is published by Wolters Kluwer.

The results suggest very high rates of serious illness and death among patients with OUD in general medical care settings — much higher than for those in addiction specialty clinics, according to by Yih-Ing Hser, PhD, of University of California, Los Angeles, and colleagues. They write, “The alarmingly high morbidity and mortality among OUD patients revealed in the present study challenge healthcare systems to find new and innovative ways to expand evidence-based strategies for OUD in a variety of settings.”

Full story of death risk for opioid users in general medical care at Science Daily