Featured Commentary: The Opioid Epidemic’s Untold Story

Last year, more Americans died of opioid overdoses than of many cancers, gunshot wounds, or even car crashes. In fact, by at least one metric, the epidemic is more dire for Americans than was the Vietnam War: while an average of 11 Americans died per day during the 14 years the U.S. was involved in Vietnam, nearly 120 Americans died per day of opioid overdoses in 2018 alone.

As families write obituaries, death notices are printed, and flowers are delivered to grieving loved ones, an important part of the story has gone largely untold. At some point, if they survive, most opioid abusers end up in court. Perhaps they have been arrested for stealing to feed their habits or perhaps an agency has deemed them unfit parents. Whatever the reason, one fact remains: the state court justice system is now the primary referral source for addiction treatment in the country.

Full story at drugfree.org

Doctor-Targeted Marketing Linked With Rise in Deaths From Opioid Overdoses

Increased marketing of opioid drugs to doctors is associated with higher opioid prescribing rates and higher rates of overdose deaths, according to a new study.

Researchers found that counties where opioid makers offered doctors more meals, trips and consulting fees had higher overdose deaths involving prescription opioids, compared with counties where such marketing tactics were less aggressive, The New York Times reports.

The drug industry spent about $40 million to promote opioid medications to almost 68,000 physicians from 2013 through 2015, the study found.

Full story at drugfree.org

Medication in Prison Associated with Reductions in Fatal Opioid Overdoses After Release

A state-led initiative created within the Rhode Island correctional system showed that offering medication to inmates with opioid use disorders reduced fatal overdoses once the inmates were released. The reduction in fatal overdoses was large enough to have a significant effect on the death rate from opioid overdoses statewide. The research was funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Every person entering the Rhode Island correctional system was screened for opioid addiction and those who needed it were provided with evidence-based medication assisted treatment (MAT), which included the drugs methadone, buprenorphine, or naltrexone. In addition, a system of 12 community-based Centers of Excellence in MAT were established to continue MAT therapy and provide support after their release from prison or jail.

Full story at drugabuse.gov

Quantum Units Education: Discontinued CEU Courses

Due to the age of the material, the following courses will be removed from the Quantum library on 6/2/2017. After this date you will be unable to take these courses for CE Credit.

Use our discount code of CEUs4You and receive 10% off our discontinuing courses.

1. HIPAA Privacy Rule
2. Substance Abuse Counseling Modalities
3. Legal: American Disabilities Act
4. Opioid Overdose Toolkit for First Responders and Treatment Providers