A new study finds that providing surgeons with guidelines on prescribing painkillers for specific types of surgeries resulted in a 53 percent drop in opioid prescribing, The Washington Post reports.
The researchers from Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center surveyed patients undergoing common surgeries about how many painkillers they took. The procedures were partial mastectomy, partial mastectomy with a lymph-node biopsy, gall-bladder removal and two kinds of hernia repair. Patients consumed only 28 percent of the opioids they were prescribed, they report in the Annals of Surgery.
Full story of patients needing fewer pain pills after surgery at Science Daily
A controversial surgical procedure being studied in China attempts to cure addiction by destroying parts of the brain’s “pleasure centers,” Time.com reports. The research is being conducted on alcoholics and people addicted to heroin.
The procedure risks permanently damaging a person’s ability to have longings and feel joy, the article notes.
The Chinese Ministry of Health banned the procedure in 2004. Some doctors were allowed to continue to perform the operation for research purposes. In a recent study published in the journal Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery, researchers called the surgery “a feasible method for alleviating psychological dependence on opiate drugs.” They note more than half of the 60 patients in the study had lasting side effects. These included memory problems and loss of motivation. After five years, 47 percent of participants were still drug free.
That compares with a 30-40 percent rate of significant recovery with conventional addiction treatment, the news outlet states. Experts feel the small increase in success rates with the surgery is not worth the large risk.
Full story of brains pleasure center at DrugFree.org
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Beedie Savage – President of Quantum Units Education