Opioid-Linked Visits To ERs Double In Orange County
KPCC finds that as the drug problem grows, the county's wealthier communities are seeing the brunt of the epidemic. In other news, the country's largest pharmacy benefit manager is seeking to limit access to opioids and public health advocates warn about overdoses while driving.
Infographic: Orange County's Wealthiest Cities Have Biggest Opioid Problem
Opioid abuse and overdoses have caused emergency room visits in Orange County to more than double over the last decade, according to a recent report from the county health care agency. The cities with the highest rates of opioid-related emergency room visits are in generally wealthy south Orange County and along the coast, with Dana Point at the top of the list. (Replogle, 8/16)
The Associated Press:
Express Scripts To Limit Opioids; Doctors Concerned
The nation’s largest pharmacy benefit manager will soon limit the number and strength of opioid drugs prescribed to first-time users as part of a wide-ranging effort to curb an epidemic affecting millions of Americans. But the new program from Express Scripts is drawing criticism from the American Medical Association, the largest association of physicians and medical students in the U.S., which believes treatment plans should be left to doctors and their patients. (Salter, 8/17)
The Associated Press:
Overdoses On The Road: Drugged Driving Rises As A Menace
Car crashes caused by overdosing drivers are becoming so commonplace, authorities say, that some rescue crews immediately administer the antidote, naloxone, to any unresponsive driver they find at an accident scene. People who use heroin and related drugs are sometimes so eager to get high, or so sick from withdrawal, that they’ll shoot up in the car as soon as they get their hands on more, police say. Often they’re back on the road before the overdose takes hold, and they lose consciousness, a recipe for traffic accidents. (Stacy and Welsh-Huggins, 8/17)
And on the issue of excess drinking --
With Heavy Drinking On The Rise, How Much Is Too Much?
If one glass of wine takes the edge off, why not drink a few more? This thinking may help explain the findings of a new study that points to an increase in drinking among adults in the U.S., especially women. "We found that both alcohol use and high-risk drinking, which is sometimes called binge-drinking, increased over time," says Deborah Hasin, a professor of epidemiology at the Columbia University Medical Center and an author of the study. (Aubrey, 8/16)