Post-Surgical Patients Are Rarely The Ones Who Start Long-Term Opioid Use
Its more common for those who receive their first prescription for back pain or “other ill-defined conditions” to go on to use painkillers for six months or more, according to new research. Meanwhile, Sacramento and Orange counties respond to the drug crisis. And Capital Public Radio looks at telemedicine as a potential treatment tool.
Los Angeles Times:
Don't Blame The Surgeons: Long-Term Opioid Use Rarely Starts With Surgery, Study Finds
Don’t blame the nation’s surgeons for an opiate-abuse crisis that now claims 142 lives daily in the United States. New research suggests that patients leaving the hospital after surgeries or inpatient procedures are rarely the ones whose long-term opioid use started with a doctor’s prescription. Instead, the patients who most frequently go on to use opioid medications for six months or more got their first prescription for some sort of back pain, or for pain described in medical code as “other ill-defined conditions,” according to a research letter published Wednesday in the journal JAMA Surgery. (Healy, 8/17)
Capital Public Radio:
Sacramento County Responds To The Opioid Crisis
Just last week, President Trump announced a state of emergency over the opioid epidemic, which could mean additional funding, resources and law enforcement coming down the pipeline. Sacramento County is not inoculated from the crisis; 48 people overdosed on fentanyl last year alone and more than 330,000 are prescribed opioid drugs. (Remington, 8/17)
H.B. And Costa Mesa Account For More Than 1,200 Opioid-Related ER Visits In 4 Years In O.C. Study
Emergency room visits stemming from opioid use increased by 141% in Orange County from 2005 to 2015, with large numbers of patients coming from Huntington Beach, Costa Mesa, Anaheim and Santa Ana, according to a study released this week by the Orange County Health Care Agency. More recently, between 2011 and 2015, 7,457 Orange County residents went to an emergency room for treatment of opioid addiction or overdose, according to the report. (Fry, 8/17)
Capital Public Radio:
Is Telemedicine The Next Tool For Combatting Opioids?
Trump declared the problem a national crisis last week. Dr. David Copenhaver is hoping that the announcement will translate into federal funding for state efforts. He's part of a team at UC Davis trying to educate doctors about opioid prescription via telemedicine. (Caiola, 8/17)