Stories Of Addiction Show Communities Searching For ‘Way Out’ Of Opioid Epidemic
The New York Times reports from multiple states, including California, on patients and families dealing with a wrenching crisis. In related news, hospital "cuddlers" help soothe dependent newborns.
The New York Times:
Snapshots Of An Epidemic: A Look At The Opioid Crisis Across The Country
Public health officials have called the current opioid epidemic the worst drug crisis in American history, killing more than 33,000 people in 2015. Overdose deaths were nearly equal to the number of deaths from car crashes. In 2015, for the first time, deaths from heroin alone surpassed gun homicides. And there’s no sign it’s letting up, a team of New York Times reporters found as they examined the epidemic on the ground in states across the country. From New England to “safe injection” areas in the Pacific Northwest, communities are searching for a way out of a problem that can feel inescapable. (1/6)
Call In The Cuddlers: Volunteers Soothe Opioid-Dependent Babies
And they need calm. These are newborns born dependent on opioids, the youngest victims of an epidemic that’s touched every corner of the country. Even when mothers seek treatment for their addictions early in pregnancy, they are typically urged to stay on methadone to minimize the risk of miscarriage. That means babies are often born experiencing symptoms of withdrawal — such as twitching and tremors, trouble feeding, and difficulty sleeping...Many babies born dependent on opioids get methadone to ease their symptoms, but this program puts an emphasis on non-pharmacologic care for babies suffering from neonatal abstinence syndrome, or NAS. Often, that starts with skin-to-skin contact. (Thielking, 1/6)