Latest California Healthline Stories
The center, driven by California’s legalization of marijuana, will study the medical, social and economic impacts of making pot widely accessible. Two top concerns: investigating marijuana as a potential substitute for opioids and providing the nascent cannabis industry with signposts for responsible behavior.
Fentanyl, a significant cause of overdoses and deaths across the country, has begun showing up in California street drugs. State health officials have responded with a bold but controversial policy: paying for test strips so users can check their stash.
Andrey Ostrovsky, who until last month was chief medical officer for Medicaid, quit his job so he could more directly fight the stigma of drug addiction.
“We really do have a lot of responsibility and culpability,” says one hospital official who is part of a working group trying to address the opioid epidemic. Patients have to expect more pain after surgery and understand the risk of addiction, says another doctor.
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Fatalities are climbing in states that have been flooded by the deadly opioid fentanyl, but are remaining flat — or even falling — in many Western states, where it has not yet overwhelmed the drug supply.
Laws in California and most other states allow pharmacists to provide naloxone to patients or their friends without a doctor’s prescription. But many don’t do so, citing lack of demand and awareness among patients, their own fears of insufficient compensation and the challenges of treating opioid users.
Vietnam veterans’ wartime experiences — and their lasting psychological toll — can make it harder to treat their physical and emotional pain as they approach death.
Based on research conducted at the University of Michigan’s medical center, a group of surgeons developed a strategy to help post-surgical patients from misusing or abusing their prescription painkillers.
One Northern California physician is a foot soldier in the fight against a surge of hepatitis C, mainly among young drug users who share infected needles.