Researchers have reported they’ve created a vaccine to help fight the opioid epidemic that claims tens of thousands of lives every year. While the medication is being hailed as a breakthrough (and it indeed will help save lives), the only way to truly reduce the addiction crisis is to help the millions of Americans addicted to drugs enter qualified, residential drug and alcohol addiction treatment programs.
A 30-year law enforcement veteran from Newtown, Ohio, Police Chief Tom Synan has stepped up and launched the Hamilton County Addiction Response Coalition, a partnership between law enforcement and behavioral health programs. The coalition’s goal is to shift the addiction response off of law enforcement departments and instead utilize law enforcement officers’ first interaction with drug users to connect those individuals with treatment services via community engagement. Law enforcement officers contribute by connecting addicts with community agencies that can place the addicts in treatment facilities.
While it is no mystery that drinking alcohol during one’s young adult and college years carries harm, it isn’t always understood the extent of that harm, the frequency of it, and the long-term unwanted effects that result from it. A recent study that followed 1,700 students through four years of college showed with distinct clarity just how harmful college drinking is.
Newly published research has produced evidence of yet another drug risk, i.e., allergy medications being added to illicit street opioids. This development poses an increased risk to users, as antihistamines have a drowsiness effect, which, when coupled with the depressant nature of opioids, is believed to make addicts go unconscious more easily. The result? Experts are publishing evidence that suggests addicts are at higher risk of an overdose when they use opioids that have been mixed with antihistamines. Unfortunately, most addicts have no way of knowing if their drugs are antihistamine-tainted.
When three New Yorkers of remarkably different backgrounds overdosed and died on the same day, many believed their deaths were coincidental. But investigators later began to see a pattern when they discovered that all three users had ordered drugs from the same dealer. The story that followed unveiled numerous warning signs, lessons that Americans must learn to prevent more overdose deaths.
While many factors influence American life expectancy, some causes of death (and the ever-changing upticks and downward-trends surrounding such deaths) are considered more of an influence than others. For example, fatal accidental injuries spiked in the last two years. When broken down into subcategories, it’s evident that drug overdoses are the leading cause of injury-related death in America.
Illicit fentanyl has been a leading cause of fatal overdoses in the United States for some years. Adding to the concern, recent reports by the Drug Enforcement Administration suggest that new strains of “rainbow fentanyl” could be spreading through American cities. The drug, colored to look like candy, is particularly risky to young adults, teens, and children.
New research into a significant change in New York dental practice has found that dentists can stop prescribing opioids and shift to only recommending over-the-counter pain relievers for patients, all with little to no negative effects. The findings may herald the beginning of a welcome shift away from opioid prescribing by dental practitioners.
Monitoring substance abuse trends among young people provides a clear view of developing drug problems nationwide. Recent studies in this area suggest that certain types of drug use are now the highest they’ve ever been for young people, painting a dire picture of what the future may look like unless these trends are curbed.
Drug trends across America are always changing, hence the importance of monitoring such trends. The most recent drug trend to take America by storm is the sinister distribution of fake prescription drugs, labeled as coveted painkillers but containing lethal doses of fentanyl.