This Week's News in Substance Use: 8/31/17

Behind The Luxury: Turmoil and Shoddy Care Inside Five-Star Addiction Treatment Centers , STAT News + Boston Globe


“An investigation by STAT and The Boston Globe has uncovered evidence of shoddy care and turmoil inside the walls of the company’s two Massachusetts treatment centers. This report is based on interviews with more than a dozen former and current employees, internal RCA documents, and state investigative reports — depicting a company that spends lavishly on facilities and marketing while skimping on giving patients basic care.”


Why Hasn’t The White House Declared A State Of Emergency Over The Opioid Crisis?, Politico


“Speaking from Bedminster, New Jersey, in early August, President Donald Trump vowed to formally dub the U.S. opioid crisis a ‘national emergency.’

But nearly a month later, the president has yet to officially declare a state of emergency — a move that would enable the federal government to pump funds into addressing the drug epidemic.”

Think The Opioid Problem Won't Affect You? It Already Has , Forbes

“It is important that we don’t get used to the numbers. 2016 saw more deaths from drug overdose than those from gun violence or HIV, in large part due to escalating opioid abuse in the United States. The data reveals a staggering number of deaths of people from all parts of society, millions more directly impacted by the ravages of addiction, and countless others indirectly affected by growing societal implications. If you think your family, your employees, your business, or at the very least your taxes are not in on this, you are badly mistaken.”


Sessions on the Opioid Epidemic: 'Treatment Cannot Be Our Only Policy', Business Insider


“Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Tuesday called drug overdose deaths ‘the top lethal issue’ in the US and urged law enforcement and social workers to ‘create and foster a culture that's hostile to drug use.’

In May, Sessions reversed an effort from the Obama-era Justice Department that called on federal prosecutors to rein in the use of mandatory minimum sentences for some drug criminals to focus resources elsewhere. Sessions is now directing prosecutors to pursue the toughest punishments against most suspects.”


Holistic Therapy Programs May Help Pain Sufferers Ditch Opioids , NPR

“Each year, more than 300 patients with chronic pain take part in a three-week program at the Pain Rehabilitation Center at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. Their complaints range widely, from specific problems such as intractable lower-back pain to systemic issues such as fibromyalgia. By the time patients enroll, many have tried just about everything to get their chronic pain under control. Half are taking opioids. But in this 40-year-old program, they can't stay on them. Participants must agree to taper off pain medications during their time at Mayo.”


As Heroin Overdoses Soar, So Do Hospital ICU Costs , Philly.Com


“Hospital costs for some of the most expensive treatments following an overdose are rising swiftly, researchers report, as intensive-care unit doctors struggle to save patients who arrive in increasingly dire straits. Overdose-related ICU admissions in Pennsylvania nearly doubled between 2009 and 2015.”


The Cost of Opioid Addiction is More Than Dollars and Cents , GPB News


A recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the economic cost of prescription opioid [misuse] was over $78 billion in 2013.Dr. Curtis Florence, the CDC’s lead health economist and author of the study, says businesses shoulder much of the burden.

‘We estimated healthcare costs per year are going to go up by more than $15,000,’ Florence said. ‘In many cases those are costs that are going to be paid by the employer.’

On an individual level, Florence says a prescription opioid [misuser] earns $8,400 less a year than the average American worker. For the average fatal overdose case, there’s approximately $1.3 million in earnings that are lost.”

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