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Cocaine users turning to smart devices to thwart fatal overdoses

An increasing number of individuals using illicit drugs like cocaine are turning to smart devices to monitor their heart rate, revealed recent media reports. Drug users who engage in repeated cocaine abuse are beginning to depend on wearable heart monitors to make sure their heart doesn’t give out. Experts say using technology to keep a watch on activities that could cause potential harm to the heart rate and body temperature is gaining popularity among millennials. Users of cocaine, which is capable of triggering an extreme surge in heart rate, feel that this new technology could help prevent overdose deaths. The…

Oncologists continue prescribing marijuana even without sufficient knowledge, says study

Oncologists continue prescribing marijuana even without sufficient knowledge, says study Recommending the use of medical marijuana for patients fighting cancer has become a common practice among doctors even while enough evidence to support its use is not available. The fact was corroborated by a recent survey which concluded that nearly half the number of oncologists who prescribe medical marijuana to cancer patients did not feel sufficiently informed about its medicinal use. Medical marijuana has been legalized in 29 American states and the District of Columbia. The study, published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology in May 2018, was the first-of-its kind nationally represented survey conducted on a population-based sample of…

Tainted meth makes 20-year-old woman gouge out her own eyes

Tainted meth makes 20-year-old woman gouge out her own eyes In a gruesome incident on Feb. 6, 2018, a South Carolina woman left the local churchgoers terrified when she gouged out her eyeballs with her own hands. As per reports, the woman, identified as 20-year-old Kaylee Muthart, was in a drug-induced state and in her delirium resisted help from locals who tried to stop her. Though Muthart survived, she is now completely blind. According to Reverend Terry Mitchell, Muthart, seen holding her eyeballs outside a South Carolina church, appeared to have intentionally hurt herself on railroad tracks near the chapel. She was seen to be struggling against people trying to…

Companies donate life-saving opioid overdose reversal drug Narcan to Illinois

Companies donate life-saving opioid overdose reversal drug Narcan to Illinois To contribute their bit in combating the opioid epidemic ravaging the United States, recently two healthcare companies, Adapt Pharma and AptarGroup, jointly donated 5,000 doses of naloxone to the state of Illinois. On Feb. 8, 2018, the companies gave away 3,400 doses to the Illinois State Police (ISP) and the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC). An additional 1,000 doses were donated to the McHenry County Substance Abuse Coalition. The Chicago Recovery Alliance office received 600 doses. The agencies will equip their respective personnel with the life-saving drug which will be used for opioid overdose reversal and also for harm reduction.…

Texas mandates prescription-monitoring tools effective Sep. 2019 to fight opioid epidemic

Texas mandates prescription-monitoring tools effective Sep. 2019 to fight opioid epidemic In the United States, prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) are among the most promising state-level interventions to improve current levels of prescriptions of opioids, provide data for effective clinical decisions, and protect at-risk patients. Although past studies have found varying success rates for PDMPs, these continue contributing to the overall decline in drug diversions and prescription opioid overdoses. The Texas Prescription Monitoring Program (TPMP) was created over three decades ago, but it has so far been used by limited health care providers. Effective Sep. 1, 2016, the program was taken over by the Texas State Board of Pharmacy (TSBP). This…

WellStar Health System and Pacira Pharmaceuticals to jointly develop comprehensive opioid minimization strategy

WellStar Health System and Pacira Pharmaceuticals to jointly develop comprehensive opioid minimization strategy The opioid epidemic ravaging across the United States is necessitating innovative risk management strategies to improve patient safety and reduce higher health care utilization costs. Although several players are involved in such strategies, pharmaceutical companies and health care providers have a critical role to play. Doing their bit to help control the epidemic, in January 2018, WellStar Health System (WellStar), the largest health system in Georgia, and Pacira Pharmaceuticals (Pacira), announced a partnership to develop a comprehensive strategy for minimizing opioid use and standardizing outcomes across surgical procedures. According to the strategic plan, WellStar and Pacira will work jointly in…

Decriminalization of marijuana associated with fall in crime rates, says study

Decriminalization of marijuana associated with fall in crime rates, says study A new research reveals some unprecedented aftereffects of pot legalization. According to the study, “Is Legal Pot Crippling Mexican Drug Trafficking Organizations? The Effect of Medical Marijuana Laws on US Crime,” the incorporation of medical marijuana laws (MMLs) has been responsible for a sharp decline (13 percent on average) in violent criminal activities in states bordering Mexico—the center of drug trafficking along with Colombia. It is also evident from the study that the decline in crime was most in counties situated less than 350 kilometers from the border. Further, there has been a spin-off effect of MMLs in the inland…

His addiction was bigger than either of us: Mimi O’Donnell’s emotional essay on Hoffman’s tragic death

His addiction was bigger than either of us: Mimi O’Donnell’s emotional essay on Hoffman's tragic death Nearly four years after actor Philip Seymour Hoffman (46), was found dead on the bathroom floor of his New York apartment in February 2014, his longtime partner Mimi O’Donnell has penned down an emotional essay describing the actor’s addiction, relapse and ultimate death. In the essay, published in December 2017, O’Donnell wrote that from the beginning of their relationship, Hoffman was honest about his addiction. His admissions to her included his “period of heavy drinking and experimenting with heroin in his early 20s, and his first rehab at 22.” The death, ruled an accident, was caused by an acute cocktail…

Handling drug and alcohol violations at Kansas University

Handling drug and alcohol violations at Kansas University Experimenting with alcohol and other substances, including hard drugs, is often considered an essential part of college life by many American students. In response to the high use of alcohol and other drugs among students, colleges and universities are looking at implementing stricter programs to prevent drug/alcohol abuse and enforce disciplinary action for violations. The University of Kansas (KU) uses a graded approach to handle drug and alcohol violations by students. KU’s Alcohol and Drug Policy (ADP) covers a variety of offenses, ranging from drug possession to distribution. Violations are handled according to the circumstances associated with each situation. Although…

BCBS report evaluates high-dosage, long-duration prescription regimens in fueling opioid use disorders

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recently declared that “the amount of opioids prescribed in the U.S. is still too high, with too many opioid prescriptions for too many days at too high a dosage.” This has inevitably led to an increase in the number of cases of addiction. Two recently-published reports provide greater insights into the relationship between prescription regimens and opioid use disorder (OUD). A report published by the Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) Association on June 29, 2017, shows a 493 percent surge in OUD between 2010 and 2016, with the increase being sharper…
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