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Mobile Medical Apps: Tools to Help With Substance Use Disorder

In the United States drug and alcohol addiction relapse rates are between 40% and 60% (National Institute of Drug Abuse, 2018). Technology is being utilized to decrease addiction relapse rates. The United States Drug and Food Administration has permitted marketing of a digital therapeutic app for substance use disorder, or SUD (Food and Drug Administration, 2017). The mobile medical application permitted by the FDA is named Reset. Reset application is used in combination with outpatient therapy to treat alcohol, cocaine, marijuana and stimulant SUD. Opioid dependence is not treated by the app (Food and Drug Administration, 2017). Digital therapeutics are mobile medical apps or online technologies...

FDA Is Taking Action Against Abuse of Anti-Diarrheal Medications

People are abusing anti-diarrheal medication, sold under the brand name Imodium A-D, to get high. This can result in serious heart problems or even death (Food and Drug Administration, 2018). The ingredient loperamide is included in the anti-diarrheal medication. Loperamide is in the opioid family which includes morphine and oxycodone (AP, 2018). Because of this the Food and Drug Administration is working with the producers of anti-diarrheal medications to limit the loperamide dose that is contained in over the counter (OTC) packages (Food and Drug Administration, 2018). The FDA suggest the manufacturers use single dose packages or blister packs to help limit the customer’s opioid intake. A...

Clinical Trial Shows No Significant Differences in Pain Reduction among Opioids...

Prescription opioids have caused a 16-year increase in opioid-overdose deaths in the United States. From the years 2000-2016 more than 600,000 people died from a drug overdose. In 2016 alone, opioids killed more than 42,000 people. Of all opioid-overdose deaths, 40% involve prescription opioids (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2018). The amount of overall pain Americans have reported has not changed, but the amount of prescription opioids sold to hospitals, pharmacies and doctors’ offices has quadrupled from the years 1999-2010 (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2018). One risk factor for opioid abuse is taking high daily dosages of prescription opioid pain relievers. Because...

Reducing Harm: Could Knowing Your Pot be The Key to Treating...

The United States has been experiencing a surge in opioid addiction for over two decades, and the emergence of other drugs has also fallen into that mix. Today, these addictions have entered crisis mode. Our nation is truly suffering from an epidemic. Cocaine and opioid based drugs are just two of the most difficult addictions to overcome because of the way they alter the brain. Though traditional abstinence has usually been the method used for treating drug addiction, this does not seem to have a great track record since abstinence is rarely achievable for many addicts and eventually leads to relapses, says Dr. Nora...

New Jersey Offers First Mobile Methadone Program for Inmates

Opioid addicted inmates at the Atlantic County Jail are the first in the state of New Jersey to obtain their daily dose of methadone from a mobile service provided by the John Brooks Recovery Center. This program is a part of the state’s efforts to bridge the service gap for incarcerated addicts. The program estimates an enrollment of approximately 50 inmates in the mobile service. For Alan Oberman, Director of the John Brooks Recovery Center, this is a huge achievement. Current research indicates that medication assisted treatments like methadone coupled with counseling and assistance programs work well. For this reason Oberman and many other county leaders...

Drug Courts could Solve the Opioid Crisis

Two advisors for opioid recovery, Newt Gingrich, a former speaker of the house and Van Jones, President of #cut50, proposed that drug courts could help solve the opioid crisis in America.  A woman by the name of Chelsea Carter grew up in the South and started using prescription drugs in her early teens. By her early 20’s she started stealing to support her opioid addiction. She was eventually arrested and faced with more than 20 years behind bars. Instead she was sentenced to treatment court. “In this special court, Chelsea met regularly with a case manager, counselor and treatment provider. She appeared frequently before a judge...

Parents Gave Newborn Daughter Drugs

Parents told police that they gave their newborn daughter a prescription pain medication to cover up the fact that she was born addicted to drugs.   According to a press release from the Utah County Sheriff’s Office, a Utah couple, Colby Glen Wilde and Lacey Dawn Christenson, both in their late 20’s, gave their daughter Suboxone, a medication used for pain management and addiction treatment, on the day she was born. Investigators soon came to the discovery that Christenson had been using heroin and other prescription pain medication heavily throughout her pregnancy, which resulted in her child being born addicted to the same drugs, said...

New Oregon Bill

A new Oregon bill decriminalizes heroin, cocaine and other drugs. If caught, possession of small amounts lead to a misdemeanor, instead of a felony. The bill “aims to curb mass incarceration" (Lewis, 2017, p. 1). Oregon lawmakers seek to encourage drug users to look for help instead of filling up their state’s prisons. The Oregon legislature passed a bill last week that reclassified possession of various drugs, ranging from felonies to misdemeanors. This will hopefully reduce punishments and further expand drug treatment for people without prior charges for drug possession.  “‘We are trying to move policy towards treatment rather than prison beds,’ said state Sen. Jackie Winters...

Cold-Turkey Detox Not a Cure for Addiction

Does detoxification cure addiction? Not according to a new movement within the addiction medicine field. In fact, this movement is challenging the entire notion that when a person cleanses his body of toxic chemicals he is on the road to recovery. “That’s a really pernicious myth, and it has erroneous implications,” (Gordon, 2017, paragraph 9) Dr. Frederic Baurer, president of the Pennsylvania Society of Addiction Medicine, says. Baurer, who has been treating addiction for over 30 years adds, “The focus should be on a stabilizing treatment plan, not on detox” (Gordon, 2017, paragraph 30). Elvis Rosado can testify to the need for such a plan. While he...

Wrongfully Prescribed Medicare Recipients

Nearly half a million people in the United States have been prescribed too many opioid drugs. Individuals that were on Medicare’s drug plan received shockingly large amounts. Of those prescribed, individuals consumed dangerously powerful dosages of opioid drugs. In this past year, 22,000 people had admitted to “doctor shipping” for drugs. Like overprescribing, it put both groups “‘at serious risk of opioid misuse or overdose,’ a government watchdog reported Thursday” (Bernstein, 2017, n.p.). According to the Inspector General’s office of the U.S. Health and Human Services Department, people took drug amounts considered too large under the standards set by the Center for Disease Control and...