No Spike in Overdose Deaths From Relaxed Buprenorphine Regs

Measures enacted in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic to increase access to buprenorphine did not lead to an increase in the proportion of overdose deaths involving the drug, new research suggests. Researchers say the data add weight to the argument for permanently adopting the pandemic-era prescribing regulations for buprenorphine, a treatment for opioid … Read more

US Ketamine Poisonings Up 81%

Ketamine poisonings in the United States increased 81% between 2019 and 2021, according to a new analysis of calls to poison control centers. Although the overall ketamine exposures were low, researchers say the findings add to a growing body of research that suggests recreational ketamine use may be on the rise. “Ketamine is by no … Read more

Endocarditis Tied to Drug Use on the Rise, Spiked During COVID

Editor’s note: Find the latest COVID-19 news and guidance in Medscape’s Coronavirus Resource Centre. A new study provides more evidence that endocarditis associated with drug use is a significant and growing health concern, and further demonstrates that this risk has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The rate of infective endocarditis among individuals in the … Read more

Black Women Have Lost Nearly 750,000 Years of Life to Overdoses

Black women lost an estimated 748,300 years of life to drug overdoses between 2015 and 2021, researchers have found. Overdoses are now the fourth-leading cause of death in this group, behind cancer, heart disease, and COVID-19, according to the study, which was published online December 14 in JAMA Psychiatry. “This study is an attempt to … Read more

States’ Push to Legalize Psychedelics Gaining Momentum

The push to legalize psychedelic drugs is gaining momentum in states across the country, with a sevenfold increase in the number of decriminalization bills since 2019, new research shows. Researchers identified 74 bills and referendums in 25 states introduced during the study period that either sought to reform existing laws and expand access to psychedelic … Read more

Pioneering Addiction Psychiatrist Mitchell Rosenthal Dead at 87

Dr. Mitchell Rosenthal Mitchell Rosenthal, MD, the founder and long-time president and CEO of Phoenix House, a nonprofit substance use disorder treatment organization, died on November 17 at the age of 87. The psychiatrist died at a Manhattan hospital from complications of pneumonia, The New York Times reports. Rosenthal was a dedicated advocate of ensuring … Read more

Childhood Adversity Tied to CVD in Early Adulthood

Children who experience adversity ― including serious family illness or death, poverty, neglect, or dysfunctional and stressful family relationships ― are at increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD) in early adulthood, a large Danish study has found. Compared to young adults who experienced little adversity in childhood, peers who experienced high levels of childhood … Read more

Primary Care Moves Patients With Addiction to Self-Advocacy

Samuel Werner, DO, a family medicine physician in West Hartford, Connecticut, vividly remembers one patient who was struggling with a drug addiction. The man was having trouble holding down a steady job because of his dependence, but with Werner’s guidance, he started on buprenorphine. Werner also connected him with a social worker to address housing … Read more

SUD History Tied to Increased Risk of Death From Other Illnesses

Patients hospitalized for substance use disorder (SUD) are significantly more likely to die from other medical conditions later in life, a new study suggests. Researchers looked at mortality following a diagnosis of 28 different medical conditions, including heart failure, cancer, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and stroke, and found patients with a history of alcohol or drug … Read more

Naloxone May Fail for Overdoses Tainted With ‘Tranq,’ FDA Warns

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is alerting healthcare professionals about the special management required for opioid overdoses tainted with xylazine, an animal tranquilizer known on the street as tranq, tranq dope, sleep-cut, Philly dope, and zombie drug. The tranquilizer is often combined with fentanyl or heroin, or occasionally with a stimulant, said the … Read more