Homelessness Overrepresented in Canadian Overdose Deaths

People experiencing homelessness were overrepresented among those who died of substance-related acute toxicity in Canada in 2016 and 2017, according to a new report. Among those who were homeless at the time of their death, at least 1 in 10 were released from a correctional or healthcare institution in the month before their death. In … Read more

Judge Rules in Favor of 3 Drug Distributors in Opioid Lawsuit

A federal judge ruled in favor of three major US drug distributors on Monday in a landmark opioid case, which accused the companies of causing a health crisis by distributing 81 million pills in 8 years in certain parts of West Virginia. Nearly a year after closing arguments, US District Judge David Faber gave the … Read more

Synthetic Opioid Use Up Almost 800% Nationwide

Synthetic opioid use increased by almost 800% over 7 years, new research shows The results of a national urine drug test (UDT) study come as the US is reporting a record-high number of drug overdose deaths — more than 80% of which involved fentanyl or other synthetic opioids and prompting a push for better surveillance … Read more

Docs Check Mail for Ways to Return — and Ruin — Extra Opioids

Mail carriers could play a key role in reducing opioid misuse, according to researchers and regulators. One strategy under consideration by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) would require that opioid analgesics be dispensed with prepaid mail-back envelopes so patients can return leftover medication. Another approach — which is not part of the FDA … Read more

Nursing Board Discriminates Against Those Seeking Opioid Help: DOJ

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) says the Indiana State Nursing Board discriminates against nurses with opioid use disorder (OUD), according to findings of a recently released investigation. Specifically, the board “violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by prohibiting nurses who take medication to treat OUD from participating in the Indiana State Nursing Assistance … Read more

FDA, DEA Pushed to Make Gabapentin a Controlled Substance

In a bid to stop abuse and diversion of the anticonvulsant gabapentin, a watchdog group is petitioning federal regulators to make the drug a controlled substance. The nonprofit group Public Citizen has filed a petition with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), arguing that medication’s risks additional safeguards. … Read more

Mindfulness Intervention Curbs Opioid Misuse, Chronic Pain

A psychotherapeutic intervention that unites mindfulness training, “third wave” cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and positive psychology significantly reduces chronic pain and opioid misuse, new research suggests. In a randomized clinical trial, 250 adults with both opioid misuse and chronic pain received either the intervention, called mindfulness-oriented recovery enhancement (MORE), or supportive psychotherapy. Results showed the … Read more