Thursday, March 30, 2017

Christie Appointed to Lead White House Commission to Combat Drug Addiction

March 30, 2017 New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has been appointed to lead the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis, the White House announced Wednesday. President Trump said he will increase drug abuse prevention and law enforcement efforts, according to the Los Angeles Times. “I made a promise to the American people to take action to keep drugs from pouring into our country and to help those who have been so badly affected by them,” Trump said in a statement. “Governor Christie will be instrumental in researching how best to combat this serious epidemic and how to treat those it has affected. He will work with people on both sides of the aisle to find the best ways for the federal government to treat and protect the American people from this serious problem. This is an epidemic that knows no boundaries and shows no mercy, and we will show great compassion and resolve as we work together on this important issue.”

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Study Finds Patients Receiving Longer Treatment for Alcohol-Drug Misuse Have Significantly Higher Success Rate

A new study suggests that the longer patients are enrolled in treatment, the better chance they have of successful recovery after treatment. The study, published in the current issue of Open Journal of Psychiatry, followed 72 patients with a variety of addiction types over the course of a year. Patients were nearly divided evenly by gender with the mean average age about 30 years old. The patients were treated for a number of chemical dependencies, including alcohol, amphetamine, benzodiazepines and opioids. Those patients undergoing an industry standard 30-day treatment program exhibited a 54.7 percent treatment success rate after one year. In contrast, patients that participated in a treatment program lasting more than 30 days experienced a success rate of 84.2 percent. The study is significant, as most private and government insurance programs only reimburse the patient for 30 days of addiction treatment. “Aftercare is crucial once an individual has completed drug or alcohol treatment and is in recovery. There is a continuity of care that should be followed once initial treatment is completed. This usually involves a lower level of treatment such as outpatient care and a sober living environment. Our study shows that the absence of such treatment after 30 days significantly reduces the chances of the patient maintaining their sobriety,” said Akikur Mohammad, M.D., lead researcher.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Percentage of Drug Overdose Deaths Involving Heroin Tripled in 5 Years

March 2, 2017 A new government report finds 25 percent of drug overdose deaths in 2015 involved heroin, triple the percentage in 2010. The National Center for Health Statistics found the percentage of overdose deaths from prescription opioids such as oxycodone and hydrocodone decreased to 24 percent in 2015, from 29 percent in 2010, Reuters reports. Cocaine was associated with 13 percent of overdose deaths in 2015, up from 11 percent in 2010. The four states with the highest drug overdose deaths in 2015 were West Virginia, New Hampshire, Kentucky and Ohio. Overdose death rates increased for all groups, but the sharpest increase was among those ages 55 to 64.