Thursday, June 29, 2017

People With Anxiety and Depression Have High Rate of Prescription Opioid Use

People with anxiety and depression have a high rate of prescription opioid use, a new study finds. Almost 19 percent of the estimated 38.6 million people diagnosed with anxiety and depression received at least two prescriptions for opioids in one year, the study found. More than half of opioid prescriptions went to people with these mental health disorders, according to The Washington Post. People with anxiety and depression may feel pain more acutely, or may be less able to cope with the pain, leading to increased requests for opioids, said lead researcher Brian Sites of Dartmouth’s Geisel School of Medicine. Pain that “you may report as a two out of 10, someone with mental health disorders — depression, anxiety — may report as a 10 out of 10,” Sites told the newspaper. He added that opioids may improve the symptoms of depression for a short while. This may lead patients to ask for additional refills. The study will appear in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Drug Overdose Deaths Rose 19 Percent in 2016

JUNE 8, 2017 BY PARTNERSHIP NEWS SERVICE STAFF Drug overdose deaths increased 19 percent from 2015 to 2016, according to a preliminary analysis of data by The New York Times. Evidence suggests the problem, driven by opioid addiction, has continued to worsen this year. An influx of fentanyl and similar drugs is escalating the death count. Drug overdoses are currently the leading cause of death among Americans under the age of 50, the article notes. Large increases in drug overdose deaths were seen last year in Maryland, Florida, Pennsylvania and Maine. In Ohio, overdose deaths rose by more than 25 percent. The New York Times came up with its estimate based on drug overdose statistics from state health departments, county medical examiners and coroners’ offices. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will calculate final 2016 overdose totals in December.