Substance Abuse

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February 2019
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Follow pain management standards to ensure survey success

Postoperative pain management has always been a major focus of patient care. However, the opioid crisis is increasing the challenges healthcare leaders face because of the call for a national change in modalities of pain management. Regulatory bodies, specifically, are executing control to confront the opioid epidemic head on, making…

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By: Judith M. Mathias, MA, RN
January 14, 2019
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How should you manage patients using marijuana?

What is the current state of marijuana research? Russell: Marijuana research is unlike any other drug research. Researchers have to jump through a lot of hoops with the federal government to study it. As a result, people are using marijuana before there is enough science to prove safety and efficacy.…

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By: Catherine Spader, RN
December 13, 2018
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Statewide comparison of postop opioid prescribing in teaching vs nonteaching hospitals

Editor's Note In this study, patients in teaching hospitals in Michigan received significantly larger postoperative opioid prescriptions and had higher rates of high-risk prescribing compared with nonteaching hospitals in the state. The amount of opioid prescribed in initial opioid prescriptions varied 4.7-fold across hospitals, from 130 to 616 oral morphine…

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By: Judy Mathias
December 4, 2018
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Despite concerns, patients see opioids as superior, expect them for postop pain

Editor's Note Despite concerns about addiction and side effects of opioids, patients still expect them to be prescribed and believe them to be the most effective for postoperative pain relief, finds this study presented October 13 at the Anesthesiology 2018 annual meeting in San Francisco. Researchers gave a 13-question survey…

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By: Judy Mathias
October 15, 2018
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Effective interventions for postop opioid prescribing

Editor's Note Interventions at the physician or organizational level (eg, workflow changes) were found to be better tools for creating change in postoperative opioid prescribing than interventions at the patient level (eg, patient education), in this review. This analysis of eight studies published after 2000 that included 2,272 patients found…

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By: Judy Mathias
August 17, 2018
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CDC: Drug overdose mortality reaches new high

Editor's Note Preliminary data, reported August 15, by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that drug overdose mortality in the US hit record high levels last year, increasing to more than 72,000 deaths. The increase in mortality was driven mainly by fatalities involving fentanyl and other synthetic opioids.…

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By: Judy Mathias
August 17, 2018
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CDC: Naloxone use by emergency medical services up 75% in 4 years

Editor's Note Naloxone administration by emergency medical services increased 75.1% between 2012 and 2016, mirroring a 79.7% increase in fatal opioid overdoes during the same time period, according to the August 10 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Young adults made…

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By: Judy Mathias
August 13, 2018
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Study: Prevalence of preop opioid use and patient characteristics

Editor's Note In this study of 34,186 surgical patients in the University of Michigan Health System, 23.1% were taking opioids preoperatively, and the use of opioids was associated with a more negative medical and pain profile. Patient age, tobacco use, illicit drug use, higher pain severity, depression, higher Fibromyalgia Survey…

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By: Judy Mathias
July 12, 2018
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FDA statement on access to opioids for patients with chronic, end-of-life pain

Editor's Note Food & Drug Administration (FDA) commissioner, Scott Gottlieb, MD, on July 9 issued a statement on balancing access to appropriate treatment for patients with chronic and end-of-life pain with the need to stem the misuse and abuse of opioids. As the FDA considers new steps to address the…

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By: Judy Mathias
July 12, 2018
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Opioid abuse, dependence increases postop readmissions

Editor's Note Opioid abuse or dependence after major surgical procedures was associated with increased readmission rates and healthcare utilization. Of 16,016,842 patients in the National Readmission Database analyzed, 94,903 (0.6%) had diagnoses of opioid abuse or dependence. Comparing patients with and without opioid abuse or dependence, researchers found that patients…

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By: Judy Mathias
May 9, 2018
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