Substance Abuse

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October 2020
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US rates of depression are triple pre-COVID-19 levels

Editor's Note This study led by researchers at the Boston University School of Public Health finds that depression symptoms in the US are three-fold higher than they were before the COVID-19 pandemic. Of 1,441 individuals surveyed during the COVID-19 pandemic and 5,065 surveyed before the pandemic, depression symptoms were higher…

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By: Judy Mathias
September 3, 2020
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Editorial

Surges in COVID-19 cases across the US have kept communities in a perpetual first wave for much of 2020. While the virus continues unabated and researchers focus on vaccine development, the timing and impact of the second wave are unknown. Amid so much uncertainty, one thing is clear: The virus…

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By: Elizabeth Wood
August 21, 2020
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Surgeons reduce opioid prescriptions using new multipronged strategy

Editor's Note A system-wide, multipronged pain management and opioid reduction program significantly reduced postoperative opioid discharge prescriptions written for more than 5 days, this study finds. Surgeon education, monitoring, and incentives lead to a shift from longer-term to shorter-term prescriptions for patients after surgery, reducing postoperative opioid prescriptions of more…

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By: Judy Mathias
March 4, 2020
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Study confirms nurses at higher risk of suicide

Editor's Note In this first national study of US nurse suicide, researchers from the University of California San Diego School of Medicine and UC San Diego Health, Department of Nursing, found that male and female nurses are at higher risk of suicide than the general population. Data from the Centers…

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By: Judy Mathias
February 4, 2020
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Automated software app reduces perioperative controlled substance discrepancies

Editor's Note In this study, a software app that tracks perioperative controlled substance use and is integrated into the electronic health and pharmacy records and database systems was associated with a decrease in management errors. This analysis includes data on missing controlled substance medications, controlled substance kits, and witness return…

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By: Judy Mathias
November 21, 2019
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Postop opioid prescribing, use drop after state imposed regulations

Editor's Note A state-mandated policy restricting opioid prescriptions in Vermont greatly reduced opioid prescribing and use by surgical patients at the University of Vermont Medical Center without affecting patient satisfaction with their postoperative pain management, finds this study presented October 29 at the American College of Surgeons Clinical Congress 2019…

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By: Judy Mathias
October 31, 2019
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Medical marijuana research shows early promise for lessening opioid use

Editor's Note Medical marijuana shows early promise for lessening opioid use and potential abuse in a meta-analysis presented October 20 at the Anesthesiology 2019 annual meeting in Orlando, Florida. Overall the results suggest that medical marijuana may provide some benefits such as, decreased opioid overdose rates, decreased opioid use, improved…

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By: Judy Mathias
October 21, 2019
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Effect of state legislation in Florida on opioid prescriptions after outpatient surgery

Editor's Note Opioid prescriptions for patients having common outpatient surgical procedures at a large university hospital in Florida were substantially reduced within 6 months after implementation of state legislation limiting the duration of opioid prescriptions, this study finds. Of 1,467 surgical patients included in the study: The proportion receiving opioid…

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By: Judy Mathias
August 22, 2019
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Statewide initiative reduces postop opioid prescribing without increase in patient pain

Editor's Note Implementation of opioid prescribing guidelines in the state of Michigan reduced opioid prescription size without negatively affecting patient satisfaction or pain, this study finds. In 1 year, teams at 43 hospitals across the state reduced by nearly one-third the number of opioid pills they prescribed to patients (having…

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By: Judy Mathias
August 15, 2019
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Tackling the opioid crisis through community teamwork

The opioid epidemic has risen to alarming proportions in the United States, claiming 46,000 lives in 2018. Studies and federal reports documenting evidence of narcotics overuse and addiction in patients have built momentum to curb prescribing habits. Responding to these trends, a Midwestern orthopedic practice launched a multiphase project to…

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By: Jennifer Lubell
July 24, 2019
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