Substance Abuse

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August 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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CDC: Drug overdose mortality drops for the first time in 20 years

Editor's Note The US drug overdose mortality rate dropped 5.1% to 68,557 deaths last year, compared with 72,224 in 2017, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) reported on July 17. It’s the first time overdose mortality has declined since 1999. The CDC noted that the death counts are…

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By: Judy Mathias
July 18, 2019
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Preop opioid, benzodiazepine use linked to postop mortality, opioid consumption

Editor's Note Use of opioids and benzodiazepines 6 months before surgery was associated with increased short- and long-term mortality and an increased rate of persistent postoperative opioid consumption, this study finds. In this analysis of 41,170 noncardiac surgical cases in 27,787 patients in Iceland, preoperative prescriptions for opioids only were…

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By: Judy Mathias
June 27, 2019
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Effect of fewer postop opioids prescribed, preop education on opioid consumption

Editor's Note Prescribing fewer opioid tablets postoperatively was associated with lower opioid consumption after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction, and preoperative education was associated with lower duration and quantity of postoperative opioid use, this study finds. Of 264 patients analyzed, 109 received 50 tablets, 77 received 30 tablets and no education,…

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By: Judy Mathias
June 25, 2019
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Opioid epidemic increases number of hearts available for transplant

Editor's Note The opioid epidemic has expanded the pool of overdose-death donors (ODDs) for heart transplantation. Even though ODDs have higher rates of hepatitis C, cardiac allograft quality indices are favorable, and recipient outcomes are similar to those with non-ODD hearts, this study finds. Of 15,904 heart transplant donors analyzed,…

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By: Judy Mathias
June 6, 2019
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Editorial

Nearly 40 “awareness” or prevention and education wellness initiatives are listed for the month of May—among them, National Nurses Week, World Hand Hygiene Day, and Mental Health Month. Mental health caught my eye because it was a featured topic at the World Healthcare Congress in Washington, DC, where a panel…

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By: Elizabeth Wood
May 17, 2019
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Joint Commission: Quick Safety addresses drug diversion

Editor's Note The Joint Commission announced on April 17 that the April issue of Quick Safety focuses on drug diversion and examines patterns and trends that could indicate drug diversion. It also offers safety actions organizations can take and describes how to take the mistakes other hospitals have made and…

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By: Judy Mathias
April 18, 2019
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Long-term opioid use in family members linked to persistent postop use in adolescents, young adults

Editor's Note Long-term opioid use among family members was associated with persistent postoperative opioid use in opioid-naïve adolescents and young adults and should be screened for preoperatively, this study finds. Of 346,251 opioid-naïve patients aged 13 to 21 years having common surgical and dental procedures, persistent opioid use occurred in…

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By: Judy Mathias
March 4, 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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