Thanks for reading! “Recognizing that youth commonly receive care from a pediatrician or general practitioner during adolescence and young adulthood – precisely when the incidence of opioid use disorder (OUD) sharply increases– the American Academy of Pediatrics released a policy statement this month calling for expanded access to medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for [youth.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov] Scott E. Hadland, MD, MPH, MS, Evan Wood, MD, PhD, Sharon Levy, MD Kaiser Family Foundation analysis of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Center for Health Statistics.” Opioids: a class of drugs found in the opium poppy plant; work in the brain to produce a variety of effects, including pain relief with many of these drugs; can be prescription medications often referred to as painkillers; can be so-called street drugs, like heroin. Judge Dan Polster is overseeing a landmark federal trial Ohio opioid case involving two groups of defendants who filed the motion include the retailers Walgreens, seeking to disqualify the judge from overseeing it and nearly 2,300 other opioid-related lawsuits, claiming the Judge had already believed they were guilty. Drug distributors and pharmacy chains, Walmart, Rite Aid and CVS, and the giant drug distribution companies Cardinal Health, [NY Times] Amerisource Bergen and McKesson. Many prescription opioids are used to block pain signals between the brain and the body and are typically prescribed to treat moderate to severe pain. In addition to controlling pain, opioids can make some people feel relaxed, happy or “high,” can be addictive and have side effects to include slowed breathing, constipation, nausea, confusion and drowsiness. Opioids: sometimes referred to as narcotics; may relieve pain, don’t fall into the same category as over-the-counter painkillers like aspirin and Tylenol. Commonly used opioids: prescription opioids, like OxyContin and Vicodin, fentanyl, a synthetic opioid 50–100 times more potent than morphine, and heroin, an illegal drug. Opioid use comes with risks.
Regular use can increase tolerance, dependence, requiring higher, more frequent doses. Longer term use can lead to addiction (“opioid use disorder”). Opioids can restrict your ability to breathe when taken at a higher dose. Misuse can lead to fatal overdose [HopkinsMedicine.org]
Some Deaths from opioids: Prince (Accidental fentanyl overdose); Jose Fernandez (under influence of cocaine, alcohol-illegal drug and alcohol); Whitney Houston, (complications of cocaine and heart disease; Flexeril, marijuana, Xanax and Benadryl); Michael Jackson(Cardiac arrest, acute propofol intoxication; midazolam, lidocaine, diazepam, lorazepam noted in autopsy report).
[Drugs.com]: Opioid Overdose Deaths by Race/Ethnicity: [U.S. White-Non-Hispanic-37,113]; [Black, Non-Hispanic-5,513]; [Hispanic-3,932] (www.kff.org)No drug manufacturers joined in the request to disqualify Judge Polster; Didn’t oppose. Several giants named: Allergan, Endo Pharmaceuticals and Mallinckrodt, have settled and Johnson & Johnson Ordered to Pay $572 Million in Landmark Opioid case. Estimated 17 million people worldwide engage in heroin and nonmedical prescription opioid use, resulting in public health emergency with enormous morbidity and mortality. Many areas-North-America/Western Europe, overdose deaths have surpassed motor vehicle crash fatalities. Opioid crisis is a national issue.
Jeanette Grattan Parker, Ph.D. Superintendent Founder Today’s Fresh Start, Inc. all rights reserved © www.todaysfreshstart.org. www.askdrjeanetteparker.com