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Elderly people are facing a confluence of health crises right now: COVID-19 and opioid misuse. Seniors are already the most heavily impacted population for COVID-19 hospitalizations and death rates, and a concurrent acceleration of opioid misuse places additional stress on vulnerable seniors. In 2018, Medicare recipients were given an average of 5 opioid prescriptions and more than 350,000 of them were dosed higher than the equivalent of 90 mg of

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause countless disruptions to everyday life, including resolution of one of the largest civil cases in U.S. history — the landmark opioid litigation. Tens of billions of dollars are at stake as more than 3,000 cities, towns, municipalities and Native American tribes seek a settlement in trials against some of the largest drug manufacturers, distributors and pharmacists over their alleged roles in excessive opioid

The number of Americans dying from opioid overdoses surged dramatically in 2020 while the coronavirus pandemic was raging, causing alarm among public health officials and setting the stage for an increase in opioid litigation. More than 81,000 drug overdose deaths occurred in the 12 months ended May 2020, according to provisional data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That’s the highest figure ever recorded for a

The rapid and unprecedented spread of the novel coronavirus has revealed massive gaps in our nation’s public health and support infrastructure, and some of the most vulnerable patients are those who are already fighting another epidemic: opioid addiction. In spite of extensive interventions, enormous amounts of funding, and the rapid expansion and easy availability of overdose reversal drugs like naloxone, the number of deaths continues to rise. Mandated shelter-in-place orders

Learn more about our Opioid Task Force here. People struggling with opioid use disorder (OUD) and methamphetamine use may encounter more serious risks if they develop COVID-19 because of the way those drugs already affect their respiratory and pulmonary health. Those with substance abuse disorders are also more likely to be homeless or live in crowded situations where coronavirus can spread more rapidly. That may increase their risk of catching

Learn more about our Opioid Task Force here. With millions of Americans already struggling with opioid addiction, the coronavirus outbreak has many health care officials worried that socially marginalized people who already have underlying health conditions may be especially vulnerable to developing COVID-19. Before the coronavirus outbreak reached the United States, about 130 Americans were dying each day from opioid overdose. Now health care providers are concerned that disruptions in treatment

In the past two decades, more than 700,000 people have died from opioid overdose, with states including West Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania suffering the worst losses. More than 10 million people misuse prescription opioids each year, according to government studies, and millions of Americans are addicted to pain reliever medications. Opioid addiction, overdose and death are among the most consequential preventable public health threats facing the nation, professors from Georgetown

Attorneys general from more than 20 states rejected a proposed $18 billion settlement offer from three major drug wholesalers, saying it fell short of their expectations for as much as $32 billion, according to a Feb. 14 report by The Wall Street Journal, which viewed the letter. The settlement was intended to resolve litigation against their alleged role in the opioid crisis that claims 130 lives each day in

To provide better care for people with opioid addictions, some physicians, addiction treatment advocates and policymakers are pushing for easier access to medication assisted treatment (MAT) through telemedicine. Consulting a health care professional over the phone or through video chat removes the critical barrier of an in-person examination, which can save precious minutes when someone is overdosing, especially in rural areas that are hard hit by the opioid epidemic,

Deaths from certain kinds of opioids are higher in rural communities than in urban ones, and now there are more federally-backed programs, tools and funding sources to help rural communities respond to the crisis. The rates of overdose deaths from natural opioids such as morphine and codeine and semi-synthetic opioids such as hydrocodone and oxycodone as well as the illegal drug heroin are 4.9 percent in rural areas, compared