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

With hundreds of fatal opioid overdoses occurring each week across the nation, government health leaders are urging companies and individuals to keep naloxone on hand and learn how to use it in the event a colleague should have an overdose while on the job. There were 217 overdose deaths at work in 2016, which accounted for 4.2% of occupational injury deaths that year, which was more than double the

Written by: J. Brent Allen, Esq.  Doctors, nurses, phlebotomists and other health care workers on the frontline of saving lives and treating illnesses and injuries face a new threat in the workplace: illicit fentanyl and derivative drugs of unknown provenance. These illicit drugs pose a potential health hazard to health care workers who may come into contact with unknown substances in the course of doing their jobs. Fentanly and other

As more opioid cases are going to trial across the country, a $2.2 million jury verdict in favor of a Philadelphia plaintiff establishes noteworthy precedent in excessive prescription claims. Plaintiff Yvonne Rivera alleged that her pain management physician, Dr. Jeffrey Bado, treated her with “excessively high” doses of the powerful opioid painkiller Fentanyl to treat recurring foot pain starting in 2010. The high doses continued even after the patient sometimes