Welcome to This Week in Recovery, a weekly recap of the 5 biggest stories and developments in the recovery industry.
“NYTimes reporters collected hundreds of testimonials and anecdotes about the opioid epidemic from the people this crisis affects on a daily basis.”
The New York Times spent months interviewing people addicted to opioids, along with family members and addiction treatment experts in order to paint a picture of the opioid epidemic on the ground level. More than 500 people responded from across the country, answering questions about what opioid addiction feels like, what the damage has been to communities, and how clinicians are working around the clock to fight the opioid crisis every day.
“Millions of children and adolescents are now routinely exposed in their homes, schools, and communities to these potent and addictive drugs.”
According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, almost 9000 children and adolescents died from opioid poisonings from 1999 to 2016. The mortality rate for opioid poisonings almost tripled during this time. A majority of the deaths came from adolescents aged 15 to 19 who represented 88% of the 9000 deaths.
Could Altering Memories Help Treat Addiction? - Daily Beast
“Promising research into the field of Pavlovian-esque memory alterations could prove useful for reducing drug-seeking behavior for individuals in recovery.”
Promising trials conducted at the Medical University of South Carolina, University College of London, and Peking University in Beijing are showing how memory manipulation can successfully inhibit and discourage drug use. Iterations of these kinds of experiments, aka exposure therapy or extinction thinking, have shown to be effective in treating post-traumatic stress disorder for veterans as well.
“A controversial tool has emerged in the fight against opioid overdose deaths. It's a strip that allows people who use street drugs such as cocaine and heroin to test whether their drugs are laced with fentanyl.”
This new controversial tool, developed by Canadian biotech company BTNX, is able to detect even low concentrations of fentanyl in street drugs. According to a study by John Hopkins and Brown University, many programs that distribute clean syringes have also started to give out fentanyl test strips, as well. While the strips aren’t 100 percent effective, researchers believe it is an opportunity to halt the increases of fentanyl-related overdose deaths that plague the nation.
“2019 could see several pharmaceutical companies liable for tens of billions in damages as ongoing lawsuits uncover more information about their culpability in the opioid crisis.”
Thousands of local and state governments have come together to level lawsuits at dozens of companies — including drug makers, suppliers and pharmacies — accusing these companies of making billions of dollars flooding the U.S. with a variety of prescription pain pills. Critics also say there was a concerted effort by firms to mislead the public and physicians about the dangers of these pain pills.
For more recovery reads, check out the rest of the Landmark blog!