Weekend Round Up: Four Legged Victims of the Opioid Epidemic, Opioid Scripts Down - Anti-Addiction Scripts up, Illinois & Virginia in the News

By: Jody Lutz

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Date: 04/22/2018

Filed Under: weekend round up

With opioid prescribing regulations being updated, national policy announcements, state guidelines as well as daily commentary regarding the opioid epidemic flooding news outlets, the AffirmHealth Weekend Round Up looks at the top headlines that caught our team’s eye. From controlled substance protocols to research focusing on pain management, addiction medicine, the ER and more provided to you in an easy to access summary. News you can use. Welcome to the Weekend Round Up.


April 20, 2018

A Surprising Victim of the Opioid Crisis

Source: CNN

AffirmHealth Key Take Away: There's a new victim of the opioid crisis -- and this one has four legs. Police dogs are overdosing on new narcotics they sniff out in the line of duty. Fentanyl, 50-100 times stronger than morphine, and carfentanil, a tranquilizer used on elephants that can be 10,000 times more powerful, are being mixed in with illegal heroin for a deadly high. Ingesting an amount as small as a poppy seed of these drugs can kill a dog.

No one knows exactly how many police dogs suffer from such overdoses, because there is as yet no national database, a situation the University of Illinois veterinarians are trying to correct. We do know that, according to data from Working Dog HQ run by Dr. Maureen McMichael, 36 police dogs died in 2015 from contact with heroin.

These new drugs are exponentially more powerful. As the opioid crisis continues to expand, more and more dogs will be at risk.

Find the Full Article Here: Opioid Crisis Has Four Legged Victims



APRIL 20, 2018

Opioid Scripts Down, But Anti-Addiction Meds Up


AffirmHealth Key Take Away: Prescriptions for opioid painkillers are declining in the United States while prescriptions for medications to treat opioid addictionare on the rise, new data show.

Prescriptions for opioid painkillers fell 10 percent last year, and new monthly prescriptions for the drugs fell by 7.8 percent, according to the IQVIA Institute for Human Data Science, which studies prescription drug use and spending, The New York Times reported.

The number of people in the U.S. who received new prescriptions for medications to treat opioid addiction nearly doubled during 2017, from 42,000 to 82,000 per month.

The decline in opioid prescriptions and increase in opioid addiction medication prescriptions reflects increased efforts to combat the nation's opioid epidemic, which claims 115 lives a day, The Times reported.

Find the Full Article Here: Opioid Scripts Down But Anti-addiction Meds Up



APRIL 19, 2018

Interactive Map: Opioid Overdose Claimed Lives of Over 1,200 Virginia Residents Last year

NBC: Washington

AffirmHealth Key Take Away: More Virginia residents died of opioid overdoses in 2017 than in any year in at least the past decade. 

Opioid use claimed the lives of 1,227 Virginians in 2017, up from 1,138 deaths the previous year, state health data released Wednesday shows. The preliminary data from the state medical examiner accounts for overdose deaths related to prescription opioids, heroin and fentanyl. 

Find the full article here: Interactive Map: Opioid Overdose Deaths in 2017 in Virginia



APRIL 21, 2018

Illinois Receives $16M Federal Grant to Fight Opioid Abuse

The Southern Illinoisian


AffirmHealth Key Take Away: Illinois is receiving a $16 million federal grant to fight opioid abuse.

Gov. Bruce Rauner's administration announced the grant Friday. The Illinois Department of Human Services will administer it to fight a scourge that claimed 2,000 lives in Illinois last year.

It's the second consecutive year Illinois has received funding from the 21st Century Cures Act.

Find the Full Article Here: Illinois Awarded $16M Federal Grant to Fight Opioids



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