Mixing Cocaine and Opioids is Causing More OD Deaths

A new study has revealed that more people are overdosing on cocaine when they mix it with another drug like meth. Deaths of drug users who have both opioids and cocaine in their systems are far outpacing deaths from users who only use cocaine.

The Study on Cocaine and Meth Deaths

75.5% of all cocaine-related deaths also involved one or more opioids in 2019. More people who use cocaine and opioids together are dying than those who use other stimulants, such as methamphetamine. Just 54% of all meth-related deaths in 2019 also involved opioids, a starkly different number than when it comes to cocaine.

Dependending on the region, deaths for both drugs varied greatly. Presumably, this is due to the availability or popularity of one drug versus another. For example,  deaths from cocaine and opioids accounted for more than 83% …

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New MAT Hope For Meth Addiction

Meth addiction can be powerful, especially when it comes to withdrawal effects. Most people who have used it will experience anything from nausea and vomiting to hallucinations or seizures. The majority of meth withdrawal symptoms are merely uncomfortable.

However, a desire for the drug remains after a person has detoxed for many. The compulsion to get high is often a driving force for relapse in people who used meth. However, new hope has arrived to help alleviate those symptoms through medication-assisted treatment.  (MAT)

What is MAT?

Medication-assisted treatment is a description of prescription drugs that can be used alongside talk therapy or treatment to help people who have physical cravings for a drug. For years, medical professionals have looked for treatment to help people get and stay sober from methamphetamine to no avail. However, it seems like there is some …

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Meth and Fentanyl Use Increasing

Two of the most addictive and dangerous drugs are killing people, and rather than taper off, it appears that they are becoming more popular. Both methamphetamine and fentanyl are being used by more people nationwide, leading to more overdoses and addictions.

According to the drug testing company Millennium Health, more people are testing positive for the drug. Drug screenings, ordered by medical providers, drug treatment facilities, and correctional facilities, show that positive drug tests increased 78% for fentanyl. And, at least at the beginning of the pandemic, methamphetamine use increased 29%. (This was, however, only for the first nine months of the pandemic compared to the same period in 2019.)

Where Do the Statistics Come From?

While cocaine and heroin use seemed to spike early in the pandemic, usage dropped off, perhaps as the supply was cut off through …

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Biden Nixes Waiver that Expanded MAT

The Biden administration has removed a directive from the Trump administration, known as the X Waiver. The waiver would have allowed a more considerable amount of doctors to prescribe and oversee Medication-Assisted Treatment. Doctors and addiction professionals have expressed dismay and disappointment at the decision, which allowed a quicker way to get relapse-prevention drugs like Naloxone to patients who have overdosed or risk overdose due to opioid use disorder.

A Premature Directive

In mid-January, the directive supporters were happy to hear that Biden had no immediate plans to overhaul the measure, which was one of the few actions taken by the Trump administration against opioid use disorder.

The X-Waiver made hastily toward the end of Trump’s term would have made it easy for emergency room physicians and other frontline doctors to prescribe MAT. In the past, specialists had to apply …

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West Virginia Expands Addiction Resources in Marion County

West Virginia is no stranger to the heartache of addiction. According to the West Virginia Department of Health, drug overdose is the leading cause of death among West Virginians under 45. And even now, opioids remain the leading cause of overdoses. For years, addiction professionals have been asking for funding for more addiction resources. In Marion County, new addiction resources will help save and transform people’s lives.

Addiction Resources Keep People Alive

Fatal overdoses are heartbreaking, and even more so in a pandemic. Many people in recovery have relapsed under the strain of isolation. And for every deadly overdose, other people with opioid use disorder and other addictions still enter the hospital.

Overdoses have a public health cost and often can be life-altering. People can end up with organ failure and other disabilities when they overdose on certain drugs. …

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Disgraced Former OH Sheriff Becomes Addiction Counselor

Former Sandusky County, Ohio Sheriff Kyle Overmyer‘s life went into a spiral in 2016, when he was charged and pleaded guilty to 13 felonies. Among those crimes he pleaded guilty to were acts that are common for people who are addicted to drugs. He lied to get doctors to prescribe pain medication to him. He stole drugs out of several drug take-back boxes, meant to help deter drug abuse in the community. And he ended up using public funds on his own needs.

When he pleaded guilty in December of 2016 to charges stemming from those acts, his life changed. He went to prison.

Sheriff Overmyer’s Addiction

Sheriff Overmyer was addicted to painkillers, and like a lot of addicted people do, he resorted to things he considered immoral to try to get his drug of choice. While Overmyer, at …

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Is the Opioid Crisis Worse Than We Thought?

New research on the opioid crisis published by Addiction journal shows that the opioid epidemic’s numbers are as much as shows that overdose deaths might be as much as 28% higher than previously reported. A significant number of deaths may have been left out of reporting for several years.

Where Are The Unreported Deaths?

In Alabama, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, and Indiana, the actual final numbers of deaths may have been previously underreported by as much as 50%.

Nearly 72% of “unclassified drug overdoses” that occurred between 1999-2016 involved prescription opioids, heroin, or fentanyl. However, due to the victims having other drugs in their systems, they are marked as “unclassified”, even if it’s most likely that the opioids killed that person. For example, a person with Oxycontin and marijuana in their system might have their death left unclassified, even if it’s …

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Opioid Victims, Families Can Begin Suing Purdue Pharma

A federal judge has decided that victims of the opioid epidemic have the right to sue Purdue Pharma for damages, but all claims must be filed by June 30, 2020. This is when the company will begin its bankruptcy proceedings.

Purdue has also reached a settlement with a portion of some states and local governments. Although the settlement amount has not been disclosed, it’s been reported that it could be worth more than $10 billion. The presiding Judge, Robert Drain, says it’s important to note that an official amount for settlement has not yet been reached.

What is Purdue Settling For?

Purdue Pharma has faced hundreds of lawsuits accusing them of creating the opioid epidemic that has killed tens of thousands of Americans in the past several years. They are accused of using coercive marketing tactics with doctors, even though …

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Parents Who Use Marijuana Likely Have Kids Who Use It, Too

Years ago, anti-drug commercials issued a warning to people that kids often follow in their parents’ footsteps when it comes to drug use. Much of the anti-drug commercials from that era are considered to be propaganda. A new study finds that parents that smoke weed also have teens that smoke it, and the teens are more likely to use other substances as well.

Marijuana use in the United States is increasing with laws that end the prohibition of the substance. For many people, marijuana is just one drug that they use, making authorities worried that this will be true for the teens that use marijuana today.

What Was in this Marijuana Study?

The study followed the parents as well as their offspring, including the drug use of 24,900 fathers and mothers. The study found that parental marijuana use was associated …

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Richmond Tests “First Responders for Recovery” Program

In recognition of International Overdose Awareness Day, Richmond Virginia launched a new program meant to save the lives of people struggling with addiction. The Richmond Ambulance Authority (RAA) and Richmond City Health District (RCHD) announced the new initiative, dubbed “First Responders for Recovery”.

The program, modeled as an evidence-based program, helps people struggling with substance use by connecting them to local recovery resources. The program uses a Peer Recovery Specialist named Courtney Nunnally. Courtney herself is a person in recovery. She’s been inspired to help others who struggle and offer them some hope.  “This program is a way for me to give others hope and a path to recovery and I really believe it will save lives.”

What Do “First Responders for Recovery” Do?

As a Peer Recovery Specialist, Courtney offers a unique perspective to EMTs and paramedics and EMTs. …

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