Pregnant women with substance misuse problems who live in states that consider drug addiction 'child abuse' are at greater risk of having babies born with health problems like opioid withdrawals, a new study found. As the opioid epidemic surges on in the US, the number of pregnant women with addictions quadrupled between 1999 and 2014. Simultaneously, the number of babies born with neonatal abstinence syndrome - a form of withdrawal affecting infants exposed to opioids in the womb - has skyrocketed. States treat these women and their babies very differently, with some treating pregnant women with medication to help them break their addictions while others treat drug use in pregnancy as neglect or even a crime. A new RAND Corporation study found that newborns seem to suffer the health consequences at much higher rates when their addicted mothers are punished by a state's legal system. Punishing addicted women who use opioids during pregnancy as … [Read more...] about US states that deem addicted pregnant women ‘criminals’ have 20% more babies born with opioid withdrawals because they ‘drive moms-to-be away from treatment,’ study suggests
The rate of drug overdose deaths in the US fell some two percent, according to the latest preliminary data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Although the figures are provisional, it appears that 2019 will be the second year in a row in which overdose deaths fall after eight consecutive years of increase driven by the opioid epidemic. Last year marked the first reported decrease since the epidemic's beginning. A second year of declining death rates may be a stronger signal that the worst of the addiction crisis has passed. But the war is not over, and states like Montana, Vermont and New Mexico are still seeing considerable increases in overdose deaths. After nearly two decades of mounting annual death tolls, 67,123 Americans died of opioid overdoses between April 2018 and April 2019 (far right), about 2% fewer than died in the 12 months between April 2017 and April 2018, according to preliminary CDC data The stages of … [Read more...] about US drug overdose death toll falls for the second year in row, declining 2% from 2018 to 2019 as the tide of the opioid epidemic turns, CDC reports
More than 1,000 babies born in 2018 had drug withdrawal symptoms caused by addict mums, NHS England figures reveal. Many cases were linked to illicit opioids such as heroin. But more disturbingly others were down to mothers becoming hooked on prescription opioids like codeine during pregnancy. Now GPs are being warned to be more careful about painkillers they dish out to expectant mums. Last year 1,052 babies needed “cold turkey” treatment for drugs taken in via the umbilical cord. This can mean being given the drug after birth and slowly weaned off it. Short-term symptoms in addict babies include high-pitched continuous crying, fits, fever, vomiting, dehydration, diarrhoea and sweating. Long-term problems include slow development, visual impairment and learning difficulties. The total number of addict babies in the past seven years stands at 8,530. Prof Helen Mactier, president of the British Association of Perinatal Medicine, said: “These figures are very worrying. … [Read more...] about Over 1,000 babies born with strong opioid addiction as pregnant mums use pills
A man has been charged with supplying counterfeit opioid pills to rapper Mac Miller two days before he died of an overdose.Cameron James Pettit, 23, is accused of providing Ariana Grande's ex-boyfriend with counterfeit oxycodone pills laced with the powerful opioid fentanyl.Just two days later, on 7 September 2018, the 26-year-old was found dead by his assistant at his home in San Fernando Valley, in Los Angeles County.A post mortem found Miller died from an accidental overdose, via a combination of fentanyl, cocaine and alcohol.It also revealed the artist had a history of drug and alcohol abuse, but had not previously overdosed or been hospitalised for any reason. Advertisement Authorities say they found drugs they believe were from Pettit in Miller's home, and evidence that Miller had crushed and sniffed oxycodone provided by Pettit.Pettit has only been charged with providing the drugs, however, and not with having a direct role in Miller's death. More from Ariana Grande … [Read more...] about Mac Miller death: Man charged with selling fake opioids to Ariana Grande’s ex
By Philip Whiteside, international news reporterFew news stories about health have captivated the attention of the US public as much over the last few years as the opioid scandal.More than 400,000 people are said to have died as a result of it in the US alone.It has been called a "uniquely American problem", but availability of drugs that mimic the effects of opium-derived compounds have spilled over into other countries including the UK.So, what is the opioid scandal and how did it come about? Advertisement What is an opioid?An opioid is a drug that acts on parts of the brain and body, called opioid receptors, that help moderate sensations like pain, mood, appetite and various bodily functions.Opioids exist in nature - for example in the form of opium - and have been used for thousands of years by humans, who have gradually refined them into other forms like codeine, heroin or morphine. More from Opioids Fentanyl: The killer painkiller Purdue Pharma 'settles' … [Read more...] about What is the opioid scandal and why could big pharma lose billions?