Duluth News Tribune: Drug overdose deaths increase during pandemic, hit rural areas

Duluth News Tribune: Drug overdose deaths increase during pandemic, hit rural areas. “According to preliminary numbers in a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drug-related deaths increased about 10% while the pandemic was first hitting the country. The biggest increase in fatal overdoses happened in rural South Dakota, where drug-related fatalities increased by nearly 50%.”

Pharmacy Times: New Website Tackles Health Care Diversion

Pharmacy Times: New Website Tackles Health Care Diversion. “[The site] aims to obtain the most accurate database of drug diversion incidents in the United States and relies in part on the reporting of those who work inside health care facilities. Great care is taken to verify the reports and not duplicate them. One resource is the list server of IHFDA, which routinely reports known drug diversion events inside hospitals and long-term care facilities. The website also contains facts on health care facility incidents that have been reported across the country, including a US map that pinpoints reported diversion issues.” My first question was “What the heck is health care diversion,” which led me to “drug diversion,” which, according to the CMS, is “the deflection of prescription drugs from medical sources into the illegal market.”

Vice: Facebook Is Censoring Posts That Could Save Opioid Users’ Lives

Vice: Facebook Is Censoring Posts That Could Save Opioid Users’ Lives. “In its efforts to stop opioid sales on the site, Facebook appears to be blocking people who warn users about poisonous batches of drugs or who supply materials used to test for fentanyls and other contaminants. Just as 1990s web security filters mistook breast cancer research centers for porn sites, today’s internet still seems to have trouble distinguishing between drug dealers and groups trying to reduce the death toll from the overdose crisis. VICE reviewed screenshots and emails to corroborate the claims made in this story.”

PR Newswire: Pharmacists for Healthier Lives Partner Creates National Database Highlighting Activities Addressing Opioid Crisis (PRESS RELEASE)

PR Newswire: Pharmacists for Healthier Lives Partner Creates National Database Highlighting Activities Addressing Opioid Crisis (PRESS RELEASE). “Pharmacists for Healthier Lives (PfHL) – a coalition of pharmacy organizations seeking to raise consumer awareness of the full-range of essential healthcare services pharmacists provide each day – announced today the release of a report outlining activities for stemming the opioid crisis from more than 100 pharmacy schools from across the country.”

Quartz: Scientists used Google searches to predict heroin overdoses

Quartz: Scientists used Google searches to predict heroin overdoses. “The United States is in the midst of an opioid crisis. Every day, over 100 people die from opioid overdoses, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But what if we could know about overdoses before they happen? Scientists in California have opened the possibility of having such preemptive knowledge by creating a model that uses Google searches to predict overdoses from heroin.”

Neowin: Major dark web drug suppliers voluntarily ban sales of deadly drug

Neowin: Major dark web drug suppliers voluntarily ban sales of deadly drug. “The UK’s National Crime Agency has announced that several major drug suppliers on the dark web have decided to voluntarily ban the sale of the deadly drug fentanyl, a synthetic opioid, due to the danger it poses. The sellers decided to pull the product off their dark websites as it could cause fatalities which they believe would cause them to receive more attention from the police.”

Dartmouth: Using Social Media Big Data to Combat Prescription Drug Crisis

Dartmouth: Using Social Media Big Data to Combat Prescription Drug Crisis. “Researchers at Dartmouth, Stanford University, and IBM Research, conducted a critical review of existing literature to determine whether social media big data can be used to understand communication and behavioral patterns related to prescription drug abuse. Their study found that with proper research methods and attention to privacy and ethical issues, social media big data can reveal important information concerning drug abuse, such as user-reported side effects, drug cravings, emotional states, and risky behaviors.”

UC San Diego: Machine Learning Detects Marketing and Sale of Opioids on Twitter

UC San Diego: Machine Learning Detects Marketing and Sale of Opioids on Twitter. “Between June and November 2015, some 619,937 tweets containing the keywords codeine, Percocet, fentanyl, Vicodin, Oxycontin, oxycodone and hydrocodone were collected. The findings, published online in the American Journal of Public Health in October, detected 1,778 posts that were marketing the sale of controlled substances, 90 percent included hyperlinks to online sites for purchase.”

Rolling Stone: Are Teens Replacing Drugs With Social Media?

From Rolling Stone, and how often does ResearchBuzz get to link to an article in Rolling Stone? Are Teens Replacing Drugs With Social Media?. “Today’s teens are a bunch of squares, according to the Monitoring the Future study from Michigan University, which has measured drug and alcohol use among teenagers since 1975. Every year, researchers survey approximately 45,000 eighth, 10th, and 12th graders, and their 2015 results show the lowest percentage of teens using alcohol and drugs since 1990. … This sounds like good news, right? But there’s a catch: Some researchers believe that social media might be at least partly responsible for this decline. “

New York Expands Its Portal for Finding Addiction Treatment Services

The state of New York has expanded its portal for finding addiction treatment options in that state. “Through the newly expanded application available at FindAddictionTreatment.ny.gov, visitors can find up-to-date information on available treatment beds, outpatient services and opioid treatment programs anywhere in the state, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The application’s search feature includes proximity searches that return reports on available treatment within three, five, 10, 25 and 50 miles of the searcher’s location. Queries are simple and customizable allowing for searches by location, gender of the patient, age, city, county or zip code as specified by the user.”

Connecticut Launches Map for Finding Naloxone-Prescribing Pharmacies

The state of Connecticut has created an online map to find pharmacies in the state which can prescribe Naloxone. “Governor Dannel P. Malloy today announced that the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) has developed a new, interactive online map that will allow consumers to locate pharmacies across the state where pharmacists are certified to prescribe the overdose-reversing medication naloxone – commercially known as Narcan….In 2015, Governor Malloy enacted legislation to make this important medication accessible through a pharmacist prescription, and also ensuring that pharmacists are certified to provide vital information to patients about how to access drug addiction services, administer the medication, and understand the side effects associated with naloxone.”

Mapping Opioid Claims Across the US – CMS.gov

The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services has released a mapping tool to show opioid claims across the US. The initial view is by state, but you can zoom all the way down to zip code level. “The data set, which is privacy-protected, contains information from over one million distinct providers who collectively prescribed approximately $103 billion in prescription drugs and supplies paid under the Part D program. The data characterizes the individual prescribing patterns of health providers that participate in Medicare Part D for over 3,000 distinct drug products. Of the 1.4 billion total Part D claims per year, there were approximately 80.7 million opioid claims for 116 distinct opioid products contributing to $3.7 billion of the total Part D prescription drug costs.”