Missouri Now Tracking Drug Overdoses On Public Dashboard
State officials say the leading cause of death among Missouri adults ages 18 to 44 is by drug overdose, with more than 70% of the deaths involving opioids.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Missouri Launches Data Dashboard To Track Rising Drug Overdose Deaths
In addition to an online COVID-19 data dashboard showing the seriousness of the pandemic, the state of Missouri has launched another public dashboard to track the increasing number of drug overdose deaths. Drug overdose has become the leading cause of death among Missouri adults age 18 to 44, state health officials say. More than 70% of the deaths involve opioids such as heroin and fentanyl. The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services launched the new website late Tuesday at health.mo.gov/data/opioids. It provides data on fatal and nonfatal overdoses, where they occurred and their demographic characteristics. (Munz, 5/18)
Fentanyl Continues To Drive Opioid Overdose Deaths Even As Latest Numbers Dip
Fentanyl continues to wreak havoc in the state, with the drug playing a role in all eight accidental opioid overdose deaths among Vermonters in February. At the same time, the deaths represent Vermont’s lowest monthly fatal overdose count in almost two years. It’s the lowest figure since June 2020, when six Vermonters accidentally overdosed, new data from the state health department shows. (Tan, 5/19)
Did The Fentanyl Crisis Thrive Because The US Ignored Opioid Abuse?
Some say the rise in fentanyl deaths has been exacerbated by ignoring the opioid crisis and the millions of people who are already suffering from addiction who continue to seek available opioids - in many cases, fentanyl. Ryan, who wished to be identified by first name only, said he has been living with an opioid addiction for decades. He said he just recently started using fentanyl. “I stopped for many years. I just relapsed three months ago and I hadn't used in 10 years,” said Ryan. “Fentanyl is in everything now.” (Ordonez, Luna, Salzman and Yamada, 5/18)
Is This Littleton Detox Center That Feels Like A Hotel The Way Out Of The Fentanyl Crisis?
Each private room has a queen bed covered in a plush, gray comforter, plus a flat-screen TV and a remote control to browse Netflix and Hulu. For lunch and dinner, restaurant menus circulate and meals arrive via Uber Eats. Guests can log into their jobs from their rooms, or read a book beside a window looking into a grassy courtyard. In the group kitchen, there is popcorn, frozen fruit for smoothies and a Keurig coffee machine. But this welcoming space isn’t a hotel. It’s a $1,950-per-night detox center tucked into a discreet medical office building in Littleton where clients who can afford it are coming clean off fentanyl, or whatever drug they are ready to rid from their system. (Brown, 5/17)
In other news about drug use —
Dallas Morning News:
Most Texans Support Legalizing Pot, But Texas Gov. Greg Abbott Says No
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is unmoved by a new poll revealing that a majority of Texans support legalizing marijuana for medical and recreational use. Abbott said Tuesday that his position has not changed beyond what he’s proposed in the past — reducing the criminal penalty for marijuana possession to a Class C misdemeanor, but not legalizing the drug. But according to a Dallas Morning News-University of Texas at Tyler poll released Sunday, an overwhelming percentage of registered Texas voters — 91% of Democrats, 85% of independents and 74% of Republicans, combining for 83% total — back the idea of legalizing marijuana for medical use in the state, something the Legislature has continuously expanded, including as recently as last year. When it comes to recreational use, which is legal in 18 other states, including neighboring New Mexico, Texans are a bit more hesitant. (Jeffers Jr. and Caldwell, 5/17)
Tennessee Doctor Agrees To Prescription Limits In Settlement
A Tennessee physician has been barred from prescribing a number of controlled substances in settling a lawsuit that accused him of prescribing drugs with no legitimate medical purpose. The settlement was reached last week between Manchester doctor David Florence and the U.S. attorney’s office for the Middle District of Tennessee, according to a news release. (5/19)