Maine Medicine Weekly Update - 07/16/2021 (Plain Text Version)
In this issue:
Opioid & Substance Use Disorder News
US Overdose Deaths Hit Record 93,000 in 2020
Overdose deaths soared to a record 93,000 last year in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. government reported this week. That estimate far eclipses the high of about 72,000 drug overdose deaths reached the previous year and amounts to a 29% increase. Fentanyl was involved in more than 60% of the overdose deaths last year, CDC data suggests. Vermont was one of 10 states predicted to have at least a 40% rise in drug overdose deaths from the previous 12-month span. (Associated Press)
Overdose Deaths In State Prisons Have Jumped Dramatically Since 2001
Prisons and jails in the United States have been increasingly deadly places in recent years, according to new. But one cause of death has climbed most dramatically: overdoses. From 2001 to 2018, the number of people who have died of drug or alcohol intoxication in state prisons rose more than 600%, according to an analysis of newly-released data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics. In county jails, overdose deaths increased by more than 200%. (NPR)
Opioid Use Disorder Treatment Rises in Medicaid Recipients
Opioid use disorder (OUD) treatment increased in Medicaid recipients from 2014 to 2018, data from 11 different state programs, including Maine. Individual states varied widely in use of these medications, but the lower end of the range increased from 35.3% to 45.7% from 2014 to 2018 while the upper end stayed fairly steady at around 74%, as reported in JAMA (subscription required). (MedPage Today)
ED-administered Buprenorphine May Enhance Opioid Use Disorder Treatment Outcomes
High-dose buprenorphine therapy, provided under emergency department care, is safe and well tolerated in people with opioid use disorder experiencing opioid withdrawal symptoms, according to a study supported by the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) through the Helping to End Addiction Long-term Initiative, or the NIH HEAL Initiative.
Maine Attorney General, Aaron Frey Urges Continued Action at Governor's Opioid Summit
Attorney General Aaron M. Frey participated in Governor Janet Mills's third Opioid Summit this week. His remarks focused on efforts to prevent overdose deaths, to disrupt the flow of fentanyl into Maine, and to expand access to treatment.
Frye was quoted in a department media release, "As attorney general, I see the impact of the continued impact of the opioid epidemic on families, communities, and our state," said Frey. "I am grateful that the administration has continued to make this crisis a top priority and marshalled the resources of every corner of our state government in working to save lives and abate the crisis. I am particularly encouraged by the recent creation of the Accidental Overdose Death Review Panel, which will examine systems and practices with the goal of saving lives."