Category Archive: Meds

It’s time to change how we regulate methadone

In 2016, dispatchers in my hometown of Mansfield — a Rust Belt city in rural North Central Ohio — fielded over 363 overdose-related police calls. The community organized an opiate response team, created to help individuals following an overdose, which could only respond to those experiencing their second overdose. Around the country, small towns and […]

Kratom: harmless herbal supplement or dangerous drug?

What is it? Kratom is a powdered herbal supplement derived from the leaves of a tropical evergreen tree that is native to Southeast Asia and is usually taken orally but can also be brewed into teas. It is commonly used by consumers as an alternative medicine to self-treat opioid addiction and chronic pain.  The leaves […]

We should all care when patients get too many Z-paks

Many people seem to believe that the Z-pak possesses magical qualities. Patients come in requesting it for the common cold, because it worked for them in the past. Not only do many believe it cures the common cold, but they think it can treat any infection. Have a urinary tract infection? Just ask your doctor […]

The problem with first-person reporting of unproven interventions

Houston Chronicle reporter Craig Hlavaty recently treated readers to a first-person account of getting an intravenous (IV) vitamin infusion inside a van parked outside his house. The article, “Feeling the drip, drip, drip of the mobile IV craze,” related how a needle was inserted into his arm, “just where a tattooed lightning bolt strikes.” Hlavaty extolled the […]

The double-edged power of the medications we prescribe

My patient, a rugged sixty year old with massively muscular forearms, gray chest hair at the V of his denim shirt, and a voice that suggested years of liquor and unfiltered cigarettes, lowered his voice and leaned forward. “I’m not usually scared of anything, but for three nights now, ever since I started taking the […]

The other side of Suboxone

A lot has been written about Suboxone, the buprenorphine treatment drug. For many, Suboxone acts as an effective medication to treat opioid addiction. For others, it’s a highly-valued street drug that is commonly diverted and misused. To understand and acknowledge the darker side of Suboxone we have to look back at its history over the […]

Are abuse-deterrent opioids the solution to the opioid crisis?

As a primary care doctor who cares for many patients with opioid-use disorder, I am invested in timely and effective strategies to curb our nation’s opioid epidemic. Because so many instances of opioid addiction and overdoses begin with or involve commonly prescribed opioids, we need multiple strategies that address the significant harms associated with prescription […]

Prescription drugs are killing students and the educational system

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 63,632 individuals died in 2016 as a result of drug overdose. Among these, 66 percent died from opioid overdose. The statistics are derived from in-depth research that was carried out by the research institute in 2016. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns that cases […]

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