Pioneering Addiction Psychiatrist Mitchell Rosenthal Dead at 87

Dr. Mitchell Rosenthal Mitchell Rosenthal, MD, the founder and long-time president and CEO of Phoenix House, a nonprofit substance use disorder treatment organization, died on November 17 at the age of 87. The psychiatrist died at a Manhattan hospital from complications of pneumonia, The New York Times reports. Rosenthal was a dedicated advocate of ensuring … Read more

Naloxone May Fail for Overdoses Tainted With ‘Tranq,’ FDA Warns

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is alerting healthcare professionals about the special management required for opioid overdoses tainted with xylazine, an animal tranquilizer known on the street as tranq, tranq dope, sleep-cut, Philly dope, and zombie drug. The tranquilizer is often combined with fentanyl or heroin, or occasionally with a stimulant, said the … Read more

CVS, Walgreens Announce Opioid Settlements Totaling $10B

Two of the largest US pharmacy chains, CVS Health and Walgreen Co., announced agreements in principle Wednesday to pay about $5 billion each to settle lawsuits nationwide over the toll of opioids, and a lawyer said Walmart is in discussions for a deal. Together, the developments amount to what could be the last round of … Read more

Taking Prescribed Opioids Tied to Low Rates of Illicit Drug Use

Less than 5% of people whose opioid therapy is managed in a pain management setting test positive for illicit drugs, a new study found. An analysis of urine drug tests (UDTs) from 600,000 pain clinic patients also shows that those who test positive for their prescribed opioids are significantly less likely to test positive for … Read more

The Hunt for N-Acetylcysteine: Medicine or Dietary Supplement?

Medicine or dietary supplement? N-acetylcysteine ​​(NAC) is marketed as both and in 2021, the supplement abruptly became difficult to find, causing distress to people who had been using it for a variety of conditions. The story behind its disappearance is one of a cat-and-mouse chase between manufacturers, advocacy agencies, and the Food and Drug Administration. … Read more

Telehealth Benefits for OUD Prompts Call for Permanent Adoption

A new study provides strong support for permanent adoption of expanded telehealth services and flexible prescribing of medications for opioid use disorder (OUD), experts say. Results showed that expanded access to telehealth services, authorized during the COVID-19 pandemic, led to more Medicare beneficiaries with OUD entering treatment and staying in treatment, as well as to … Read more

I Missed It: Coping With Medical Error

Thursday Night It was 9 o’clock at night when my phone rang. I didn’t recognize the number but decided to answer it anyway. It was my doctor. “Chase, I got your labs back and you have a critically low level. I spoke with someone at the hospital, I think I know what is happening, but … Read more

They Call It ‘Tranq,’ and It’s Making Street Drugs More Dangerous

Approaching a van that distributes supplies for safer drug use in Greenfield, Massachusetts, a man named Kyle noticed an alert about xylazine. “Xylazine?” he asked, sounding out the unfamiliar word. “Tell me more.” Tapestry Health Systems nurse Katy Robbins hands bottles of water to Kyle as he visits the harm reduction mobile unit in Greenfield, … Read more

‘Shocking’ and Persistent Gap in Treatment for Opioid Addiction

The vast majority of Americans with opioid use disorder (OUD) do not potentially receive lifesaving medications. Drugs such as methadone, buprenorphine, and extended-release naltrexone have been shown to reduce opioid overdoses by more than 50%. Yet a new analysis shows that only about 1 in 10 people living with OUD receive these medications. Dr Noa … Read more

First US Sanctioned Safe Injection Sites Curb Overdose Risk

Overdose prevention centers (OPCs) decrease overdose risk and curb public use of illicit drugs, according to early data from the first two federally sanctioned centers in the United States — both in New York City (NYC). In 2020, 2062 people died of a drug overdose in NYC — the deadliest year on record for the … Read more