COPD Hospitalization Risk Linked to Opioid/Benzodiazepine Use

Opioid and benzodiazepine use was associated with more adverse respiratory events in older adults with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to a study published in Annals of the American Thoracic Society. Furthermore, although adverse effects are not exacerbated in individuals with obstructive sleep apnea, those with high-complexity COPD are at greater risk for adverse events when using both opioids and benzodiazepine. This case-control study included 3232 individuals who were hospitalized in 2014 for COPD or a related diagnosis, as well as 6247 controls matched for age, gender, socioeconomic status, COPD medication and complexity, obstructive sleep apnea, comorbidity, and index date. All participants …

Marijuana Damages Young Brains States that legalize it should set a minimum age of 25 or older.

Simply because society has become more accepting of marijuana use doesn’t make it safe for high school and college students. Cigarettes and alcohol, both legal, have caused great harm in society as well as to people’s health, and have ruined many lives. Marijuana may do the same. We must tightly regulate the emerging cannabis industry to protect the developing brain. Click here to read more!

Opioid risks are different for kids and teens—the guidelines should be, too

As the opioid epidemic took hold and expanded in the United States, physicians and medical organizations researched and created better guidelines for prescribing the drugs and preventing misuse. Those guidelines, though, have focused primarily on adults, says Florence Bourgeois, an associate professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. That misses a significant portion of the population that might be at risk of harm from opioids: kids, adolescents, and young adults. “Prescribing is different in adolescents and young adults, and the consequences might be different,” Bourgeois says. A pair of new studies, published this week in the journal Pediatrics, turned attention to …

Federal pain management task force emphasizes opioid alternatives

A federal task force issued a report Thursday outlining best practices for managing acute and chronic pain with an emphasis on treatment approaches beyond opioid use. The 108-page report lays out a multidisciplinary approach to pain management that includes opioids but also behavioral and physical therapy as well as other treatments like massages and minimally invasive procedures. According to the report, “mitigating unnecessary opioid exposure” is vital. “It’s important to exploit the benefits of multimodal, non-opioid approaches in acute pain management in conjunction with possible opioid therapy,” the report said. The report was put together by the Pain Management Best Practices Inter-Agency Task Force, …