Florida lawmakers revive and adopt patient protection legislation

by Stephen Smith in Uncategorized

Florida lawmakers revive and adopt patient protection legislation By: Gary A. Enos Florida legislators late last week took a firm stand against deceptive and patient-harming marketing and related practices in the addiction treatment and sober living industries. With their adopted legislation giving added authority to state regulators that observers have seen as lax in their past monitoring efforts, state officials will have a prime opportunity to engage in stronger enforcement of patient and family protections. After it had appeared that comprehensive legislation that had been in the works for months might die in the waning days of the state legislative session, the state Senate on May 4 unanimously passed legislation that had previously cleared the House. Gov. Rick Scott is expected to sign into law the measure, which will take effect July 1. Scott last week issued an emergency declaration in order to free up monies to combat the opioid crisis.  

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An Experiment Helps Heroin Users Test Their Street Drugs For Fentanyl

by Stephen Smith in Uncategorized

An Experiment Helps Heroin Users Test Their Street Drugs For Fentanyl By: Mary Harris Some people on heroin die because the drug was laced with something much stronger — like fentanyl. A few needle exchange programs give users test strips to check their drug's content before injecting. In the day room at St. Ann's Corner of Harm Reduction, which runs a needle exchange program in the Bronx, a group of guys are playing dominoes and listening to salsa music while they wait for lunch. And Van Asher, one of the staffers in charge of "transactions" — that means he gives out needles — is talking up his latest idea for how to keep the users here safe. He wants to tell them what's really in their stash. "If you're doing dope," he says to one client, "we'll give you a test strip so you can test and see if there's fentanyl."  

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Psychiatric drugs killing more users than heroin, cocaine, say health experts

by Stephen Smith in Uncategorized

Psychiatric drugs killing more users than heroin, cocaine, say health experts By: Stephanie IP Health professionals are sounding the alarm over the heightened risk of death linked to the use of psychiatric drugs, which was highlighted in a pair of Vancouver-based studies published this month. Benzodiazepine (BZD) is a class of psychiatric medications known as “tranquillizers” which can reduce the body’s drive to breathe and are used to treat anxiety, sleep disorders, seizures, and other conditions. They include commonly prescribed drugs such as Valium, Xanax, and Ativan. The first of the two studies, which involved researchers from the B.C. Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS (BCCfE) and the University of B.C., looked at the impact of BZD use on mortality rates and established that use of BZDs was linked to a higher risk of death than illegal drugs.  

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