Naloxone Recalled by Its Manufacturer

Naloxone Recalled by Its Manufacturer: This Week in Addiction and Recovery News

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The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that Naloxone, the life-saving opioid overdose antidote, has been recalled by its manufacturer. The drug maker Hospira and its parent company Pfizer issued the recall on Monday, CNN reported, after discovering “loose particulate matter on the syringe plunger.” Naloxone has made headlines in recent years for its role in the nation’s opioid crisis, since it rapidly reverses the effects of overdoses. Widely carried by ER doctors, paramedics and specially trained first responders, as well as the family members of people addicted to prescription painkillers, the drug used to only be available through hospitals. “In the event that impacted product is administered to a patient, the patient has a low likelihood of experiencing adverse events ranging from local irritation, allergic reactions, phlebitis, end-organ granuloma, tissue ischemia, pulmonary emboli, pulmonary dysfunction, pulmonary infarction, and toxicity,” the drug maker wrote in its recall. CNN added that the units were sold to wholesalers, hospitals and distributors in the United States, Puerto Rico and Guam between February 2017 and February 2018.

David Cassidy’s Late Alcoholic Confession

Late teen heartthrob David Cassidy revealed he lied about having dementia, admitting instead that his health problems were caused by alcoholism. The revelation comes in the form of a never-before-heard voice recording that will appear in A&E’s David Cassidy: The Last Session documentary. Cassidy, who struggled with alcohol throughout his life, was arrested no less than three times for DUI in the five years before he died last November. “I have a liver disease,” Cassidy says in the recording. “There is no sign of me having dementia at this stage of my life. It was completely alcohol poisoning. My life has changed dramatically.” He recounts being unconscious and “near death” for a few days, but being pleased that his memory had returned. “The fact is that I lied about my drinking,” Cassidy said. “I did this to myself to cover up the sadness and the emptiness.”

Ariana Grande Reveals Her PTSD Battle

Ariana Grande opened up this week about her struggles with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The “No Tears Left to Cry” singer recently took to Twitter on the one-year anniversary of an attack at Britain’s Manchester Arena, calling it a “challenging day.” A suicide bomber killed more than 22 people, including children, after one of her performances. “I know those families and my fans, and everyone there experienced a tremendous amount of it as well,” Grande told British Vogue this week, discussing the various symptoms of PTSD. “I feel like I shouldn’t even be talking about my own experience—like I shouldn’t even say anything,” she said, adding that she doubts she’ll ever be able to think of the attack and not get emotional.

Millions of Americans Have Been Prescribed Incorrect Drug Doses

Eleven million Americans may have been given the wrong prescription, a new study revealed. Researchers from the Stanford University School of Medicine in California examined “pooled cohort equations” (PCEs), which serve a critical role in drug prescription since they help physicians determine patients’ individual risks for stroke or heart attack. The study’s lead researcher Dr. Sanjay Basu argued that PCEs are inaccurate and need to be updated, which means that in the interim, millions of people are getting incorrect doses of commonly used drugs. Some PCEs rely on information from people aged 30 to 62 as far back as 1948. Diet, health risks and lifestyle, among other factors, have significantly changed since then. “Relying on our grandparents’ data to make our treatment choices is probably not the best idea,” Dr. Basu said.

20% of Young American Deaths Are Due to Opioids

According to a new research study, opioids are responsible for a whopping 20% of all deaths among young Americans. The study’s findings show that “while 1 in every 65 adults in the US suffered opioid-linked deaths in 2016, a 292 percent increase since 2001, opioids killed 1 in 5 young adults between the ages of 24 and 35.” Only four percent of young adults’ deaths in 2001 were due to opioids. What’s worse is that the researchers calculated that the US “lost a total of 1,681,359 years of life in 2016”—a grim statistic that’s also a telltale sign as to just how devastating the opioid problem continues to be. “Despite the amount of attention that has been placed on this public health issue, we are increasingly seeing the devastating impact that early loss of life from opioids is having across the United States,” the study’s lead author, Dr. Tara Gomes, observed. “In the absence of a multidisciplinary approach to this issue that combines access to treatment, harm reduction and education, this crisis will impact the U.S. for generations.”

How to Properly Dispose of Prescription Drugs

A feature in U.S. News & World Report this week provided six strategies for how to safely dispose of unwanted prescription drugs, ranging from drop-off boxes to DIY options. “Keeping extra medications in your home can put other people or pets at risk,” pharmacist Lindsay Slowiczek said. “Children, elderly people and pets could accidentally take these medications and experience dangerous side effects or even experience a toxic overdose, due to their smaller size.” Prescription drug consumption is a gateway factor for heroin use, too, the feature noted. Medication collection kiosks are popping up “at more than 600 retails stores in 45 states” while “CVS Health is installing 750 safe medication disposal units inside pharmacy locations,” the story said. Drug packaging typically provides specific instructions on how to dispose of it, too. That said, if you can’t find instructions, it’s useful to mix the medication in substances like cat litter, dirt or used coffee grounds, the story suggested. Drug disposal bags are also available for sale online though the feature is quick to point out that the FDA has not approved the bags yet. Perhaps the best strategy, however, is simply participating in the DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Days (held in April and October), the story concluded.

Colorado Governor Vetoes “Pot Clubs” Bill

Marijuana sellers in Colorado had hoped their state would become the first to let people use pot in regulated, public spaces. Not so fast, Governor John Hickenlooper said on Monday, vetoing a bill that would have allowed retailers to open “tasting rooms” for their product. In a statement explaining his veto, the governor cited concerns about impaired drivers and other public health issues. “We may agree with the proponents’ goals to protect the public and children; however, we strongly disagree that this bill is the correct path to achieve those goals,” Hickenlooper wrote. He was also concerned that passing the bill might prompt a federal crackdown and, therefore, cause Colorado’s pot industry to crumble. Critics believe the veto will simply give rise to more illegal, unregulated “pot clubs.”

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Paul Fuhr is a writer who lives in Columbus, Ohio with his family and two cats named Dr. No and Vesper. He's hard at work writing a novel and putting his life back together.