Why opioid overdose prevention programs work as NYC leads nation with 1st center

By Kiara Alfonseca and Mary Kekatos on

It's been two months since New York City opened the first-ever overdose prevention center (OPC) in the United States, and public health experts said the clinic is already saving lives.

OPCs are a form of harm reduction, which is a set of strategies to minimize the negative effects and consequences linked to drug use, and "keeping people who use drugs alive and as healthy as possible," according to the U.S. government's Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

In this case, OPCs are place where people can use drugs in a setting with nurses or other clinical staff members present and who can help avert fatal overdoses.

As of Feb. 8, the center has served nearly 700 New Yorkers and intervened in 134 overdoses, according to...

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Suicides by drug overdose increased among young people, elderly people, and Black women, despite overall downward trend

By NIH on

A new study of intentional drug overdose deaths, or suicides by an overdose of a medication or drug, found an overall decline in recent years in the United States, but an increase in young people aged 15-24, older people aged 75-84, and non-Hispanic Black women. The study also found that women were consistently more likely than men to die from intentional drug overdoses, with the highest rates observed in women ages 45 to 64. In addition, factors such as time of year, length of day, and day of the week appeared to be associated with intentional overdose death rates. The study published today in the American Journal of Psychiatry and was led by investigators at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes...

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What Is Harm Reduction?

By Morgan Coulson, Melissa Hartman on

Harm reduction is exactly what it sounds like: reducing the harm associated with using drugs through a variety of public health interventions. But the concept relies on more than these tools and begins, at the most fundamental level, with recognizing that all people deserve safety and dignity. It does not treat drug use as a moral failing.

Harm reduction acknowledges that drugs are widely available in our society. It encompasses the understanding that traditional law enforcement approaches or those that require complete abstinence do not decrease demand, use, or negative health consequences of substance use.

WHAT PROBLEMS DOES HARM REDUCTION TRY TO SOLVE?

The primary goal of harm reduction is to save lives and protect the health of both...

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How photos used to illustrate articles about alcohol and other drugs may perpetuate stigma

By Dr. Stephen Parkin on

Dr. Stephen Parkin writes about some of the inadvertent consequences of using photos about substance use, and makes five recommendations for authors and publishers based on his own research.

Photographs of substances (and/or of people using substances) can be used to highlight, emphasise or draw attention to written text in media reports, news articles, social media posts, and blogs, and are increasingly being featured in informal academic and scholarly articles. The source of these photos is often a catalogue of ‘stock images’ of a wide range of objects and environments, which are available to purchase, and were produced by people other than the author of the text. This method of acquiring photos can benefit the author (who can access...

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Opinion: Facing a surge in overdose deaths, D.C. must decriminalize drugs

By Shane Sullivan on

The profit-driven underpinning of all of our systems — including our public health infrastructure — has become plainer than ever through this ongoing pandemic. Eclipsed by the coronavirus’s pervasive impact, however, is another ongoing public health emergency that has received even fewer resources to adequately address it: overdose fatalities.

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data, D.C. recorded 511 overdose deaths in 2020; preliminary 2021 estimates suggest a similar figure, both largely driven by the increasingly toxic street drug supply wherein fentanyl has largely replaced heroin and increasingly been found in cocaine and pills sold as opiates such as OxyContin and Vicodin. Though an imperfect...

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Life Beyond Addiction - Monica Forbes

By SMART Recovery USA on

Monica Forbes is a person in long term Recovery, a Nationally Certified Peer Recovery Support Specialist and an Idaho Certified Recovery Coach Supervisor, as well as a Certified SMART support group facilitator. She currently serves as the CEO of Recovery United, Inc. which operates and supports Recovery Community Centers, a Recovery Coach program and the Peer Supports Academy.


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Life Beyond Addiction - Reginald Warren

By SMART Recovery USA on

Reggie Warren woke up one day and decided he'd had it with using. After years of addiction and the problems it caused in his life and his family, he went to treatment and found solutions. One of the solutions that made the most sense was SMART Recovery because it helped him take a good hard look at the things and people the he most valued in life and how important it was to keep them. Listen to Reggie's amazing story now!


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Life Beyond Addiction - Eboni Jewel Sears

By SMART Recovery USA on

Eboni Jewel Sears speaks frankly about her sexually maladaptive behavior and how she began to use SMART Recovery several years ago to overcome it. She also became a SMART Recovery facilitator and hosts a weekly meeting on the issue for others in recovery, especially vulnerable teens and young adults..


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Life Beyond Addiction - Holly Paulsen

By SMART Recovery USA on

Holly Paulsen's experience in the U.S. military was fulfilling but also stressful. A common phrase in the profession is "Drink About it Don't Think About it." This led to consequences in her own life but also led her on a path to recovery that included SMART Recovery.  


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