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OPIOIDS

Acute and chronic pain are unrelated and must be treated as such, says author of new book on the complexity of chronic pain and the need for a multispecialty, non-opioid model of chronic pain treatment.
Fentanyl has taken root in Montana and in communities across the Mountain West during the pandemic, after formerly being prevalent mostly east of the Mississippi River, said Keith Humphreys of the Stanford-Lancet Commission on the North American Opioid Crisis. Montana law enforcement officials have intercepted record numbers of pale-blue pills made to look like prescription opioids such as OxyContin. Nationwide, at least 103,000 people died from drug overdoses in 2021, a 45% increase from 2019, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 7 of every 10 of those deaths were from synthetic opioids, primarily fentanyl.
The pharmacies are accused of giving cash handouts to keep customers coming back, and one allegedly distributed its own currency, “monkey bucks,” inspired by a pet monkey that was once a common sight behind the counter.
West-central Minnesota health system is implementing an easy reference guide for physicians and information for patients about managing acute pain without using opioid pain medications. Often, the first line of treatment is over-the-counter painkillers, which doctors say are more effective than people think.

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