Following Stories of Drug Use and Abuse in the News

The spike in drug abuse, especially in the United States and Canada, has been receiving a lot of media attention and for good reason.

This NPR story from September 12, 2016 about use in the U.S. states:

A report set to be released Tuesday shows a more than thirteenfold increase in spending by health insurers in a four-year period on patients with a diagnosis of opioid dependence or abuse.

Read the rest of this story here:

http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2016/09/12/493618415/insurance-data-show-a-surge-in-spending-on-opioid-treatment-and-testing

The local Vancouver radio station CKNW filed the following story on September 21, 2016:

488 people have died in BC as of the end of August as a result of illicit drug use.  That’s a 62 per cent spike over the same time last year.

Check out the entire report here:

http://www.cknw.com/2016/09/21/newly-released-numbers-show-huge-spike-in-drug-related-deaths-in-bc/

Overall drug positivity has increased for the 5th year in a row with the highest drug use being amphetamines, heroin, and marijuana according to this Quest Diagnostics Analysis:

http://newsroom.questdiagnostics.com/2016-09-15-Drug-Positivity-in-U-S-Workforce-Rises-to-Nearly-Highest-Level-in-a-Decade-Quest-Diagnostics-Analysis-Finds

John Oliver used his HBO show Last Week Tonight to take a look at how opioid use and abuse affects everyday Americans:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5pdPrQFjo2o

There is little doubt that abuse and subsequent deaths are rising worldwide.  Perhaps media attention will lead to action in the form of policy changes and honest examination of how these drugs are prescribed and managed.