Health Policy & Advocacy
Resources
Basic InformationMore InformationLatest News
Ban Menthol Cigarettes, Lower Smoking Rates?Tech Is Keeping More Americans in Touch With DoctorsEven Small Reductions in Air Pollution Help The HeartHigh Costs Lead Millions of Americans to Shop Abroad for Rx DrugsPandemic Hits Primary Care Practices Hard Across the U.S.: StudyOne-Time Treatment Eases Parkinson's -- in MiceAHA News: Here's What Doctors Know About Immunizations Right Now – You Still Need ThemDoctors' Choice of Anesthesia Could Help Curb Climate ChangeTough State Gun Laws Help Save Lives: StudyBlood Donors Will Get Results of Coronavirus Antibody Test, Red Cross SaysCOVID Got You Scared of Performing CPR? Study Finds Infection Risk Is LowFor Stressed-Out Black Americans, Mental Health Care Often Hard to Come ByHealthDay In-Depth
The AI Revolution: For Patients, Promise and Challenges Ahead">HealthDay In-Depth
The AI Revolution: For Patients, Promise and Challenges Ahead
Women Still Left Out of Much Medical ResearchHealthDay In-Depth
The AI Revolution: Robots Already Helping Humans Deliver Better Care">HealthDay In-Depth
The AI Revolution: Robots Already Helping Humans Deliver Better Care
HealthDay In-Depth
The AI Revolution: Giving Docs a Diagnostic Assist">HealthDay In-Depth
The AI Revolution: Giving Docs a Diagnostic Assist
AHA News: Calorie Data on Menus Could Generate Significant Health, Economic BenefitsPandemic Has Left Nearly 43 Million Americans Without WorkPeople Are Avoiding the ER During COVID-19 Crisis at Their Peril: StudyAs Postponed Surgeries Resume, Can U.S. Hospitals Handle the Strain?Most Americans Still More Worried About COVID-19 Spread Than the EconomyBig Need for Blood Donations as Postponed Surgeries ResumeEmergency Transport Can Surprise Many With Big BillsOnly Half of Americans Say They'd Get a Coronavirus Vaccine: SurveyIf Prescribed Opioids for Pain, Ask Lots of Questions: FDAState Texting Bans Are Saving Teen Drivers' LivesMillions of Older Americans Can't Get Enough FoodLayoffs and Losses: COVID-19 Leaves U.S. Hospitals in Financial CrisisFDA Goes After Unproven COVID-19 Antibody TestsDuring Droughts, Many Poor Americans Will Lack Clean Tap Water: StudyDid the Movie 'Joker' Reinforce Prejudice Against Mentally Ill?AHA News: How to Get the Most Out of Health AppsCoronavirus Conspiracy Theories Abound, and They Could Cause Real HarmAHA News: Health Emergency? Don't Hesitate to Get HelpAn Expert's Guide to Fact-Checking Coronavirus Info OnlineRacial, Ethnic Gaps in Insurance Put Moms, Babies at Risk: StudyCelebrity Suicides Spawn 'Copycat' Tragedies, Study ShowsVaccine Myths Widespread on the Web, Especially Facebook: Study
The Doctor Gap: In Areas of Greatest Need, Primary Care Is a Team Effort">
The Doctor Gap: In Areas of Greatest Need, Primary Care Is a Team Effort
The Doctor Gap: Where Are All the Mental Health Care Providers?New, Graphic Health Warnings Coming for U.S. Cigarette PacksWith New Boost From Medicare, 'Telemedicine' Steps Up to Fight CoronavirusThe Doctor Gap: In Rural America, It's All Hands on DeckThe Doctor Gap: A Training Program for Country-Doc WannabesDon't Believe All the 'Science' on CBD ProductsMany Car Crash Deaths Involve Alcohol Levels Below Legal Limit: StudyThe Doctor Gap: Does America Have a Physician Shortage?12 Weeks of Paid Maternity Leave Benefits Everyone: StudyVaping Videos Soaring on YouTubeU.S. Blood Donors Needed in Face of COVID-19 Crisis
Questions and AnswersVideosLinksBook Reviews
Related Topics

Health Insurance
Healthcare

All U.S. Adults Should Be Screened for Illicit Drug Use, National Panel Urges

HealthDay News
by By E.J. MundellHealthDay Reporter
Updated: Aug 13th 2019

new article illustration

TUESDAY, Aug. 13, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Amid an ongoing epidemic of opioid addiction and misuse, a national panel on Tuesday advised that doctors routinely screen all adults for illicit drug use.

That includes the misuse of prescribed medications, noted the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF).

"For the first time, there is enough evidence for the Task Force to recommend that primary care clinicians screen all adults for illicit drug use," the panel said in a statement.

The independent panel is appointed by the federal government and is hugely influential, largely because insurers often base decisions of coverage based on its recommendations.

The USPSTF did not extend the recommendation for drug abuse screening to teens, however, saying that "there was not enough evidence to make a recommendation for or against screening teens ages 12 to 17." They are calling for more research into drug use by teens.

As the panel noted, over the past decade drug misuse and abuse -- especially of prescription opioids such as Oxycontin, Vicodin and Percocet, as well as other powerful opioids such as fentanyl and heroin -- has surged in the United States.

"Approximately 1 in 10 Americans older than age 18 currently use illicit drugs, and illicit drug use is among the most common causes of preventable death, injury, and disability in the United States," the panel said.

Until now, the task force has held back from having questions about illicit drug use be a routine part of the doctor-patient relationship.

But, given the "devastating" impact of addiction on people and their families, "clinicians can help by screening their adult patients and connecting people who use illicit drugs to the care they need to get better," said panel co-chair Karina Davidson.

Ideally, screening would involve doctors asking patients "one or more questions about drug use, frequency of use, or risks related to use," the panel said. Urine-based drug tests are not included in the new guidelines.

As for teenaged patients, inquiries about illicit drug use should still be left up to the discretion of individual physicians. "Clinicians should continue to use their professional judgement to determine what's best for their teen patients," said task force member Dr. Carol Mangione.

As well, parents should talk with their family doctor if they see or suspect drug misuse or abuse in their teen, the panel said.

Speaking with The New York Times, Mangione acknowledged that many U.S. physicians lack the knowledge or training to converse effectively with patients on such a sensitive topic as drug abuse.

But she said that, as the opioid abuse epidemic affects more and more practices, doctors are eager to learn how best to help.

"It's on all of us providers to understand the diagnostic and treatment sources in our communities and not to use our lack of knowledge as a reason not to treat people," she told the Times.

"These are hard topics for patients to bring up," Mangione said, "but when the provider does, patients sometimes feel relieved. We tell them that we bring it up because we have treatments for it."

She stressed that drug abuse is affecting every strata of Americans, including the young and the old. That's why the panel did not declare an upper age limit for screening.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on prescription opioids.




Facebook

Amazon Smile

 

Children and Adult services are available now with no wait time.  

Please contact HBH at 860-548-0101, option 2.

 


powered by centersite dot net