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U.S. Opioid Overdose Epidemic Continues to Evolve and Grow

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has published a new study1 that confirms an increase in drug overdose deaths in 2017 compared with the previous year. The study reveals that of the 70,237 drug overdose deaths in 2017, 47,600 (67.8 percent) involved opioids, representing

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Marijuana: An Alternative to Opioid Therapy?

The use of cannabis as an alternative to opioid therapy is gaining serious consideration. Cannabis, also known as marijuana, is still a federal Schedule I drug, meaning it is an illegal drug considered to have a high abuse potential and no medical use. However, acceptance

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States are Taking Steps to Address Opioid Use in Workers’ Comp

Opioid misuse and abuse is a long-standing and growing concern for workers’ compensation payers. Appropriate monitoring of injured worker compliance with a given treatment plan is an essential missing piece of the treatment puzzle. The Official Disability Guidelines and the American College of Occupational and

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BlueCross to Stop Covering Oxycontin in Tennessee in 2019

The largest health insurance company in Tennessee, BlueCross BlueShield, will stop covering OxyContin prescriptions as of January 1, 2019. OxyContin is the brand name of the opioid oxycodone, a highly addictive pain reliever manufactured by Purdue Pharma and one of the primary drugs contributing to

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Overdose Deaths Increase to Record High in 2017, CDC Estimates

Even as federal and state governments make efforts to stem the growing opioid epidemic through legislation to monitor and limit the availability of prescription painkillers, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) last week released provisional estimates that indicate a continuing rise in overdose deaths, most notably

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