Tag Archives: opioid

Reaffirming points of pride, and life in rural Iowa

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We’re Iowa proud

grain elevator view photo
Photo by cwwycoff1

Dave has been noticing a certain mid-semester droopiness among some students at the College of Medicine.  Perhaps, he conjectured, we all need a bit of a pick-me-up.   So, Levi Endelman, Issac Schwantes, and new co-host Derek Bradley share things about themselves of which they are proud.  Issac isn’t much impressed by Dave’s point of pride.  And the boys reminisce about their rural Iowa upbringings, from careening over the ubiquitous gravel roads to romancing atop grain elevators.

This Week in Medical News

Vox has begun collecting data from ER visitors on the resulting bills, so the American Hospital Association issues a warning to its members.  And the US opioid epidemic is finally a national emergency, officially.  Will the president’s latest proclamation have any effect?  Will the American taxpayer get its $57,000 worth?

We Want to Hear From You

What do you do when you’re academically down in the dumps?  Do you take your cell phone to the bathroom?  Admit it! Show the world you aren’t afraid of its judgement by calling us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.

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The Modern Opioid Epidemic

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heroin photo
Photo by G4GTi

Close your eyes, and picture an opioid abuser. If you’re like me, you see a man in a flophouse or dark alley. He’s cooking up heroin in a spoon over a lighter. Maybe he has a loop of tubing around his upper arm, and he’s shooting the heroin into a vein in the crook of his elbow. Once he’s done with the injection, he leans back with a euphoric sigh. Fade to black.

Maybe it’s just me, but this is the image that, for years, mediated my perception of the opioid epidemic, but it’s a stereotype created by television and movies. Even as a stereotype, it’s outdated, though. For decades, now, much of the epidemic is one of prescription drugs. The CDC says 78 people die from opioid overdoses every day. At least half of all opioid overdoses are from prescription drugs. Meanwhile, deaths from illegally made opioids, like the synthetic Fentanyl which is often mixed with heroin or cocaine to increase the high, increased 80% from 2013 to 2014. The American Society of Addiction Medicine says that prescription pain reliever overdose deaths among women increased more than 400% from 1999 to 2010, compared to 237% among men. In 2014, 168,000 adolescents were addicted to prescription pain medications. More than 2 and a half times that number of kids were taking prescription pain relievers for non-medical uses.

Next week, from September 26 to September 30, 2016, the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine will host the Opioid Overdose Prevention Summit. Second-years med students Sarah Ziegenhorn, Petra Hahn, and Cameron Foreman helped organize the conference, in which students from the Colleges of Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy, Social Work, Public Health, and Nursing will join together to increase their knowledge and to influence public policy and legislation; personal perspectives; and student advocacy. , Sarah, Petra and Cameron were joined by Assistant Dean Denise Martinez and Nurse Kim Brown, whose son Andy died of an overdose, to talk about the issues of opioid addiction, treatment, and overdose prevention.
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