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Opioid epidemic tied to overprescription, study says


first_imgA new USC study published on Jan. 16 found that doctor’s offices, rather than emergency rooms, prescribed the most opioids to patients.According to the study conducted by USC Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics and the Keck School of Medicine, opioid prescriptions have exploded in the United States, increasing by nearly 471 percent from 1996 to 2012.While many regulations have been focused on restricting emergency room prescriptions, the share of opioids prescribed in emergency rooms during the 17-year study period decreased from 7.4 percent to 4.4 percent. “One hypothesis has been that the emergency room is a recurrent site of care and that patients could be going from ER to ER to obtain multiple prescriptions to support their addiction,” USC Keck assistant professor Sarah Axeen said in a press release. “But our analysis shows that emergency rooms account for a very small share of all prescribed opioids. In fact, doctor’s offices are the source of many more of these drugs.”Out of the four settings where opioids are prescribed — including the ER, doctors’ offices, dental offices and outpatient sites — doctors’ offices were the only setting in which opioid prescriptions increased. In 1996, they prescribed 70.6 percent of all opioids in the United States and by 2012, that number had jumped to 83.45 percent. “From the 1990s to at least 2013, we had convinced ourselves that prescribing opioids was a fine thing to do [for chronic pain],” Keck associate professor Michael Menchine said in a press release. “It is hard to look in the mirror years later and say two million people might be dependent on opioids because of this sort of practice.”Opioids have been declared an epidemic by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  In 2016, a record of over 42,000 Americans overdosed on prescriptions, and opioid prescriptions were involved in at least 40 percent of these deaths. According to Keck professor Seth Seabury, in the push to address this epidemic, policymakers must focus on targeting the source of the problem. Policies to restrict opioid prescriptions in the ER, however, may have limited effects.“We are not saying these policies are bad,” Seabury said in a press release. “What our findings suggest is that they should really be focusing these policies on other places in the system.”Menchine encourages a more holistic approach to the opioid epidemic, including treatment for substance abuse over prescription regulations.“I want to be there for my patients and if they have substance abuse problems, I want to be able to address it in the best way I can,” Menchine said in a press release. “Too often, people think the solution is to simply say we can no longer prescribe opioids. For me, the solution is to say: It looks to me like you have a problem with opioid addiction and here are the options available so you can address it.”last_img read more


Wisconsin defense, balanced scoring attack, lead way for 14th straight win


first_imgThe Wisconsin volleyball team brought their shovels to Wednesday’s match at the UW Field House against Michigan.The Badgers accumulated 70 kills over three periods, with four players reaching double-digit dig marks.Leading the way for UW was Taylor Morey, who had a team-high 21 digs. This doesn’t come as a surprise for the junior libero, as she leads the Big Ten with 5.15 digs per set and is the frontrunner for Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year.Last Friday, also against Michigan, sophomore setter Lauren Carlini led the Badgers with 14 digs. She outdid herself Wednesday, by piling up 15 digs.Michigan tried to neutralize the Badgers by keeping the ball away from the back-line and hitting at Carlini, making it more difficult for her to set the ball. However, senior right side hitter Courtney Thomas was able to set the ball after Carlini digs.Thomas finished with three assists and added to the dig total with 11.Freshman outside hitter Kelli Bates was impressive in the back row for the Badgers Wednesday night. She wracked up 10 digs and said that as the season goes on, the more comfortable she feels defensively.“I’ve gotten a lot more training [in the back court] since preseason,” Bates said. “Adjusting to the speed of the game was gonna be the toughest thing for me defensively just because there’s so many talented players that have so many shots and it’s obviously a lot harder than in club and in high school. But I’ve gotten a lot really good training, so that’s definitely become more of a comfortable skill and I’m actually starting to enjoy it a lot more too.”Nelson added five digs, while seniors Ellen Chapman and Deme Morales added four of their own. Michigan’s libero Taylor Morales had a match-high 22 digs for the Wolverines.Neither team served particularly well in the first two sets of the match, especially Michigan. The Wolverines had five service errors in the first set and eight on the match. The Badgers had six times errors from the serving line throughout the match.In addition to the poor serving display, both squads had weak hitting percentages, although the numbers improved as the match progressed. In the first set, Wisconsin hit .171 while Michigan hit .116. In the third, UW hit .294 compared to Michigan’s .150.“It was a defensive struggle for both teams,” head coach Kelly Sheffield said. “Neither team hit for a really high percentage and neither team hit for a very high percentage a few days ago either.”Michigan finished the match with a .130 hitting percentage, while Wisconsin hit at a .220 clip on the match.After lighting the Badgers up for 20 kills on Friday, the UW defense held Michigan’s Abby Cole to 12 digs, which was still a match-high. The Badger block made it more difficult for the sophomore middle blocker this time out.“We had a couple of defensive strategies we needed to make sure we stuck to the second time around,” Nelson said. “We cleaned up our block a lot. The pin blockers did a great job of shutting down the line. We just really worked on sticking to our game plan and fixing what we didn’t really do right the first time.“The block and the back-court worked really well together tonight and that was what we were hoping for.”Michigan’s Caroline Knop added 11 kills for the Wolverines. Her and Cole accounted for 22 of Michigan’s 38 kills.Those top-heavy numbers didn’t translate to the other side of the court, as the Badgers had a much more balanced attack.“It’s a great problem to have,” Carlini, who finished 37 assists and her thirteenth double-double of the season, said. “Being able to set any of my hitters and them having the ability to get kills makes my job way easier.“Setting the middle of the court, forcing the ball there, was really one our big strategies this game and I was able to do that with good passing and great defense by our team.”Thomas led the Badgers offensively with 11 kills, while Nelson was right behind her with 10. Senior middle blocker Dominique Thompson hammered nine kills of her own, including a brutal spike to close out the second set. Outside hitters Bates and Chapman added six kills each.Wisconsin upped its winning-streak to 14 in-a-row with the win, although the team’s approach to each match impresses Sheffield more than the wins.“I think our team has been really good at being consistent with their approach and taking each match as it comes,” he said.last_img read more