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To Fight The U.S. Opioid Epidemic, Bloomberg Donates $50Mn

Bloomberg, who has been an independent, a Republican and a Democrat, declared lifetime allegiance to the Democratic Party.

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Opioid Epidemic
Former mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg speaks to the media in Jackson, Miss., Nov. 29, 2018. Bloomberg’s philanthropy has announced a $50 million donation to help fight the nation’s opioid epidemic. VOA

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s charity has announced a $50 million donation to help fight the nation’s opioid epidemic.

Bloomberg Philanthropies said over the next three years it will help up to 10 states address the causes of opioid addiction and strengthen prevention and treatment programs. Its initiative involves a partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, The Pew Charitable Trusts, Johns Hopkins University and Vital Strategies.

Bloomberg, who has been considering a 2020 Democratic presidential bid, was expected to discuss the funding Friday during his keynote address at The Bloomberg American Health Summit in Washington. A spokeswoman said there was “no stated link” between his political aspirations and the $50 million investment to fight opioids.

Bloomberg’s charity said CDC data shows there were more than 70,000 U.S. drug overdose deaths last year, including more than 47,000 from opioids, the highest numbers on record. It said those numbers are a leading factor in the decline of U.S. life expectancy over the past three years.

Bloomberg called the sobering numbers part of “a national crisis.”

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Cataldo Ambulance medics and other first responders revive a 32-year-old man who was found unresponsive and not breathing after an opioid overdose on a sidewalk in the Boston suburb of Everett, Massachusetts, Aug. 23, 2017. VOA

“For the first time since World War I, life expectancy in the U.S. has declined over the past three years — and opioids are a big reason why,” he said. “We cannot sit by and allow this alarming trend to continue — not when so many Americans are being killed in what should be the prime of their lives.”

He said in a statement he hoped his charity’s work in Pennsylvania, one of the states hardest hit by the opioids crisis, would lay the groundwork “for more effective action across the country.”

The partnership focuses on identifying new approaches to tackle opioids and plugging gaps in current treatment and prevention programs. Staff members from partner organizations will support state and local programs to reduce opioid-related deaths, and successful initiatives and guidelines will be replicated elsewhere, with the goal of creating a model for the rest of the nation.

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf said he was “deeply grateful” for the financial and technical resources his state will receive through the partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies.

Melania Trump, epidemic
Melania Trump calls opioid epidemic ‘worst drug crisis’ in US.

“From our first responders and health care professionals to teachers and social service providers, heroes across our commonwealth are saving lives and protecting residents in our communities every day from this awful scourge,” Wolf, a Democrat, said in a statement issued by the Bloomberg charity. “We are doing everything we can to help them, and I am confident that this partnership will mark a turning point in our efforts.”

Also Read: Melania Trump Calls Opioid Epidemic The ‘Worst Drug Crisis’ in American Histroy

The Drug Enforcement Administration said this month in its National Drug Threat Assessment that heroin, fentanyl and other opioids continue to be the highest drug threat in the nation.

Bloomberg, who has been an independent, a Republican and a Democrat, declared lifetime allegiance to the Democratic Party and outlined an aggressive timeline for deciding whether to run for president in an interview with The Associated Press this month. He has regularly criticized President Donald Trump and spent a fortune to help elect Democrats in the midterm elections. (VOA)

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Research Reveals, Cancer Patients Are More Likely To Use Marijuana

"Medical marijuana legislation has previously been associated with reduction in hospitalisations related to opioid dependence or abuse, suggesting if patients are in fact substituting marijuana for opioid, this may introduce an opportunity for reducing opioid-related morbidity and mortality,"

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The researchers found significantly increased use of marijuana over time -- likely reflecting increased availability due to legislative changes -- but they found stable rates of opioid use. Pixabay

Many cancer patients use marijuana and its usage has increased, a new study suggests. The findings, published in the journal CANCER, indicate 40.3 per cent cancer patients used marijuana within the past year, compared with 38 per cent of respondents without cancer.

“Prospective clinical trials are needed to quantify the efficacy of marijuana in cancer-specific pain as well as the risk of opioid misuse in this patient population,” said co-author Kathryn Ries Tringale from the University of California, San Diego.

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They found patients with cancer were more likely to use prescription opioids than adults without cancer — 13.9 per cent versus 6.4 per cent. Pixabay

For the study, 826 people with cancer were matched to 1,652 controls.

The researchers found significantly increased use of marijuana over time — likely reflecting increased availability due to legislative changes — but they found stable rates of opioid use.

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“Prospective clinical trials are needed to quantify the efficacy of marijuana in cancer-specific pain as well as the risk of opioid misuse in this patient population,” said co-author Kathryn Ries Tringale from the University of California, San Diego. VOA

They found patients with cancer were more likely to use prescription opioids than adults without cancer — 13.9 per cent versus 6.4 per cent.

Also Read: Risk to Obscure Creature, Highlights Pangolin Seizures in Asia

“Medical marijuana legislation has previously been associated with reduction in hospitalisations related to opioid dependence or abuse, suggesting if patients are in fact substituting marijuana for opioid, this may introduce an opportunity for reducing opioid-related morbidity and mortality,” said lead author Jona Hattangadi-Gluth from the varsity. (IANS)