Contemporary Pediatrics Opioid Issue

9 opioid epidemic facts you need to knowThe opioid epidemic continues to make front page news with more overdoses happening every day and new synthetic opioids promising more than earlier opioid formulations. Here are 9 facts about the epidemic that you need to know.
Increased opioid abuse leads to more ED visitsFrom 2006 to 2012, patients aged younger than 18 years made more than 21,928 visits to emergency departments (EDs) for poisoning by prescription opioids, such as methadone, codeine, meperidine, or morphine.
Opioids overshadow athletic injuriesIn my practice, we are seeing patients and their families being increasingly interested in gaining a competitive edge with regard to athletics.One of the consequences of this is that our young athletes are running themselves down—pushing to be the best—at the cost of wear and tear on their bodies. Repetitive stress, fatigue, and poor technique lead to children suffering overuse injuries and put kids at risk for traumatic injury.
Midazolam warning for preemiesA recent study in preterm infants found that exposure to midazolam, a commonly used sedative in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), was associated with macro- and microstructural alterations in hippocampal development and poorer outcomes consistent with hippocampal dysmaturation.
Chest wall rigidity in fentanyl abuseA recent study found that chest wall rigidity may be partially responsible for some of the deaths related to the intravenous injection of illicit fentanyl.
Opioids: A pediatric epidemicOpioid use is now a significant problem for the pediatrician and the families served in pediatric practices. Whereas patients with a prior history of drug use, misuse, or suspicions of drug misuse have long been studied, monitored, screened, and treated for adverse outcomes, opioid-naïve patients with legitimate medical reasons for opioid prescriptions may represent a greater risk for opioid complications.
Treatment of opioid use disorderAs problems with opioid use and abuse in the United States increasingly emerge to create what is being called a public health epidemic, clinicians are facing the great challenge of trying to provide optimal pain management for their patients while being mindful of the potential deleterious effects of the highly addictive opioids.
Pediatric labeling for OxyContin: Pros & ConsIn the throes of an opioid epidemic, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) decided in August 2015 to expand the indications for OxyContin, an extended-release form of the narcotic oxycodone, to children aged 11 years and older. The decision sparked outrage in those who fear the move might fuel increasing opioid addiction among young Americans.
Opioid epidemic: A timelineA look at the major discoveries and milestones in the opioid epidemic occurring in the United States.