Tag Archives: Drug Abuse
white tablets spilling out of a pill bottle

Managing Increasing Liability Risks Related to Opioid Prescribing

The increase in prescription opioid-related overdose deaths has increasingly led to liability and sanctions for physicians. For instance, in January 2010, Maurice Conte, MD was found negligent for prescribing a combination of Vicodin, Xanax, and Soma, which caused an overdose death, and was fined over $9 million.1 Conte, as the Medical Director of pain clinics, rarely […]

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pills with purple background

A Tool to Assess Risk of De Novo Opioid Abuse or Dependence

Readily available demographic, clinical, behavioral, pharmacy, and geographic information can be used to predict the likelihood of opioid abuse or dependence. Determining risk factors for opioid abuse or dependence will help clinicians practice informed prescribing and may help mitigate opioid abuse or dependence. The purpose of this study is to identify variables predicting opioid abuse […]

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Painful Violaceous Purpura on a 44-Year-Old Woman

Returning to the fundamentals of our medical training, eliciting a full social history, including the use of illicit drugs, can be the key to making a correct diagnosis. This point is illustrated in the following case. A 44-year-old woman with a past medical history notable for asthma and heroin abuse, presented to the Emergency Department […]

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Suboptimal Addiction Interventions for Patients Hospitalized with Injection Drug Use-Associated Infective Endocarditis

Infective endocarditis is a serious infection, often resulting from injection drug use. Inpatient treatment regularly focuses on management of infection without attention to the underlying addiction. We aimed to determine the addiction interventions done in patients hospitalized with injection drug use-associated infective endocarditis. Methods This is a retrospective review of patients hospitalized with injection drug […]

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Joseph S. Alpert

Endocarditis is Alive and Well, Unfortunately (video)

During a recent 2-week tour of duty as the attending physician on one of our busy Internal Medicine services, I saw 3 patients with complicated infective endocarditis. All of these individuals were active or former parenteral street-drug users, a factor that undoubtedly led to their intracardiac infection. I recounted for my housestaff team a quote from […]

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