Addiction Epidemic is More than Just Opioids

The Commonwealth of Virginia is devoting more time and resources to battling the opioid crisis. Part Two of our two-part discussion with Dr. Mary McMasters focuses on the disease of addiction and ends with a message of hope. Dr. McMasters is a Virginia physician who is also board certified in addiction medicine and does consulting Read More

Making Special Provisions for Opioid-Exposed Newborns Starts during Pregnancy

Caring for a newborn with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) requires particularly close attention, starting in utero and continuing at the hospital and after discharge. What exactly is a NAS infant? Babies can experience withdrawal due to the mother taking prescribed medications or illicit drugs. Neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) is a term for a group of Read More

Safely Dispose of Unused or Expired RX Drugs!

One of the easiest ways to help fight prescription drug abuse and overdose deaths is to discard any prescription drugs that have expired or are no longer in use.  This helps keep them away from children and out of the hands of people who might abuse them. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) sponsors National Prescription Read More

Variety of Drugs Are Contributing to Current Epidemic

Over the past several years, Virginia has experienced a substantial increase in drug related overdose and deaths resulting from misuse and abuse, replicating national trends. The growing number of deaths and overdoses caused by fentanyl and other synthetics is one of the reasons why Virginia continues to advance its prevention efforts statewide. Dr.  Mary McMasters, Read More

Opioid Use Among Elders Presents a Unique Challenge

When considering the opioid crisis, older adults don’t necessarily come to mind. But the fact is, they are among this country’s largest demographic prescribed opioids for pain management It’s estimated that 10 million seniors fill at least one opioid prescription each year. Other research that tracks prescribing in U.S. hospitals noted that one-third of older Read More

Substance Misuse Being Traced Back To Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)

Building resiliency in people who grew up in challenging environments is finding traction as a way to combat the drug overdose epidemic. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Adverse childhood experiences, or ACEs, are potentially traumatic events that occur in childhood (0-17 years). For example: experiencing violence or abuse witnessing violence in Read More

Discharge Planning for NAS Babies

The continuing opioid crisis in Virginia has impacted a wide variety of populations, including a growing number of infants born with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS). These babies present particularly complex symptoms and require additional treatment plans when they are ready to discharge home. It’s important to work closely with the baby’s mother in a supportive, Read More