Previous month:
January 2023
Next month:
March 2023

February 2023

Relaxed access to addiction-treatment drug not tied to increased overdose deaths, study finds

The proportion of drug overdose deaths involving buprenorphine, a drug used to treat opioid use disorders, did not increase after relaxed access to the treatment drug during the COVID-19 pandemic, a new study says (Source: “Overdose deaths didn’t rise after prescription rules relaxed, study says,” Dayton Daily News, Feb. 4).

The study, published recently in the Journal of the American Medical Association, said that of approximately 74,474 opioid-involved overdose deaths, buprenorphine was involved in 2.6% of the deaths during July 2019 to June 2021. Although monthly opioid-involved overdose deaths increased, the proportion involving buprenorphine fluctuated but did not increase.

“Buprenorphine was approved by the FDA for treatment of opioid use disorder in 2002, and it has been shown to improve outcomes and even reduce the risk of death from an opioid overdose,” said Dr. Natalie Lester, chief medical officer of OneFifteen.

Global study: Students lost one-third of school year due to pandemic, still haven’t recovered

Children experienced learning deficits during the Covid pandemic that amounted to about one-third of a school year’s worth of knowledge and skills, according to a new global analysis, and had not recovered from those losses more than two years later (Source: “Students Lost One-Third of a School Year to Pandemic, Study Finds,” New York Times, Jan. 30).

Learning delays and regressions were most severe in developing countries and among students from low-income backgrounds, researchers said, worsening existing disparities and threatening to follow children into higher education and the work force.

The analysis, published Monday in the journal Nature Human Behavior and drawing on data from 15 countries, provided the most comprehensive account to date of the academic hardships wrought by the pandemic. The findings suggest that the challenges of remote learning — coupled with other stressors that plagued children and families throughout the pandemic — were not rectified when school doors reopened.