Quality & Science

Editorial Comment 5/18/2021: This Week in the Weekly

by Editor-in-Chief: Dr. William Haning, MD, DFAPA, DFASAM | May 18, 2021

This Week in the Weekly..

We have some important articles this week about opioids. An interesting study from the journal Nature found that people with COVID-19 exhibit higher risk of death and health resource utilization beyond the first 30 days of illness and more specifically, have an increased use of pain medications, antidepressants and anxiolytics along with other prescribed medications. The Journal of Addiction Medicine has an important review on strategies for transitioning from methadone to buprenorphine which provides analysis of some of the more well-known strategies while also assessing some that are more novel. A new consideration about Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome (NOWS) is discussed in JAMA Pediatrics; opioid-exposed infants had significantly higher rates of mortality than infants with NOWS. Is it possible the extra support and treatment provided to infants with NOWS is protective?

On the lighter side, the Reason provides a passionate, libertarian-ish viewpoint on the pendulum swing that is opioid treatment in cancer patients. 

We also have several articles on electronic cigarettes; one in adult smokers looking to quit (JAMA) and two that describe characteristics of adolescent and adult electronic cigarette users (Clinical Pediatrics and Drug and Alcohol Dependence)

- Editor-in-Chief: Nicholas Athanasiou, MD , MBA , FASAM