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Opiod Epidemic News: Breathe Test Debuts & Sesame Street Confronts Addiction

opiod epidemic breathe test & impact on children

Medical News Today reports that a pilot study appearing in Journal of Breath Research has revealed there’s a promising breath test on the horizon that could offer close to real time opioid detection almost anywhere: a person’s home, a drug treatment facility, the roadside, “emergency response situations, and other areas with limited healthcare access.”

The accuracy of the results is comparable to blood test results. What a great idea, rather than having to wait for the results of a blood test in some situations, such as “monitoring correct use” of drug users (and misuse, such as solely to get high, of course). Or, as written on the  UC Davis website, where the researchers are from, “A breath test could be useful in caring for chronic pain patients as well as for checking for illegal drug use.” 

The fact of monitoring illegal drug use is not meant in a punitive sense. A drug treatment program involves a person being accountable, and willing to be accountable on the road to recovery. Everyone working a program knows they’re in treatment to get better, and while the person may be fighting the urge to use, you’re expected to commit to following the program. This is not to sound righteous about relapse, either. The disease involves relapse, but that’s no reason not to make a person commit to be accountable and undergo testing.

The UC Davis website also explains, “Doctors and nurses treating chronic pain may need to monitor patients to make sure they are taking their drugs correctly, that their prescribed drugs are being metabolized properly and that they are not taking additional medications.” While blood and urine tests are usually used to assess opioid use, it may be difficult to get results in “nonclinical and nonvoluntary settings,” the study authors note. 

More tests are needed before the breath test is fully ready for use, however.

New Sesame Street Storyline Addresses Opiod Addiction

Hurray for Sesame Street! Our blog has frequently discussed how the opioid epidemic effects the children of those addicted to opioids. Parents often neglect their children in favor of their addiction. Children frequently endure considerable stress in these situations because of their parents’ lifestyle.  

Now, Sesame Street has developed a character to help other younger children cope with a parent’s addiction. She’s Karli, 6 years old.

Sesame Street has recently addressed hunger, homelessness, autism and incarceration by means of characters but until now hasn’t touched the subject of addiction. Karli’s mother is not with her because she has a problem and is in recovery. (A few months ago she was introduced as being in foster care, and now viewers know why.) “She will tell her backstory [to two of the other characters] in online-only segments as part of a “Sesame Street in Communities” initiative,” according to CBS news.

The BBC quotes the Associated Press as reporting that “about 5.7 million children in the US under the age of 11 live with a parent who suffers from substance addiction,” and The New York Times notes that one in three children entered foster care in 2017 as a result of parental drug abuse. You may find another BBC article with a link on the same page interesting : “Why opioids are such an American problem.”

The BBC quotes the Associated Press as reporting that “about 5.7 million children in the US under the age of 11 live with a parent who suffers from substance addiction,” and The New York Times notes that one in three children entered foster care in 2017 as a result of parental drug abuse. You may find another BBC article with a link on the same page interesting : “Why opioids are such an American problem.”

The website Deadline.com says that in one segment Karli brings in a 10-year-old “human friend” onto the show who also has parents who “battle …opioid addiction.” You can view that video here.

The BBC quotes the Associated Press as reporting that “about 5.7 million children in the US under the age of 11 live with a parent who suffers from substance addiction,” and The New York Times notes that one in three children entered foster care in 2017 as a result of parental drug abuse. You may find another BBC article with a link on the same page interesting : “Why opioids are such an American problem.”

The website Deadline.com says that in one segment Karli brings in a 10-year-old “human friend” onto the show who also has parents who “battle …opioid addiction.” You can view that video here.

Can a young child learn better from (and be comforted by) another young child? That’s not discussed, but in any event, learning from another child is great reinforcement for what an adult might teach them about addiction.