Tag Archives: opioids

From Other Blogs: Opioid overdose epidemic, viral hepatitis, improving urban health through green space & more

A collection of health and environmental posts from other governmental blogs.

Rural America in Crisis: The Changing Opioid Overdose Epidemic

In America, 15 out of 100 people live in a rural area.  I loved growing up in a rural community, where there were actually no stop lights, everyone knew their neighbors, and doors were always open. But, my years of working in public health has taught me rural areas are not that different from urban areas when it comes to the devastating impact of the opioid epidemic.

The rate of drug overdose deaths in rural areas has surpassed rates in urban areas, and it is a huge public health concern. Understanding how rural areas are different when it comes to drug use and drug overdose deaths, including opioids, can help public health professionals identify, monitor, and prioritize their response to this epidemic. — From the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) Public Health Matters blog

ABCs of Viral Hepatitis

Viral hepatitis is the term that describes inflammation of the liver that is caused by a virus. There are actually five types of hepatitis viruses; each one is named after a letter in the alphabet: A, B, C, D and E.

The most common types of viral hepatitis are A, B and C. These three viruses affect millions of people worldwide, causing both short-term illness and long-term liver disease. The World Health Organization estimates 325 million people worldwide are living with chronic hepatitis B or chronic hepatitis C. In 2015, 1.34 million died from viral hepatitis, a number that is almost equal to the number of deaths caused by tuberculosis and HIV combined. — From the CDC’s “Public Health Matters” blog

Improving Urban Health through Green Space

While city living has its share of conveniences, stressors like traffic congestion, pollution, and weakened social ties threaten the health and well-being of many urban dwellers. Such factors can lead to a range of mental and physical health concerns. For example, stress is linked to negative impacts on immune functioning. — From the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Blog

Go Green for the Holidays!

Are you one of those organized people who are already prepared for the coming winter holidays? Or do you still have plans to make and gifts to buy? Either way, why not take a second look at some of your usual holiday activities to see if you can make them more “sustainable?”

Sustainability is the responsible use of environmental resources in the present so that future generations will have enough to meet their needs. This is a lofty goal; how can any one person make a difference in reaching it? You may not realize that you are already working toward sustainability if you reuse and recycle; compost; walk, bike, take transit, or drive low-emission vehicles; conserve water and electricity; join community clean-up efforts; or otherwise save resources. — From the CDC’s “Your Health – Your Environment” blog

DHEC in the News: Opioids, beach access, the dangers of carbon monoxide

Here’s a look at health and environmental news from around South Carolina.

Opioid use by S.C. Medicaid recipients is down due to drug monitoring program, report says

The state’s prescription drug monitoring program is showing promising results in reducing opioid prescriptions written in South Carolina, according to a new University of South Carolina report.

USC researchers were contracted by the Department of Health and Human Services to analyze the effect of the state’s prescription drug monitoring program on Medicaid recipients’ opioid use.

Surfside Beach offering greater beach access to all

Surfing is a popular pastime in the town of Surfside Beach.

And now the town is working to make a prime surf spot more accessible for all visitors and residents who are disabled.

Preventable deaths: A Rock Hill woman’s mission to educate the public on dangers of carbon monoxide

It began with an upset stomach.

Jeannie Williams was in the bathroom in a Best Western hotel in Boone, N.C., where she and her 11-year-old son, Jeffrey, had checked in for the night. Jeffrey had finished showering and was already in bed. It was Jeannie’s turn to get ready for the night. It was supposed to be a short, overnight trip, and the two weren’t far from their home in Rock Hill.

But something had gone terribly wrong.  The mother and her son didn’t know that carbon monoxide — a deadly, odorless, colorless, tasteless gas — was seeping into their room from a pool water heater one floor below.

DHEC in the News: Opioids, abandoned tires, flood-prone homes

Here’s a look at health and environmental news from around South Carolina.

Fighting Opioid overdoses on the front lines

Nearly 100 people a day are dying from opioid overdoses, it’s part of a growing issue that South Carolina is not immune to.

In the past 3 years, opioid related deaths have risen 18%. That crisis is causing police officers to equip departments with a overdose reversal drug known as Narcan.

South Carolina Health Officials Propose Fines Over Old Tires

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Health officials in South Carolina are proposing fines for a recycling company because of abandoned tires that serve as a mosquito breeding ground.

The Department of Health and Environmental Control has proposed more than $1 million in civil penalties against the 21-acre (8.5-hectare) Viva Recycling operation in Berkeley County, The Post and Courier of Charleston reported.

Health officials say the company has more than 200,000 abandoned tires in Berkeley County. DHEC says the company has not paid the $1.65 million in fines yet.

General Interest

‘A huge shift in our mindset’ – Charleston looks at how best to treat flood-prone homes

In a move that one Charleston preservation leader called “a sea change,” the city will be more receptive than ever to property owners’ requests to elevate their homes or other buildings, even along its most historic streets.

The city held a day-long workshop Friday to discuss design solutions that would allow historic buildings to be elevated while minimizing disruption to the city’s ambiance, one that has given the city a national reputation and fueled its multimillion-dollar tourist economy.

The workshop came several weeks after Tropical Storm Irma flooded dozens of historic homes downtown, many for the third time in as many years.

DHEC in the News: Flu, West Nile, Narcan

Here’s a look at health and environmental news from around South Carolina.

DHEC to start offering flu vaccines Monday

Now is a good time to get a flu shot, according to the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control.

Beginning Monday, DHEC county public health departments will begin offering the flu vaccine.

It takes about two weeks after vaccination for the antibodies to develop in the body that protect against the flu, Dr. Teresa Foo, DHEC immunization medical consultant, said in a statement.

Richland County facing most active West Nile season in more than a decade

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) – The most active West Nile season in at least half a decade – maybe even more than a decade – is how the director of Richland County Vector Control describes 2017 in her county.

“This has been the most intense activity since it arrived here in around 2003,” said Tammy Brewer, the director.

Wednesday, the county office put out an urgent plea to citizens. West Nile is out there, so protect yourself.

Officers being armed with life-saving drug

From a routine traffic stop to medical emergency in someone’s home, law enforcement officers are confronted with deadly drugs routinely.

“The drugs are more prominent on the street,” Mt. Pleasant Chief of Police, Carl Ritchie, explained.  “It can kill an officer by just touching it.”

That’s why Chief Ritchie says the Town of Mt. Pleasant approved police to carry nasal spray Narcan this week.

DHEC in the News: Hospital award, recreational shellfish season, opioids

Here’s a look at health and environmental news from around South Carolina.

GHS wins award for infection prevention

GREENVILLE, S.C. — Three hospitals in the Greenville Health System have been awarded a South Carolina Certified Zero Harm Award by the South Carolina Hospital Association.

The SCHA says the award is given “in recognition of each facility’s excellent work in preventing hospital-acquired infections.”

Recreational shellfish season opening delayed until October 15

The 2017-2018 season for recreational harvest of shellfish (clams, oysters, mussels and other bivalves) in coastal waters of South Carolina will open one-half hour before official sunrise on Sunday, Oct. 15. The recreational shellfish season will remain open through May 15, 2018, unless conditions warrant extending or shortening the season.

The recreational season opening has been delayed for two weeks due to water quality impacts from Hurricane Irma.

General Interest

Mount Pleasant group gathers police, lieutenant governor to discuss how opioid crisis is ‘decimating’ area

MOUNT PLEASANT — The opioid drug epidemic is “decimating” the Lowcountry, a Drug Enforcement Administration officer told a group of about 300 people who met Monday morning to hear leaders address a drug crisis that President Donald Trump recently called a “national emergency.”