treatment

Daylina Miller/Health News Florida

Dr. Ronald Cirillo and his assistant at the Turning Points free clinic in Bradenton are testing another patient for hepatitis C.

Substance abuse experts and law enforcement officers are calling on lawmakers to bolster access to treatment for people battling opioid addiction.  The biggest focus is on medication assisted treatments.

COURTESY OF NICODEMO FIORENTINO

Of the three medications that treat opioid addiction, one got more attention in the Florida Legislature this year.

Two years ago, a mental health advocate named Steve McCaffrey stood at a lectern in the Indiana statehouse, testifying in favor of an addiction treatment bill. After years of rising overdose rates, lawmakers in the health committee were taking action to combat the opioid epidemic. And they often turned to McCaffrey, who leads Mental Health America of Indiana, to advise them.

His brief testimony appeared straightforward. "We rise in support, urge your adoption," said McCaffrey. He said the legislation would move the state "toward evidence-based treatment."

Republicans in both the House and the Senate are considering big cuts to Medicaid. But those cuts endanger addiction treatment, which many people receive through the government health insurance program.

Peter Haden/WLRN

The overdose call comes in to Delray Beach Fire Rescue around 7:30 p.m. on a Friday.

Firefighter-paramedics — they’re trained to do both — jump into action and rush to a nearby hotel. But before they can treat this victim, another call comes in.

Florida service providers are wasting no time taking advantage of nearly $30 million in federal money for addressing the opioid epidemic.

Addiction experts are up in arms over remarks by Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price in which he referred to medication-assisted treatment for addiction as "substituting one opioid for another."

Nearly 700 researchers and practitioners sent a letter Monday communicating their criticisms to Price and urging him to "set the record straight."

Since the year 2000, there have been a number of policies and regulations enacted on the state and federal level to help children with autism. But eventually, those children grow up. Everything changes when a child with autism becomes an adult.

In the back of a large building at the ARC Gateway campus in Pensacola there is a large industrial paper shredder next to a large room filled with tables and people sorting paper. One of those people is Nikiya Houston, who says her job is pretty simple "To shred paper and to sort paper." 

Moffitt Cancer Center

The Moffitt Cancer Center is planning a 10-year, $800 million expansion driven by a promising new cancer treatment called “immunotherapy,” according to the Tampa Bay Times.

Researchers have launched an innovative medical experiment that's designed to provide quick answers while meeting the needs of patients, rather than drug companies.

Traditional studies can cost hundreds of millions of dollars, and can take many years. But patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's disease don't have the time to wait. This progressive muscle-wasting disease is usually fatal within a few years.

Hundreds of clinics around the country are offering to treat a long list of health problems with stem cells.

The clinics claim that stem cells found in fat tissue, blood, bone marrow and even placentas can help people suffering from arthritic joints and torn tendons to more serious medical problems, including spinal cord injuries, Parkinson's disease and strokes. Some even claim the cells can help children with autism.

But leading stem cell researchers say there's not enough evidence to support the clinics' claims.

WMFE

Two Florida counties are testing a program to treat incarcerated heroin users.

Dartmouth College

Spend a lot of time investigating before make a big purchase? Most of us do.

But that's not always the case when it comes to medical treatments or drugs.

Dr. Steven Woloshin and Dr. Lisa Schwartz have been researching the misleading medical and pharmaceutical messages in advertisements and other media for years.

North Florida residents are speaking out on their experiences at the Gainesville and Lake Mary Veteran’s Affairs hospitals, saying like other veterans across the country, they have had records lost and have been forced to wait months to see a doctor, the Florida Times-Union reports.

An Ocala judge has denied a name change request of a Florida man who has been having trouble getting cancer treatment because of the glitch, the Ocala Star-Banner reports.

After several years of study, researchers at the University of Florida have discovered a "drug cocktail" for patients with Type 1 diabetes that appears to give them the ability to produce insulin again, the Gainesville Sun reports. 

A cancer patient is having trouble getting treatment because of a name change he says he knew nothing about, the Ocala Star-Banner reports. Brett Pillar, who has recurrent non-Hodgkins lymphoma, discovered only recently that his mother had changed his last name while he was a child but never told  him. To get his Medicaid treatment, he needs a government-issued picture ID that matches his health insurance information.

The misery of low back pain often drives people to the doctor to seek relief. But doctors are doing a pretty miserable job of treating back pain, a study finds.

Physicians are increasingly prescribing expensive scans, narcotic painkillers and other treatments that don't help in most cases, and can make things a lot worse. Since 1 in 10 of all primary care visits are for low back pain, this is no small matter.

Publix and Disney are leading an effort in Florida to change the law on figuring medical damages in civil lawsuits, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

They want medical damages to be tied to the amount that is actually paid for treatment, not the amount that is billed. This could lead to millions of dollars in savings in settlements and jury awards, they figure.

Elaine Litherland / Sarasota Herald-Tribune

  Bob and Kay Vago have been married for 62 years, and have been almost inseparable -- even as his wife’s Alzheimer’s disease has progressed to the point that she must be in a nursing home. As the Sarasota Herald-Tribune reports, Bob Vago, an inventor of numerous medical devices, has turned his inventive spirit into designing an approach that helps his wife feel that their old routine hasn’t changed.

Tysabri is the most effective multiple sclerosis medicine available, but using it for more than two years raises a risk of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy, a brain infection that can be fatal, Bloomberg News reports. 
Almost 60,000 MS patients are continuing the treatment into the danger zone anyway, saying that without it they’d be disabled.

Daytona Beach News-Journal

Business is booming at for-profit clinics like the Daytona Methadone Treatment Center, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports. While patients say methadone saved their lives, records show fewer than 2 percent of that clinic’s 1,800 patients have kicked their addiction. The ability to profit and that low success rate raises questions about whether the treatment is really best for the patient.  

 

Tampa Bay Times

As the director of the University of South Florida’s MS Center explains, there’s no cure but there are new treatments for multiple sclerosis, which affects more than 2 million people worldwide, the Tampa Bay Times reports. The disease is in the news because it claimed the life of Annette Funicello, an actress and former Mouseketeer, this week. 

 

A Manatee County mental health services organization says its team approach to helping emotionally disturbed children could be a model for the state, the Miami Herald reports.

Just last week AIDS researchers were excited about a Mississippi toddler whose blood has remained free of HIV many months after she stopped getting antiviral drugs – what doctors call a "functional cure."

In the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre and calls for better access to mental-health treatment, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida is cosponsoring a bill that would enable more community mental-health centers to provide crisis stabilization care, the Orlando Sentinel reports.