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Health Highlights: Aug.2, 2016

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

Opioid-Related Insurance Claims Rise 3,000 Percent

The number of private health insurance claims for Americans addicted to prescription opioid painkillers and the illegal opioid drug heroin rose 3,204 percent from 2007 to 2014, according to a Fair Health analysis.

Since 2011, there were also large increases in the number of claims associated with opioid abuse, heroin overdoses and drug dependence, CNBC reported.

Fair Health is a nonprofit group concerned with health care cost openess and health insurance information.

"The United States is in the midst of an epidemic of opioid dependence, abuse and overdose," according to the analysis.

Unlike previous opioid epidemics, "the present crisis is disproportionately affecting white, middle-class people in nonurban settings, including those with private health insurance," Fair Health said.

In 2014, more than 28,000 people in the U.S. died from opioid overdoses, CNBC reported.


Autism Speaks Co-Founder Dies

Autism Speaks co-founder Suzanne Wright died Friday at age 69.

A spokesperson for Autism Speaks said Wright died at her home in Fairfield, Conn. from complications of pancreatic cancer, The New York Times reported.

Autism Speaks is a charity that advocates for autism patients and teaches people how to identify and deal with the disorder.

She and her husband Bob Wright founded the group in 2005 after their grandson Christian was diagnosed with autism and they could find no one to adequately advise them on how to help him, The Times reported.


Amy Winehouse Foundation Opens Recovery House for Female Addicts

A recovery house for women recovering from alcohol and drug addiction was opened in London, England by the Amy Winehouse Foundation on the fifth anniversary of the singer's death.

Winehouse was 27 when she died in July 2011 from accidental alcohol poisoning. The foundation was established by her family to prevent alcohol and drug misuse by young people, and to help disadvantaged young people achieve their full potential, The Guardian reported.

The foundation teamed with a non-profit housing organization to set up Amy's Place recovery house, which seeks to help recovering female addicts remain drug- and alcohol-free and reintegrate into society.

The house has 12 self-contained apartments and can accommodate up to 16 women, The Guardian reported.

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