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'Doctor-Shopping' for Painkillers Common After Broken-Bone Surgery, Study Finds

Posted 3 days ago by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Aug. 29, 2014 – About one in five patients operated on for broken bones or other orthopedic trauma shops around for additional painkillers after surgery, a new study finds. Less-educated patients and patients who had used narcotic painkillers previously were several times more likely to be "doctor shoppers," said study lead author Dr. Brent Morris, a shoulder and neck surgeon in Lexington, Ky. Overall, he said, the study suggests that doctors aren't talking to one another about the painkiller needs of their patients. "There needs to be coordination if additional pain medications are needed," he said. "Patients should not be receiving multiple narcotic pain medication prescriptions from multiple providers without coordinating with their treating surgeon." Use of narcotic painkillers for nonmedical purposes is a serious concern in the United States. Unintentional overdose deaths ... Read more

Related support groups: Suboxone, Surgery, Oxycodone, Tramadol, Methadone, Percocet, Hydrocodone, OxyContin, Vicodin, Morphine, Norco, Fentanyl, Lortab, Codeine, Opana, Subutex, Dilaudid, Ultram, Opana ER, Nucynta

Fewer Painkiller Deaths in States With Medical Marijuana: Study

Posted 7 days ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Aug. 25, 2014 – States that have legalized medical marijuana tend to experience an unexpected benefit – fewer overdose deaths from narcotic painkillers, a new study suggests. Access to medical marijuana is associated with 25 percent fewer prescription drug overdose deaths each year compared to states where medical pot is illegal, according to findings published Aug. 25 in JAMA Internal Medicine. What's more, states that pass medical marijuana laws see their overdose death rates decrease dramatically in the years immediately afterward, researchers reported. The study authors believe that people suffering from chronic pain tend to rely on medical marijuana when they have that option, which reduces the risk of addiction and overdose that accompanies use of narcotic medications. "We think that people with chronic pain may be choosing to treat their pain with marijuana rather than ... Read more

Related support groups: Suboxone, Oxycodone, Tramadol, Methadone, Percocet, Hydrocodone, OxyContin, Vicodin, Morphine, Norco, Fentanyl, Lortab, Codeine, Opana, Subutex, Dilaudid, Ultram, Opana ER, Nucynta, Roxicodone

Many U.S. Workers on Disability Use Narcotic Painkillers, Study Finds

Posted 10 days ago by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Aug. 22, 2014 – A growing number of Americans on work disability chronically use powerful prescription painkillers, according to a new study. Researchers found that between 2007 and 2011, about 44 percent of people receiving Social Security Disability Insurance benefits were prescribed narcotic painkillers each year. And the percentage using the drugs long-term rose from 21 percent in 2007 to 23 percent in 2011. Experts said the trend is worrying because narcotic painkillers – which include OxyContin, Percocet and Vicodin – can be addictive, or abused by people with existing drug problems. What's more, when it comes to typical workplace injuries, narcotic painkillers are not a good long-term solution, the study authors noted. "The effectiveness is at best uncertain, and the risks are very real," said researcher Ellen Meara, of the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and ... Read more

Related support groups: Suboxone, Oxycodone, Tramadol, Methadone, Percocet, Hydrocodone, OxyContin, Vicodin, Morphine, Norco, Fentanyl, Lortab, Codeine, Opana, Subutex, Dilaudid, Ultram, Opana ER, Nucynta, Roxicodone

Abuse of Prescription Painkillers on the Rise Among High School Athletes: Survey

Posted 4 Aug 2014 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Aug. 4, 2014 – Abuse of prescription painkillers is on the rise among high school athletes, and football players are among the worst offenders, a new study shows. The finding was published online recently in the Journal of Child & Adolescent Substance Abuse. "I've studied the use of performance-enhancing substances in sports for about 15 years, and this study extended that line of research to mind-altering substances," study author Bryan Denham, of Clemson University in South Carolina, said in a journal news release. "Alcohol has always been available, as has marijuana, but young people also may look to stronger drugs for euphoric effects," Denham said. "If prescription pain relievers are overprescribed in certain regions, their use may trickle down to adolescents. Use of narcotic pain relievers may become a habit with some adolescent athletes." The researchers analyzed the ... Read more

Related support groups: Suboxone, Oxycodone, Tramadol, Methadone, Percocet, Hydrocodone, OxyContin, Vicodin, Morphine, Norco, Fentanyl, Lortab, Codeine, Opana, Subutex, Dilaudid, Ultram, Opana ER, Nucynta, Roxicodone

Prescriptions for Powerful Painkillers Vary Widely Among States: CDC

Posted 1 Jul 2014 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, July 1, 2014 – Doctors in some states seem to wield a freer hand issuing prescriptions for powerful narcotic medications, leading to wide variations in narcotic drug use among states, U.S. health officials reported Tuesday. Physicians in Alabama – the state with the highest number of narcotic painkiller prescriptions – issued nearly three times as many of those prescriptions as doctors in Hawaii – the lowest prescribing state, according to researchers with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "The bottom line is we're not seeing consistent, effective, appropriate prescribing of painkillers across the nation, and this is a problem because of the deaths that result," Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the CDC, said at a news conference. Frieden added that every day 46 people die from an overdose of prescription painkillers. Overall, health-care providers wrote 259 ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Suboxone, Oxycodone, Tramadol, Methadone, Percocet, Hydrocodone, OxyContin, Vicodin, Morphine, Norco, Fentanyl, Lortab, Codeine, Opana, Subutex, Dilaudid, Ultram, Opana ER, Nucynta

Many U.S. Vets Suffer Chronic Pain, Take Narcotic Painkillers: Study

Posted 30 Jun 2014 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, June 30, 2014 – Nearly half of U.S. soldiers returning home are caught in the grip of chronic pain, with a substantial number of them relying on addictive narcotic painkillers to help them cope, a new study finds. About 44 percent of the members of an Army infantry brigade reported chronic pain even three months after returning from their tour of duty in Afghanistan or Iraq, nearly double the estimate for the civilian population. Civilian chronic pain rates are about 26 percent. Soldiers also are nearly four times more likely than civilians to use prescription narcotics to treat their pain, according to the report published online June 30 in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine. About 15 percent of soldiers in the brigade reported using narcotic painkillers within the last month, compared to 4 percent of civilians. "War is really hard on the body," said study author Lt. Cmdr. ... Read more

Related support groups: Suboxone, Oxycodone, Tramadol, Methadone, Percocet, Hydrocodone, OxyContin, Vicodin, Morphine, Norco, Fentanyl, Lortab, Codeine, Opana, Subutex, Dilaudid, Ultram, Opana ER, Nucynta, Roxicodone

Use Prescription Painkillers Safely

Posted 8 Jun 2014 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, June 6, 2014 – Powerful prescription painkillers known as opioids are often involved in accidental overdoses, so experts offer tips on how to take these highly addictive medications safely. "Prescription painkiller misuse is a growing epidemic. However, most people who abuse these drugs are struggling with an addiction they never intended to have," said John Ulczycki, vice president of strategic initiatives at the National Safety Council. "This National Safety Month, we hope to educate Americans on proper use so they can relieve pain without the tragic consequences of drug dependence or death." Dr. Don Teater, a medical advisor at the National Safety Council provided the following five tips to help ensure the safe use of prescription painkillers: Consider other options. Talk to your doctor about other medications that may be more effective in controlling your pain. In most ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Oxycodone, Tramadol, Methadone, Hydrocodone, OxyContin, Morphine, Fentanyl, Codeine, Opana, Subutex, Dilaudid, Ultram, Opana ER, Nucynta, Roxicodone, MS Contin, Butrans, Hydromorphone, Buprenorphine

More ERs Treating Headaches With Narcotics, Study Finds

Posted 2 Apr 2014 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, April 2, 2014 – There's been a big increase in prescriptions for powerful narcotic painkillers given to headache patients at hospital emergency departments, a new U.S. study finds. This increase has occurred even though guidelines from a number of medical groups, including the American Academy of Neurology and the American College of Emergency Physicians, say these pain drugs should not be used as a first-line treatment for headache. The study authors pointed out that this trend in emergency department prescribing practices has occurred at the same time that rates of abuse, overdose and deaths due to narcotics are on the rise in the United States. The researchers analyzed national data from 2001 to 2010 and found a 65 percent increase in emergency department use of narcotic prescriptions for headaches during that period. The largest rise (450 percent) was in the use of ... Read more

Related support groups: Suboxone, Oxycodone, Tramadol, Methadone, Percocet, Hydrocodone, OxyContin, Vicodin, Morphine, Norco, Fentanyl, Lortab, Codeine, Opana, Subutex, Dilaudid, Ultram, Opana ER, Nucynta, Roxicodone

ERs Dispensing More Narcotic Painkillers: Study

Posted 23 Mar 2014 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, March 21, 2014 – More and more Americans are being prescribed powerful narcotic drugs when they visit the emergency department for problems such as low back pain or a pounding headache, a new study finds. Between 2001 and 2010, emergency departments in the United States showed a 49 percent increase in prescriptions for narcotic painkillers – also known as opiates. That was despite the fact that there was only a small increase in the percentage of visits for painful conditions. Experts said the trend is concerning because narcotic painkillers – which include drugs like OxyContin, Percocet and Vicodin – can be addictive, or abused by people with existing drug problems. And while the drugs may be necessary for more-severe pain, ER doctors see many patients who can stick with over-the-counter pain relievers. "In many cases, naproxen, Tylenol (acetaminophen) and ibuprofen are the ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Suboxone, Oxycodone, Tramadol, Methadone, Percocet, Hydrocodone, OxyContin, Vicodin, Morphine, Norco, Fentanyl, Lortab, Codeine, Opana, Subutex, Dilaudid, Ultram, Opana ER, Nucynta

Study Finds 1 in 3 Tennesseans Uses Narcotic Painkillers Each Year

Posted 3 Mar 2014 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, March 3, 2014 – One of every three Tennesseans fills a prescription for narcotic painkillers at least once a year, creating a free-floating pool of available medication that helps feed the state's growing problem with prescription drug abuse, a new study has found. Nearly 5.2 million Tennessee residents received painkillers – 37 million total prescriptions – between 2007 and 2011, which works out to about 1.4 prescriptions per resident, according to a report published online March 3 in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine. A small but significant percentage of those residents appeared to be engaging in "doctor shopping," which indicates drug abuse and increases their risk of overdose death, said senior study author Dr. Timothy Jones, state epidemiologist for the Tennessee Department of Health. Among patients who received narcotic pain killers in 2011, 7.6 percent got ... Read more

Related support groups: Suboxone, Oxycodone, Tramadol, Methadone, Percocet, Hydrocodone, OxyContin, Vicodin, Morphine, Norco, Fentanyl, Lortab, Codeine, Opana, Subutex, Dilaudid, Ultram, Opana ER, Nucynta, Roxicodone

Many U.S. Seniors Get Prescription Painkillers From Multiple Doctors

Posted 19 Feb 2014 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 19, 2014 – About one-third of Medicare patients who get prescriptions for powerful narcotic painkillers receive them from multiple doctors, which raises their risk for hospitalization, according to a new study. Narcotics (also called opioids) include painkillers such as hydrocodone (Vicodin), oxycodone (Oxycontin) and morphine. Prescriptions for these drugs have risen sharply in the United States in the past 20 years – as have overdoses. "As physicians, we tell patients not to drive when they take opioids, but we also need to tell them that it can be dangerous to receive these medications from more than one provider," said study author Dr. Anupam Jena, an assistant professor of health care policy at Harvard Medical School. Jena and his colleagues also found that having multiple doctors prescribe prescription painkillers increased patients' risk of being hospitalized ... Read more

Related support groups: Suboxone, Oxycodone, Tramadol, Methadone, Percocet, Hydrocodone, OxyContin, Vicodin, Morphine, Norco, Fentanyl, Lortab, Codeine, Opana, Subutex, Dilaudid, Ultram, Opana ER, Nucynta, Roxicodone

U.S. Officials Target Escalating Drug Overdoses

Posted 11 Feb 2014 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Feb. 11 – As deaths from heroin and prescription painkillers mount across the United States, government officials are searching for ways to stem the toll of addiction. The death last week of Oscar-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, 46, in New York City from an apparent heroin overdose highlighted this escalating problem. "The use of opioids – a group of drugs that includes heroin and prescription painkillers – is having a devastating impact on public health and safety in communities across the nation," Gil Kerlikowske, director of the U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy, said during a Tuesday morning news conference in Washington, D.C. "In 2010, approximately 100 Americans died from overdoses every day," Kerlikowske said. Prescription painkillers were involved in more than 16,600 deaths that year, and heroin was involved in about 3,000 deaths, he added. Overdose ... Read more

Related support groups: Suboxone, Oxycodone, Tramadol, Methadone, Percocet, Hydrocodone, OxyContin, Vicodin, Morphine, Norco, Fentanyl, Lortab, Codeine, Opana, Subutex, Dilaudid, Ultram, Opana ER, Nucynta, Roxicodone

Doctors' Group Urges Tighter Controls on Prescription Painkillers

Posted 9 Dec 2013 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Dec. 9, 2013 – Abuse of narcotic painkillers and other prescription drugs is a growing problem in the United States, and a leading doctors' group is urging members to exercise tighter control on the medications. The American College of Physicians (ACP) says its recommended changes will make it tougher for prescription drugs – painkillers such as Oxycontin and Vicodin, as well as drugs used for sleep problems and weight loss – to be abused or diverted for sale on the street. Prescription drug abuse may now be a prime cause of accidental death in the United States, according to a recent tally of preliminary data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. One 2010 survey, funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, found that 16 million Americans aged 12 and older had used a prescription painkiller, sedative, tranquilizer or stimulant for purposes other than ... Read more

Related support groups: Suboxone, Xanax, Oxycodone, Tramadol, Methadone, Percocet, Hydrocodone, OxyContin, Vicodin, Klonopin, Opiate Dependence, Morphine, Norco, Fentanyl, Lortab, Clonazepam, Valium, Ativan, Codeine, Opana

Most Teens Who Misuse Painkillers Aren't After a High, Study Finds

Posted 13 Nov 2013 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 13 – Most teens who misuse narcotic painkillers hope to get relief from pain, a new study reveals. Researchers found that four out of five teens who misused prescription pain medications such as OxyContin or Vicodin by taking more than directed or using someone else's prescription cared less about getting high than they did about easing their discomfort. Although research has shown that most teens given prescriptions for narcotic pain relievers use them properly, some young people do not. Sean McCabe and colleagues from the University of Michigan surveyed about 3,000 teens in 2011 and 2012 to determine why they abused these pain medications. They also took the teens' gender, race and ethnicity into account. Although the majority of the teens surveyed said they took the drugs to relieve pain, the investigators noted that 30 percent of the teens who didn't take their ... Read more

Related support groups: Suboxone, Oxycodone, Methadone, Percocet, Hydrocodone, OxyContin, Vicodin, Morphine, Norco, Fentanyl, Lortab, Codeine, Opana, Subutex, Dilaudid, Opana ER, Nucynta, Roxicodone, MS Contin, Butrans

One in 10 Teens Has Misused Prescription Painkillers: Survey

Posted 31 Oct 2013 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Oct. 31 – About one in 10 American teens and young adults says they have misused a prescription painkiller or sedative, a new study finds. Researchers conducted a confidential survey of more than 2,100 people aged 14 to 20 who visited University of Michigan Health System emergency departments for any reason in 2010 and 2011. The results showed that 10.4 percent of the participants admitted to misusing a prescription painkiller or sedative at least once in the last year. This included taking drugs to get high, taking more than the recommended amount of a drug that was prescribed to them and taking drugs prescribed to someone else. Most of the drug misuse was illegal. The vast majority of patients who admitted misuse had no prescriptions for these drugs on their medical records, according to the authors of the study published online Oct. 28 in the journal Pediatrics. The ... Read more

Related support groups: Suboxone, Oxycodone, Methadone, Percocet, Hydrocodone, OxyContin, Vicodin, Morphine, Norco, Fentanyl, Lortab, Codeine, Opana, Subutex, Dilaudid, Opana ER, Nucynta, Roxicodone, MS Contin, Butrans

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