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More ERs Treating Headaches With Narcotics, Study Finds

Posted 17 days ago 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, Methadone, Tramadol, Percocet, Hydrocodone, OxyContin, Vicodin, Morphine, Norco, Fentanyl, Lortab, Codeine, Opana, Subutex, Dilaudid, Ultram, Opana ER, Roxicodone, Nucynta

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, Methadone, Tramadol, Percocet, Hydrocodone, OxyContin, Vicodin, Morphine, Norco, Fentanyl, Lortab, Codeine, Opana, Subutex, Dilaudid, Ultram, Opana ER, Roxicodone

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, Methadone, Tramadol, Percocet, Hydrocodone, OxyContin, Vicodin, Morphine, Norco, Fentanyl, Lortab, Codeine, Opana, Subutex, Dilaudid, Ultram, Opana ER, Roxicodone, Nucynta

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, Methadone, Tramadol, Percocet, Hydrocodone, OxyContin, Vicodin, Morphine, Norco, Fentanyl, Lortab, Codeine, Opana, Subutex, Dilaudid, Ultram, Opana ER, Roxicodone, Nucynta

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, Methadone, Tramadol, Percocet, Hydrocodone, OxyContin, Vicodin, Morphine, Norco, Fentanyl, Lortab, Codeine, Opana, Subutex, Dilaudid, Ultram, Opana ER, Roxicodone, Nucynta

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, Methadone, Tramadol, Percocet, Hydrocodone, OxyContin, Vicodin, Opiate Dependence, Morphine, Klonopin, Norco, Fentanyl, Lortab, Valium, Ativan, Clonazepam, 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

Longer Detox Might Work Better for Prescription Pain Med Addiction

Posted 23 Oct 2013 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 23 – A longer period of detoxification may be more effective for people being treated for addiction to prescription painkillers called opioids, according to a small new study. Abuse of prescription opioids such as oxycodone, hydrocodone and hydromorphone is a major public health problem in the United States. The new 12-week study, which included 70 people undergoing outpatient treatment for opioid addiction, was published online Oct. 23 in the journal JAMA Psychiatry. For the first two weeks, all the patients took buprenorphine, a medication used to treat opioid addiction. They were then randomly assigned to slowly reduce the dose of buprenorphine over one, two or four weeks, followed by treatment with naltrexone, a medication that blocks opioid strength. Patients in the four-week group were more likely to stop abusing opioids than those in the one-week or two-week ... Read more

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

Weight-Loss Surgery May Add to Painkiller Dependence, Study Says

Posted 2 Oct 2013 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Oct. 1 – Obese people taking narcotics for chronic pain actually increased their use of prescription painkillers following bariatric surgery intended to reduce their weight and relieve their pain, a new study shows. Bariatric patients who already were chronic users of opioid painkillers such as OxyContin and Vicodin increased their drug intake by 13 percent the first year after surgery and by 18 percent three years after, researchers report in the Oct. 2 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. Weight loss associated with procedures such as gastric bypass has been found to relieve chronic pain caused by the stress that extra pounds place on the knees, back and other joints. "Our premise was that because patients who are undergoing bariatric surgery were undergoing such dramatic weight loss, whatever chronic pain they were going through would be relieved and ... Read more

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

Opioids Not Winning the Battle Against Pain, Study Suggests

Posted 19 Sep 2013 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Sept. 19 – Prescriptions for powerful opioid painkiller drugs have skyrocketed in the United States, but identification and treatment of pain has not improved, according to a new study. "There is an epidemic of prescription opioid addiction and abuse in the United States. We felt it was important to examine whether or not this epidemic has coincided with improved identification and treatment of pain," Dr. G. Caleb Alexander, an associate professor of epidemiology and medicine and co-director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Drug Safety and Effectiveness, said in a Hopkins news release. The researchers analyzed federal government data collected between 2000 and 2010, and found no significant change in the number of pain-related visits to doctors that resulted in patients receiving treatment with pain relievers. During the study period, prescriptions of non-opioid painkillers ... Read more

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

FDA Announces New Safety Measures for Narcotic Painkillers

Posted 10 Sep 2013 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Sept. 10 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is requiring all extended-release, long-acting narcotic painkillers to carry revised warning labeling, the agency said Tuesday. One warning restricts the use of these painkillers to those who need daily, around-the-clock, long-term pain management and for whom non-narcotic drugs haven't worked. A second warning alerts pregnant women to the danger of narcotic withdrawal syndrome in their newborns. "Today FDA is announcing a set of significant measures to enhance the safe and appropriate use of extended-release and long-acting opioid analgesics," FDA commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg said in an afternoon press conference. Oxycontin, Opana ER, Embeda, Palladone and MS Contin fall into this class of drugs. The medications contain narcotics such as oxycodone or morphine. These "black box" warning changes will continue to ensure the ... Read more

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

Health Tip: Are You Taking Opioids as Prescribed?

Posted 21 Aug 2013 by Drugs.com

-- Opioids are powerful prescription pain medications, and great care must be taken to avoid possible overdose and addiction. The American Academy of Family Physicians mentions these potential warning signs of opioid medication overdose: Stumbling while walking. Feeling dizzy. Slurring your speech. Feeling confused. Slow breathing and heartbeat. Blue nails or lips. Pale or clammy skin. Feeling excessively drowsy or having trouble staying alert. Having trouble waking from sleep. Read more

Related support groups: Oxycodone, Methadone, Hydrocodone, OxyContin, Morphine, Fentanyl, Codeine, Opana, Subutex, Dilaudid, Opana ER, Roxicodone, Nucynta, MS Contin, Butrans, Hydromorphone, Buprenorphine, Diskets, Duragesic, Kadian

Drug Addicts, Dealers Are 'Doctor Shopping' for Pain Pills

Posted 19 Jul 2013 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, July 17 – One of every 50 prescriptions for addictive prescription painkillers in the United States is filled for so-called "doctor shoppers" who obtain the drugs for recreational use or resale on the street, a new study finds. Although doctor shoppers make up less than 1 percent of all patients who bought painkillers in 2008, they purchased an estimated 4.3 million prescriptions for opioid drugs such as Oxycontin or Vicodin, the researchers found. That amounts to about 4 percent of all of this class of narcotic sold by weight that year. "There's a hole in our prescription control system in the United States," concluded study co-author Douglas McDonald, a researcher with Abt Associates Inc., a think-tank located in Cambridge, Mass. "Lacking a universal health record, doctors have to rely on what patients tell them about what they've been prescribed by other doctors." That ... Read more

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

Sharp Rise in Drug Overdoses Among U.S. Women: CDC

Posted 2 Jul 2013 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, July 2 – The rate of fatal overdoses of prescription painkillers and other drugs among U.S. women quadrupled between 1999 and 2010, federal officials reported Tuesday. Long thought of as primarily a male problem, drug addiction is increasingly affecting women, and the new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 42 women in the United States die each day from prescription drug overdoses. "Prescription drug overdose deaths have skyrocketed in women," CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden said during a noon press conference. "Mothers, wives, sisters and daughters are dying from overdoses at rates we have never seen before." The CDC said that nearly 48,000 women died of overdoses from any form of prescribed drug between 1999 and 2010. The annual death rate for women from drug overdoses now surpasses that of car crash deaths, the agency said. Emergency ... Read more

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

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