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Around the World, Too Little Relief for Pain

Posted 6 days ago by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Oct. 13, 2017 – Tens of millions of people worldwide who die in severe physical and mental distress each year could have an easier death if low-cost pain drugs were available in their countries, a new report says. Children account for more than 2.5 million of the almost 26 million people with serious illnesses who receive no palliative care or pain relief, according to the report. The findings came from an analysis of data on the care provided in 172 countries for people with any of 20 serious conditions, including HIV, cancer, heart disease, premature birth, tuberculosis, hemorrhagic fevers, lung and liver disease, malnutrition, dementia and trauma injuries. Of the 61 million people who endure severe physical or psychological suffering and pain each year, about 83 percent live in 100 low- and middle-income countries where there's little or no access to low-cost, off-patent ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Suboxone, Oxycodone, Back Pain, Hydrocodone, Chronic Pain, Tramadol, Percocet, Methadone, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Fentanyl, Morphine, Codeine, Acetaminophen, Lortab, Tylenol, Naproxen, Opana

Medicare Could Do More to Stem Opioid Epidemic

Posted 9 days ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Oct. 10, 2017 – Medicare places few limits on opioid painkiller prescriptions, even in the face of recent U.S. government guidelines, researchers report. Yale University scientists say Medicare plans for people 65 and older are untapped resources for curbing the unnecessary use and abuse of drugs such as oxycodone (OxyContin) and hydrocodone (Vicodin). "People are looking for any way to control the increase in opioid-use disorder. This is one strategy," said study first author Dr. Elizabeth Samuels. She's a postdoctoral fellow in Yale's National Clinical Scholars Program. A previous study involving private insurers showed that certain practices can help curb use of addictive painkillers, the researchers said. Such measures include requiring prior authorization from insurers and setting quantity limits. For this study, Samuels and her colleagues analyzed the "formulary files" ... Read more

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

Heroin Taking Bigger Share of U.S. Opioid ODs

Posted 17 days ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Oct. 2, 2017 – New U.S. hospital overdose data suggests that drug addicts are turning from prescription opioid painkillers to heroin as an easier way to get high, researchers report. Hospital and emergency room treatment rates for prescription opioid overdoses (such as OxyContin) decreased annually by about 5 percent between 2010 and 2014. This was about the same time tough new prescribing laws were drafted to combat the opioid epidemic, the study authors said. But ER treatment rates for heroin overdose skyrocketed at the same time. Heroin overdose rates increased at an annual rate of more than 31 percent after 2008, said senior researcher Tina Hernandez-Boussard. She's an associate professor with the Stanford University School of Medicine. These results provide "the first piece of real evidence" supporting what had been a strong suspicion that prescription painkiller addicts ... Read more

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

Post-Op Opioids: How Much Is Enough?

Posted 27 Sep 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 27, 2017 – Amid efforts to stem the U.S. opioid crisis, a new study suggests how long patients should take prescription opioid painkillers after surgery. After general surgery, the ideal duration is four to nine days, said researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. For women's health procedures, four to 13 days is appropriate, while six to 15 days of narcotic painkillers is reasonable for musculoskeletal surgery, according to the study. "An opioid prescription after surgery should balance adequate pain treatment with minimizing the duration of treatment and potential for medication complications, including issues with dependence," wrote Dr. Louis Nguyen and colleagues. Overuse of opioid painkillers – such as OxyContin (oxycodone) and Vicodin (hydrocodone) – has contributed to the opioid abuse epidemic and the skyrocketing rate of overdose deaths in the ... Read more

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

CDC Launches Opioid Campaign in Hard-Hit States

Posted 26 Sep 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Sept. 26, 2017 – The U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has launched a campaign to reduce overdose deaths from prescription opioid painkillers. Between 1999 and 2015, more than 183,000 people in the United States died from prescription opioid overdoses such as OxyContin (oxycodone) and Vicodin (hydrocodone). The goal of the CDC's Rx Awareness campaign is to increase knowledge of the risks of prescription opioids and stop inappropriate use. Personal accounts from recovering opioid abusers and people who've lost loved ones will be featured. "It only takes a little to lose a lot" is the campaign tagline. It will be featured in videos, audio ads, social media ads, internet banners, web graphics, billboards and posters. Campaign ads are planned to run for the next 14 weeks in Kentucky, Massachusetts, New Mexico and Ohio. The campaign will expand to other states as ... Read more

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

ERs Prescribing Opioids at Lower Doses, Shorter Durations

Posted 26 Sep 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Sept. 26, 2017 – Emergency room doctors write lower-dose, shorter-term prescriptions for opioids than other doctors do, new research shows. The study, led by scientists at the Mayo Clinic, challenges views that emergency departments are the main source of prescriptions for the powerful painkillers whose use – and misuse – has soared in recent years. The research also suggests that patients who get an opioid prescription – such as for oxycodone (OxyContin) – during an ER visit are less likely to abuse the drugs over the long term. "There are a few things that many people assume about opioids, and one is that, in the emergency department, they give them out like candy," said the study's lead author, Molly Jeffery. She is scientific director of the Mayo Clinic division of emergency medicine research, in Rochester, Minn. "This idea didn't really fit with the clinical ... Read more

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

FDA Conducts Major Global Operation to Protect Consumers From Potentially Dangerous Prescription Drugs Sold Online

Posted 26 Sep 2017 by Drugs.com

September 25, 2017 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, in partnership with international regulatory and law enforcement agencies, recently took action against more than 500 websites that illegally sell potentially dangerous, unapproved versions of prescription medicines, including opioids, antibiotics and injectable epinephrine products to American consumers. These actions were part of a major global operation that the FDA participated in to target illegal drugs being marketed online, and shipped and distributed through the postal system, directly to American consumers. Among other actions, the FDA also issued warning letters to the operators of a majority of the illegal websites that were targeted in the operation and worked with internet registrars to confiscate certain websites. Patients who buy prescription medicines from illegal online pharmacies may be putting their health ... Read more

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

Addictive Opioids Common for People on Dialysis

Posted 21 Sep 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Sept. 21, 2017 – Kidney dialysis patients in the United States have high rates of prescriptions for opioid painkillers and many also receive high doses of the potentially addictive drugs, a new study finds. Pain is common in dialysis patients, the study authors explained in a news release from the American Society of Nephrology. But these patients can't take certain drugs because their failing kidneys can't process them. This makes pain control difficult. For the new study, researchers reviewed Medicare data from 2006 through 2010. The investigators found that nearly two-thirds of dialysis patients received at least one opioid prescription every year. More than 20 percent received repeated prescriptions. In addition, more than 25 percent of patients given opioid prescriptions received higher-than-recommended doses. The use of opioids was associated with increased risks of ... Read more

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

Opioid ODs Have Cut Into U.S. Life Expectancy: CDC

Posted 19 Sep 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Sept. 19, 2017 – Rising death rates from opioid abuse are chipping away at Americans' life expectancy, a U.S. government study finds. Between 2000 and 2015, researchers found, U.S. life expectancy increased overall – from nearly 77 years to 79 years. But buried within that broad pattern were some ominous trends. The death rate from drug overdoses more than doubled, while that from opioids, specifically, more than tripled, said lead researcher Dr. Deborah Dowell. She is with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's division of unintentional injury prevention. By 2015, drug-related deaths had shaved 3.5 months off of Americans' life expectancy, Dowell's team found. And whites were the hardest hit. Most of that lost life span was pinned on opioids, including heroin and prescription painkillers like OxyContin (oxycodone), Vicodin (hydrocodone) and codeine. Earlier ... Read more

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

What You Can Do to Help Fight the Opioid Epidemic

Posted 13 Sep 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 13, 2017 – Proper disposal of prescription painkillers and use of safe alternatives to manage pain could help combat America's opioid abuse epidemic, doctors say. "Today, we are in the midst of an opioid crisis," said Dr. David Ring, chairman of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons' (AAOS) Committee on Patient Safety. In 2015, about 12.5 million Americans misused prescription opioids (such as OxyContin and Vicodin) and more than 15,000 overdose deaths were attributed to the drugs, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. "Orthopaedic surgeons, along with other physicians and health care professionals, are working diligently and collectively to reduce the strength and number of opioid pills prescribed for patients, and to change the patient-doctor conversation regarding pain: how pain can be safely managed with non-opioid medications, ... Read more

Related support groups: Suboxone, Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Tramadol, Percocet, Methadone, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Fentanyl, Opiate Dependence, Morphine, Codeine, Acetaminophen, Lortab, Tylenol, Opiate Withdrawal, Opana, Ibuprofen, Subutex

Fentanyl Drives Rise in Opioid-Linked Deaths in US

Posted 1 Sep 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Aug. 31, 2017 – Fentanyl, a synthetic narcotic, is a key player in America's continuing epidemic of opioid-related overdose deaths, two new studies report. Opioid OD deaths began increasing early this decade as people addicted to prescription painkillers started switching to heroin, which became cheaper and increased in supply, researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. But the emergence of fentanyl and its cousins drove an even greater increase in overdose deaths, exacerbating an already terrible situation, the researchers said. In 2015 alone, about 33,000 people died of an opioid overdose in the United States. When drug traffickers began mixing fentanyl into the heroin supply, they created a highly potent narcotic cocktail that has proven fatal to thousands of drug users, investigators noted. "Approximately half of the increase in deaths ... Read more

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

Many Migraine Sufferers Given Unecessary Opioids, Study Finds

Posted 25 Aug 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Aug. 25, 2017 – Too many people with migraines are prescribed potentially addictive opiate painkillers, while too few may be getting recommended medications, a new study suggests. Researchers found that of nearly 2,900 Americans who visited the doctor for migraine relief, 15 percent were prescribed opioids such as oxycodone (OxyContin or Percocet) or hydrocodone (Norco, Vicoprofen). That's despite the fact that the drugs should really be used only as a "last resort," said study lead researcher Dr. Larry Charleston IV. Opioids are not only less effective than recommended migraine drugs, they're also risky, said Charleston, an assistant professor of neurology at the University of Michigan Medical School. Repeated opioid use, he explained, can actually lead to more frequent, or even chronic, migraines. And by now, it's no secret that the drugs have the potential for abuse and ... Read more

Related support groups: Suboxone, Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Tramadol, Percocet, Methadone, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Fentanyl, Opiate Dependence, Morphine, Codeine, Acetaminophen, Metoprolol, Lortab, Tylenol, Naproxen, Opana, Ibuprofen

Many Prescribed Opioids Even After Overdose

Posted 22 Aug 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Aug. 22, 2017 – After treatment for an opioid overdose, many Medicaid patients continue to receive prescriptions for the same type of drugs that nearly killed them, researchers say. Moreover, few overdose patients are prescribed anti-addiction medications after hospital discharge, the University of Pittsburgh investigators found. The researchers studied more than 6,000 people who survived an overdose from an opioid – a class of drugs including painkillers like morphine and OxyContin (oxycodone), synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, and heroin. "Forty percent of those with a heroin overdose and 60 percent of those with a prescription opioid overdose filled a prescription in the six months after overdose for the very kind of medication that contributed to the overdose in the first place," said lead researcher Julie Donohue. She's an associate professor of health policy and ... Read more

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

Health Tip: Throwing Out Leftover Medicine

Posted 17 Aug 2017 by Drugs.com

--If your medicine cabinet is chock-full of expired or unneeded medications, you can throw them out properly without endangering your family or harming the environment. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration describes how: Follow any disposal instructions that came with your meds. If there are no disposal instructions, remove the drugs from their containers and mix the meds with something like used coffee grounds or used kitty litter. These substances should make the medications less appealing to people or pets. Place the mixture in a sealed bag to prevent leakage. Scratch out prescription labels to protect your identity. Don't flush medication down the sink or toilet. Until the meds are disposed of properly, store them safely away from children and pets. Check if any nearby hospitals, pharmacies or retailers are registered as collectors with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). Some ... Read more

Related support groups: Suboxone, Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Tramadol, Percocet, Methadone, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Fentanyl, Morphine, Codeine, Lortab, Naproxen, Opana, Ibuprofen, Subutex, Dilaudid, Meloxicam, Advil

Fatal Opioid ODs on the Rise Among U.S. Teens

Posted 16 Aug 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 16, 2017 – The rate of opioid drug overdose deaths among older teenagers in the United States has taken a turn for the worse, a new federal report finds. The number of drug overdose deaths among 15- to 19-year-olds rose 15 percent for males from 2014 to 2015 and 35 percent for females from 2013 to 2015, according to the report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But the disturbing numbers may not simply be a case of the well-publicized epidemic of opioid painkiller abuse spreading to another age group. "These trends fit into the overall picture: Overdose of opioid pills is the bigger problem among middle age and older age groups, while heroin and heroin contaminated by fentanyl are a huge problem among younger people," said Dr. Daniel Ciccarone, a professor at the University of California, San Francisco, who studies drug use. The report, from the ... Read more

Related support groups: Suboxone, Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Tramadol, Percocet, Methadone, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Fentanyl, Opiate Dependence, Morphine, Codeine, Lortab, Opiate Withdrawal, Opana, Subutex, Dilaudid, Heroin, Opana ER

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