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Health Tip: Throwing Out Leftover Medicine

Posted 1 day 2 hours ago 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, Opana, Ibuprofen, Naproxen, Subutex, Dilaudid, Meloxicam, Opana ER

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

Posted 2 days 2 hours ago 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

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Trump to Declare Opioid Crisis a National Emergency

Posted 8 days ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Aug. 11, 2017 – President Donald Trump said Thursday that his administration is preparing to declare the opioid crisis a national emergency. Such a move would offer state and federal agencies more resources and power to combat the epidemic, CNN reported. "The opioid crisis is an emergency, and I am saying, officials, right now, it is an emergency. It is a national emergency," Trump said while on vacation at his golf club in Bedminster, N.J. "We are going to spend a lot of time, a lot of effort and a lot of money on the opioid crisis." "We are going to draw it up, and we are going to make it a national emergency. It's a serious problem, the likes of which we have never had," he added. Trump's statement came two days after the release of a federal report that said drug overdose deaths continue to climb in the United States, despite efforts to combat the nation's ongoing opioid ... Read more

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U.S. Opioid Crisis Continues to Worsen

Posted 10 days ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Aug. 8, 2017 – Drug overdose deaths continue to climb in the United States, despite efforts to combat the nation's ongoing opioid addiction crisis, a new federal report states. The drug overdose death rate reached 19.9 cases for every 100,000 people during the late summer of 2016, compared with 16.7 cases per 100,000 the year before, the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) stated in its quarterly mortality report. The 12-month overdose death rate also showed an increase. The rate was 18.5 overdose deaths per 100,000 people for the 12-month period ending in September 2016, compared with 16.1 deaths per 100,000 during the same period a year before, the NCHS said. The increase shows that drug deaths have continued to rise from 2015, which itself had been a record-breaking year for overdose deaths. A total 52,404 people died from overdose in 2015, a 75 percent ... Read more

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Americans Taking More Prescription Drugs Than Ever: Survey

Posted 15 days ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Aug. 3, 2017 – A new survey finds 55 percent of Americans regularly take a prescription medicine – and they're taking more than ever. Those who use a prescription drug take four, on average, and many also take over-the-counter drugs, vitamins and other dietary supplements, the survey done by Consumer Reports shows. But many of those pills may be unnecessary and might do more harm than good, according to a special report in the September issue of Consumer Reports magazine. Among those who take prescription drugs, 53 percent get them from more than one health care provider, which increases the risk of adverse drug effects. More than a third say no provider has reviewed their medicines to see if all are necessary. Forty-nine percent of survey respondents who regularly take prescription medicine asked their prescribers whether they could stop taking a drug, and 71 percent were ... Read more

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Doctors May Be Over-Prescribing Seizure Drugs to Treat Pain

Posted 16 days ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 2, 2017 – Physicians might be relying too heavily on "off-label" use of epilepsy drugs as an alternative to prescribing narcotic painkillers, two experts in internal medicine contend. Doctors are prescribing the anti-seizure drugs gabapentin (Neurontin) and pregabalin (Lyrica) to treat pain more frequently, partly in response to the opioid epidemic in the United States, said Dr. Allan Brett. He's a professor of clinical internal medicine with the University of South Carolina School of Medicine in Columbia. However, the drugs might not be doing any good for many people suffering from chronic pain, Brett said. That's because the medications are only FDA-approved to treat certain types of pain. Yet, "increasing numbers of patients [are] being prescribed either of these drugs for any kind of pain symptoms," he said. Brett and co-author Dr. Christopher Goodman, an assistant ... Read more

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Is Infant Drug Withdrawal Likelier When Opioids Used With Psychiatric Drugs?

Posted 16 days ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 2, 2017 – More U.S. babies go through drug withdrawal after birth these days, and researchers say doctors' prescribing practices are partly to blame. Moms-to-be who take prescription opioid painkillers plus psychiatric drugs for depression or anxiety have a 30 to 60 percent greater risk of giving birth to an infant in withdrawal than those taking opioids alone, researchers found. Moreover, use of two or more psychiatric drugs in addition to opioids was associated with a twofold increased risk of infant withdrawal, said lead researcher Krista Huybrechts. She's an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. In particular, antidepressants, benzodiazepines such as diazepam (Valium) and the seizure drug gabapentin (Neurontin) greatly increase the risk and severity of drug withdrawal symptoms in newborns when used with prescription opioids during pregnancy, ... Read more

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2 of 3 U.S. Patients Keep Unused Painkillers After Surgery

Posted 16 days ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 2, 2017 – Surgery patients are usually prescribed opioids to ease postoperative pain, but more than two-thirds end up with leftover narcotics and don't get rid of them, according to a new report. Moreover, most patients who have the extra opioid pills don't lock them away, but leave them accessible to possible abuse by others, the researchers said. "We were surprised to find that the number was as high as it was," said lead researcher Dr. Mark Bicket. He is an assistant professor of anesthesiology and critical care medicine at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore. "It's likely that we – as physicians who care for patients with pain after surgery – need to do a better job of educating patients about how to take pain medication, how to store that medication and what to do with it once they're done with the medication," Bicket added. Saving unneeded ... Read more

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Opioid Abuse Down in Younger Americans, But Up Among Older Adults

Posted 26 Jul 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, July 26, 2017 – While opioid abuse has fallen among younger Americans, the same cannot be said for older adults, a new government report shows. Opioid abuse includes either the use of heroin or illegal use of prescription opioid painkillers, such as oxycodone (Oxycontin, Percocet) and hydrocodone (Vicoprofen). Rates of opioid abuse among young adults – aged 18 to 25 – decreased from 11.5 percent in 2002 to 8 percent in 2014. But in adults 50 years and older, opioid abuse doubled, from 1 percent to 2 percent, according to the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Overall, about 9.5 million adults had abused opioids in the past year, the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health found. "These findings highlight the need for prevention programs for all ages, as well as to establish improved evidence-based treatment, screening and ... Read more

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Easing Opioid Dose May Improve Pain and Quality of Life

Posted 18 Jul 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, July 18, 2017 – Sometimes less really is more. New research suggests that when it comes to long-term use of opioid painkillers, cutting back on the dose of the drugs might improve pain and function, as well as boost quality of life. "As many as 10 million Americans use long-term opioid medications to manage chronic pain," said Dr. Joseph Frank. He's the lead author of the new study and a primary care physician at Denver's Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Opioid medications include oxycodone (Oxycontin, Percocet) and hydrocodone (Vicoprofen), Frank said. These medications may be prescribed long-term for the treatment of different chronic pain conditions, such as arthritis or low back pain. "Nationwide efforts to reduce opioid prescribing will have a big impact on these people, but little is known about the benefits and risks of reducing long-term opioid therapy. When taken ... Read more

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Ending U.S. Opioid Abuse Epidemic Will Take Years: Report

Posted 13 Jul 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, July 13, 2017 – Scientists who've developed a wide-ranging "action plan" to combat the U.S. opioid abuse epidemic warn there's no quick fix. Needed measures include tighter prescription practices, greater access to treatment, physician-patient education and research into alternatives to addictive painkillers, according to a new report released Thursday from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The report's assessment "is a reassuring development, but long overdue," said Dr. Harshal Kirane, director of addiction services at Staten Island University Hospital, in New York City. "While public awareness of the opioid epidemic is growing, the mobilization of an effective infrastructure to adequately address the burden of illness still lags far behind," Kirane said. This report provides a road map for future action from local agencies up to national ... Read more

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Painkiller Misuse Remains a Pressing Problem Across U.S.

Posted 13 Jul 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, July 13, 2017 – Abuse of prescription opioid painkillers is second only to marijuana abuse as the most common illegal drug problem in the United States, a new government report shows. Analysis of 2012-2014 national data found that more than 4 percent of Americans aged 12 and older reported nonmedical use of prescription pain relievers in the past year, says the report from the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Misusing powerful narcotic painkillers such as OxyContin (oxycodone), Vicoprofen (hydrocodone) and morphine can lead to substance use disorder, overdose or death. Nonmedical painkiller use was most common in Oklahoma, Alabama, Arkansas and Nevada, all with rates exceeding 5 percent. The lowest rates – less than 3.5 percent – were in Massachusetts, Vermont, Florida, Montana and Minnesota, the report noted. "Prescription pain ... Read more

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Painkiller Prescriptions More Prone to Errors If Handwritten

Posted 13 Jul 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, July 12, 2017 – Mistakes are much more likely to occur with handwritten prescriptions for opioid painkillers than with electronic ones, a new study finds. Researchers analyzed 510 prescriptions for opioids – such as oxycodone (Oxycontin, Percocet) and hydrocodone (Vicoprofen) – filled at a Johns Hopkins Medicine outpatient pharmacy. The investigators found that 42 percent of the prescriptions contained an error. Rates of failure to comply with federal opioid prescription rules were similar for handwritten and electronic prescriptions, the findings showed. Nearly half of the prescriptions (47 percent) were handwritten, and 89 percent of these did not meet "best practice" guidelines or were missing at least two forms of patient identification information. None of the prescriptions produced by the hospital's electronic prescribing system had either of these errors. Overall, ... Read more

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JFK's Long, Silent Struggle With Back Pain

Posted 11 Jul 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, July 11, 2017 – Contrary to his youthful, vibrant public image, former President John F. Kennedy privately battled chronic, debilitating back pain much of his life. A new report chronicles JFK's pain issues and the many treatments he received throughout the years. The report includes private details – from multiple failed spinal surgeries and narcotic injections, to use of a back brace that some believe may have played a role in his death. "He went through the wringer visiting different surgeons and physicians and experts in their field – well-known people," said study co-author Dr. Justin Dowdy. He is a neurosurgeon and partner at Hot Springs Neurosurgery Clinic in Arkansas. While Kennedy's care would be different today due to advances in surgery and imaging technology, Dowdy doesn't see reason to second-guess clinicians' recommendations at the time. "They did the best they ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Suboxone, Surgery, Back Pain, Percocet, Vicodin, Norco, Lortab, Chronic Pain, Ibuprofen, Naproxen, Meloxicam, Sciatica, Advil, Diclofenac, Voltaren, Aleve, Mobic, Motrin, Herniated Disc

U.S. Opioid Prescriptions Fall, But Numbers Still High: CDC

Posted 6 Jul 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, July 6, 2017 – Prescriptions for opioid painkillers have dropped since 2010 in the United States, but the number of Americans getting the highly addictive medications is still too high, a new report shows. Prescriptions declined from a peak of 782 morphine milligram equivalents (MME) per person in 2010 to 640 MME per person in 2015, according to researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Half of U.S. counties saw a decrease in the amount of opioids prescribed per person from 2010 to 2015," said CDC Acting Director Dr. Anne Schuchat. "Overall, opioid prescribing in the United States is down 18 percent since 2010." But the total amount of opioids prescribed in 2015 was still about three times that of 1999, the CDC researchers said, with many people being provided lengthy prescriptions of the narcotics at high doses. "We're still seeing too many ... 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

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