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

Posted 1 day 4 hours ago 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 7 days ago 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, Lortab, Tylenol, Opiate Withdrawal, Opana, Ibuprofen, Subutex, Dilaudid

Fentanyl Drives Rise in Opioid-Linked Deaths in US

Posted 20 days ago 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, Metoprolol, Lortab, Tylenol, Opana, Ibuprofen, Topamax, Naproxen

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, Opana, Ibuprofen, Naproxen, 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

Trump to Declare Opioid Crisis a National Emergency

Posted 10 Aug 2017 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

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

U.S. Opioid Crisis Continues to Worsen

Posted 8 Aug 2017 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

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

The Addiction Drug, Buprenorphine, is Underused by Primary Care Docs in U.S.

Posted 3 Aug 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Aug. 3, 2017 – Many doctors aren't making full use of a medication that can wean people off addiction to heroin and prescription painkillers, according to results of a new survey. Buprenorphine is the first drug for opioid use disorder that's approved for prescription by primary care physicians, allowing treatment in the privacy of a doctor's office. But many doctors aren't applying for the federal waiver that would allow them to prescribe buprenorphine, said researcher Andrew Huhn. He's a postdoctoral fellow with the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine's behavioral pharmacology research unit. Further, most who have obtained a buprenorphine waiver aren't prescribing the drug to as many patients as allowed, Huhn said. This reluctance to fully utilize buprenorphine is hampering efforts to combat the epidemic of opioid abuse in the United States, Huhn said. "This year is ... Read more

Related support groups: Suboxone, Opiate Dependence, Subutex, Smoking, Drug Dependence, Butrans, Buprenorphine, Substance Abuse, Zubsolv, Bunavail, Belbuca, Buprenex, Toxic Reactions Incl Drug and Substance Abuse, Buprenorphine/Naloxone, Probuphine

Americans Taking More Prescription Drugs Than Ever: Survey

Posted 3 Aug 2017 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

Related support groups: Pain, Suboxone, Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Tramadol, Percocet, Methadone, OxyContin, Vicodin, Lisinopril, Norco, Fentanyl, Morphine, Codeine, Lortab, Opana, Ibuprofen, Naproxen, Subutex, Losartan

Doctors May Be Over-Prescribing Seizure Drugs to Treat Pain

Posted 3 Aug 2017 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

Related support groups: Pain, Suboxone, Oxycodone, Back Pain, Hydrocodone, Tramadol, Percocet, Methadone, Klonopin, Gabapentin, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Clonazepam, Fentanyl, Ativan, Morphine, Lyrica, Valium, Codeine

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

Posted 3 Aug 2017 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

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

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

Posted 2 Aug 2017 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

Related support groups: Pain, Suboxone, Oxycodone, Surgery, Back Pain, Hydrocodone, Tramadol, Percocet, Methadone, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Fentanyl, Opiate Dependence, Morphine, Codeine, Lortab, Opana, Subutex, Dilaudid

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

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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