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U.S. Surgeon General Declares War on Addiction

Posted 18 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Nov. 17, 2016 – America's response to alcohol and drug addiction demands a shift in thinking – away from moralizing and toward proven medical treatment instead, the U.S. Surgeon General said Thursday. For too long, addiction has been looked at as a character flaw or a moral failing, rather than as a chronic disease of the brain, Dr. Vivek Murthy said during a morning news conference. "We have 20.8 million people in America with substance abuse disorders," the Surgeon General noted. But only one in 10 is getting treatment, research shows. "That is unacceptable, we have to close that gap," Murthy said. Addiction to alcohol or drugs is not hopeless. "There's strong evidence that prevention and treatment work," Murthy said. Under this line of thinking, treatment of opioid disorders – a national crisis – is likely to include medications such as buprenorphine and methadone. ... Read more

Related support groups: Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Percocet, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Opiate Dependence, Lortab, Opiate Withdrawal, Smoking, Roxicodone, Drug Dependence, Alcohol Dependence, Endocet, Alcohol Withdrawal, Acetaminophen/Hydrocodone, Percocet 10/325, Vicoprofen, Substance Abuse, Alcoholism

Opioid Overdoses Up Nearly 200 Percent Among Kids, Teens

Posted 31 Oct 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Oct. 31, 2016 – The number of young children and teens hospitalized for overdosing on opioid painkillers has spiked nearly 200 percent in recent years, a new study finds. Among children under 10, most of the painkiller poisonings were accidental, with children "eating them like candy," said lead researcher Julie Gaither, a postdoctoral fellow in biostatistics at the Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, Conn. Among teens, most were accidental overdoses, although some were suicide attempts. In both age groups, the increase in cases involving painkillers like OxyContin, Percocet and Vicodin was dramatic. Among children aged 1 to 4 years, the number of poisonings went up 205 percent from 1997 to 2012. For teens 15 to 19, the increase was 176 percent. Overall, the study showed a 165 percent increase in poisonings from opioid painkillers among those 19 and younger. In addition, ... Read more

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

Many Take Opioids Reluctantly for Back Pain: Survey

Posted 24 Oct 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Oct. 24, 2016 – Millions of Americans with back pain take powerful and potentially addictive opioid painkillers. But in a new survey, many say the drugs provide only limited relief and they worry about taking them. The survey included more than 2,000 people with low back pain. Of the nearly half who were currently taking opioids, only 13 percent said the drugs were very successful at relieving their pain. Forty-four percent said the drugs were somewhat successful, 31 percent said they were moderately successful and 12 percent said they were unsuccessful. Seventy-five percent said the drugs had side effects such as constipation (65 percent), sleepiness (37 percent), thinking and memory problems (32 percent) and drug dependence (29 percent). "Patients are increasingly aware that opioids are problematic, but don't know there are alternative treatment options," said survey author ... Read more

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

Trauma Patients Not to Blame for Opioid Epidemic: Study

Posted 20 Oct 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 19, 2016 – Patients who survived major trauma may not be a significant factor in the U.S. opioid epidemic, a new study suggests. Almost 75 percent of major trauma patients who were prescribed narcotic painkillers such as OxyContin and Percocet had stopped using them a month after leaving the hospital. And only 1 percent were still taking the drugs on a prescription basis a year later, researchers found. "We were really surprised by how low the numbers were for long-term opiate use," study senior investigator Dr. Andrew Schoenfeld said in an American College of Surgeons news release. "It appears that traumatic injury is not a main driver for continued opioid use in patients who were not taking opioids prior to their injuries," said Schoenfeld, an orthopedic surgeon at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. Misuse of prescription pain drugs has become a serious health ... Read more

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

DEA Puts Quota on Production of Opioid Painkillers

Posted 5 Oct 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 5, 2016 – The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) says it has mandated significant cuts in the production of powerful prescription opioid painkillers. Illegal use of the drugs has helped to fuel the opioid epidemic in the United States. Since 1999, the rate of overdose deaths involving opioids – including prescription opioid pain relievers and heroin – nearly quadrupled, with more than 165,000 deaths reported, according to federal health officials. The prescription painkillers in question include drugs such as oxycodone (Oxycontin), hydrocodone (Vicodin), hydromorphone (Dilaudid, Exalgo and Palladone), fentanyl and morphine. The amount of these drugs allowed to be manufactured in the United States will be reduced by 25 percent or more in 2017, the DEA said. Production of certain opioid medications, such as hydrocodone, will be reduced by 34 percent, the agency ... Read more

Related support groups: Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Percocet, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Fentanyl, Opiate Dependence, Morphine, Lortab, Opiate Withdrawal, Dilaudid, Roxicodone, MS Contin, Drug Dependence, Hydromorphone, Endocet, Duragesic, Kadian, Acetaminophen/Hydrocodone

Risk of Opioid Addiction Up 37 Percent Among Young U.S. Adults

Posted 4 Oct 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Oct. 4, 2016 – Young adults in the United States are more likely to become addicted to prescription opioids than they were in years past. And they're more likely to use heroin, too, a new study says. A review of federal data found the odds of becoming dependent on opioids like Vicodin and Percocet increased 37 percent among 18- to 25-year-olds between 2002 and 2014. The study was conducted by researchers from Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health in New York City. A grim picture emerged among slightly older adults, too: Risk of an opioid use disorder more than doubled among 26- to 34-year-olds, increasing from 11 percent to 24 percent, the study found. "Our analyses present the evidence to raise awareness and urgency to address these rising and problematic trends among young adults," said study first author Dr. Silvia Martins, an associate professor of ... Read more

Related support groups: Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Percocet, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Opiate Dependence, Lortab, Heroin, Roxicodone, Drug Dependence, Endocet, Acetaminophen/Hydrocodone, Percocet 10/325, Vicoprofen, Hydromet, Roxicet, Acetaminophen/Oxycodone, Tussionex Pennkinetic, Lorcet 10/650

Countless Opioid Pills Unused by Dental-Surgery Patients

Posted 27 Sep 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Sept. 27, 2016 – More than half of the narcotic painkillers prescribed after wisdom teeth removal go unused, according to a new study that suggests this could contribute to the U.S. opioid epidemic. "When translated to the broad U.S. population, our findings suggest that more than 100 million opioid pills prescribed to patients following surgical removal of impacted wisdom teeth are not used, leaving the door open for possible abuse or misuse by patients, or their friends or family," said study author Dr. Brandon Maughan. Previous studies have shown that many painkiller abusers take extra pills that were prescribed for friends or relatives, Maughan and his colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine and School of Dental Medicine, noted in a school news release. For the study, the researchers examined painkiller use by 79 patients who had their ... Read more

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

Opioid Epidemic Costs U.S. $78.5 Billion Annually: CDC

Posted 21 Sep 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 21, 2016 – Abuse of powerful prescription painkillers called opioids costs the U.S. economy $78.5 billion a year, according to a new government study. Researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention analyzed the financial toll of opioid abuse, including direct health care costs, lost productivity and costs to the criminal justice system. "More than 40 Americans die each day from overdoses involving prescription opioids. Families and communities continue to be devastated by the epidemic of prescription opioid overdoses," said CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden. "The rising cost of the epidemic is also a tremendous burden for the health care system." The study, led by Curtis Florence of the CDC's National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, found that health care accounted for about 30 percent of the costs associated with opioid abuse in 2013. Total ... Read more

Related support groups: Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Percocet, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Opiate Dependence, Lortab, Opiate Withdrawal, Roxicodone, Drug Dependence, Endocet, Acetaminophen/Hydrocodone, Percocet 10/325, Vicoprofen, Substance Abuse, Hydromet, Roxicet, Acetaminophen/Oxycodone, Tussionex Pennkinetic

Most on Opioid Painkillers OK With Getting Overdose Antidote: Survey

Posted 13 Sep 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Sept. 13, 2016 – A new, small survey of people taking powerful opioid painkillers like OxyContin and Vicodin found that most were willing to also fill prescriptions for an overdose antidote. Three patients even used the antidote to treat an apparent overdose within a few months, the researchers said. The findings provide more evidence to support wider access to the antidote naloxone, better known by the brand name Narcan. "Physicians should absolutely consider prescribing naloxone with opioids," said study co-author Dr. Phillip Coffin. He is director of substance use research with the San Francisco Department of Public Health's Center for Public Health Research. "Some providers have voiced concern that prescribing naloxone to patients could result in negative patient reactions," Coffin added. "We found that this was rare. Even among the few with a negative initial reaction, ... Read more

Related support groups: Suboxone, Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Percocet, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Opiate Dependence, Lortab, Opiate Withdrawal, Roxicodone, Drug Dependence, Endocet, Acetaminophen/Hydrocodone, Percocet 10/325, Vicoprofen, Hydromet, Roxicet, Acetaminophen/Oxycodone, Talwin Nx

FDA: Opioids Plus Sedatives Pose Fatal OD Risk

Posted 31 Aug 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 31, 2016 – Mixing prescription opioid painkillers with a class of drugs that includes popular sedatives such as Valium and Xanax can cause a fatal overdose, U.S. health officials warned Wednesday. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said it will require "boxed warnings" on 389 different products to inform health professionals and the public of this potentially lethal drug interaction, FDA Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf said during a media briefing. Benzodiazepines – which include Valium and Xanax – affect the central nervous system, and are used to treat conditions like anxiety, insomnia and seizures, said Dr. Doug Throckmorton, deputy director of regulatory programs with the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. If benzodiazepines are combined with opioid medications such as oxycodone (Oxycontin) and hydrocodone (Vicodin), a drug interaction can occur that ... Read more

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

Addiction Risk Low for Seniors Taking Post-Op Opioids: Study

Posted 10 Aug 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 10, 2016 – With abuse of opioid painkillers a major public health threat in the United States, many worry that post-surgical use might trigger addiction. But a new study suggests that painkiller abuse arises in only a very small fraction – less than half of 1 percent – of cases involving people aged 65 or older. The rest of the surgical patients in the study used the drugs to ease their pain, and then stopped. The findings provide "reassurance that the individual risk of long-term opioid use in [surgical patients new to the drugs] is low," according to a team led by Dr. Hance Clarke of Toronto Western Hospital in Canada. Opioid medications – drugs such as Oxycontin, Vicodin or Percocet – are routinely used to treat pain after major surgery. "In the short term, opioids can help in the facilitation of physical therapy and ambulation, including engaging in light ... Read more

Related support groups: Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Percocet, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Opiate Dependence, Lortab, Opiate Withdrawal, Roxicodone, Drug Dependence, Endocet, Acetaminophen/Hydrocodone, Percocet 10/325, Vicoprofen, Hydromet, Roxicet, Acetaminophen/Oxycodone, Tussionex Pennkinetic, Lorcet 10/650

Doctors Urged to Prescribe Lower Doses of Opioids, No Refills

Posted 9 Aug 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Aug. 9, 2016 – Patients who are first-time users of pain-killing opioids should be prescribed a small dose without refills to reduce the risk of long-term use and possible addiction, a new study suggests. A surge in prescriptions for opioids such as Oxycontin and Vicodin over the past two decades dovetails with a steep rise in addiction and overdoses in the United States. The trend has prompted calls for more careful use of the narcotic painkillers. Researchers analyzed data from nearly 537,000 patients in Oregon who were prescribed opioids for the first time. The investigators found that 5 percent of those who received six or more refills within a year became long-term users. This trend was higher among rural patients (6 percent) than among urban patients (4 percent), the findings showed. And the risk of long-term use increased with age, according to the study published ... Read more

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

1 in 5 Opioid Users Also Might Be Abusing Seizure Drug: Study

Posted 3 Aug 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 3, 2016 – Opioid medication users may be abusing and misusing the seizure and nerve pain drug gabapentin, a new study finds. Researchers looked at test results of 323 patients who were prescribed opioid pain medications. The patients were being treated at pain or rehabilitation clinics, primarily in Arizona, Indiana and Massachusetts. About one in five of the patients tested positive for gabapentin (Neurontin), but didn't have a prescription for the drug. Of the patients taking gabapentin illicitly, 56 percent were taking it with an opioid, 27 percent with an opioid and muscle relaxant or anxiety medication, and the rest were taking it with other substances. The study was presented Wednesday at the American Association for Clinical Chemistry's (AACC) annual meeting in Philadelphia. "The high rate of misuse of this medication is surprising and it is also a wakeup call ... Read more

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

Painkillers for Teen Athletes Won't Spur Addiction: Study

Posted 25 Jul 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, July 25, 2016 – Teenage athletes are less likely to abuse prescription painkillers than kids who don't play sports or exercise, a new study finds. The study results run counter to some research in recent years detailing concerns about injured teen athletes abusing opioid painkillers prescribed by doctors and then moving on to use heroin. Dr. Wilson Compton, deputy director of the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse, said he was "surprised" by the findings. He said, "A key risk (for teenage athletes) is a desire to please and for acceptance. But this study shows overall rates (of use) are declining." For the study, University of Michigan researchers examined data from nearly 192,000 students in 8th and 10th grade who participated in a federally funded study between 1997 and 2014. Over these years, doctors wrote many more opioid painkiller prescriptions for children and teens, ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Oxycodone, Back Pain, Hydrocodone, Percocet, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Opiate Dependence, Lortab, Opiate Withdrawal, Heroin, Roxicodone, Drug Dependence, Endocet, Acetaminophen/Hydrocodone, Percocet 10/325, Vicoprofen, Hydromet, Roxicet

Common Surgeries Raise Risk for Opioid Dependence: Study

Posted 12 Jul 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, July 11, 2016 – After knee surgery and other common operations, patients have an elevated risk of growing dependent on opioid painkillers, a new study finds. These prescription painkillers include hydrocodone (Vycodin, Lortab), oxycodone (OxyContin) and fentanyl, the narcotic implicated in the April 21 death of rock legend Prince. "For a lot of surgeries there is a higher chance of getting hooked on painkillers," said study author Dr. Eric Sun, an instructor at Stanford University School of Medicine, in Palo Alto, Calif. But Sun cautioned that the finding isn't a reason to avoid surgery. "The message isn't that you shouldn't have surgery," said Sun. "Rather, there are things that anesthesiologists can do to reduce the risk by finding other ways of controlling the pain and using replacements for opioids when possible." For the study, the researchers examined medical claims of ... Read more

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

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