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New FDA Head Outlines 'Forceful Steps' Against Opioid Crisis

Posted 5 days ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, May 23, 2017 – The new U.S. Food and Drug Administration commissioner has called on senior agency officers to develop "more forceful steps" to control the U.S. opioid epidemic. On Tuesday, Dr. Scott Gottlieb, President Trump's pick for the agency, announced the formation of an opioid policy steering committee to explore and develop additional approaches to confront the crisis. One solution, he said, is to cut back on unnecessarily prolonged painkiller use. Longer use increases the risk of opioid addiction. "The majority of people who eventually become addicted to opioids are exposed first to prescription opioids," Gottlieb said in a blog post on the FDA site. Misuse of potent painkillers such as OxyContin (oxycodone) and Vicoprofen (hydrocodone/ibuprofen) sends 1,000 Americans to emergency rooms each day. Opioid-related overdose deaths have quadrupled since 1999, he said. ... Read more

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

1 in 4 Americans Knows Someone Hooked on Opioids: Poll

Posted 5 days ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, May 22, 2017 – More than a quarter of Americans – and 1 in 3 millennials – say they know someone addicted to opioids or prescription painkillers, according to a new survey from the American Psychiatric Association (APA). Also, most respondents from the poll of more than 1,000 adults believe treatment is a better option than law enforcement to tackle the problem. "Our poll findings show that American area aware of the problem of opioid addiction, believe people can recover and want to see an emphasis on making treatment available," APA CEO and Medical Director Dr. Saul Levin said. About 2 million Americans have a substance use disorder related to prescription opioid pain medications, such as oxycodone (OxyContin, Percocet) and hydrocodone (Vicoprofen). More than 33,000 Americans died from an opioid overdose in 2015, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says. ... Read more

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

ERs May Need to Rethink Opioid Prescription Practices

Posted 9 days ago by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, May 19, 2017 – People in U.S. emergency rooms may receive unnecessary opioid painkiller prescriptions for minor injuries such as a sprained ankle, a new study finds. This practice – which varies widely depending on what area of the country you're treated in – potentially boosts the risk that patients will become dependent on the drugs. "The substantial variation in prescribing patterns of such extremely addictive medications for minor injuries results in many thousands of pills entering the community and places patients at an increased risk of continued use and potentially addiction," said lead author Dr. M. Kit Delgado. He's an assistant professor of emergency medicine and epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine. "It's vital that we identify and understand the root causes of this growing issue," Delgado said in a school news release. The ... Read more

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

It's Often Family to the Rescue During Opioid ODs

Posted 11 days ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, May 17, 2017 – The tragic scenario has become far too familiar: A mother, a father or a sibling discovers the lifeless body of a loved one who has overdosed on opioids. But a new study suggests that family members may be able to play a lifesaving role in some of these instances, mostly because of increased access to an antidote that can reverse an otherwise deadly ending. Sometimes, even the victims can rescue themselves from a potentially fatal overdose. Researchers in Massachusetts looked at people who underwent training in using the antidote – known as naloxone (Narcan, Evzio) – and found that family members used it in about 20 percent of slightly over 4,000 rescue attempts. Almost all rescue attempts were successful. "Individuals who use opioids are likely to use naloxone on both friends and family" who overdose, explained study author Dr. Sarah Bagley, an assistant ... Read more

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

High Rates of Hepatitis C in Pregnancy Mirror Opioid Epidemic: CDC

Posted 17 days ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, May 11, 2017 – Chalk up another potential consequence of the U.S. opioid epidemic: The prevalence of hepatitis C infections among pregnant women nearly doubled between 2009 and 2014, U.S. health officials report. Hepatitis C – which is caused most often by injection drug use – rose 89 percent nationwide among pregnant women. Increases were most notable in West Virginia and rural counties in Tennessee, areas hard-hit by the heroin and prescription painkiller epidemic, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported. Nationwide, 35 infants a day were exposed to the contagious liver disease, on average, study authors said. "We have seen a dramatic increase in opioid use in pregnancy and in the number of infants having drug withdrawal," said report author Dr. Stephen Patrick, of Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville. "Taken together, this suggests that ... Read more

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

Babies Born Addicted to Opioids Often Struggle With Learning

Posted 3 May 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, May 3, 2017 – Babies exposed to opioid painkillers in the womb are more likely to need special education services by the time they reach school age, a new U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study found. Many infants born with an addiction to opioids – a condition called neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) – wind up lagging behind other children in school, said Dr. Mary-Margaret Fill. She's a CDC officer assigned to the Tennessee Department of Health. Fill and her colleagues found that, compared with kids without the syndrome, Tennessee children born with NAS were: 44 percent more likely to be referred for evaluation of potential developmental delays. 36 percent more likely to meet their state's criteria for educational disability. 37 percent more likely to receive help with educational and developmental difficulties. "These children were more likely to have ... Read more

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

Opioid Use by Iraq, Afghanistan War Vets Mirrors Rest of U.S.: Study

Posted 28 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, April 27, 2017 – U.S. veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars use opioid painkillers at rates similar to that of the general population, a new study finds. Researchers analyzed pharmacy claims data from the U.S. Veterans Health Administration. They found that 23 percent of these combat veterans were prescribed an opioid in a given year. About two-thirds took them for a short time; the rest took them for longer periods. "We found that use of opioids among veterans was characterized by use of moderate doses prescribed for fairly long periods of time," study co-author Teresa Hudson said. Hudson is a research scientist with the Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System and University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. "However, chronic use among this group of veterans appeared to be lower than that of veterans who served in other time periods," Hudson added in a RTI ... Read more

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

Drugs Now Involved in More Fatal U.S. Crashes Than Alcohol Alone

Posted 28 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, April 27, 2017 – In vehicle crashes that claim American lives, illicit drugs are now more likely to have played a role than the use of alcohol on its own, a new report says. The trend comes as more states legalize marijuana and the nation faces a troubling rise in opioid abuse and drug overdose deaths, the researchers noted. In 2015, drugs were detected in 43 percent of drivers who suffered fatal injuries, a higher percentage than cases involving alcohol alone, the report found. The report was by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) and the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility (Responsibility.org). "As drunk driving has declined, drugged driving has increased dramatically. And many of today's impaired drivers are combining two or more substances, which has a multiplicative effect on driver impairment," Ralph Blackman, president and CEO of ... Read more

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

Opioid-Related Deaths Might Be Underestimated: CDC

Posted 25 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, April 25, 2017 – America's prescription drug abuse epidemic may be even more deadly than expected, a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests. Some opioid-related deaths may be missed when people die from pneumonia and other infectious diseases spurred on by drug abuse. Their death certificates may only list the infection as the cause of their demise, explained CDC field officer Victoria Hall. That means a number of drug-related deaths are not being counted, since surveillance systems mainly track overdose deaths. "It does seem like it is almost an iceberg of an epidemic," Hall said. "We already know that it's bad, and while my research can't speak to what percent we are underestimating, we know we are missing some cases." More than half of a series of drug-related unexplained deaths in Minnesota between 2006 and 2015 listed pneumonia as the ... Read more

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

Opioid Abusers at Higher Death Risk When Addiction Specialists Not Part of Care

Posted 21 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, April 21, 2017 – Opioid addicts who get their medical care in settings such as primary care offices and hospitals, rather than addiction centers, are 10 times more likely to die than patients without substance abuse disorders, a new study finds. Opioids include powerful prescription painkillers such as oxycodone (OxyContin, Percocet), hydrocodone (Vicodin), as well as illegal drugs such as heroin. University of California, Los Angeles researchers studied data from nearly 2,600 adults who were diagnosed with opioid addiction between 2006 and 2014 and who received health care at a major university hospital. Not all were receiving treatment for their opioid addiction. By the end of the period, 465 (18 percent) of the patients had died. Based on how long each person was in the study – four years on average – the researchers estimated that death rate was more than twice that of ... Read more

Related support groups: Suboxone, Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Tramadol, Methadone, Percocet, OxyContin, Fentanyl, Opiate Dependence, Morphine, Codeine, Opiate Withdrawal, Opana, Subutex, Dilaudid, Heroin, Opana ER, Roxicodone, MS Contin, Drug Dependence

Don't Give Kids Medicines With Codeine, Tramadol: FDA

Posted 20 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, April 20, 2017 – Parents shouldn't give their children any medications containing the narcotics codeine or tramadol, because they can cause life-threatening breathing problems, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned Thursday. Warning labels on medications with codeine or tramadol will be strengthened to reflect these potential dangers, the FDA said in a statement. Nursing mothers should also avoid using these drugs, since they can pass unsafe levels of opioids to their babies through their breast milk, the agency said. Children's bodies tend to process opioids more quickly than most adults, due to their smaller size. That can cause the level of narcotics in their bloodstream to rise too high and too quickly, risking overdose, the agency explained. Tramadol is a prescription drug that is only approved for adults to treat pain, the agency noted. Codeine products are ... Read more

Related support groups: Oxycodone, Surgery, Obesity, Hydrocodone, Tramadol, Methadone, OxyContin, Fentanyl, Morphine, Codeine, Opana, Subutex, Dilaudid, Opana ER, Roxicodone, MS Contin, Butrans, Ultram, Hydromorphone, Nucynta

Many Opioid Addictions Surface After Surgery, Study Finds

Posted 12 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, April 12, 2017 – Some surgery patients prescribed opioids for post-operative pain relief may face a high risk for developing a long-term opioid addiction, new research warns. The analysis tracked a half-year of opioid use among more than 36,000 surgery patients. None had taken opioids before their surgical procedure. "We found that 5 to 6 percent of patients not using opioids prior to surgery continued to fill prescriptions for opioids long after what would be considered normal surgical recovery," said study author Dr. Chad Brummett. He is director of the division of pain research at the University of Michigan Medical School. "Moreover, the rates of new chronic use did not differ between patients having major and minor surgeries, suggesting that patients continue to use these pain medications for something other than simply pain from surgery," he added. The risk was highest ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Tramadol, Methadone, OxyContin, Vicodin, Fentanyl, Opiate Dependence, Morphine, Codeine, Opiate Withdrawal, Opana, Subutex, Smoking, Dilaudid, Opana ER, Roxicodone, MS Contin, Smoking Cessation

This Fanged Fish Might Someday Help Ease Your Pain

Posted 30 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, March 30, 2017 – You wouldn't want the fang blenny nearby while swimming, but its venom might actually help you someday, scientists say. That's because the heroin-like poison emitted by the blenny may lead to new and better painkillers. "The fish injects other fish with opioid peptides that act like heroin or morphine, inhibiting pain rather than causing it," explained Bryan Fry, an associate professor at the University of Queensland in Australia. "The venom causes the bitten fish to become slower in movement and dizzy by acting on their [nerve cells'] opioid receptors," he explained in a university news release. The fang blenny is found on Australia's Great Barrier Reef and other locations in the Pacific Ocean. The fish – sometimes called poison-fang blennies or sabre-tooth blennies – are also popular as ornamental tropical aquarium fish. But it's their distinctive venom ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Tramadol, Methadone, Percocet, OxyContin, Vicodin, Fentanyl, Morphine, Codeine, Opana, Subutex, Dilaudid, Heroin, Opana ER, Roxicodone, MS Contin, Butrans, Ultram

Opioid Painkillers and Xanax or Valium a Deadly Mix: Study

Posted 15 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, March 15, 2017 – Mixing opioid painkillers with common anxiety and sleep medications is a prescription for a deadly overdose, a new U.S. study shows. Of all fatal overdoses from narcotic medications, nearly 30 percent also involved benzodiazepines, such as Xanax, Klonopin and Valium, the researchers said. "It's not news that this combination is not a good one, but despite being well known, it's gone up over time, and more people are ending up in the hospital because of it," said lead researcher Dr. Eric Sun. "Patients and doctors really need to think twice about this combination." When patients take benzodiazepines along with narcotic painkillers such as Oxycontin, Percocet and Vicodin, the mix lowers the threshold for an overdose, said Sun. He is an assistant professor of anesthesiology, perioperative and pain medicine at Stanford University. Although this study cannot ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Anxiety, Xanax, Suboxone, Oxycodone, Anxiety and Stress, Back Pain, Hydrocodone, Tramadol, Methadone, Percocet, Klonopin, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Fentanyl, Morphine, Valium, Codeine, Lortab

7 in 10 U.S. Workplaces Hit by Opioid Abuse: Survey

Posted 10 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, March 10, 2017 – Prescription drug abuse has seeped into the American workplace, with 70 percent of businesses saying it affects their workers, a new survey reveals. The National Safety Council report also found that while 71 percent of employers believe that abuse of opioid prescription painkillers is a disease that requires treatment, 65 percent also consider it a justifiable reason to fire a worker. "Employers must understand that the most dangerously misused drug today may be sitting in employees' medicine cabinets," said Deborah Hersman, president and CEO of the safety council. "Even when they are taken as prescribed, prescription drugs and opioids can impair workers and create hazards on the job. We hope these findings prompt employers to take the lead on this emerging issue so that workplaces can be as safe as possible," she added in a safety council news release. But ... Read more

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

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