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Don't Punish Pregnant Women for Opioid Use, Docs Say

Posted 16 hours ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Feb. 20, 2017 – Prevention and treatment, not legal action, should be the focus when dealing with pregnant women who use opioids, a leading pediatricians' group says. Some states prosecute and jail pregnant women for substance abuse, but the new statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) warns that punitive measures have no health benefits for mother or child and may deter women from seeking help. "Over the last two decades, use of opioids surged throughout the U.S., and as they did, we have seen an increase in opioid-related complications in nearly every population, including pregnant women and their infants," statement co-author Dr. Stephen Patrick said in an AAP news release. "Our response should be grounded in public health. We should be bolstering efforts targeted at primary prevention, like prescription drug-monitoring programs, and expanding treatment ... Read more

Related support groups: Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Percocet, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Opiate Dependence, Morphine, Codeine, Lortab, Opiate Withdrawal, Roxicodone, MS Contin, Drug Dependence, Endocet, Kadian, Acetaminophen/Hydrocodone, Cheratussin AC, Delivery, Tylenol with Codeine

Kids' OD Risk Rises When Opioids Left Out at Home

Posted 17 hours ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Feb. 20, 2017 – A child's risk of a potentially fatal drug overdose more than doubles if a parent brings home a prescription opioid painkiller like oxycodone, codeine or morphine, a new study reports. When their mother is prescribed an opioid for pain as opposed to a non-narcotic drug like aspirin, ibuprofen or acetaminophen, young children are about two-and-a-half times more likely to accidentally overdose, the researchers found. "The opioid epidemic has not skipped children," said Dr. Yaron Finkelstein, a pediatric emergency doctor with the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. "They are also vulnerable to it, even as a third party or innocent bystander." Finkelstein is lead researcher on the study, published online Feb. 20 in Pediatrics. Another study in the journal helps explain the source of some of this risk. Nearly 70 percent of prescription opioids in homes with ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Back Pain, Suboxone, Tramadol, Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Methadone, Percocet, Chronic Pain, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Fentanyl, Opiate Dependence, Morphine, Aspirin, Codeine, Lortab, Ibuprofen, Opana

Anti-Addiction Meds Given in ER Can Help Battle Abuse

Posted 1 day 16 hours ago by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Feb. 17, 2017 – People addicted to opioids treated in a hospital emergency department do better when they receive medication to reduce opioid cravings, researchers report. "The ED [emergency department] visit is an ideal opportunity to identify patients with opioid use disorder and initiate treatment and direct referral, similar to best practices for other diseases, such as high blood pressure and diabetes," said study co-leader Dr. Gail D'Onofrio in a Yale University news release. D'Onofrio is chair of emergency medicine at the university. The study looked at 290 people addicted to opioids who went to an emergency department. They received one of three treatments: a referral to addiction treatment services; a short interview including discussion of treatment; or a brief interview and the medication buprenorphine. The patients given medication also continued treatment with ... Read more

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

Chronic Pain More Likely for Poor, Less Educated: Study

Posted 3 days ago by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Feb. 17, 2017 – Chronic pain is much more common among poor, less educated older Americans than their wealthier, more educated peers, a new study suggests. "I found that people with lower levels of education and wealth don't just have more pain, they also have more severe pain," said study author Hanna Grol-Prokopczyk. She's an assistant professor of sociology from the University at Buffalo in Buffalo, N.Y. "I also looked at pain-related disability, meaning that pain is interfering with the ability to do normal work or household activities. And again, people with less wealth and education are more likely to experience this disability," she added in a university news release. In the analysis of 12 years of data from more than 19,000 people aged 51 and older, those with the least education were 80 percent more likely to have chronic pain than those with the most education. People ... Read more

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

Some Docs May Help Fuel Opioid Abuse Epidemic

Posted 5 days ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 15, 2017 – You may be more likely to wind up a long-term user of opioid painkillers if you're treated by a doctor who frequently prescribes those drugs, a new study reports. Emergency room patients are at greater risk for long-term opioid use even after a single prescription from an ER doctor who regularly prescribes the painkillers, researchers found. "If a patient happened to see a high opioid-prescribing doctor, their chance of getting an opioid is over three times higher," said study author Dr. Michael Barnett. He's an assistant professor of health policy and management at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston. "Patients who are treated by frequent prescribers also are 30 percent more likely to develop long-term use over the next year," Barnett continued. One out of every 48 people newly prescribed an opioid will become a long-term user, based on ... Read more

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

Amnesia Affecting Some Opioid Abusers

Posted 26 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Jan. 26, 2017 – Short-term memory loss may be yet another price of America's opioid addiction epidemic. Massachusetts health officials reported Thursday a cluster of 14 patients in that state who experienced problems remembering things just told to them. Doctors call this sudden-onset amnesia. The patients also had abnormal results on MRI brain scans. And researchers believe this might be the first sign of a new type of amnesia caused by drug use, likely opioids. "The best thing that could happen is that maybe this would be nothing," said report co-author Dr. Alfred DeMaria Jr., Massachusetts state epidemiologist. "But we are suspicious that something is going on possibly related to substance abuse that was not recognized before." From 2012 to 2016, 14 cases of people with the unusual neurological problem were identified from medical records. Thirteen of the 14 were either ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Xanax, Anxiety and Stress, Oxycodone, Percocet, OxyContin, Klonopin, Clonazepam, Opiate Dependence, Morphine, Ativan, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Valium, Social Anxiety Disorder, Opiate Withdrawal, Lorazepam, Alprazolam, Diazepam, Heroin

Kids Born to Opioid-Addicted Moms Seem to Fare Poorly in School

Posted 16 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Jan. 16, 2017 – Children exposed to addictive drugs in the womb may be more likely to perform poorly in school, Australian researchers report. In the study, these exposed kids lagged behind their peers on grade-level tests of reading, writing, math, spelling and grammar. By seventh grade, about 38 percent failed to meet test standards in at least one of these areas. The study authors said their paper is the first to examine academic results in children with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) – when a fetus is exposed to drugs in the womb. It's a rapidly growing public health problem fueled by the global opioid epidemic. In the United States, it's estimated that an NAS infant is born every 25 minutes, the study authors said. Opioid painkillers such as morphine, Percocet (oxycodone/acetaminophen), OxyContin (oxycodone), Vicoprofen (hydrocodone/ibuprofen), and the illegal opioid ... Read more

Related support groups: Oxycodone, Percocet, OxyContin, Opiate Dependence, Morphine, Opiate Withdrawal, Heroin, Roxicodone, MS Contin, Drug Dependence, Endocet, Kadian, Delivery, Percocet 10/325, Vicoprofen, M O S, Roxicet, Acetaminophen/Oxycodone, Avinza, Embeda

Drug Overdose Deaths Climb Dramatically in U.S.

Posted 20 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Dec. 20, 2016 – Drug overdose deaths continue to surge in the United States, with most fatalities linked to the illicit use of prescription painkillers, new government statistics reveal. Drug overdose deaths increased 23 percent between 2010 and 2014, with more than 47,000 Americans dying in 2014, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data released Tuesday shows. But updated numbers from the CDC also show that more than 52,000 people died from a drug overdose in 2015, and just over 33,000 of those deaths (63 percent) involved a prescription or illicit opioid. The CDC noted, in its national update released Dec. 16 in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, that more than 300,000 Americans have lost their lives to an opioid overdose since 2000. Heroin continues to be the deadliest narcotic in the United States, killing nearly 11,000 people in 2014 – ... Read more

Related support groups: Suboxone, Oxycodone, Methadone, Percocet, OxyContin, Fentanyl, Opiate Dependence, Morphine, Opiate Withdrawal, Smoking, Heroin, Roxicodone, MS Contin, Drug Dependence, Endocet, Duragesic, Diskets, Kadian, Percocet 10/325, Substance Abuse

What You Need to Know When Prescribed an Opioid Painkiller

Posted 13 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Dec. 12, 2016 – There are a number of questions you should ask if a doctor or other health care provider prescribes opioid painkillers such as Oxycontin, Vicodin, codeine and morphine, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says. While approved to treat certain kinds of acute and chronic pain, opioids can have serious side effects, and the United States is in the mist of an opioid overuse epidemic. First, ask why you need the medication, is it right for you, and are there non-opioid options? If your health care provider thinks an opioid painkiller is the best choice, ask the doctor to prescribe the lowest dose and the smallest quantity. Find out when to call to follow-up with the health care provider on how well the opioid is working, as well as when and how to stop or taper off use of the drug, the FDA said in a news release. To reduce the risk of side effects, take the ... Read more

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

These Medicines Often Send Americans to ERs

Posted 22 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Nov. 22, 2016 – An estimated one in 250 Americans lands in the hospital emergency department each year because of a medication-related reaction or problem, a new federal study finds. Among adults 65 and older, the rate is about one in 100, the study authors said. Remarkably, the medicines causing the most trouble haven't changed in a decade, the researchers noted. Blood thinners, diabetes medicines and antibiotics top the list. These drugs accounted for 47 percent of emergency department visits for adverse drug events in 2013 and 2014, according to the analysis. Among older adults, blood thinners, diabetes medicines and opioid painkillers are implicated in nearly 60 percent of emergency department visits for adverse drug events. "The same drugs are causing the most problems," said study co-author Dr. Daniel Budnitz. The study doesn't tease out what went wrong. The reasons ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Back Pain, Suboxone, Tramadol, Oxycodone, Diabetes, Type 2, Hydrocodone, Methadone, Percocet, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Fentanyl, Morphine, Codeine, Lortab, Warfarin, Opana, Coumadin, Insulin

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, Tramadol, Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Methadone, Percocet, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Fentanyl, Opiate Dependence, Morphine, Codeine, Lortab, Opiate Withdrawal, Opana, Subutex, Dilaudid, Ultram, Butrans

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, Back Pain, Suboxone, Tramadol, Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Methadone, Percocet, Chronic Pain, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Fentanyl, Morphine, Codeine, Lortab, Opana, Subutex, Dilaudid, Sciatica

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, Tramadol, Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Methadone, Percocet, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Fentanyl, Morphine, Codeine, Lortab, Opana, Subutex, Dilaudid, Ultram, Butrans, Opana ER, Nucynta

'Fake Pills' May Help Ease Back Pain

Posted 20 Oct 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 19, 2016 – Even if they know the pills are fake, chronic back pain sufferers may get relief from placebo drugs, a new study indicates. Researchers found that patients who knowingly took a placebo pill while undergoing traditional treatment for lower back pain had less pain and disability than those who received traditional treatment alone. "These findings turn our understanding of the placebo effect on its head," said Ted Kaptchuk, a joint senior author of the study and director of the Program in Placebo Studies and the Therapeutic Encounter at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. "This new research demonstrates that the placebo effect is not necessarily elicited by patients' conscious expectation that they are getting an active medicine, as long thought," Kaptchuk added in a hospital news release. "Taking a pill in the context of a patient-clinician ... Read more

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

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

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