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Senator Probes Opioid Makers' Role in U.S. Drug Abuse Epidemic

Posted 29 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

A U.S. senator wants information from the five top makers of opioid painkiller drugs in order to assess their role in the nation's opioid epidemic. Sen. Claire McCaskill wants to determine whether the five companies – Purdue Pharma, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Insys Therapeutics, Mylan, and Depomed – have contributed to overuse and overprescribing of opioids, the Washington Post reported. Since 2000, 180,000 people in the U.S. have died of prescription opioid overdoses and tens of thousands have died of heroin and fentanyl overdoses, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. On Tuesday, McCaskill sent a letter to the five companies asking them for opioid sales and marketing materials, any research they may have conducted on the addictive properties of their drugs, and information on compliance with legal settlements, the Post reported. "This epidemic is the direct ... Read more

Related support groups: Fentanyl, Opiate Dependence, Opiate Withdrawal, Heroin, Drug Dependence, Duragesic, Substance Abuse, Fentanyl Transdermal, Actiq, Fentora, Duragesic-100, Toxic Reactions Incl Drug and Substance Abuse, Duragesic-25, Subsys, Substance Abuse - Cocaine, Duragesic-50, Fentanyl/Ropivacaine, Duragesic-12, Abstral, Ionsys

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

1 in 4 U.S. Adults Disabled by Arthritis: CDC

Posted 8 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, March 7, 2017 – Arthritis is expanding its grip on Americans, with 24 million adults limited in their everyday activities because of the debilitating joint disease, U.S. health officials say. Overall, 54 million adults – or one in four – report an arthritis diagnosis. And the number of people disabled by it has jumped 20 percent since 2002, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Tuesday. "Arthritis symptoms keep millions of Americans from going about their daily routines," CDC acting director Dr. Anne Schuchat said in an agency news release. The joint aches, stiffness and swelling of arthritis can make holding a glass, carrying a grocery bag, or walking a short distance difficult or even impossible, the agency said. Why so many Americans have arthritis isn't clear, and can't be attributed solely to an aging population. Almost two of five adults with ... Read more

Related support groups: Suboxone, Oxycodone, Obesity, Diabetes, Type 2, Hydrocodone, Methadone, Percocet, Tramadol, Rheumatoid Arthritis, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Fentanyl, Morphine, Osteoarthritis, Codeine, Lortab, Opana, Heart Disease, Subutex

Longer Addiction Treatment Is Better, Study Confirms

Posted 5 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, March 3, 2017 – The longer patients receive treatment for addiction, the greater their chances of success, a new study finds. The study included 72 people, with an average age of 30 years. The participants were being treated for a variety of addictions, including alcohol and drugs such as opioids, amphetamines and benzodiazepines. The only significant factor in treatment success was the length of treatment. After one year, the treatment success rate was about 55 percent for those who underwent a standard 30-day treatment program. But the success rate was about 84 percent for those in treatment programs that lasted more than 30 days, the investigators found. The findings are important because most government and private health insurance programs only reimburse patients for 30 days of addiction treatment, said study leader Dr. Akikur Mohammad, of the University of Southern ... 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, Ultram, Opana ER

Kids' OD Risk Rises When Opioids Left Out at Home

Posted 20 Feb 2017 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, Suboxone, Oxycodone, Back Pain, Hydrocodone, Methadone, Percocet, Tramadol, Chronic Pain, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Fentanyl, Opiate Dependence, Morphine, Aspirin, Codeine, Lortab, Opana, Ibuprofen

Anti-Addiction Meds Given in ER Can Help Battle Abuse

Posted 19 Feb 2017 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, Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Methadone, Percocet, Tramadol, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Fentanyl, Opiate Dependence, Morphine, Codeine, Lortab, Opiate Withdrawal, Opana, Subutex, Dilaudid, Ultram, Opana ER

Chronic Pain More Likely for Poor, Less Educated: Study

Posted 18 Feb 2017 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, Suboxone, Oxycodone, Back Pain, Hydrocodone, Methadone, Percocet, Tramadol, Chronic Pain, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Fentanyl, Morphine, Codeine, Lortab, Opana, Ibuprofen, Naproxen, Subutex

Steep Rise in Births to U.S. Women Using Opioids

Posted 17 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Jan. 17, 2017 – Over a decade, there was a nearly fivefold increase in the number of babies born each year to American women who have used opioids, a federal government report says. There was also a dramatic rise in the number of infants born with a dependency on opioids, the report found. These drugs include heroin and prescription painkillers such as fentanyl, oxycodone (OxyContin) and hydrocodone/acetaminophen (Vicodin). "It is critical that pregnant women of all ages have access to prevention, treatment and recovery services that meet their specialized needs," said Kana Enomoto, from the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). "Programs that provide pregnant women with access to opioid use disorder treatment and reproductive health services can help ensure that these future mothers and their children live healthier, happier, and more ... Read more

Related support groups: Birth Control, Contraception, Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Percocet, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Fentanyl, Opiate Dependence, Lortab, Opiate Withdrawal, Heroin, Roxicodone, Drug Dependence, Endocet, Duragesic, Acetaminophen/Hydrocodone, Delivery, Percocet 10/325

Innovative Programs Help Addicts Get Off Opioids

Posted 22 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 21, 2016 – People trying to kick addiction to heroin or prescription painkillers often wait weeks or months before they can get into a treatment facility, putting them at continued risk for a fatal overdose. Now, two innovative programs attempt to get addicts the help they need as quickly as possible. Police in Gloucester, Mass., created an "Angel Program" that encourages opioid addicts to come to the department, with no threat of arrest, so officers can get them placed in local treatment programs immediately. Meanwhile, researchers in Vermont started prescribing the anti-addiction drug buprenorphine to people placed on a waitlist at a treatment clinic, to try to tide them over. Both programs reported promising results in the Dec. 21 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. Gloucester police got about 95 percent of people who came to the department with a substance ... Read more

Related support groups: Suboxone, Oxycodone, Percocet, OxyContin, Fentanyl, Opiate Dependence, Opiate Withdrawal, Subutex, Heroin, Roxicodone, Drug Dependence, Butrans, Buprenorphine, Endocet, Duragesic, Percocet 10/325, Substance Abuse, Roxicet, Acetaminophen/Oxycodone, Fentanyl Transdermal

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

Alzheimer's Patients' Use of Painkilling Patches Cause for Concern

Posted 9 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Dec. 8, 2016 – Long-term use of powerful opioid painkillers may be common among Alzheimer's disease patients and could be a cause for concern, researchers report. Researchers analyzed data from more than 67,000 Alzheimer's disease patients in Finland. They found that 7 percent had used opioids for more than six months for non-cancer pain relief. One-third of patients who began using opioids became long-term users, and researchers found a strong link between opioid skin patches and long-term use. While rates of long-term opioid use was about the same as in the general population, long-term use of skin patches was twice as common among Alzheimer's patients, the study showed. People in the general population more often took pills. The University of Eastern Finland researchers also found that long-term opioid use together with benzodiazepines was common. They said the finding is ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Xanax, Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Methadone, Tramadol, Chronic Pain, Klonopin, OxyContin, Clonazepam, Fentanyl, Opiate Dependence, Morphine, Ativan, Valium, Codeine, Opana, Lorazepam, Alprazolam, Subutex

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, Suboxone, Oxycodone, Diabetes, Type 2, Back Pain, Hydrocodone, Methadone, Percocet, Tramadol, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Fentanyl, Morphine, Codeine, Lortab, Opana, Warfarin, Coumadin, Subutex

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, Ultram, Opana ER

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