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Synthetic Fentanyl Fueling Surge in Overdose Deaths: CDC

Posted 16 hours ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Aug. 25, 2016 – Deaths from overdoses of the synthetic narcotic fentanyl have surged in recent years, U.S. health officials say in a troubling new report. As more fentanyl was sold illegally on the streets, the number of fatal overdoses jumped 79 percent in 27 states from 2013 to 2014, the government report found, while law enforcement seizures of the drug increased 426 percent in eight of those 27 states. "Fentanyl is a powerful opioid that is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine, and it is available by prescription, but evidence indicates that illicitly made fentanyl is more likely a powder mixed with heroin and or sold as heroin," said report author R. Matthew Gladden. He's a behavioral scientist at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The fentanyl crisis is being driven by products made illegally, not by the diversion of prescription fentanyl, Gladden ... Read more

Related support groups: Opiate Dependence, Fentanyl, Opiate Withdrawal, Drug Dependence, Duragesic, Substance Abuse, Poisoning, Actiq, Fentora, Duragesic-100, Toxic Reactions Incl Drug and Substance Abuse, Subsys, Duragesic-25, Duragesic-50, Fentanyl/Ropivacaine, Fentanyl Transdermal, Duragesic-12, Benzodiazepine Overdose, Duragesic-75, Abstral

Health Tip: Work Through Chronic Pain

Posted 19 hours ago by Drugs.com

-- Chronic pain can significantly affect your quality of life, physical health and mental health. The Cleveland Clinic suggests these coping techniques: Practice deep breathing and other stress management methods to help you relax. Maintain a positive attitude. Create goals that are attainable. Remember to pace yourself and don't do too much at once. Establish a schedule that makes time for relaxation and exercise. Join a chronic pain support group. Talk with your doctor about how your medications work and side effects. Limit alcohol, and don't smoke. Read more

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

Veterans' Painkiller Abuse Can Raise Odds for Heroin Use

Posted 2 days 15 hours ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Aug. 23, 2016 – Veterans who misuse narcotic painkillers may be at high risk for heroin use, a new study cautions. The research included nearly 3,400 U.S. veterans who had never misused painkillers or used heroin. Their health was followed for 10 years. During that time, 500 of them began using heroin. Of those, 77 percent misused opioid painkillers before they started using heroin. Other risk factors for heroin use included being male, being black and abusing stimulant drugs, the study found. The findings highlight the need for health care providers who treat veterans to watch closely for signs of opioid painkiller misuse, the researchers said. "This study quantifies the issue of starting painkiller misuse and heroin use in a specific, high-risk population – veterans around the U.S.," said corresponding author Brandon Marshall, an assistant professor in the School of Public ... Read more

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

Steep Rise in U.S. Babies Born to Opioid-Addicted Mothers

Posted 15 days ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Aug. 11, 2016 – Triggered by a national epidemic of opioid painkiller abuse, the number of babies born with opioid withdrawal symptoms quadrupled in the United States between 1999 and 2013. That's the finding from a study of nearly 30 million births across 28 states, tracked by researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC team said better addiction-prevention efforts "are needed to reduce inappropriate prescribing and dispensing of opioids" to curb this increase in what's medically known as "neonatal abstinence syndrome." Common opioids of abuse include prescription painkillers such as OxyContin, Vicodin, Percocet and fentanyl, as well as illicit opioids such as heroin. Neonatal abstinence syndrome is an increasingly familiar sight in hospitals caring for newborns across the United States, the CDC researchers said. Newborns with the condition ... Read more

Related support groups: Percocet, OxyContin, Vicodin, Opiate Dependence, Fentanyl, Opiate Withdrawal, Heroin, Drug Dependence, Duragesic, Delivery, Substance Abuse, Actiq, Fentora, Duragesic-100, Subsys, Toxic Reactions Incl Drug and Substance Abuse, Duragesic-25, Duragesic-50, Fentanyl/Ropivacaine, Fentanyl Transdermal

Fake Xanax Cut With Potent Pain Med Can Be a Killer

Posted 17 days ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Aug. 9, 2016 – At least one San Francisco-area drug user died and eight more landed in the ER in late 2015 after taking counterfeit Xanax tablets that had been cut with a powerful and dangerous opiate, a new report shows. The nine people all had taken tablets that looked very similar to prescription Xanax, down to bearing the same pharmaceutical markings as the legitimate anxiety drug, said report author Dr. Ann Arens. She is a former ER physician at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital. But the tablets had been cut with fentanyl, a cheap, synthetic opioid that the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration says is 100 times more potent than morphine. The rock star Prince died of a fentanyl overdose at his Paisley Park recording studio in Minneapolis in April. "They look exactly the same, and the users that were exposed to these tablets had no idea it was anything other than ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety, Xanax, Anxiety and Stress, Fentanyl, Duragesic, Substance Abuse, Actiq, Fentora, Duragesic-100, Toxic Reactions Incl Drug and Substance Abuse, Subsys, Duragesic-25, Duragesic-50, Fentanyl Transdermal, Fentanyl/Ropivacaine, Duragesic-12, Onsolis, Duragesic-75, Lazanda, Bupivacaine/Fentanyl

Doctors Urged to Prescribe Lower Doses of Opioids, No Refills

Posted 17 days ago 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, Methadone, Hydrocodone, Percocet, Tramadol, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Opiate Dependence, Fentanyl, 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, Methadone, Hydrocodone, Percocet, Tramadol, OxyContin, Vicodin, Gabapentin, Norco, Opiate Dependence, Fentanyl, Morphine, Codeine, Lortab, Opiate Withdrawal, Opana, Subutex, Neurontin, Dilaudid

Fentanyl-Laced 'Norco' Is Lethal, Report Warns

Posted 29 Jul 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, July 29, 2016 – A street drug sold illegally as the prescription painkiller Norco is much stronger and more dangerous than the real medication, researchers warn. "Street Norco is almost indistinguishable from brand-name Norco in appearance, but can be lethal," said Dr. Patil Armenian of the University of California, San Francisco. She is the lead author of a new case study involving the drug. The street drug combines fentanyl – the synthetic opioid painkiller linked to the death of the musician Prince – and a new synthetic opioid called U-47700. Neither of these ingredients is in brand-name Norco, which contains acetaminophen and hydrocodone, also an opioid, or narcotic, painkiller. "This new street drug's toxicity led to an unexpected cluster of fentanyl deaths in California this spring," Armenian said. Armenian and her colleagues launched their investigation after a female ... Read more

Related support groups: Norco, Opiate Dependence, Fentanyl, Drug Dependence, Duragesic, Substance Abuse, Actiq, Fentora, Duragesic-100, Toxic Reactions Incl Drug and Substance Abuse, Subsys, Duragesic-25, Duragesic-50, Fentanyl Transdermal, Fentanyl/Ropivacaine, Duragesic-12, Sublimaze, Onsolis, Duragesic-75, Lazanda

New Guidelines Issued for Cancer Patients' Post-Treatment Pain

Posted 29 Jul 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, July 29, 2016 – More people are surviving cancer, but many are left with persistent pain after treatment. New guidelines from the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) recommend that doctors routinely screen for such pain. The guidelines also advise doctors to consider the use of non-traditional treatments for pain. These include hypnosis, meditation and medical marijuana where it's legal. ASCO also cautioned doctors to assess patients' risk for overuse of opioid painkillers. "Many oncologists and primary care physicians are not trained to recognize or treat long-term pain associated with cancer," guideline panel co-chair Judith Paice said in an ASCO news release. "This guideline will help clinicians identify pain early and develop comprehensive treatment plans, using a broad range of approaches," she said. Advances in cancer diagnosis and treatment have led to a record ... Read more

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

Pain Raises Risk of Opioid Addiction

Posted 22 Jul 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, July 22, 2016 – The more pain they have, the more likely people are to become addicted to powerful prescription opioid painkillers, a new study suggests. "In light of the national opioid abuse epidemic, these new results underscore the importance of developing effective ... approaches to managing common painful medical conditions," said senior author Dr. Mark Olfson. He is a professor of psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City. The study included results from a survey on alcohol and drug use. More than 34,000 Americans completed the survey. The researchers found that people with moderate to severe pain had a 41 percent higher risk of opioid addiction than those with no pain. That increased risk was independent of other factors such as age, gender, anxiety and mood disorders, and family history of drug, alcohol, and behavioral problems, the study ... Read more

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

Newly Released Inmates Account for 1 in 10 Fatal ODs

Posted 14 Jul 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, July 13, 2016 – Almost 10 percent of fatal adult drug overdoses may involve recently released prison inmates, a new Canadian study suggests. "This is the first Canadian study to examine overdose mortality rates by matching incarceration records with coroner reports after release," said study author Dr. Nav Persaud. He is a scientist with the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto. "We were surprised at how high the fatal overdose rate was among those who were recently released from provincial custody – almost 12 times higher than the general population," Persaud added. Not only did one in 10 overdose deaths involve a recently released inmate, but the risk for a fatal overdose among inmates was found to be highest immediately following release, the study found. "Previous research has speculated that the higher risk for overdose immediately ... Read more

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

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, Methadone, Hydrocodone, Percocet, Tramadol, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Fentanyl, Morphine, Codeine, Lortab, Opana, Subutex, Dilaudid, Opana ER, Roxicodone

Programs to Spot Painkiller Abuse Work, But Are Underused

Posted 28 Jun 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, June 28, 2016 – Programs to reduce prescription painkiller abuse are effective but underused, a new study suggests. Misuse of prescription pain medicines such as hydrocodone (Vicodin), oxycodone (OxyContin, Percocet), codeine and morphine is a major public health problem in the United States. An estimated 52 million Americans have abused a prescription drug at some point in their life, according to the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse. "We have resources to help tackle the opioid epidemic, but we're underusing them," said researcher Stephanie Nichols, who's with the Husson University School of Pharmacy, in Bangor, Maine. For instance, many states have created prescription drug monitoring programs, which help identify possible cases of prescription drug misuse and help patients get addiction treatment if needed. But one study found that even though Maine has had a ... Read more

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

Giving OD Antidote to Those Using Powerful Painkillers Might Save Lives

Posted 28 Jun 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, June 27, 2016 – In the wake of the musician Prince's death from a painkiller overdose, a new study suggests some opioid-related deaths could be prevented by routinely prescribing an antidote for certain patients who take the medications. Researchers found that those who received prescriptions for the antidote naloxone (Evzio) were less likely to return for emergency care related to their painkiller use. "The study should encourage primary-care providers to prescribe naloxone to their patients on chronic opioid therapy," said Dr. Alexander Walley. He's an addiction specialist and assistant professor of medicine at Boston University School of Medicine. He was not involved in the study. According to a federal report released earlier this month, an estimated 2 million people in the United States were addicted to prescription opioid painkillers like OxyContin and Vicodin in ... Read more

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

Opioid Update: Painkiller Misuse in U.S. Doubled in Decade

Posted 24 Jun 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, June 24, 2016 – More bad news from the U.S. drug wars: Misuse of prescription opioid painkillers by American adults more than doubled from the early 2000s to 2013, a new government study says. Rates of addiction to powerful painkillers such as OxyContin and Vicodin also swelled during that time, according to the U.S. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). "The increasing misuse of prescription opioid pain relievers poses a myriad of serious public health consequences," said Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse, which contributed funding for the study. These consequences range from addiction and overdose deaths to use of heroin, an illicit opioid, she said. Survey results indicated more than 4 percent of adults reported nonmedical use of addictive opioids in 2012-2013. This means they took the drug without a prescription or ... Read more

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

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