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Pain Raises Risk of Opioid Addiction

Posted 22 Jul 2016 by

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 ...

Common Surgeries Raise Risk for Opioid Dependence: Study

Posted 12 Jul 2016 by

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 ...

Programs to Spot Painkiller Abuse Work, But Are Underused

Posted 28 Jun 2016 by

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, ...

Giving OD Antidote to Those Using Powerful Painkillers Might Save Lives

Posted 28 Jun 2016 by

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 ...

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

Posted 24 Jun 2016 by

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 ...

Drug Monitoring Programs Do Curb Overdose Deaths: Study

Posted 23 Jun 2016 by

THURSDAY, June 23, 2016 – Drug monitoring programs appear to help reduce deaths from prescription painkillers called opioids, a new study finds. In an effort to curb overdose deaths from powerful painkillers such as OxyContin and Vicodin, all states except Missouri have implemented prescription-drug monitoring programs to track high-risk patients and prescription providers. But there have been ...

Tighter Opioid Laws in U.S. Haven't Eased Misuse

Posted 23 Jun 2016 by

WEDNESDAY, June 22, 2016 – U.S. laws designed to curb abuse of opioid painkillers haven't reduced misuse or overdoses by disabled Medicare beneficiaries, a new study suggests. Between 2006 and 2012, states enacted 81 laws to control use of powerful opioids such as Oxycontin and Vicodin. But even with these new prescription-drug monitoring programs and other regulations, researchers found that 45 ...

Caffeine's Jolt Can Sometimes Be Short-Lived

Posted 17 Jun 2016 by

THURSDAY, June 16, 2016 – Caffeine no longer improves alertness or mental performance after a few nights of sleep restriction, according to a new U.S. military study. "These results are important, because caffeine is a stimulant widely used to counteract performance decline following periods of restricted sleep," said lead author Tracy Jill Doty. She is a research scientist at Walter Reed Army ...

Fewer Injured Workers Getting Opioid Prescriptions in Some States

Posted 13 Jun 2016 by

MONDAY, June 13, 2016 – As the United States continues to grapple with the painkiller addiction epidemic, a new study reports that fewer injured workers are getting prescriptions for opioids in most of the 25 states included in the research. The study included information from 337,000 workers' compensation claims in the study states. The researchers also reviewed nearly 1.9 million prescriptions ...

Patients Often Prescribed Extra Painkillers, Many Share Them

Posted 13 Jun 2016 by

MONDAY, June 13, 2016 – More than half the patients prescribed opioid painkillers in a recent U.S. study received more than they needed. And many shared the drugs or failed to store them securely, a new survey indicates. The study of more than 1,000 adults prescribed painkillers like OxyContin or Vicodin shows how some Americans gain illicit access to addictive pain medications. These patterns ...

Many Take Opioids Months After Hip, Knee Replacements

Posted 4 Jun 2016 by

FRIDAY, June 3, 2016 – A significant number of patients continue to take powerful prescription opioid painkillers many months after joint replacement surgery, a new study shows. The findings are important because joint replacement surgery is increasingly common and there are sharply rising rates of opioid overdoses in the United States. Common prescription opioid painkillers include drugs such ...

Reports: Prince Died From Prescription Painkillers

Posted 2 Jun 2016 by

THURSDAY, June 2, 2016 – Music superstar Prince's April 21 death was caused by an overdose of prescription painkillers, according to published reports. Both the Minneapolis Star Tribune and the Associated Press, citing unnamed sources, reported Thursday that opioid painkillers caused the 57-year-old entertainer's death. Prince's body was found at his Paisley Park compound in suburban ...

Florida's Tougher Laws May Be Cutting Opioid Prescriptions

Posted 2 Jun 2016 by

THURSDAY, June 2, 2016 – The top prescribers of opioid painkillers in Florida wrote far fewer prescriptions for those drugs the year after the state implemented tough new drug policies, a new study reveals. Two policies aimed at reducing the number of prescriptions for the potentially addictive opioids, such as Oxycontin, took effect in late 2011. One was the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program ...

Tai Chi: Rx for Arthritic Knees

Posted 23 May 2016 by

MONDAY, May 23, 2016 – Legions of arthritis sufferers try physical therapy and anti-inflammatory drugs to no avail. Now, a new study looks East for relief – to the martial art tai chi. Researchers concluded that tai chi offers an alternative to physical therapy for common knee osteoarthritis – and it might also boost well-being. This ancient Chinese exercise may particularly benefit overweight ...

Parents Often Don't Get Rid of Leftover Prescription Opioids

Posted 16 May 2016 by

MONDAY, May 16, 2016 – When children are prescribed opioid painkillers, such as Oxycontin or Percocet, for surgery or illness, about half of parents say they keep the leftover medicine on hand. "We found that the amount of pain medication prescribed for children is frequently greater than the amount used, and too few parents recall clear direction from their provider about what to do with ...

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