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Drug Users Trying to Stay Ahead of Deadly Fentanyl

Posted 6 days ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Sept. 17, 2018 – As deadly fentanyl is increasingly mixed into heroin and other street drugs, some drug abusers are getting smart, a new study finds. Fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid, has triggered a sharp increase in overdose deaths over the past few years. The drug is to blame for 44 percent of overdose deaths in New York City alone, according to New York University researchers. ...

States Struggle With Onslaught of Opioid OD Deaths

Posted 30 Aug 2018 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Aug. 30, 2018 – A new report on thousands of opioid overdose deaths across 11 states finds the problem is increasingly complex, but more can be done to stop it. The report, from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, looked at nearly 12,000 fatal opioid overdoses occurring between July 2016 and June 2017 in states across the Northeast, the Midwest and the West. "Most ...

If Opioid Addicts Survive OD, Other Hazards Lie Ahead: Study

Posted 20 Jun 2018 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, June 20, 2018 – Survivors of an opioid overdose may consider themselves lucky, but they remain at heightened risk of dying – not just from drugs, but from a host of medical problems or suicide, a new study finds. Compared with the general population, patients who lived through an opioid overdose were 130 times more likely to die of drug-use-related causes in the following year, the ...

High Schoolers on Heroin Abuse Other Drugs, Too

Posted 5 Jun 2018 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, June 5, 2018 – High school seniors hooked on heroin are likely to misuse a multitude of other drugs, a new study finds. "It may be inadequate to focus on heroin and opioid use in isolation," said study author Joseph Palamar, an associate professor of population health at New York University School of Medicine in New York City. As the opioid epidemic continues unchecked in the United ...

Opioids Behind 1 in 5 Deaths of Young U.S. Adults

Posted 1 Jun 2018 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, June 1, 2018 – Opioid overdoses are now to blame for one-fifth of deaths among young American adults, new research finds. The study is the latest to detail the toll of the national opioid epidemic. Researchers found that between 2001 and 2016, the number of opioid-related deaths in the United States more than quadrupled. By 2016, one in 65 deaths nationwide was linked to an opioid ...

Programs That Monitor Opioid Painkillers May Drive Some to Heroin

Posted 8 May 2018 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, May 7, 2018 – Prescription drug monitoring programs are touted as a way to reduce overdoses from opioid painkillers, but they might have the unintended effect of increasing heroin overdose deaths, researchers say. They reviewed 17 studies that assessed the impact of these programs and found that 10 of them linked the programs to reductions in opioid overdose deaths. But three studies ...

Is Herbal Drug Kratom a Health Friend or Foe?

Posted 2 Mar 2018 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, March 2, 2018 – What's the truth about the herbal drug kratom? Is it a potentially dangerous opioid that needs to be tightly regulated, as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has argued in recent months? Or is it a misunderstood natural product that provides people in pain an alternative to opioids, a point of view asserted by a number of scientists who've studied kratom? Disagreement ...

Mouse Study Another Step Toward 'Heroin Vaccine'

Posted 21 Feb 2018 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Feb. 20, 2018 – Researchers say they are one step closer to testing a heroin vaccine in humans – in what they hope will become an additional weapon in fighting America's opioid epidemic. Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute, in California, have developed an experimental vaccine that appears safe and effective in animals. It also has a long enough shelf-life to be practical. ...

Fentanyl Test Strips May Help Stem OD Deaths

Posted 16 Feb 2018 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Feb. 16, 2018 – A thin test strip – similar to a pregnancy test – can detect whether a street drug contains the dangerous opioid fentanyl, according to a new report. Fentanyl – one of strongest types of opioid painkillers – is often mixed into street drugs, such as heroin and cocaine. That makes it hard for users to assess the potency of the drugs and raises the risk for overdose, ...

Memory Loss Hitting Some Fentanyl Abusers

Posted 30 Jan 2018 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Jan. 29, 2018 – Using fentanyl or other opioids alongside other illicit drugs could trigger possibly permanent amnesia caused by brain damage, doctors warn. Over a dozen cases have emerged in which drug abusers have developed severe short-term memory loss, possibly after experiencing an overdose, said Marc Haut. He's chair of West Virginia University's department of behavioral medicine ...

Heroin Vaccine Blunts Drug's Effect in Animals

Posted 19 Dec 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Dec. 19, 2017 – An experimental heroin vaccine has shown promise in an early animal study. In mice and rats, the vaccine triggered antibodies that prevented heroin from crossing the blood-brain barrier. "By eliciting antibodies that bind with heroin in the blood, the vaccine aims to block the euphoria and addictive effects [in the brain]," explained researcher Gary Matyas. He is chief ...

Gabapentin May Help Surgical Patients Stop Opioids Sooner

Posted 13 Dec 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 13, 2017 – Opioid painkillers after surgery can be the first step toward addiction for some patients. But a common drug might cut the amount of narcotics that patients need, a new study finds. When patients received a non-opioid medication called gabapentin before and after surgery, the need for continued opioid painkillers was reduced by 24 percent, said researchers at Stanford ...

Steep Rise in Deaths for People Hospitalized After Opioid OD

Posted 4 Dec 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Dec. 4, 2017 – The death rate has quadrupled among people whose opioid use lands them in a hospital, a new U.S. study finds. More opioid users are being sent to the hospital due to a life-threatening overdose than for treatment of drug addiction, the researchers noted. About 2 percent of people hospitalized for opioid use died in 2014, compared with 0.4 percent prior to 2000, the new ...

'Drug Courts,' Treatment Focus of New White House Opioid Strategy

Posted 1 Nov 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 1, 2017 – Steering opioid addicts toward treatment programs instead of prisons, while tightening federal policies on opioid prescribing, could curb the opioid epidemic, President Donald Trump's opioid crisis commission said Wednesday. To that aim, the commission's final report recommends that federal drug courts be established in all 93 federal judicial districts, with people who ...

Drug OD Rate Now Higher in Rural U.S. Than Cities: CDC

Posted 20 Oct 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Oct. 20, 2017 – Drug overdose death rates in rural areas of the United States are now higher than in cities, a trend that worries federal health officials. In 2015, drug overdose was the leading cause of injury-related death in the United States – with 52,000 fatalities attributed to opioid painkillers, heroin and other potentially deadly drugs, researchers said in a new report. U.S. ...

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