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Ending U.S. Opioid Abuse Epidemic Will Take Years: Report

Posted 14 days ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, July 13, 2017 – Scientists who've developed a wide-ranging "action plan" to combat the U.S. opioid abuse epidemic warn there's no quick fix. Needed measures include tighter prescription practices, greater access to treatment, physician-patient education and research into alternatives to addictive painkillers, according to a new report released Thursday from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The report's assessment "is a reassuring development, but long overdue," said Dr. Harshal Kirane, director of addiction services at Staten Island University Hospital, in New York City. "While public awareness of the opioid epidemic is growing, the mobilization of an effective infrastructure to adequately address the burden of illness still lags far behind," Kirane said. This report provides a road map for future action from local agencies up to national ... Read more

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

Painkiller Misuse Remains a Pressing Problem Across U.S.

Posted 14 days ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, July 13, 2017 – Abuse of prescription opioid painkillers is second only to marijuana abuse as the most common illegal drug problem in the United States, a new government report shows. Analysis of 2012-2014 national data found that more than 4 percent of Americans aged 12 and older reported nonmedical use of prescription pain relievers in the past year, says the report from the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Misusing powerful narcotic painkillers such as OxyContin (oxycodone), Vicoprofen (hydrocodone) and morphine can lead to substance use disorder, overdose or death. Nonmedical painkiller use was most common in Oklahoma, Alabama, Arkansas and Nevada, all with rates exceeding 5 percent. The lowest rates – less than 3.5 percent – were in Massachusetts, Vermont, Florida, Montana and Minnesota, the report noted. "Prescription pain ... Read more

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

Cocaine, Other Drugs Detected in Carrie Fisher's System After Her Death

Posted 20 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, June 20, 2017 – Autopsy results reveal that a cocktail of illicit drugs was in actress Carrie Fisher's system after her death on Dec. 27, but it remains unclear what role they may have played in her death. The autopsy report released Monday says Fisher, who died at 60, may have taken cocaine on Dec. 20, three days before she became ill on a Dec. 23 flight from London to Los Angeles, the Associated Press reported. Fisher died four days later at UCLA Medical Center, in Los Angeles. According to the autopsy results, traces of other illicit drugs – including heroin, other opiates and MDMA (ecstasy) – were found in Fisher's system, but it wasn't clear when they had been ingested. The findings were based on toxicology tests done when the actress was first admitted to a Los Angeles hospital, the AP said. As for the official cause of death, the report says the "Star Wars" actress ... Read more

Related support groups: Opiate Dependence, Opiate Withdrawal, Heroin, Drug Dependence, Substance Abuse, Toxic Reactions Incl Drug and Substance Abuse, Substance Abuse - Cocaine, C-Topical Solution

Opioid Abuse Jumps 6-Fold for U.S. Youth, Too Few Get Treated: Study

Posted 19 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, June 19, 2017 – The rate of opioid addiction among Americans age 25 and under rose nearly sixfold from 2001 to 2014. But few young addicts get medical treatment that might prevent overdose or relapse, a new study finds. Only about 27 percent of youths treated for addiction to prescription painkillers or heroin receive either buprenorphine or naltrexone, two recommended anti-addiction medications, researchers reported. "These medications are considered the evidence-based standard of care for opioid addiction by the American Academy of Pediatrics," said lead researcher Dr. Scott Hadland. He's an assistant professor of pediatrics at Boston University School of Medicine. Buprenorphine (Buprenex, Suboxone) has been shown to reduce cravings, while naltrexone (Revia, Vivitrol) blocks the high from opioids, he said. The most effective treatment includes medication plus counseling to ... Read more

Related support groups: Suboxone, Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Percocet, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Opiate Dependence, Lortab, Subutex, Contrave, Heroin, Roxicodone, Drug Dependence, Butrans, Buprenorphine, Naltrexone, Endocet, Acetaminophen/Hydrocodone, Percocet 10/325

Addicts Try to Avoid Deadly Fentanyl, But Many Tragically Fail

Posted 16 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, June 16, 2017 – New research suggests that more than half of all drug overdose deaths may be caused by the potent synthetic opioid fentanyl. But most opioid addicts are not actively seeking out the potentially lethal painkiller. Instead, they're terrified by the increasing contamination of the illicit drug supply by fentanyl, investigators said. "I never found the idea that fentanyl was some sort of honeypot that people were scrambling to get hold of very compelling," said study author Jennifer Carroll, a medical anthropologist at Brown University's Warren Alpert Medical School in Providence, R.I. "I hope we can begin chipping away at the narrative that the opioid crisis is driven by people chasing some sort of ultimate high. That's an idea that has never matched reality." Opioids are a class of drugs that include the illicit drug heroin as well as prescription pain relievers ... Read more

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

As U.S. Heroin Use Reaches 20-Year High, Cost to Society Soars

Posted 14 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, June 14, 2017 – Heroin use cost the United States more than $51 billion in 2015, a new study shows. The financial toll includes heroin-related crime and imprisonment. It also includes treatment for addiction as well as chronic infectious diseases contracted through heroin abuse (such as HIV, hepatitis B and C, and tuberculosis), according to researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago. The total also includes the cost of treating newborns with heroin-related medical conditions; lost productivity on the job and overdose deaths, the researchers said. "The opioid crisis didn't happen overnight," said study co-author Ruixuan Jiang, a pharmacoeconomist at UIC. In a university news release, she said the number of U.S. heroin users doubled from 2000 to 2013. Study co-author Simon Pickard, a professor of pharmacy systems, has been tracking the rise in heroin use for ... Read more

Related support groups: Opiate Dependence, Opiate Withdrawal, Heroin, HIV Infection, Drug Dependence, Hepatitis B, Tuberculosis, Substance Abuse, Toxic Reactions Incl Drug and Substance Abuse, Substance Abuse - Cocaine

Heart Infections Spike as Injection-Drug Abuse Climbs: CDC

Posted 8 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, June 8, 2017 – There's another alarming consequence to America's heroin and prescription painkiller epidemic: an increase in a serious heart infection called endocarditis, U.S. health officials report. Young, white injection drug users in rural areas are increasingly being hospitalized with both drug dependence and endocarditis, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. "Endocarditis, or infection of the valves of the heart, due to needle sharing has been on the rise; and the rise has been directly associated with the increase in opioid use in the United States," said Dr. Satjit Bhusri, a cardiologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. He wasn't involved in the current research, but reviewed the study's findings. Bhusri explained that sharing unclean needles can introduce bacteria into the body. Those bacteria, he said, "have an attraction to grow on ... Read more

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

Vaccine Blocks Drug Heroin High in Tests on Monkeys

Posted 8 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, June 7, 2017 – A vaccine designed to block a heroin "high" worked in monkeys, which could open the door to human clinical trials, researchers say. This is the first vaccine against an opioid proved to be effective at this stage of testing, according to the development team at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, Calif. The vaccine already worked in rodents. For the new trial, four rhesus monkeys given three doses of the vaccine had an effective immune response that neutralized varying doses of heroin. The effect was strongest in the first month but lasted more than eight months after vaccination. It caused no adverse side effects, according to the researchers. The study was published June 2 in the Journal of the American Chemical Society. "We believe this vaccine candidate will prove safe for human trials," study leader Kim Janda said in a Scripps news release. Janda ... Read more

Related support groups: Opiate Dependence, Heroin, Drug Dependence, Substance Abuse, Toxic Reactions Incl Drug and Substance Abuse, Vaccination and Prophlaxis

New FDA Head Outlines 'Forceful Steps' Against Opioid Crisis

Posted 23 May 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, May 23, 2017 – The new U.S. Food and Drug Administration commissioner has called on senior agency officers to develop "more forceful steps" to control the U.S. opioid epidemic. On Tuesday, Dr. Scott Gottlieb, President Trump's pick for the agency, announced the formation of an opioid policy steering committee to explore and develop additional approaches to confront the crisis. One solution, he said, is to cut back on unnecessarily prolonged painkiller use. Longer use increases the risk of opioid addiction. "The majority of people who eventually become addicted to opioids are exposed first to prescription opioids," Gottlieb said in a blog post on the FDA site. Misuse of potent painkillers such as OxyContin (oxycodone) and Vicoprofen (hydrocodone/ibuprofen) sends 1,000 Americans to emergency rooms each day. Opioid-related overdose deaths have quadrupled since 1999, he said. ... Read more

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

Opioid Abusers at Higher Death Risk When Addiction Specialists Not Part of Care

Posted 21 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, April 21, 2017 – Opioid addicts who get their medical care in settings such as primary care offices and hospitals, rather than addiction centers, are 10 times more likely to die than patients without substance abuse disorders, a new study finds. Opioids include powerful prescription painkillers such as oxycodone (OxyContin, Percocet), hydrocodone (Vicodin), as well as illegal drugs such as heroin. University of California, Los Angeles researchers studied data from nearly 2,600 adults who were diagnosed with opioid addiction between 2006 and 2014 and who received health care at a major university hospital. Not all were receiving treatment for their opioid addiction. By the end of the period, 465 (18 percent) of the patients had died. Based on how long each person was in the study – four years on average – the researchers estimated that death rate was more than twice that of ... Read more

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

This Fanged Fish Might Someday Help Ease Your Pain

Posted 30 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, March 30, 2017 – You wouldn't want the fang blenny nearby while swimming, but its venom might actually help you someday, scientists say. That's because the heroin-like poison emitted by the blenny may lead to new and better painkillers. "The fish injects other fish with opioid peptides that act like heroin or morphine, inhibiting pain rather than causing it," explained Bryan Fry, an associate professor at the University of Queensland in Australia. "The venom causes the bitten fish to become slower in movement and dizzy by acting on their [nerve cells'] opioid receptors," he explained in a university news release. The fang blenny is found on Australia's Great Barrier Reef and other locations in the Pacific Ocean. The fish – sometimes called poison-fang blennies or sabre-tooth blennies – are also popular as ornamental tropical aquarium fish. But it's their distinctive venom ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Tramadol, Percocet, Methadone, OxyContin, Vicodin, Fentanyl, Morphine, Codeine, Opana, Subutex, Dilaudid, Heroin, Opana ER, Roxicodone, MS Contin, Butrans, Ultram

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, Actiq, Fentora, Duragesic-100, Toxic Reactions Incl Drug and Substance Abuse, Duragesic-25, Substance Abuse - Cocaine, Fentanyl Transdermal, Duragesic-50, Subsys, Duragesic-12, Fentanyl/Ropivacaine, Duragesic-75, Onsolis

Heroin Epidemic Expands Its Grip on America

Posted 29 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, March 29, 2017 – Heroin use in the United States jumped fivefold over a decade, and young, white males are the epidemic's most likely victims, a new study finds. One addiction specialist blamed the lax use of prescription opioid painkillers – narcotics such as Oxycontin, Percocet and Vicodin – for the surge in heroin use. "A nation awash with prescription opioids has led to a large increase in addiction, overdose deaths and transition to heroin-fentanyl [a powerful synthetic opioid]," said Bertha Madras, a professor of psychobiology at Harvard Medical School. She wrote an editorial that accompanied the study. The issue is so pressing that President Donald Trump plans to announce the formation of a commission to investigate the opioid epidemic in the United States on Wednesday. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will chair the commission. The Trump administration also named ... Read more

Related support groups: Percocet, OxyContin, Vicodin, Opiate Dependence, Opiate Withdrawal, Heroin, Drug Dependence, Substance Abuse, Toxic Reactions Incl Drug and Substance Abuse

Smoking Slows Recovery From Drug Abuse

Posted 27 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, March 27, 2017 – People recovering from illicit drug abuse are more likely to be successful if they don't smoke cigarettes, a new study finds. Most illicit drug users also smoke cigarettes, but many substance abuse programs do not include treatment for nicotine dependence, the study authors said. "The thinking in clinical settings has been that asking patients to quit cigarette smoking while they try to stop using drugs is 'too difficult,' or that smoking may be helpful in remaining abstinent from alcohol and drugs, but it is not related whether or not one remains abstinent from illicit drug use over the long term," said study leader Renee Goodwin. However, the investigators found that smokers were twice as likely as nonsmokers to relapse within three years. For the study, Goodwin, of the department of epidemiology at Columbia University's School of Public Health in New York ... Read more

Related support groups: Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Percocet, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Opiate Dependence, Morphine, Lortab, Smoking, Heroin, Roxicodone, MS Contin, Smoking Cessation, Drug Dependence, Endocet, Kadian, Acetaminophen/Hydrocodone, Percocet 10/325, Vicoprofen

Drug OD Deaths Have Nearly Tripled Since 1999: CDC

Posted 24 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Feb. 24, 2017 – Drug overdose deaths have nearly tripled in the United States since 1999, with whites and middle-aged Americans bearing much of the brunt, a new government report shows. More than 16 out of every 100,000 Americans died of a drug overdose in 2015, compared to just over 6 in 1999, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found. Heroin and other opioids accounted for about half of these deaths, a reflection of the damage wrought by the prescription painkiller epidemic this decade, said Dr. Edwin Salsitz, an addiction medicine specialist. Overdose deaths are so common that they're driving down the average life expectancy for white Americans, said Salsitz, who is with Mount Sinai Health System in New York City. The CDC report, released Feb. 24, found that drug overdose deaths have risen among whites at a rate of about 7 percent each year, compared with 2 ... Read more

Related support groups: Oxycodone, Percocet, OxyContin, Opiate Dependence, Morphine, Codeine, Heroin, Roxicodone, MS Contin, Drug Dependence, Endocet, Kadian, Cheratussin AC, Tylenol with Codeine, Percocet 10/325, Tylenol with Codeine 3, M O S, Substance Abuse, Acetaminophen/Oxycodone, Roxicet

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