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Heroin Taking Bigger Share of U.S. Opioid ODs

Posted 16 days ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Oct. 2, 2017 – New U.S. hospital overdose data suggests that drug addicts are turning from prescription opioid painkillers to heroin as an easier way to get high, researchers report. Hospital and emergency room treatment rates for prescription opioid overdoses (such as OxyContin) decreased annually by about 5 percent between 2010 and 2014. This was about the same time tough new prescribing laws were drafted to combat the opioid epidemic, the study authors said. But ER treatment rates for heroin overdose skyrocketed at the same time. Heroin overdose rates increased at an annual rate of more than 31 percent after 2008, said senior researcher Tina Hernandez-Boussard. She's an associate professor with the Stanford University School of Medicine. These results provide "the first piece of real evidence" supporting what had been a strong suspicion that prescription painkiller addicts ... Read more

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

Fentanyl Drives Rise in Opioid-Linked Deaths in US

Posted 1 Sep 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Aug. 31, 2017 – Fentanyl, a synthetic narcotic, is a key player in America's continuing epidemic of opioid-related overdose deaths, two new studies report. Opioid OD deaths began increasing early this decade as people addicted to prescription painkillers started switching to heroin, which became cheaper and increased in supply, researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. But the emergence of fentanyl and its cousins drove an even greater increase in overdose deaths, exacerbating an already terrible situation, the researchers said. In 2015 alone, about 33,000 people died of an opioid overdose in the United States. When drug traffickers began mixing fentanyl into the heroin supply, they created a highly potent narcotic cocktail that has proven fatal to thousands of drug users, investigators noted. "Approximately half of the increase in deaths ... Read more

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

Many Prescribed Opioids Even After Overdose

Posted 22 Aug 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Aug. 22, 2017 – After treatment for an opioid overdose, many Medicaid patients continue to receive prescriptions for the same type of drugs that nearly killed them, researchers say. Moreover, few overdose patients are prescribed anti-addiction medications after hospital discharge, the University of Pittsburgh investigators found. The researchers studied more than 6,000 people who survived an overdose from an opioid – a class of drugs including painkillers like morphine and OxyContin (oxycodone), synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, and heroin. "Forty percent of those with a heroin overdose and 60 percent of those with a prescription opioid overdose filled a prescription in the six months after overdose for the very kind of medication that contributed to the overdose in the first place," said lead researcher Julie Donohue. She's an associate professor of health policy and ... Read more

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

Fatal Opioid ODs on the Rise Among U.S. Teens

Posted 16 Aug 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 16, 2017 – The rate of opioid drug overdose deaths among older teenagers in the United States has taken a turn for the worse, a new federal report finds. The number of drug overdose deaths among 15- to 19-year-olds rose 15 percent for males from 2014 to 2015 and 35 percent for females from 2013 to 2015, according to the report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But the disturbing numbers may not simply be a case of the well-publicized epidemic of opioid painkiller abuse spreading to another age group. "These trends fit into the overall picture: Overdose of opioid pills is the bigger problem among middle age and older age groups, while heroin and heroin contaminated by fentanyl are a huge problem among younger people," said Dr. Daniel Ciccarone, a professor at the University of California, San Francisco, who studies drug use. The report, from the ... 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

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

Posted 13 Jul 2017 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 13 Jul 2017 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, Duragesic-50, Subsys, Fentanyl Transdermal, Substance Abuse - Cocaine, Duragesic-12, Fentanyl/Ropivacaine, Bupivacaine/Fentanyl

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

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