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Millions Get Wrong Treatment for Back Pain: Study

Posted 2 days 17 hours ago by

WEDNESDAY, March 21, 2018 – Low back pain affects 540 million people worldwide and is the leading cause of disability, but it's often treated improperly, researchers report. Their review of evidence from around the world suggests low back pain should be managed in primary care and that the first step should be education and urging patients to stay active and working. But inappropriate tests and ...

Managing Pain With Fewer Opioids After Joint Replacement

Posted 10 days ago by

WEDNESDAY, March 14, 2018 – Using two or more pain control methods after hip and knee replacement surgery rather than opioid painkillers alone reduces risks to patients, a new study finds. "Patients need to be aware that there are ways to treat their pain during and after surgery in addition to opioids," said study author Dr. Stavros Memtsoudis. "If the doctor prescribes more than one type of ...

Opioid ODs Outpacing Other 'Deaths of Despair'

Posted 11 days ago by

TUESDAY, March 13, 2018 – Though fewer Americans are dying from alcohol abuse, suicide and murder, opioid overdose deaths have risen dramatically in recent decades, a new report finds. And some regions of the United States are bearing the brunt of these "deaths of despair," the researchers discovered. "Unless more effective policies are developed and programs implemented, drug use disorders will ...

Certain Teens More Likely to Get Hooked on Opioids

Posted 12 days ago by

MONDAY, March 12, 2018 – Teenagers with any mental health problem are more prone to painkiller dependence after receiving a prescription opioid, a new study finds. The odds of progressing to long-term opioid therapy can double, triple or more, depending on the kid's diagnosis and the other drugs prescribed to treat their disorder, the researchers said. The findings mirror earlier studies showing ...

ER Visits for Opioid Overdoses Soaring: CDC

Posted 18 days ago by

TUESDAY, March 6, 2018 – America's opioid epidemic is escalating at breakneck speed, with tens of thousands of overdose victims spilling into the nation's emergency rooms seeking lifesaving treatment, a new government report shows. Emergency room visits for opioid overdoses increased nationwide and across all demographic groups between July 2016 and September 2017, according to ER records ...

Fatal Opioid ODs Drop for People Treated While Jailed

Posted 20 Feb 2018 by

TUESDAY, Feb. 20, 2018 – An opioid addiction treatment program for Rhode Island prison inmates appears to have significantly reduced overdose deaths among those who are released, researchers say. The program screens all inmates for opioid addiction and provides medications to treat the addiction. It was launched in 2016 and is the only program of its kind in the United States, according to the ...

Another Downside to Opioid Use: Pneumonia?

Posted 13 Feb 2018 by

MONDAY, Feb. 12, 2018 – The bad news on opioids just keeps coming. Not only are these painkillers implicated in millions of cases of addiction and tens of thousands of overdose deaths in the United States, new research now suggests that taking opioids can increase your risk of getting a pneumococcal infection by about 60 percent. "The risk was increased even more for long-acting formulations, ...

Long-Term Opioid Use Down Among U.S. Vets: Study

Posted 8 Feb 2018 by

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 7, 2018 – Recent efforts by the U.S. Veterans Health Administration (VHA) to promote safe prescribing of opioid painkillers seem to be working. Opioid prescriptions by the VHA have declined since peaking in 2012, a new study finds. Key to the drop is decreases in long-term prescriptions, which carry greater risk for overdose and addiction, said the study's lead author, Katherine ...

How to Avoid Opioid Addiction After Surgery

Posted 30 Jan 2018 by

TUESDAY, Jan. 30, 2018 – Following surgery, many patients head home with prescriptions for 30 or more opioid painkillers – enough to trigger addiction, warns a leading group of anesthesiologists. The American Society of Anesthesiologists recommends using prescription painkillers sparingly, if at all, after surgery. "Nobody needs a prescription for 30 or 50 opioids, and even those who are in ...

Opioid Epidemic Also Taking Toll on Babies

Posted 22 Jan 2018 by

MONDAY, Jan. 22, 2018 – In yet another example of how far-reaching the fallout from America's opioid epidemic is, researchers report that babies exposed to these narcotics while in the womb run the risk of certain head and neck abnormalities. One is a twisting of the neck (torticollis) and the other is a flattening of the head (plagiocephaly), which often occurs in tandem with torticollis. In ...

Opioid Abuse Rises When Prescriptions Are Renewed

Posted 18 Jan 2018 by

THURSDAY, Jan. 18, 2018 – How long you take opioid painkillers after surgery is a much stronger risk factor for addiction and overdose than the dosage of the opioids you take, researchers report. The new study included more than 560,000 people who were prescribed opioids such as OxyContin or Percocet after surgery. None had a history of recent or chronic opioid use. Each additional week of ...

Tamper-Resistant Opioids May Not Ease Addiction Crisis: Study

Posted 11 Jan 2018 by

THURSDAY, Jan. 11, 2018 – Tamper-resistant opioid pills – one attempt to curb prescription painkiller abuse – aren't stopping overuse and overdosing, at least in Australia, new research shows. "This formulation was developed with the specific aim of reducing tampering, targeting behaviors such as injection or snorting," said the study's lead author, Briony Larance. But there was also the hope ...

The Opioid Crisis' Hidden Victims: Children in Foster Care

Posted 9 Jan 2018 by

MONDAY, Jan. 8, 2018 – As the opioid epidemic continues to grip the United States, the toll on the littlest victims – the children of addicts – is mounting, new research shows. "There are many negative aspects to the opioid crisis, but its effect on children is arguably one of the worst," said study author Troy Quast, an associate professor at the University of South Florida's College of ...

Epidemic of Opioid Abuse Is Top Health Story of 2017

Posted 29 Dec 2017 by

THURSDAY, Dec. 28, 2017 – The millions of Americans caught in the grip of an addiction to opioids – prescription painkillers or heroin – remained the leading health news story of the past year. The scourge is now so widespread that, just last week, research suggested that deaths from opioid overdoses may be the biggest factor driving a decline in overall U.S. life expectancy. If the trend ...

U.S. Life Expectancy Drops as Opioid Deaths Surge

Posted 21 Dec 2017 by

THURSDAY, Dec. 21, 2017 – The opioid epidemic continues to chip away at the average American life span, federal health officials reported Thursday. Life expectancy declined in the United States for the second year in a row in 2016, driven downward by fatal drug overdoses in young and middle-aged adults, according to a new report from the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). If the ...

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