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When Is an Opioid Safe to Take?

Posted 22 hours ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, June 26, 2017 – Many people in pain are apprehensive about taking an opioid painkiller to ease their suffering, and rightfully so. Widespread use of opioids for pain has led to an epidemic of addiction in the United States. Forty lives are lost to prescription drug overdose every day, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But an opioid painkiller, such as oxycodone (Oxycontin, Percocet) or hydrocodone (Vicoprofen) can sometimes be the best option for treating pain in the short term, particularly right after surgery or during a severe pain flare-up, pain experts say. In those instances, patients and doctors need to work together to make sure a patient's pain is treated while managing their risk of addiction and overdose. "You have to individualize care," said Dr. Edward Michna, an anesthesiologist and pain specialist at Brigham and Women's Hospital in ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Suboxone, Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Tramadol, Percocet, Methadone, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Fentanyl, Morphine, Codeine, Lortab, Chronic Pain, Tylenol, Opana, Ibuprofen, Subutex, Dilaudid

Depressed Back Pain Patients Often Get Opioids

Posted 6 days ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, June 21, 2017 – Patients with low back pain who are depressed are more likely to be prescribed opioids, and to be prescribed higher doses, a new study finds. Low back pain is a leading cause of disability in the United States and the most common reason for opioid prescriptions, the researchers said. "There is strong evidence that depressed patients are at greater risk for misuse and overdose of opioids," said study senior author Dr. John Markman. He directs the University of Rochester Medical Center's Translational Pain Research Program, in New York. The analysis of nationwide data on nearly 5,400 people from 2004 to 2009 found that patients with back pain who screened positive for depression were more than twice as likely to be prescribed an opioid painkiller. Over a year's time, they also got more than twice the typical dose, the study found. The researchers said learning ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Depression, Suboxone, Oxycodone, Back Pain, Hydrocodone, Tramadol, Percocet, Methadone, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Fentanyl, Major Depressive Disorder, Morphine, Codeine, Lortab, Chronic Pain, Opana, Subutex

Opioid-Linked Hospitalizations Rising Fastest for Women: Study

Posted 6 days ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, June 21, 2017 – Opioid-related hospitalizations among women in the United States increased far faster than among men between 2005 and 2014, a federal government report says. Among women, hospitalizations involving opioid painkillers or heroin rose 75 percent, compared to 55 percent among men, according to the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). The surge among women during that 10-year period meant that by 2014 males and females were being hospitalized at a similar rate – about 225 hospitalizations per 100,000 people. "As the report makes clear, over the past decade, opioid abuse has affected both sexes and all age groups. The crisis, however, looks different in different places," AHRQ Director Gopal Khanna noted in an agency news release. In 2014, hospitalization rates among women were highest in West Virginia, Maryland and Massachusetts, exceeding 350 ... Read more

Related support groups: Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Percocet, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Opiate Dependence, Lortab, Opiate Withdrawal, Roxicodone, Drug Dependence, Endocet, Acetaminophen/Hydrocodone, Percocet 10/325, Vicoprofen, Substance Abuse, Acetaminophen/Oxycodone, Hydromet, Roxicet, Tussionex Pennkinetic

Acupuncture May Be Effective Painkiller in the ER

Posted 8 days ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, June 19, 2017 – Acupuncture is a safe and effective alternative to pain medications for some emergency room patients, a new study reports. "While acupuncture is widely used by practitioners in community settings for treating pain, it is rarely used in hospital emergency departments," said study lead investigator Marc Cohen. He is a professor in the School of Health and Biomedical Sciences at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia. The study – billed as the world's largest randomized, controlled trial of acupuncture in the emergency department – included 528 patients. The study participants were seen at four Australian emergency departments for acute low back pain, migraines or ankle sprains. Patients who said their level of pain was at least 4 on a 10-point scale received one of three treatments: acupuncture alone; acupuncture with painkillers; or painkillers alone. One hour ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Suboxone, Oxycodone, Back Pain, Hydrocodone, Tramadol, Percocet, Methadone, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Fentanyl, Morphine, Codeine, Lortab, Chronic Pain, Opana, Ibuprofen, Naproxen, Subutex

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

Posted 8 days ago 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, Naltrexone, Buprenorphine, Endocet, Acetaminophen/Hydrocodone, Percocet 10/325

Medical Costs Soar for U.S. Babies Born Addicted to Opioids

Posted 12 days ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, June 15, 2017 – The number of U.S. newborns hospitalized for opiate withdrawal has spiked sharply in recent years – and so has the cost of treating them, a new study shows. In fact, the national bill for caring for these fragile newborns now runs in the hundreds of millions of dollars, the study found. Researchers have known that the U.S. epidemic of painkiller abuse is extending to infants. Recent studies have charted a steep rise in so-called neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), the researchers said. Most often, newborns suffer the condition because their mother took opioid painkillers – such as OxyContin or Vicodin – during pregnancy. Babies are born dependent on the drugs and quickly develop withdrawal symptoms. That can mean a host of problems, from tremors and seizures, to breathing difficulty, to diarrhea and poor feeding. Last year, a federal study found that the ... Read more

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

Nearly 10 Million U.S. Adults Suffer From Mental Illness

Posted 15 days ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, June 12, 2017 – Nearly 10 million American adults have a serious mental illness, and a similar number have considered suicide during the past year, according to a new government report on the nation's behavioral ills. The report also said that 15.7 million Americans abuse alcohol and 7.7 million abuse illicit drugs. The nation's growing opioid epidemic was also a focus in the report. The researchers found that 12.5 million people are estimated to have misused prescription painkillers such as oxycodone (OxyContin, Percocet) or hydrocodone (Vicoprofen). Despite the growing number of Americans with mental health problems, about a third of those who need help aren't getting it, said researcher Dr. Beth Han. She's from the Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality at the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). "These are real increases," ... Read more

Related support groups: Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Percocet, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Opiate Dependence, Lortab, Opiate Withdrawal, Smoking, Roxicodone, Drug Dependence, Alcohol Dependence, Endocet, Acetaminophen/Hydrocodone, Alcoholism, Percocet 10/325, Vicoprofen, Substance Abuse, Cannabis

Opioids Over-Prescribed After C-Sections: Studies

Posted 19 days ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, June 8, 2017 – Women are routinely prescribed more opioid painkillers than they need after Cesarean sections, creating a high risk for misuse, a trio of new studies suggests. C-sections are the most common inpatient surgery in the United States, with 1.4 million procedures performed a year, according to the researchers. But there is little data on how much medicine patients actually need to manage their pain. To that end, how many pills are prescribed varies from provider to provider, the researchers added. More care is needed to limit the amount of leftover drugs that could wind up in the wrong hands, the studies concluded. Most people who use opioids for nonmedical reasons get them from friends and relatives who have unused medication. And patients may not lock their leftovers away, putting young children at risk. "We are the source of these excess opioids, and we need to ... Read more

Related support groups: Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Tramadol, Methadone, OxyContin, Fentanyl, Morphine, Codeine, Opana, Subutex, Dilaudid, Opana ER, Roxicodone, MS Contin, Butrans, Ultram, Hydromorphone, Nucynta, Buprenorphine, Duragesic

Heart Infections Spike as Injection-Drug Abuse Climbs: CDC

Posted 19 days ago 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

Persistent Pain May Lead to Memory Troubles

Posted 6 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, June 6, 2017 – Pain that continues, day in and day out, may trigger an unexpected and unwanted side effect – a bigger risk of mental decline and dementia, a new study suggests. The findings suggest that chronic pain may be related to changes in the brain that contribute to memory problems. The findings may also point to new ways to protect age-related mental decline, the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) researchers said. However, it's important to note that the study wasn't designed to prove a cause-and-effect relationship. It can only show an association between pain and memory issues. The study included information on more than 10,000 people. All of the study participants were 60 and older. Those who had moderate or severe chronic pain in both 1998 and 2000 had more than a 9 percent faster decline on memory tests over the next 10 years than those who didn't ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Suboxone, Oxycodone, Back Pain, Hydrocodone, Tramadol, Percocet, Methadone, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Fentanyl, Morphine, Codeine, Lortab, Chronic Pain, Opana, Ibuprofen, Neuralgia, Naproxen

Chronic Pain Common in Adults With Depression, Anxiety

Posted 6 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, June 6, 2017 – Chronic pain afflicts about half of adults who have anxiety or depression, a new study finds. More than 5,000 adults in Brazil diagnosed with anxiety or mood disorders such as depression and bipolar disorder were asked about other health problems. Among those with a mood disorder, half reported chronic pain; 33 percent, respiratory diseases; 10 percent, heart disease; 9 percent, arthritis; and 7 percent, diabetes. Among those with anxiety, 45 percent reported chronic pain; 30 percent, respiratory diseases; and 11 percent each for arthritis and heart disease. Adults with two or more chronic diseases had an increased risk of a mood or anxiety disorder. High blood pressure was associated with both disorders at 23 percent, according to the Columbia University study published online June 1 in the Journal of Affective Disorders. Senior author Dr. Silvia Martins said ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Depression, Anxiety, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, Suboxone, Oxycodone, Anxiety and Stress, Lexapro, Zoloft, Hydrocodone, Cymbalta, Tramadol, Percocet, Methadone, OxyContin, Effexor, Prozac, Vicodin, Norco

1 in 5 Weight-Loss Surgery Patients Using Opioids Years Later

Posted 6 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, June 6, 2017 – About 20 percent of U.S. weight-loss surgery patients are still using prescription opioid painkillers seven years later, a new study finds. The finding has importance, given the epidemic of opioid painkiller abuse currently affecting the United States, researchers said. "Our study does not prove that bariatric surgery causes an increase in opioid use. However, it does demonstrate the widespread use of opioids among post-surgical patients, thereby highlighting the need for alternative pain management approaches," said study co-author Dr. Anita Courcoulas. She is chief of minimally invasive bariatric and general surgery at the Unversity of Pittsburgh Medical Center. The researchers followed more than 2,000 patients nationwide. Before surgery, 14.7 percent said they regularly used a prescription opioid. Six months after surgery, the rate fell to about 13 percent, ... Read more

Related support groups: Oxycodone, Obesity, Hydrocodone, Tramadol, Methadone, OxyContin, Fentanyl, Morphine, Codeine, Opana, Subutex, Weight Loss, Dilaudid, Opana ER, Roxicodone, MS Contin, Butrans, Ultram, Hydromorphone, Nucynta

Did a 1980 Letter Help Spark the U.S. Opioid Crisis?

Posted 31 May 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, May 31, 2017 – Today's U.S. opioid epidemic is rooted in a 1980 letter to a medical journal that played down the potential for painkiller addiction, a new report states. The 101-word letter, written by Boston University Medical Center researchers, asserted that "despite widespread use of narcotic drugs in hospitals, the development of addiction is rare in medical patients with no history of addiction." That single letter – published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine – went on to be cited in hundreds of later scholarly articles as supporting evidence that long-term use of narcotic painkillers rarely caused addiction, said Dr. David Juurlink. He is a scientist with Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center in Toronto, Ontario. "The surge in opioid prescribing we have seen over the last 20 years is due in no small measure to doctors being reassured about the safety ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Oxycodone, Back Pain, Hydrocodone, Percocet, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Opiate Dependence, Lortab, Opiate Withdrawal, Roxicodone, Drug Dependence, Endocet, Acetaminophen/Hydrocodone, Percocet 10/325, Vicoprofen, Substance Abuse, Acetaminophen/Oxycodone, Hydromet

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

Taking Opioids Before Knee Surgery Could Raise Pain Later

Posted 23 May 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, May 23, 2017 – If you're planning on having knee replacement surgery at some point in the future, it's a good idea to start talking to your doctor now about your options for controlling pain. That's because new research found that when people had taken powerful opioid painkillers before knee replacement surgery, they had greater pain after the procedure. Knee replacement is used to treat knee osteoarthritis. But patients spend an average of 13 years before surgery using non-surgical treatments such as physical therapy, injections and painkillers, the study authors noted. "Although each patient case is different, patients and physicians should discuss the potential impact of using opioids in patients with knee osteoarthritis who are likely to consider total knee replacement within the next two years," said lead author Elena Losina. She is co-director of the Orthopaedic and ... Read more

Related support groups: Oxycodone, Surgery, Hydrocodone, Percocet, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Osteoarthritis, Lortab, Roxicodone, Knee Joint Replacement, Endocet, Acetaminophen/Hydrocodone, Percocet 10/325, Vicoprofen, Acetaminophen/Oxycodone, Hydromet, Roxicet, Tussionex Pennkinetic, Lorcet 10/650

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