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When DEA Cracked Down on Opioids, Abusers Moved to Black Market: Study

Posted 4 days ago by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, June 15, 2018 – Illegal opioid sales on the internet have surged in the wake of U.S. government crackdowns on prescriptions for the highly addictive painkillers, a new study shows. In 2014, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration reclassified the opioid hydrocodone (Vicodin). The change made the drug harder to prescribe and banned automatic refills. Not surprisingly, the number of such ...

The Other Opioid Crisis: Shortages at U.S. Hospitals

Posted 2 May 2018 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, May 2, 2018 – U.S. hospitals are running short of the injectable opioids and anesthesia drugs that most surgery patients need during and after their procedures, a new survey shows. More than 98 percent of anesthesiologists responding to the survey said they regularly experience shortages of these drugs. And recent efforts by the federal government to curb the opioid crisis – by ...

Fentanyl Now Drives Drug Overdose Deaths in U.S.

Posted 1 May 2018 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, May 1, 2018 – Overdose deaths involving dangerous synthetic opioids like fentanyl have skyrocketed in recent years, surpassing deaths from prescription painkillers, a new U.S. study reveals. Synthetic opioids – primarily fentanyl – were involved in more than 30 percent of fatal overdoses in 2016, up from roughly 8 percent in 2010, the researchers reported. Overall, drug overdose ...

Many Opioid Overdoses May Be Suicides

Posted 26 Apr 2018 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, April 25, 2018 – As the United States grapples with an ongoing opioid epidemic, experts are calling attention to a hidden aspect of the crisis: Many overdose deaths may, in fact, be suicides. The researchers describe suicide as a "silent contributor" to the nation's opioid overdose death rate. It's hard to know exactly how many Americans have intentionally overdosed on opioids in ...

Safety Info for Opioids Found Lacking

Posted 17 Apr 2018 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, April 16, 2018 – Information about safe storage and disposal of opioid painkillers on the drugs' package inserts is inconsistent, and even missing from some products, researchers report. Incorrect storage or disposal of unused opioid painkillers is common and a major source of illegal opioid medication use, the new study found. The researchers examined 98 package inserts for six commonly ...

Fentanyl Fuels Latest Spike in Opioid OD Deaths

Posted 29 Mar 2018 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, March 29, 2018 – Drug overdose deaths continue to pile up in the United States, driven largely by the opioid epidemic and the emergence of dangerously potent synthetic opioids like fentanyl, a new government report shows. Overdose deaths increased by 21.5 percent in 2016, a much sharper spike than the 11.4 percent increase seen the previous year, researchers from the U.S. Centers for ...

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, ...

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

Posted 8 Feb 2018 by Drugs.com

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 ...

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 ...

Chronic Pain Common Among Those Who OD on Opioids

Posted 28 Nov 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Nov. 28, 2017 – More than 60 percent of opioid overdose deaths involve people who suffer from chronic pain, a new analysis reveals. Many of them also struggled with depression or anxiety, the investigators found. The findings stem from a study that examined the medical backgrounds of more than 13,000 men and women who died from an opioid overdose between 2001 and 2007. "The frequent ...

Doctors Prescribing Too Many Opioids After Nose Jobs

Posted 9 Nov 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Nov. 9, 2017 – Could some patients recovering from a nose job get a problem they didn't bargain for? After these operations, patients are often sent home with more opioid pain pills than they need, increasing the risk for misuse, researchers say. About 218,000 cosmetic nose surgeries were performed in the United States in 2015. In fact, "rhinoplasty" is one of the most common plastic ...

Opioids Not the Only Answer for Pain Relief in the ER

Posted 7 Nov 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Nov. 7, 2017 – As the opioid epidemic continues to sweep across the United States, a new study suggests that a combination of Motrin and Tylenol may work as well as narcotic painkillers for ER patients who suffer sprains or fractures. "Although this study focused on treatment while in the emergency department, if we can successfully treat acute extremity pain with a non-opioid ...

People Tend to Overestimate Pain From Surgery

Posted 4 Nov 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Nov. 3, 2017 – Many patients overestimate the amount of pain they'll experience after surgery, resulting in needless anxiety, a new study reports. "We believe providers need to do a better job of counseling patients on realistic pain expectations," said study co-author Dr. Jaime Baratta, director of regional anesthesia at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia. The research ...

Taking Four or More Prescription Meds? Consider Scaling Back

Posted 1 Nov 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Oct. 31, 2017 – More than half of Americans regularly take about four prescription medications, increasing the likelihood that mistakes could occur, according to Consumer Reports. People taking multiple prescription medications should visit their doctor for a "medication checkup." By showing their doctor or pharmacist a comprehensive list of every drug they are taking, including ...

Fentanyl Driving Surge in Fatal U.S. Opioid Overdoses

Posted 27 Oct 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Oct. 27, 2017 – Extremely powerful synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl or carfentanil, were directly responsible for more than half of thousands of opioid overdose deaths across many states in 2016, a new report finds. Most often, fentanyl and even more potent "fentanyl analog" drugs – such as carfentanil – were mixed into the heroin that addicts were using, often without their ...

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