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Opioid-Related Deaths Might Be Underestimated: CDC

Posted 18 hours ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, April 25, 2017 – America's prescription drug abuse epidemic may be even more deadly than expected, a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests. Some opioid-related deaths may be missed when people die from pneumonia and other infectious diseases spurred on by drug abuse. Their death certificates may only list the infection as the cause of their demise, explained CDC field officer Victoria Hall. That means a number of drug-related deaths are not being counted, since surveillance systems mainly track overdose deaths. "It does seem like it is almost an iceberg of an epidemic," Hall said. "We already know that it's bad, and while my research can't speak to what percent we are underestimating, we know we are missing some cases." More than half of a series of drug-related unexplained deaths in Minnesota between 2006 and 2015 listed pneumonia as the ... Read more

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

Opioid Painkillers and Xanax or Valium a Deadly Mix: Study

Posted 15 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, March 15, 2017 – Mixing opioid painkillers with common anxiety and sleep medications is a prescription for a deadly overdose, a new U.S. study shows. Of all fatal overdoses from narcotic medications, nearly 30 percent also involved benzodiazepines, such as Xanax, Klonopin and Valium, the researchers said. "It's not news that this combination is not a good one, but despite being well known, it's gone up over time, and more people are ending up in the hospital because of it," said lead researcher Dr. Eric Sun. "Patients and doctors really need to think twice about this combination." When patients take benzodiazepines along with narcotic painkillers such as Oxycontin, Percocet and Vicodin, the mix lowers the threshold for an overdose, said Sun. He is an assistant professor of anesthesiology, perioperative and pain medicine at Stanford University. Although this study cannot ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Anxiety, Xanax, Suboxone, Oxycodone, Anxiety and Stress, Back Pain, Hydrocodone, Methadone, Percocet, Tramadol, Klonopin, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Fentanyl, Morphine, Valium, Codeine, Lortab

7 in 10 U.S. Workplaces Hit by Opioid Abuse: Survey

Posted 10 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, March 10, 2017 – Prescription drug abuse has seeped into the American workplace, with 70 percent of businesses saying it affects their workers, a new survey reveals. The National Safety Council report also found that while 71 percent of employers believe that abuse of opioid prescription painkillers is a disease that requires treatment, 65 percent also consider it a justifiable reason to fire a worker. "Employers must understand that the most dangerously misused drug today may be sitting in employees' medicine cabinets," said Deborah Hersman, president and CEO of the safety council. "Even when they are taken as prescribed, prescription drugs and opioids can impair workers and create hazards on the job. We hope these findings prompt employers to take the lead on this emerging issue so that workplaces can be as safe as possible," she added in a safety council news release. But ... Read more

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

1 in 4 U.S. Adults Disabled by Arthritis: CDC

Posted 8 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, March 7, 2017 – Arthritis is expanding its grip on Americans, with 24 million adults limited in their everyday activities because of the debilitating joint disease, U.S. health officials say. Overall, 54 million adults – or one in four – report an arthritis diagnosis. And the number of people disabled by it has jumped 20 percent since 2002, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Tuesday. "Arthritis symptoms keep millions of Americans from going about their daily routines," CDC acting director Dr. Anne Schuchat said in an agency news release. The joint aches, stiffness and swelling of arthritis can make holding a glass, carrying a grocery bag, or walking a short distance difficult or even impossible, the agency said. Why so many Americans have arthritis isn't clear, and can't be attributed solely to an aging population. Almost two of five adults with ... Read more

Related support groups: Suboxone, Oxycodone, Obesity, Diabetes, Type 2, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Hydrocodone, Methadone, Tramadol, Percocet, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Fentanyl, Morphine, Osteoarthritis, Codeine, Lortab, Opana, Heart Disease, Subutex

Longer Addiction Treatment Is Better, Study Confirms

Posted 5 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, March 3, 2017 – The longer patients receive treatment for addiction, the greater their chances of success, a new study finds. The study included 72 people, with an average age of 30 years. The participants were being treated for a variety of addictions, including alcohol and drugs such as opioids, amphetamines and benzodiazepines. The only significant factor in treatment success was the length of treatment. After one year, the treatment success rate was about 55 percent for those who underwent a standard 30-day treatment program. But the success rate was about 84 percent for those in treatment programs that lasted more than 30 days, the investigators found. The findings are important because most government and private health insurance programs only reimburse patients for 30 days of addiction treatment, said study leader Dr. Akikur Mohammad, of the University of Southern ... Read more

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

Kids' OD Risk Rises When Opioids Left Out at Home

Posted 20 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Feb. 20, 2017 – A child's risk of a potentially fatal drug overdose more than doubles if a parent brings home a prescription opioid painkiller like oxycodone, codeine or morphine, a new study reports. When their mother is prescribed an opioid for pain as opposed to a non-narcotic drug like aspirin, ibuprofen or acetaminophen, young children are about two-and-a-half times more likely to accidentally overdose, the researchers found. "The opioid epidemic has not skipped children," said Dr. Yaron Finkelstein, a pediatric emergency doctor with the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. "They are also vulnerable to it, even as a third party or innocent bystander." Finkelstein is lead researcher on the study, published online Feb. 20 in Pediatrics. Another study in the journal helps explain the source of some of this risk. Nearly 70 percent of prescription opioids in homes with ... Read more

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

Anti-Addiction Meds Given in ER Can Help Battle Abuse

Posted 19 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Feb. 17, 2017 – People addicted to opioids treated in a hospital emergency department do better when they receive medication to reduce opioid cravings, researchers report. "The ED [emergency department] visit is an ideal opportunity to identify patients with opioid use disorder and initiate treatment and direct referral, similar to best practices for other diseases, such as high blood pressure and diabetes," said study co-leader Dr. Gail D'Onofrio in a Yale University news release. D'Onofrio is chair of emergency medicine at the university. The study looked at 290 people addicted to opioids who went to an emergency department. They received one of three treatments: a referral to addiction treatment services; a short interview including discussion of treatment; or a brief interview and the medication buprenorphine. The patients given medication also continued treatment with ... Read more

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

Chronic Pain More Likely for Poor, Less Educated: Study

Posted 18 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Feb. 17, 2017 – Chronic pain is much more common among poor, less educated older Americans than their wealthier, more educated peers, a new study suggests. "I found that people with lower levels of education and wealth don't just have more pain, they also have more severe pain," said study author Hanna Grol-Prokopczyk. She's an assistant professor of sociology from the University at Buffalo in Buffalo, N.Y. "I also looked at pain-related disability, meaning that pain is interfering with the ability to do normal work or household activities. And again, people with less wealth and education are more likely to experience this disability," she added in a university news release. In the analysis of 12 years of data from more than 19,000 people aged 51 and older, those with the least education were 80 percent more likely to have chronic pain than those with the most education. People ... Read more

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

What You Need to Know When Prescribed an Opioid Painkiller

Posted 13 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Dec. 12, 2016 – There are a number of questions you should ask if a doctor or other health care provider prescribes opioid painkillers such as Oxycontin, Vicodin, codeine and morphine, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says. While approved to treat certain kinds of acute and chronic pain, opioids can have serious side effects, and the United States is in the mist of an opioid overuse epidemic. First, ask why you need the medication, is it right for you, and are there non-opioid options? If your health care provider thinks an opioid painkiller is the best choice, ask the doctor to prescribe the lowest dose and the smallest quantity. Find out when to call to follow-up with the health care provider on how well the opioid is working, as well as when and how to stop or taper off use of the drug, the FDA said in a news release. To reduce the risk of side effects, take the ... Read more

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

These Medicines Often Send Americans to ERs

Posted 22 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Nov. 22, 2016 – An estimated one in 250 Americans lands in the hospital emergency department each year because of a medication-related reaction or problem, a new federal study finds. Among adults 65 and older, the rate is about one in 100, the study authors said. Remarkably, the medicines causing the most trouble haven't changed in a decade, the researchers noted. Blood thinners, diabetes medicines and antibiotics top the list. These drugs accounted for 47 percent of emergency department visits for adverse drug events in 2013 and 2014, according to the analysis. Among older adults, blood thinners, diabetes medicines and opioid painkillers are implicated in nearly 60 percent of emergency department visits for adverse drug events. "The same drugs are causing the most problems," said study co-author Dr. Daniel Budnitz. The study doesn't tease out what went wrong. The reasons ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Suboxone, Oxycodone, Diabetes, Type 2, Back Pain, Hydrocodone, Methadone, Percocet, Tramadol, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Fentanyl, Morphine, Codeine, Lortab, Opana, Warfarin, Coumadin, Insulin

Opioid Overdoses Up Nearly 200 Percent Among Kids, Teens

Posted 31 Oct 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Oct. 31, 2016 – The number of young children and teens hospitalized for overdosing on opioid painkillers has spiked nearly 200 percent in recent years, a new study finds. Among children under 10, most of the painkiller poisonings were accidental, with children "eating them like candy," said lead researcher Julie Gaither, a postdoctoral fellow in biostatistics at the Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, Conn. Among teens, most were accidental overdoses, although some were suicide attempts. In both age groups, the increase in cases involving painkillers like OxyContin, Percocet and Vicodin was dramatic. Among children aged 1 to 4 years, the number of poisonings went up 205 percent from 1997 to 2012. For teens 15 to 19, the increase was 176 percent. Overall, the study showed a 165 percent increase in poisonings from opioid painkillers among those 19 and younger. In addition, ... Read more

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

Many Take Opioids Reluctantly for Back Pain: Survey

Posted 24 Oct 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Oct. 24, 2016 – Millions of Americans with back pain take powerful and potentially addictive opioid painkillers. But in a new survey, many say the drugs provide only limited relief and they worry about taking them. The survey included more than 2,000 people with low back pain. Of the nearly half who were currently taking opioids, only 13 percent said the drugs were very successful at relieving their pain. Forty-four percent said the drugs were somewhat successful, 31 percent said they were moderately successful and 12 percent said they were unsuccessful. Seventy-five percent said the drugs had side effects such as constipation (65 percent), sleepiness (37 percent), thinking and memory problems (32 percent) and drug dependence (29 percent). "Patients are increasingly aware that opioids are problematic, but don't know there are alternative treatment options," said survey author ... Read more

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

Trauma Patients Not to Blame for Opioid Epidemic: Study

Posted 20 Oct 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 19, 2016 – Patients who survived major trauma may not be a significant factor in the U.S. opioid epidemic, a new study suggests. Almost 75 percent of major trauma patients who were prescribed narcotic painkillers such as OxyContin and Percocet had stopped using them a month after leaving the hospital. And only 1 percent were still taking the drugs on a prescription basis a year later, researchers found. "We were really surprised by how low the numbers were for long-term opiate use," study senior investigator Dr. Andrew Schoenfeld said in an American College of Surgeons news release. "It appears that traumatic injury is not a main driver for continued opioid use in patients who were not taking opioids prior to their injuries," said Schoenfeld, an orthopedic surgeon at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. Misuse of prescription pain drugs has become a serious health ... Read more

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

'Fake Pills' May Help Ease Back Pain

Posted 20 Oct 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 19, 2016 – Even if they know the pills are fake, chronic back pain sufferers may get relief from placebo drugs, a new study indicates. Researchers found that patients who knowingly took a placebo pill while undergoing traditional treatment for lower back pain had less pain and disability than those who received traditional treatment alone. "These findings turn our understanding of the placebo effect on its head," said Ted Kaptchuk, a joint senior author of the study and director of the Program in Placebo Studies and the Therapeutic Encounter at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. "This new research demonstrates that the placebo effect is not necessarily elicited by patients' conscious expectation that they are getting an active medicine, as long thought," Kaptchuk added in a hospital news release. "Taking a pill in the context of a patient-clinician ... Read more

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

Countless Opioid Pills Unused by Dental-Surgery Patients

Posted 27 Sep 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Sept. 27, 2016 – More than half of the narcotic painkillers prescribed after wisdom teeth removal go unused, according to a new study that suggests this could contribute to the U.S. opioid epidemic. "When translated to the broad U.S. population, our findings suggest that more than 100 million opioid pills prescribed to patients following surgical removal of impacted wisdom teeth are not used, leaving the door open for possible abuse or misuse by patients, or their friends or family," said study author Dr. Brandon Maughan. Previous studies have shown that many painkiller abusers take extra pills that were prescribed for friends or relatives, Maughan and his colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine and School of Dental Medicine, noted in a school news release. For the study, the researchers examined painkiller use by 79 patients who had their ... Read more

Related support groups: Suboxone, Oxycodone, Surgery, Hydrocodone, Methadone, Tramadol, Percocet, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Fentanyl, Morphine, Codeine, Lortab, Opana, Subutex, Dilaudid, Ultram, Butrans, Oral and Dental Conditions

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