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ERs May Need to Rethink Opioid Prescription Practices

Posted 6 days ago by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, May 19, 2017 – People in U.S. emergency rooms may receive unnecessary opioid painkiller prescriptions for minor injuries such as a sprained ankle, a new study finds. This practice – which varies widely depending on what area of the country you're treated in – potentially boosts the risk that patients will become dependent on the drugs. "The substantial variation in prescribing patterns of such extremely addictive medications for minor injuries results in many thousands of pills entering the community and places patients at an increased risk of continued use and potentially addiction," said lead author Dr. M. Kit Delgado. He's an assistant professor of emergency medicine and epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine. "It's vital that we identify and understand the root causes of this growing issue," Delgado said in a school news release. The ... Read more

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

It's Often Family to the Rescue During Opioid ODs

Posted 8 days ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, May 17, 2017 – The tragic scenario has become far too familiar: A mother, a father or a sibling discovers the lifeless body of a loved one who has overdosed on opioids. But a new study suggests that family members may be able to play a lifesaving role in some of these instances, mostly because of increased access to an antidote that can reverse an otherwise deadly ending. Sometimes, even the victims can rescue themselves from a potentially fatal overdose. Researchers in Massachusetts looked at people who underwent training in using the antidote – known as naloxone (Narcan, Evzio) – and found that family members used it in about 20 percent of slightly over 4,000 rescue attempts. Almost all rescue attempts were successful. "Individuals who use opioids are likely to use naloxone on both friends and family" who overdose, explained study author Dr. Sarah Bagley, an assistant ... Read more

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

High Rates of Hepatitis C in Pregnancy Mirror Opioid Epidemic: CDC

Posted 14 days ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, May 11, 2017 – Chalk up another potential consequence of the U.S. opioid epidemic: The prevalence of hepatitis C infections among pregnant women nearly doubled between 2009 and 2014, U.S. health officials report. Hepatitis C – which is caused most often by injection drug use – rose 89 percent nationwide among pregnant women. Increases were most notable in West Virginia and rural counties in Tennessee, areas hard-hit by the heroin and prescription painkiller epidemic, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported. Nationwide, 35 infants a day were exposed to the contagious liver disease, on average, study authors said. "We have seen a dramatic increase in opioid use in pregnancy and in the number of infants having drug withdrawal," said report author Dr. Stephen Patrick, of Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville. "Taken together, this suggests that ... Read more

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

Babies Born Addicted to Opioids Often Struggle With Learning

Posted 3 May 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, May 3, 2017 – Babies exposed to opioid painkillers in the womb are more likely to need special education services by the time they reach school age, a new U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study found. Many infants born with an addiction to opioids – a condition called neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) – wind up lagging behind other children in school, said Dr. Mary-Margaret Fill. She's a CDC officer assigned to the Tennessee Department of Health. Fill and her colleagues found that, compared with kids without the syndrome, Tennessee children born with NAS were: 44 percent more likely to be referred for evaluation of potential developmental delays. 36 percent more likely to meet their state's criteria for educational disability. 37 percent more likely to receive help with educational and developmental difficulties. "These children were more likely to have ... Read more

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

Opioid Use by Iraq, Afghanistan War Vets Mirrors Rest of U.S.: Study

Posted 28 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, April 27, 2017 – U.S. veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars use opioid painkillers at rates similar to that of the general population, a new study finds. Researchers analyzed pharmacy claims data from the U.S. Veterans Health Administration. They found that 23 percent of these combat veterans were prescribed an opioid in a given year. About two-thirds took them for a short time; the rest took them for longer periods. "We found that use of opioids among veterans was characterized by use of moderate doses prescribed for fairly long periods of time," study co-author Teresa Hudson said. Hudson is a research scientist with the Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System and University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. "However, chronic use among this group of veterans appeared to be lower than that of veterans who served in other time periods," Hudson added in a RTI ... Read more

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

Drugs Now Involved in More Fatal U.S. Crashes Than Alcohol Alone

Posted 28 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, April 27, 2017 – In vehicle crashes that claim American lives, illicit drugs are now more likely to have played a role than the use of alcohol on its own, a new report says. The trend comes as more states legalize marijuana and the nation faces a troubling rise in opioid abuse and drug overdose deaths, the researchers noted. In 2015, drugs were detected in 43 percent of drivers who suffered fatal injuries, a higher percentage than cases involving alcohol alone, the report found. The report was by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) and the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility (Responsibility.org). "As drunk driving has declined, drugged driving has increased dramatically. And many of today's impaired drivers are combining two or more substances, which has a multiplicative effect on driver impairment," Ralph Blackman, president and CEO of ... Read more

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

Opioid-Related Deaths Might Be Underestimated: CDC

Posted 25 Apr 2017 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, Tramadol, Methadone, Percocet, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Fentanyl, Opiate Dependence, Morphine, Codeine, Lortab, Opiate Withdrawal, Opana, Subutex, Dilaudid, 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, Methadone, Percocet, OxyContin, Fentanyl, Opiate Dependence, Morphine, Codeine, Opiate Withdrawal, Opana, Subutex, Dilaudid, Heroin, Opana ER, Roxicodone, MS Contin, Drug Dependence

Rehab Services Lacking in States Hit Hard by Opioids

Posted 7 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, April 7, 2017 – Opioid treatment programs for low-income Americans are in short supply in areas where they're needed the most, a new study contends. Lack of affordable access is particularly apparent across the Southeast, researchers said. The finding follows the Trump Administration's announcement last week that it would be establishing a new commission to focus on the nation's growing opioid epidemic. Opioid medications include oxycodone (OxyContin, Percocet), hydrocodone (Vicoprofen), codeine, morphine and others. Heroin is also a potent opioid. "In the midst of an escalating opioid epidemic, treatment in opioid treatment programs are almost nonexistent for low-income Americans – (meaning) Medicaid enrollees – in a majority of the country," said study lead author Amanda Abraham. She's an assistant professor of public administration and policy at the University of Georgia. ... Read more

Related support groups: Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Percocet, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Opiate Dependence, Morphine, Codeine, Lortab, Roxicodone, MS Contin, Drug Dependence, Endocet, Kadian, Acetaminophen/Hydrocodone, Cheratussin AC, Tylenol with Codeine, Percocet 10/325, Vicoprofen

Smoking Slows Recovery From Drug Abuse

Posted 27 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, March 27, 2017 – People recovering from illicit drug abuse are more likely to be successful if they don't smoke cigarettes, a new study finds. Most illicit drug users also smoke cigarettes, but many substance abuse programs do not include treatment for nicotine dependence, the study authors said. "The thinking in clinical settings has been that asking patients to quit cigarette smoking while they try to stop using drugs is 'too difficult,' or that smoking may be helpful in remaining abstinent from alcohol and drugs, but it is not related whether or not one remains abstinent from illicit drug use over the long term," said study leader Renee Goodwin. However, the investigators found that smokers were twice as likely as nonsmokers to relapse within three years. For the study, Goodwin, of the department of epidemiology at Columbia University's School of Public Health in New York ... Read more

Related support groups: Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Percocet, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Opiate Dependence, Morphine, Lortab, Smoking, Heroin, Roxicodone, MS Contin, Smoking Cessation, Drug Dependence, Endocet, Kadian, Acetaminophen/Hydrocodone, Percocet 10/325, Vicoprofen

Spring-Clean Your Medicine Cabinet to Safeguard Your Kids

Posted 20 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, March 20, 2017 – When you learn that just 1 in 5 Americans locks up prescription drugs, it's not surprising to hear that thousands of children are treated for accidental medication overdoses each year. A new Consumer Reports survey of more than 1,000 adults also found that more than one-quarter of Americans hang on to unused drugs "until they're used up." This ups the odds for misuse, too. "People may not realize how dangerous certain medications can be for a child," said Lisa Gill, deputy editor of Consumer Reports Best Buy Drugs. "Pills within easy reach can be as dangerous as a loaded gun, particularly narcotic painkillers, such as OxyContin, Percocet and Vicodin," she said. The bottom line: "If you have these pills at home, and you have children around, we urge you to lock them up," Gill said. The magazine staff also recommends cleaning out your medicine cabinet once a year ... Read more

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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, Tramadol, Methadone, Percocet, 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, Tramadol, Methadone, Percocet, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Fentanyl, Opiate Dependence, Morphine, Codeine, Lortab, Opiate Withdrawal, Opana, Subutex, Dilaudid, Opana ER, Roxicodone

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, Hydrocodone, Tramadol, Methadone, Percocet, Rheumatoid Arthritis, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Fentanyl, Morphine, Osteoarthritis, Codeine, Lortab, Opana, Subutex, Heart Disease

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, Tramadol, Methadone, Percocet, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Fentanyl, Opiate Dependence, Morphine, Codeine, Lortab, Opiate Withdrawal, Opana, Subutex, Dilaudid, Opana ER, Roxicodone

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