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Steep Rise in Deaths for People Hospitalized After Opioid OD

Posted 14 days ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Dec. 4, 2017 – The death rate has quadrupled among people whose opioid use lands them in a hospital, a new U.S. study finds. More opioid users are being sent to the hospital due to a life-threatening overdose than for treatment of drug addiction, the researchers noted. About 2 percent of people hospitalized for opioid use died in 2014, compared with 0.4 percent prior to 2000, the new analysis of federal hospital data revealed. The same analysis showed that hospitalizations due to opioid or heroin poisoning have increased in recent years, even as the rate of people seeking treatment of opioid addiction at a hospital has gone down, said senior researcher Dr. Zirui Song. He is an assistant professor of health care policy at Harvard Medical School. Before the turn of the century, most opioid-related hospitalizations were for treatment of opioid dependence and abuse. The more dire ... Read more

Related support groups: Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Percocet, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Opiate Dependence, Morphine, Opiate Withdrawal, Lortab, Heroin, MS Contin, Roxicodone, Drug Dependence, Endocet, Kadian, Acetaminophen/Hydrocodone, Percocet 10/325, M O S, Substance Abuse

Chronic Pain Common Among Those Who OD on Opioids

Posted 20 days ago 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 occurrence of treated chronic pain and mental health conditions among overdose decedents underscores the importance of offering substance use treatment services in clinics that treat patients with chronic pain and mental health problems," said lead investigator Dr. Mark Olfson, a professor of psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center. "Such a strategy," he said in a center news release, "might increase early clinical intervention in patients who are at high risk for fatal opioid overdose." ... Read more

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

Top Meds To Treat Opioid Addiction Equally Safe, Effective

Posted 15 Nov 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 15, 2017 – The top two medications used to treat opioid addiction appear equally safe and effective, a new study finds. With the United States in the midst of an unprecedented opioid crisis, researchers conducted a head-to-head trial of two leading addiction treatments – naltrexone (Vivitrol) and buprenorphine-naloxone (Suboxone). "The newer drug, naltrexone, was as effective in keeping patients off heroin, preventing relapse and overdose, as buprenorphine," said lead researcher Dr. Joshua Lee. These results should reassure patients and health care providers that naltrexone is safe to use to break the cycle of addiction, said Lee, an associate professor at New York University School of Medicine's departments of medicine and population health. "This gives people two choices," he said. Overdoses from heroin and prescription opioid painkillers like oxycodone (OxyContin) ... Read more

Related support groups: Suboxone, OxyContin, Opiate Dependence, Opiate Withdrawal, Subutex, Contrave, Drug Dependence, Butrans, Buprenorphine, Naltrexone, Vivitrol, Substance Abuse, Embeda, Revia, Zubsolv, Belbuca, Bunavail, Buprenex, Buprenorphine/Naloxone, Toxic Reactions Incl Drug and Substance Abuse

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 surgery procedures in the United States, which is experiencing an opioid epidemic. The new study included 62 patients at two private practices and an academic health center who underwent rhinoplasty. The patients were prescribed the opioid painkiller Vicodin (hydrocodone/acetaminophen) for pain relief after surgery. On average, patients used nine of the 20 to 30 tablets they were prescribed. Seventy-four percent used 15 or fewer tablets, and only three patients needed refills. The number of ... Read more

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

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 combination painkiller in there, then we might be able to send these patients home without an opioid prescription," said lead researcher Dr. Andrew Chang. He is a professor of emergency medicine at Albany Medical Center, in Albany, N.Y. "We know that some patients who are given an opioid prescription will become addicted, so if we can decrease the number of people being sent home with an opioid prescription, then we can prevent people from becoming addicted in the first place," Chang suggested. Ibuprofen ... Read more

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

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 included 223 patients. Their average age was 61. All had orthopedic, neurological or general surgery. Of these, 96 received some form of regional anesthesia (spinal, epidural or peripheral nerve block). The remaining 127 patients received only general anesthesia. Before their surgery, the patients estimated what level of postoperative pain they expected on a 0-10 scale (10 being the most painful). After surgery, they were asked about their level of pain in the post-anesthesia care unit one hour ... Read more

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

'Drug Courts,' Treatment Focus of New White House Opioid Strategy

Posted 1 Nov 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 1, 2017 – Steering opioid addicts toward treatment programs instead of prisons, while tightening federal policies on opioid prescribing, could curb the opioid epidemic, President Donald Trump's opioid crisis commission said Wednesday. To that aim, the commission's final report recommends that federal drug courts be established in all 93 federal judicial districts, with people who violate their probation diverted into a drug court rather than sent to jail. Drug courts are problem-solving courts that work with the mental health, social service and treatment communities to help addicted offenders into long-term recovery programs. Drug courts "are a proven avenue to treatment for individuals who commit non-violent crimes," the commission report states, but 44 percent of U.S. counties do not have drug courts for adults. "It's an ambitious recommendation, but one that we ... Read more

Related support groups: Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Percocet, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Opiate Dependence, Morphine, Opiate Withdrawal, Lortab, Heroin, MS Contin, Roxicodone, Drug Dependence, Endocet, Acetaminophen/Hydrocodone, Kadian, Percocet 10/325, M O S, Substance Abuse

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 vitamins and other dietary supplements, patients can be warned about potentially harmful interactions. They can also find out if any of these medications are no longer necessary, which would save them money. Consumer Reports encourages patients to have this type of medication review at least once a year. "Much medication use is lifesaving, without a doubt. But some drugs can potentially do more harm than good," said Lisa Gill, deputy editor of Consumer Reports. "Our concern is that inappropriate ... Read more

Related support groups: Suboxone, Oxycodone, Tramadol, Hydrocodone, Methadone, Percocet, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Lisinopril, Fentanyl, Morphine, Codeine, Lortab, Ibuprofen, Opana, Naproxen, Subutex, Losartan, Dilaudid

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 knowledge, say researchers at the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The new report, based on data from 10 states, comes a day after President Donald Trump declared the opioid addiction epidemic a national public health emergency, potentially freeing up more funds to battle what he called a "scourge." The study, led by CDC researcher Julie O'Donnell, looked at toxicology reports from nearly 5,200 fatal opioid overdoses occurring between July and December of 2016 in 10 states: Maine, ... Read more

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

Opioid Addiction a Danger After Weight-Loss Surgery

Posted 24 Oct 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Oct. 24, 2017 – People who turn to surgery in their struggle with obesity may be more vulnerable to opioid dependence after their procedure, new research suggests. Long-term use of these powerful yet highly addictive painkillers is more common after weight-loss surgery than after general surgery, the researchers reported. "Patients undergoing bariatric [weight-loss] surgery may be particularly vulnerable to opioid dependence, possibly because of chronic knee and back pain associated with morbid obesity," explained study author Dr. Amir Ghaferi, an associate professor of surgery at the University of Michigan. Weight-loss surgery patients routinely receive a prescription for opioid painkillers such as OxyContin, Percocet and Vicodin to help ease pain after surgery, the researchers explained. About 196,000 people had weight-loss surgery in 2015, they added. Most use these ... Read more

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

U.S. Opioid Painkiller Abuse May Be Leveling Off

Posted 23 Oct 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Oct. 23, 2017 – The number of Americans abusing prescription painkillers has leveled off in recent years, but there is no apparent decline yet. That's the finding of a new study tracking the U.S. opioid abuse problem. Researchers found that after a large spike in the early 2000s, Americans' misuse of prescription opioid painkillers has plateaued in recent years. Still, the issue isn't going away: By 2014, the most recent survey year, close to 14 percent of U.S. adults and teenagers had ever abused the drugs – which include Vicodin (hydrocodone), OxyContin (oxycodone) and morphine. The findings underscore the importance of giving patients alternative ways to manage pain, said lead researcher Dr. Asokumar Buvanendran, vice chair of anesthesiology at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. There are times when people need short-term pain relief with opioids. But for most ... Read more

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

Drug OD Rate Now Higher in Rural U.S. Than Cities: CDC

Posted 20 Oct 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Oct. 20, 2017 – Drug overdose death rates in rural areas of the United States are now higher than in cities, a trend that worries federal health officials. In 2015, drug overdose was the leading cause of injury-related death in the United States – with 52,000 fatalities attributed to opioid painkillers, heroin and other potentially deadly drugs, researchers said in a new report. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald said rising overdose death rates outside metropolitan areas warrant attention. "We need to understand why this is happening so that our work with states and communities can help stop illicit drug use and overdose deaths in America," Fitzgerald said in an agency news release. In 1999, drug overdose death rates were 6.4 per 100,000 in urban regions and 4 per 100,000 in rural areas. But the gap gradually disappeared. By 2015, ... Read more

Related support groups: Suboxone, Methadone, Opiate Dependence, Subutex, Contrave, Heroin, Drug Dependence, Butrans, Buprenorphine, Naltrexone, Diskets, Vivitrol, Substance Abuse, Methadose, Embeda, Revia, Zubsolv, Bunavail, Belbuca, Buprenex

Hepatitis C Screening May Boost Opioid Treatment Success

Posted 20 Oct 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Oct. 20, 2017 – Opioid abuse therapy may be more effective if patients are screened for hepatitis C as part of the program, a new Canadian study says. The research found a sharp drop in opioid abuse among patients after they were told they tested positive for the hepatitis C virus (HCV). Hepatitis C causes liver disease that can lead to cirrhosis (scarring of the liver), liver cancer and liver failure, the researchers said. "Our study showed awareness of HCV infection among this particular population may motivate them to reduce their consumption and hopefully high-risk behavior," said lead investigator Dr. Hooman Farhang Zangneh, a postdoctoral research fellow at the Toronto Centre for Liver Disease at Toronto General Hospital. The primary cause of hepatitis C transmission is infected blood, which is often transmitted through needle sharing to inject drugs. The study included ... Read more

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

Around the World, Too Little Relief for Pain

Posted 13 Oct 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Oct. 13, 2017 – Tens of millions of people worldwide who die in severe physical and mental distress each year could have an easier death if low-cost pain drugs were available in their countries, a new report says. Children account for more than 2.5 million of the almost 26 million people with serious illnesses who receive no palliative care or pain relief, according to the report. The findings came from an analysis of data on the care provided in 172 countries for people with any of 20 serious conditions, including HIV, cancer, heart disease, premature birth, tuberculosis, hemorrhagic fevers, lung and liver disease, malnutrition, dementia and trauma injuries. Of the 61 million people who endure severe physical or psychological suffering and pain each year, about 83 percent live in 100 low- and middle-income countries where there's little or no access to low-cost, off-patent ... Read more

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

Medicare Could Do More to Stem Opioid Epidemic

Posted 10 Oct 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Oct. 10, 2017 – Medicare places few limits on opioid painkiller prescriptions, even in the face of recent U.S. government guidelines, researchers report. Yale University scientists say Medicare plans for people 65 and older are untapped resources for curbing the unnecessary use and abuse of drugs such as oxycodone (OxyContin) and hydrocodone (Vicodin). "People are looking for any way to control the increase in opioid-use disorder. This is one strategy," said study first author Dr. Elizabeth Samuels. She's a postdoctoral fellow in Yale's National Clinical Scholars Program. A previous study involving private insurers showed that certain practices can help curb use of addictive painkillers, the researchers said. Such measures include requiring prior authorization from insurers and setting quantity limits. For this study, Samuels and her colleagues analyzed the "formulary files" ... Read more

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

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