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Patients OK With Fewer Opioids After Gallbladder Surgery

Posted 9 days ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 6, 2017 – Far fewer opioid painkillers are needed than thought for people who have their gallbladder removed, a new study suggests. Not only was pain still controlled in these patients following surgery, but the conservative prescribing strategy could help combat the opioid crisis in the United States, the researchers noted. Prescription opioid painkillers include drugs such as OxyContin, Percocet and Vicodin. "For a long time, there has been no rhyme or reason to surgical opioid prescribing, compared with all the other efforts that have been made to improve surgical care," said study first author Dr. Ryan Howard. He's a resident in the University of Michigan's department of surgery. "We've been overprescribing because no one had ever really asked what's the right amount. We knew we could do better," Howard said in a university news release. In the study, Howard's team ... Read more

Related support groups: Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Percocet, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Lortab, Tylenol, Ibuprofen, Acetaminophen, Advil, Roxicodone, Paracetamol, Motrin, Fioricet, Excedrin, Endocet, Tylenol PM, Darvocet-N 100, Acetaminophen/Hydrocodone

Steep Rise in Deaths for People Hospitalized After Opioid OD

Posted 11 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, Acetaminophen/Hydrocodone, Kadian, Percocet 10/325, M O S, Substance Abuse

Another Opioid Scourge: Dangerous Infections

Posted 15 days ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Nov. 30, 2017 – The epidemic of opioid abuse in the United States has put hospital ERs on the front line, with staffers increasingly battling infections tied to the problem. ERs are seeing an increasing number of patients seeking care for severe infections resulting from injected use of heroin, fentanyl, oxycodone and the like, new research shows. ER radiologists are often the first to diagnose such complications, using X-rays, MRIs, CT scans and ultrasounds to spot infections that typically result from the use of non-sterile needles, the researchers said. Insights into how the opioid epidemic is playing out in the ER stem from a 12-year analysis that focused on more than 1,000 substance abuse patients who sought care for related complications between 2005 and 2016. The findings reflect the fact that "the opioid epidemic is a national emergency," said study author Dr. Efren ... Read more

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

'Pill Mill' Docs Only Partly to Blame for Opioid Epidemic

Posted 15 days ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Nov. 30, 2017 – All prescribers of opioid pain medications – not just high-volume prescribers – play a role in the U.S. epidemic of opioid abuse and overdoses, a new study says. Deaths from drug overdoses in the United States rose from about 52,000 in 2015 to more than 64,000 in 2016. Most of those deaths involved opioids, including prescription pain medications such as fentanyl and oxycodone (Oxycontin) as well as the illegal drug heroin, according to researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. For the study, the researchers analyzed more than 24 million opioid prescriptions given in 2015 to more than 4 million people in California, Florida, Georgia, Maryland and Washington state. The investigators found that opioids were often prescribed to high-risk patients by health care providers who typically do not prescribe large volumes of opioids, ... Read more

Related support groups: Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Percocet, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Opiate Dependence, Opiate Withdrawal, Lortab, Roxicodone, Drug Dependence, Endocet, Acetaminophen/Hydrocodone, Percocet 10/325, Vicoprofen, Acetaminophen/Oxycodone, Hydromet, Roxicet, Tussionex Pennkinetic, Lorcet 10/650

Chronic Pain Common Among Those Who OD on Opioids

Posted 17 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

Medicaid Tied to Better Addiction Treatment in Pregnancy

Posted 22 Nov 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 22, 2017 – Pregnancy and opioid addiction are an all-too-common problem in the United States. And where you live may affect your treatment. Addicted moms-to-be are more likely to receive recommended therapy if they live in states where anti-addiction medications are covered by Medicaid, a new study says. Medication-assisted treatment – usually with the drug methadone or sometimes buprenorphine – is considered the most effective therapy for opioid dependency in pregnancy, the researchers said in background notes. Their study appears in the December issue of the journal Medical Care. "Our findings suggest that Medicaid coverage of methadone maintenance should be considered a key policy strategy to support pregnant women, their families, and enable their providers to deliver effective care," lead author Dr. Marcus Bachhuber said in a journal news release. He's with ... Read more

Related support groups: Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Percocet, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Opiate Dependence, Opiate Withdrawal, Lortab, Roxicodone, Drug Dependence, Endocet, Acetaminophen/Hydrocodone, Percocet 10/325, Vicoprofen, Acetaminophen/Oxycodone, Hydromet, Roxicet, Tussionex Pennkinetic, Lorcet 10/650

Opioid Crisis Hitting Boomers, Millennials Hardest

Posted 22 Nov 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Nov. 21, 2017 – The U.S. opioid epidemic seems to be taking its biggest toll on the baby boomer and millennial generations, a new study suggests. Researchers found that since 2010, boomers – born between 1946 and 1964 – have had heightened rates of death from prescription opioids and heroin. Meanwhile, millennials – people in their 20s and 30s – also have been hard hit by heroin overdoses. "The opioid epidemic has affected everyone," said senior researcher Dr. Guohua Li. "But what we're seeing is that these two generations are at highest risk," said Li, a professor of epidemiology at Columbia University. Li said he could only speculate on the reasons. But the findings on boomers were not surprising, he noted. That generation is known to have a relatively high rate of drug abuse, versus other generations. Plus, Li said, they were middle-aged when prescriptions for opioids ... Read more

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

Teens' Painkiller Misuse Linked to Dating Violence

Posted 20 Nov 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Nov. 20, 2017 – Teens who abuse prescription drugs, like opioid painkillers, are prone to initiating or being victims of dating violence, a new study finds. In a nationwide survey of more than 10,000 teenagers who had dated in the past year, the researchers found that non-medical use of prescription drugs by boys was associated with sexual dating violence. And non-medical use of prescription drugs by girls was linked more often with physical dating violence, according to the study's lead researcher, Heather Clayton. She is a health scientist at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The findings showed that nearly 10 percent of high school students surveyed said they had experienced physical dating violence, and slightly more than 10 percent said they were victims of sexual dating violence. "According to the 2015 National Youth Risk Behavior Survey, nearly 17 ... Read more

Related support groups: Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Percocet, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Opiate Dependence, Lortab, Roxicodone, Drug Dependence, Endocet, Acetaminophen/Hydrocodone, Percocet 10/325, Substance Abuse, Vicoprofen, Acetaminophen/Oxycodone, Hydromet, Roxicet, Tussionex Pennkinetic, Lorcet 10/650

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

'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

Trump Declares Opioid Epidemic a Public Health Emergency

Posted 26 Oct 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Oct. 26, 2017 – In his first major speech Thursday on the opioid epidemic in the United States, President Donald Trump declared the crisis a public health emergency. "As Americans, we cannot allow this to continue," Trump said in a speech from the White House. "It is time to liberate our communities from the scourge. We can be the generation that ends the opioid epidemic." The president, flanked by First Lady Melania Trump and New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie, added that fighting the problem "will require all of our effort, and it will require us to confront the crisis in all of its real complexity." Christie heads a special presidential commission on controlling the epidemic of opioid addiction. The president held back from pushing the declaration from a "public" to a "national" state of emergency. A national state of emergency allows states access to money from the ... Read more

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

Decline in U.S. Teen Drug Abuse Means Less Crime, Violence

Posted 25 Oct 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 25, 2017 – As substance abuse has declined among American teens, so have behavioral issues tied to criminal violence, a new study shows. The researchers analyzed data from more than 210,000 teens, 12 to 17 years old, who took part in an annual federal government survey from 2003 to 2014. During that time, abuse of alcohol, nicotine and illegal drugs by teens fell 49 percent. At the same time, behavioral problems – such as fighting, assault, stealing, selling drugs or carrying a handgun – dropped 34 percent, according to the study by researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. "We've known that teens overall are becoming less likely to engage in risky behaviors, and that's good news," said study author Richard Grucza, a professor of psychiatry. "But what we learned in this study is that the declines in substance abuse are connected to ... Read more

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

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

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