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Synthetic Fentanyl Fueling Surge in Overdose Deaths: CDC

Posted 20 hours ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Aug. 25, 2016 – Deaths from overdoses of the synthetic narcotic fentanyl have surged in recent years, U.S. health officials say in a troubling new report. As more fentanyl was sold illegally on the streets, the number of fatal overdoses jumped 79 percent in 27 states from 2013 to 2014, the government report found, while law enforcement seizures of the drug increased 426 percent in eight of those 27 states. "Fentanyl is a powerful opioid that is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine, and it is available by prescription, but evidence indicates that illicitly made fentanyl is more likely a powder mixed with heroin and or sold as heroin," said report author R. Matthew Gladden. He's a behavioral scientist at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The fentanyl crisis is being driven by products made illegally, not by the diversion of prescription fentanyl, Gladden ... Read more

Related support groups: Opiate Dependence, Fentanyl, Opiate Withdrawal, Drug Dependence, Duragesic, Substance Abuse, Poisoning, Actiq, Fentora, Duragesic-100, Toxic Reactions Incl Drug and Substance Abuse, Duragesic-25, Duragesic-50, Subsys, Fentanyl Transdermal, Fentanyl/Ropivacaine, Duragesic-12, Benzodiazepine Overdose, Bupivacaine/Fentanyl, Sublimaze

Veterans' Painkiller Abuse Can Raise Odds for Heroin Use

Posted 2 days 20 hours ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Aug. 23, 2016 – Veterans who misuse narcotic painkillers may be at high risk for heroin use, a new study cautions. The research included nearly 3,400 U.S. veterans who had never misused painkillers or used heroin. Their health was followed for 10 years. During that time, 500 of them began using heroin. Of those, 77 percent misused opioid painkillers before they started using heroin. Other risk factors for heroin use included being male, being black and abusing stimulant drugs, the study found. The findings highlight the need for health care providers who treat veterans to watch closely for signs of opioid painkiller misuse, the researchers said. "This study quantifies the issue of starting painkiller misuse and heroin use in a specific, high-risk population – veterans around the U.S.," said corresponding author Brandon Marshall, an assistant professor in the School of Public ... Read more

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

Steep Rise in U.S. Babies Born to Opioid-Addicted Mothers

Posted 15 days ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Aug. 11, 2016 – Triggered by a national epidemic of opioid painkiller abuse, the number of babies born with opioid withdrawal symptoms quadrupled in the United States between 1999 and 2013. That's the finding from a study of nearly 30 million births across 28 states, tracked by researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC team said better addiction-prevention efforts "are needed to reduce inappropriate prescribing and dispensing of opioids" to curb this increase in what's medically known as "neonatal abstinence syndrome." Common opioids of abuse include prescription painkillers such as OxyContin, Vicodin, Percocet and fentanyl, as well as illicit opioids such as heroin. Neonatal abstinence syndrome is an increasingly familiar sight in hospitals caring for newborns across the United States, the CDC researchers said. Newborns with the condition ... Read more

Related support groups: Percocet, OxyContin, Vicodin, Opiate Dependence, Fentanyl, Opiate Withdrawal, Heroin, Drug Dependence, Duragesic, Delivery, Substance Abuse, Actiq, Fentora, Duragesic-100, Toxic Reactions Incl Drug and Substance Abuse, Duragesic-25, Duragesic-50, Subsys, Fentanyl Transdermal, Fentanyl/Ropivacaine

U.S. DEA Denies Request to Ease Federal Pot Rules

Posted 15 days ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Aug. 11, 2016 – The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has refused the request of two former state governors to ease marijuana's restrictive classification under current drug laws. The DEA said it based its decision largely on information from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The FDA previously concluded that marijuana has "no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States," according to National Public Radio (NPR). "This decision isn't based on danger. This decision is based on whether marijuana, as determined by the FDA, is a safe and effective medicine, and it's not," DEA chief Chuck Rosenberg said in the NPR report. The request – initially proposed in 2011 – sought to have marijuana reclassified from a Schedule I drug to a Schedule II drug. Schedule I drugs are considered drugs "with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for ... Read more

Related support groups: Oxycodone, Percocet, OxyContin, Opiate Dependence, Morphine, Opiate Withdrawal, Smoking, Roxicodone, MS Contin, Drug Dependence, Methamphetamine, Endocet, Kadian, Percocet 10/325, Substance Abuse, Roxicet, Desoxyn, Avinza, M O S, Acetaminophen/Oxycodone

Addiction Risk Low for Seniors Taking Post-Op Opioids: Study

Posted 16 days ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 10, 2016 – With abuse of opioid painkillers a major public health threat in the United States, many worry that post-surgical use might trigger addiction. But a new study suggests that painkiller abuse arises in only a very small fraction – less than half of 1 percent – of cases involving people aged 65 or older. The rest of the surgical patients in the study used the drugs to ease their pain, and then stopped. The findings provide "reassurance that the individual risk of long-term opioid use in [surgical patients new to the drugs] is low," according to a team led by Dr. Hance Clarke of Toronto Western Hospital in Canada. Opioid medications – drugs such as Oxycontin, Vicodin or Percocet – are routinely used to treat pain after major surgery. "In the short term, opioids can help in the facilitation of physical therapy and ambulation, including engaging in light ... Read more

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

Doctors Urged to Prescribe Lower Doses of Opioids, No Refills

Posted 17 days ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Aug. 9, 2016 – Patients who are first-time users of pain-killing opioids should be prescribed a small dose without refills to reduce the risk of long-term use and possible addiction, a new study suggests. A surge in prescriptions for opioids such as Oxycontin and Vicodin over the past two decades dovetails with a steep rise in addiction and overdoses in the United States. The trend has prompted calls for more careful use of the narcotic painkillers. Researchers analyzed data from nearly 537,000 patients in Oregon who were prescribed opioids for the first time. The investigators found that 5 percent of those who received six or more refills within a year became long-term users. This trend was higher among rural patients (6 percent) than among urban patients (4 percent), the findings showed. And the risk of long-term use increased with age, according to the study published ... Read more

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

1 in 5 Opioid Users Also Might Be Abusing Seizure Drug: Study

Posted 3 Aug 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 3, 2016 – Opioid medication users may be abusing and misusing the seizure and nerve pain drug gabapentin, a new study finds. Researchers looked at test results of 323 patients who were prescribed opioid pain medications. The patients were being treated at pain or rehabilitation clinics, primarily in Arizona, Indiana and Massachusetts. About one in five of the patients tested positive for gabapentin (Neurontin), but didn't have a prescription for the drug. Of the patients taking gabapentin illicitly, 56 percent were taking it with an opioid, 27 percent with an opioid and muscle relaxant or anxiety medication, and the rest were taking it with other substances. The study was presented Wednesday at the American Association for Clinical Chemistry's (AACC) annual meeting in Philadelphia. "The high rate of misuse of this medication is surprising and it is also a wakeup call ... Read more

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

Painkillers for Teen Athletes Won't Spur Addiction: Study

Posted 25 Jul 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, July 25, 2016 – Teenage athletes are less likely to abuse prescription painkillers than kids who don't play sports or exercise, a new study finds. The study results run counter to some research in recent years detailing concerns about injured teen athletes abusing opioid painkillers prescribed by doctors and then moving on to use heroin. Dr. Wilson Compton, deputy director of the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse, said he was "surprised" by the findings. He said, "A key risk (for teenage athletes) is a desire to please and for acceptance. But this study shows overall rates (of use) are declining." For the study, University of Michigan researchers examined data from nearly 192,000 students in 8th and 10th grade who participated in a federally funded study between 1997 and 2014. Over these years, doctors wrote many more opioid painkiller prescriptions for children and teens, ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Oxycodone, Back Pain, Hydrocodone, Percocet, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Opiate Dependence, Lortab, Opiate Withdrawal, Heroin, Roxicodone, Drug Dependence, Endocet, Acetaminophen/Hydrocodone, Vicoprofen, Percocet 10/325, Hydromet, Roxicet

Pain Raises Risk of Opioid Addiction

Posted 22 Jul 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, July 22, 2016 – The more pain they have, the more likely people are to become addicted to powerful prescription opioid painkillers, a new study suggests. "In light of the national opioid abuse epidemic, these new results underscore the importance of developing effective ... approaches to managing common painful medical conditions," said senior author Dr. Mark Olfson. He is a professor of psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City. The study included results from a survey on alcohol and drug use. More than 34,000 Americans completed the survey. The researchers found that people with moderate to severe pain had a 41 percent higher risk of opioid addiction than those with no pain. That increased risk was independent of other factors such as age, gender, anxiety and mood disorders, and family history of drug, alcohol, and behavioral problems, the study ... Read more

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

Opioids by Injection May Drive HIV Outbreaks

Posted 20 Jul 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, July 20, 2016 – The U.S. prescription drug abuse epidemic has increased the risk of HIV outbreaks in rural and suburban communities, where up to now the virus has posed little threat, warns a new case study. Needle-sharing among prescription drug addicts created an outbreak in rural Scott County, Ind. Public health officials report HIV infected 181 people there between November 2014 and November 2015. "It was the largest outbreak that has occurred in the U.S. since the introduction of HIV treatment," said lead author Dr. Philip Peters, a medical officer with the Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "And it occurred in a poor and rural community. We have not seen HIV outbreaks in these types of communities before." Many of the infected people had crushed and cooked down the extended-release form of the opioid pain pill ... Read more

Related support groups: Opiate Dependence, Opiate Withdrawal, Opana, Opana ER, HIV Infection, Drug Dependence, Oxymorphone, Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, Substance Abuse, Toxic Reactions Incl Drug and Substance Abuse, Numorphan HCl, Numorphan

Opioid Abusers Missing Out on Addiction-Fighting Drug

Posted 20 Jul 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, July 20, 2016 – Doctors aren't using one of the most effective weapons at their disposal in battling addiction to prescription painkillers – the anti-addiction drug Suboxone, a new study finds. A review of Medicare claims showed that U.S. physicians are woefully underprescribing Suboxone. The drug is the only therapy Medicare covers to treat opioid addiction. "For every 40 family practice physicians who prescribed an opioid painkiller, only one prescribed Suboxone," said lead author Dr. Anna Lembke. She's chief of the Stanford Addiction Medicine Dual Diagnosis Clinic at Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif. "There's lots and lots of prescribing opioids for pain, but very little prescribing of this specific drug to treat opioid addiction," she added. There's an epidemic of prescription painkiller abuse in the United States. In 2014, prescription drugs contributed to ... Read more

Related support groups: Suboxone, Opiate Dependence, Opiate Withdrawal, Drug Dependence, Substance Abuse, Opiate Adjunct, Toxic Reactions Incl Drug and Substance Abuse

Why Kicking the Opioid Habit Can Be So Tough

Posted 20 Jul 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, July 20, 2016 – He was 26, a specialist fifth class with the U.S. Army, and stationed abroad, when an accident on the German autobahn sent him careening through the windshield of his car. The now 60-year-old veteran prefers to withhold his name, but not his story, of a decades-long struggle against chronic back pain and an addiction to the opioid painkillers he'd hoped would help him. "At first I was taking 50 milligrams [mg] of Percocet," the Colorado resident recalled. "Every day I'd wake up in pain. And every day I'd automatically pop a pill right away and go back to work. I didn't think anything of it – I'd just take Percocet in combination with hydrocodone [Vicodin], and it worked." However, "eventually it wasn't working anymore," he said. "I felt like I was putting a Band-Aid on a bullet wound, and I couldn't stand the pain." Then, over time, there was a "gradual ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Oxycodone, Back Pain, Percocet, OxyContin, Opiate Dependence, Opiate Withdrawal, Chronic Pain, Roxicodone, Drug Dependence, Endocet, Percocet 10/325, Substance Abuse, Roxicet, Acetaminophen/Oxycodone, Breakthrough Pain, Percocet 5/325, OxyIR, Percodan, Toxic Reactions Incl Drug and Substance Abuse

Implant Proves Effective at Combating Opioid Dependence

Posted 19 Jul 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, July 19, 2016 – Addicts are twice as likely to kick their dependence on heroin or prescription painkillers if they receive a new long-acting implant rather than a daily treatment pill, a new clinical trial shows. The implant, sold under the name Probuphine, is placed in the upper arm of recovering addicts and releases a steady six-month dose of buprenorphine. Buprenorphine is an anti-addiction drug designed to combat the cravings that come with opioids like heroin or powerful prescription painkillers like Percocet or OxyContin. Only 14 percent of patients with the implant slipped back into drug abuse during the clinical trial, compared with 28 percent of patients who took buprenorphine in its traditional pill form. "Everybody did really well, but the implants did a little bit more well," said lead researcher Dr. Richard Rosenthal, medical director of Mount Sinai Hospital's ... Read more

Related support groups: Opiate Dependence, Opiate Withdrawal, Heroin, Drug Dependence, Substance Abuse, Probuphine

Cash Rewards Won't Change Outcomes for HIV-Infected Drug Addicts: Study

Posted 14 Jul 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, July 13, 2016 – Giving drug-addicted, HIV-positive people cash incentives to help improve unhealthy behaviors doesn't work, a new study finds. The study, funded by the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse, tracked outcomes for HIV-infected people with substance-abuse problems – a notoriously tough group to treat, the researchers said. To lower rates of HIV infection and illness, "we must get serious about hard-to-reach populations" like these, lead researcher Lisa Metsch, of Columbia University in New York City, explained in a university news release. Giving people cash rewards for healthy improvements in behavior – for example, exercising or stopping smoking – has been somewhat successful for other patient populations. So, Metsch's group wondered if a similar approach might help HIV-infected people battling drug or alcohol abuse. To find out, the investigators tracked ... Read more

Related support groups: Opiate Dependence, Opiate Withdrawal, HIV Infection, Drug Dependence, Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, Toxic Reactions Incl Drug and Substance Abuse

Newly Released Inmates Account for 1 in 10 Fatal ODs

Posted 14 Jul 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, July 13, 2016 – Almost 10 percent of fatal adult drug overdoses may involve recently released prison inmates, a new Canadian study suggests. "This is the first Canadian study to examine overdose mortality rates by matching incarceration records with coroner reports after release," said study author Dr. Nav Persaud. He is a scientist with the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto. "We were surprised at how high the fatal overdose rate was among those who were recently released from provincial custody – almost 12 times higher than the general population," Persaud added. Not only did one in 10 overdose deaths involve a recently released inmate, but the risk for a fatal overdose among inmates was found to be highest immediately following release, the study found. "Previous research has speculated that the higher risk for overdose immediately ... Read more

Related support groups: Oxycodone, Methadone, Hydrocodone, Tramadol, OxyContin, Opiate Dependence, Fentanyl, Morphine, Codeine, Opiate Withdrawal, Opana, Subutex, Dilaudid, Opana ER, Roxicodone, MS Contin, Drug Dependence, Butrans, Ultram, Hydromorphone

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