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Certain Teens More Likely to Get Hooked on Opioids

Posted 8 days ago by

MONDAY, March 12, 2018 – Teenagers with any mental health problem are more prone to painkiller dependence after receiving a prescription opioid, a new study finds. The odds of progressing to long-term opioid therapy can double, triple or more, depending on the kid's diagnosis and the other drugs prescribed to treat their disorder, the researchers said. The findings mirror earlier studies showing ...

ER Visits for Opioid Overdoses Soaring: CDC

Posted 13 days ago by

TUESDAY, March 6, 2018 – America's opioid epidemic is escalating at breakneck speed, with tens of thousands of overdose victims spilling into the nation's emergency rooms seeking lifesaving treatment, a new government report shows. Emergency room visits for opioid overdoses increased nationwide and across all demographic groups between July 2016 and September 2017, according to ER records ...

Some Pain Patients Can Cut Opioid Dose and Still Get Relief

Posted 21 Feb 2018 by

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 21, 2018 – Some potentially good news for folks taking opioids for chronic pain: It's possible to slowly reduce the dosage without increasing discomfort, new research suggests. That's even true for people who've taken the drugs for a long time. One patient in the new study had used opioids for 38 years, the researchers said. "For some people, long-term opioids are necessary, but ...

Herbal Drug Kratom Contains Opioids, FDA Says

Posted 7 Feb 2018 by

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 7, 2018 – The popular botanical drug kratom essentially is an opioid, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration declared Tuesday. Nearly all of kratom's major compounds bind to opioid receptors in the human brain, and two of the top five most prevalent compounds activate those receptors, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a statement. In addition, there have been 44 reported ...

Responding to Opioid Crisis, FDA Puts More Restrictions on Imodium

Posted 30 Jan 2018 by

TUESDAY, Jan. 30, 2018 – Increasingly, people addicted to opioid painkillers are using dangerously high doses of the diarrhea drug Imodium (loperamide), either to get high or to help ease withdrawal. So, on Tuesday the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said it's putting new restrictions on the packaging of the medication, dubbed by some as "the poor man's methadone." "When higher than ...

FDA, FTC Warn Companies for Selling Illegal, Unapproved Opioid Cessation Products Using Deceptive Claims

Posted 25 Jan 2018 by

January 24, 2018 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Trade Commission today posted joint warning letters to the marketers and distributors of 12 opioid cessation products, for illegally marketing unapproved products with claims about their ability to help in the treatment of opioid addiction and withdrawal. “The FDA is increasingly concerned with the proliferation of products ...

Tamper-Resistant Opioids May Not Ease Addiction Crisis: Study

Posted 11 Jan 2018 by

THURSDAY, Jan. 11, 2018 – Tamper-resistant opioid pills – one attempt to curb prescription painkiller abuse – aren't stopping overuse and overdosing, at least in Australia, new research shows. "This formulation was developed with the specific aim of reducing tampering, targeting behaviors such as injection or snorting," said the study's lead author, Briony Larance. But there was also the hope ...

The Opioid Crisis' Hidden Victims: Children in Foster Care

Posted 9 Jan 2018 by

MONDAY, Jan. 8, 2018 – As the opioid epidemic continues to grip the United States, the toll on the littlest victims – the children of addicts – is mounting, new research shows. "There are many negative aspects to the opioid crisis, but its effect on children is arguably one of the worst," said study author Troy Quast, an associate professor at the University of South Florida's College of ...

Epidemic of Opioid Abuse Is Top Health Story of 2017

Posted 29 Dec 2017 by

THURSDAY, Dec. 28, 2017 – The millions of Americans caught in the grip of an addiction to opioids – prescription painkillers or heroin – remained the leading health news story of the past year. The scourge is now so widespread that, just last week, research suggested that deaths from opioid overdoses may be the biggest factor driving a decline in overall U.S. life expectancy. If the trend ...

U.S. Life Expectancy Drops as Opioid Deaths Surge

Posted 21 Dec 2017 by

THURSDAY, Dec. 21, 2017 – The opioid epidemic continues to chip away at the average American life span, federal health officials reported Thursday. Life expectancy declined in the United States for the second year in a row in 2016, driven downward by fatal drug overdoses in young and middle-aged adults, according to a new report from the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). If the ...

Heroin Vaccine Blunts Drug's Effect in Animals

Posted 19 Dec 2017 by

TUESDAY, Dec. 19, 2017 – An experimental heroin vaccine has shown promise in an early animal study. In mice and rats, the vaccine triggered antibodies that prevented heroin from crossing the blood-brain barrier. "By eliciting antibodies that bind with heroin in the blood, the vaccine aims to block the euphoria and addictive effects [in the brain]," explained researcher Gary Matyas. He is chief ...

Steep Rise in Deaths for People Hospitalized After Opioid OD

Posted 4 Dec 2017 by

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 ...

FDA Approves Monthly Dose of Opioid Addiction Treatment, Buprenorphine

Posted 1 Dec 2017 by

FRIDAY, Dec. 1, 2017 – A once-monthly injection of the opioid addiction drug buprenorphine has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. "Millions of Americans are suffering from addiction to opioid drugs, and millions more are worried that the overdose epidemic could claim the lives of a friend or loved one," FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said Thursday in an agency news ...

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

Posted 30 Nov 2017 by

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 ...

Chronic Pain Common Among Those Who OD on Opioids

Posted 28 Nov 2017 by

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 ...

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