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Ending U.S. Opioid Abuse Epidemic Will Take Years: Report

Posted 9 days ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, July 13, 2017 – Scientists who've developed a wide-ranging "action plan" to combat the U.S. opioid abuse epidemic warn there's no quick fix. Needed measures include tighter prescription practices, greater access to treatment, physician-patient education and research into alternatives to addictive painkillers, according to a new report released Thursday from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The report's assessment "is a reassuring development, but long overdue," said Dr. Harshal Kirane, director of addiction services at Staten Island University Hospital, in New York City. "While public awareness of the opioid epidemic is growing, the mobilization of an effective infrastructure to adequately address the burden of illness still lags far behind," Kirane said. This report provides a road map for future action from local agencies up to national ... Read more

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

Painkiller Misuse Remains a Pressing Problem Across U.S.

Posted 9 days ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, July 13, 2017 – Abuse of prescription opioid painkillers is second only to marijuana abuse as the most common illegal drug problem in the United States, a new government report shows. Analysis of 2012-2014 national data found that more than 4 percent of Americans aged 12 and older reported nonmedical use of prescription pain relievers in the past year, says the report from the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Misusing powerful narcotic painkillers such as OxyContin (oxycodone), Vicoprofen (hydrocodone) and morphine can lead to substance use disorder, overdose or death. Nonmedical painkiller use was most common in Oklahoma, Alabama, Arkansas and Nevada, all with rates exceeding 5 percent. The lowest rates – less than 3.5 percent – were in Massachusetts, Vermont, Florida, Montana and Minnesota, the report noted. "Prescription pain ... Read more

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

U.S. Opioid Prescriptions Fall, But Numbers Still High: CDC

Posted 16 days ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, July 6, 2017 – Prescriptions for opioid painkillers have dropped since 2010 in the United States, but the number of Americans getting the highly addictive medications is still too high, a new report shows. Prescriptions declined from a peak of 782 morphine milligram equivalents (MME) per person in 2010 to 640 MME per person in 2015, according to researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Half of U.S. counties saw a decrease in the amount of opioids prescribed per person from 2010 to 2015," said CDC Acting Director Dr. Anne Schuchat. "Overall, opioid prescribing in the United States is down 18 percent since 2010." But the total amount of opioids prescribed in 2015 was still about three times that of 1999, the CDC researchers said, with many people being provided lengthy prescriptions of the narcotics at high doses. "We're still seeing too many ... Read more

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

3 Simple Steps Might Reduce Opioid OD Deaths

Posted 28 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, June 28, 2017 – In 2015, America's opioid epidemic took the lives of more than 33,000 people, but three simple steps might cut that number by about a third, a new study suggests. Those steps include: Not prescribing narcotic pain medicines or anti-anxiety drugs to people who are addicted to opioids; Counseling; Seeing a doctor every three months. "People with opioid use disorders die at greater rates than people in the general population, by as much as 20 times higher, so finding ways to lower the risk of death is very important," said lead researcher Dr. Katherine Watkins. She's a senior physician policy researcher at the Rand Corporation, an U.S. nonprofit research organization. Doctors can help lower the risk of dying whether or not these patients are being treated for their addiction, she said. Watkins didn't know how often these three interventions are done in general ... Read more

Related support groups: Xanax, Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Tramadol, Percocet, Methadone, Klonopin, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Clonazepam, Fentanyl, Opiate Dependence, Morphine, Ativan, Valium, Codeine, Lortab, Opiate Withdrawal, Opana

Opioid-Linked Hospitalizations Rising Fastest for Women: Study

Posted 21 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, June 21, 2017 – Opioid-related hospitalizations among women in the United States increased far faster than among men between 2005 and 2014, a federal government report says. Among women, hospitalizations involving opioid painkillers or heroin rose 75 percent, compared to 55 percent among men, according to the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). The surge among women during that 10-year period meant that by 2014 males and females were being hospitalized at a similar rate – about 225 hospitalizations per 100,000 people. "As the report makes clear, over the past decade, opioid abuse has affected both sexes and all age groups. The crisis, however, looks different in different places," AHRQ Director Gopal Khanna noted in an agency news release. In 2014, hospitalization rates among women were highest in West Virginia, Maryland and Massachusetts, exceeding 350 ... Read more

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

Cocaine, Other Drugs Detected in Carrie Fisher's System After Her Death

Posted 20 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, June 20, 2017 – Autopsy results reveal that a cocktail of illicit drugs was in actress Carrie Fisher's system after her death on Dec. 27, but it remains unclear what role they may have played in her death. The autopsy report released Monday says Fisher, who died at 60, may have taken cocaine on Dec. 20, three days before she became ill on a Dec. 23 flight from London to Los Angeles, the Associated Press reported. Fisher died four days later at UCLA Medical Center, in Los Angeles. According to the autopsy results, traces of other illicit drugs – including heroin, other opiates and MDMA (ecstasy) – were found in Fisher's system, but it wasn't clear when they had been ingested. The findings were based on toxicology tests done when the actress was first admitted to a Los Angeles hospital, the AP said. As for the official cause of death, the report says the "Star Wars" actress ... Read more

Related support groups: Opiate Dependence, Opiate Withdrawal, Heroin, Drug Dependence, Substance Abuse, Toxic Reactions Incl Drug and Substance Abuse, Substance Abuse - Cocaine, C-Topical Solution

Addicts Try to Avoid Deadly Fentanyl, But Many Tragically Fail

Posted 16 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, June 16, 2017 – New research suggests that more than half of all drug overdose deaths may be caused by the potent synthetic opioid fentanyl. But most opioid addicts are not actively seeking out the potentially lethal painkiller. Instead, they're terrified by the increasing contamination of the illicit drug supply by fentanyl, investigators said. "I never found the idea that fentanyl was some sort of honeypot that people were scrambling to get hold of very compelling," said study author Jennifer Carroll, a medical anthropologist at Brown University's Warren Alpert Medical School in Providence, R.I. "I hope we can begin chipping away at the narrative that the opioid crisis is driven by people chasing some sort of ultimate high. That's an idea that has never matched reality." Opioids are a class of drugs that include the illicit drug heroin as well as prescription pain relievers ... Read more

Related support groups: Fentanyl, Opiate Dependence, Opiate Withdrawal, Heroin, Drug Dependence, Duragesic, Poisoning, Substance Abuse, Fentanyl Transdermal, Actiq, Fentora, Duragesic-100, Toxic Reactions Incl Drug and Substance Abuse, Subsys, Duragesic-25, Substance Abuse - Cocaine, Duragesic-50, Fentanyl/Ropivacaine, Duragesic-12, Duragesic-75

Medical Costs Soar for U.S. Babies Born Addicted to Opioids

Posted 15 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, June 15, 2017 – The number of U.S. newborns hospitalized for opiate withdrawal has spiked sharply in recent years – and so has the cost of treating them, a new study shows. In fact, the national bill for caring for these fragile newborns now runs in the hundreds of millions of dollars, the study found. Researchers have known that the U.S. epidemic of painkiller abuse is extending to infants. Recent studies have charted a steep rise in so-called neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), the researchers said. Most often, newborns suffer the condition because their mother took opioid painkillers – such as OxyContin or Vicodin – during pregnancy. Babies are born dependent on the drugs and quickly develop withdrawal symptoms. That can mean a host of problems, from tremors and seizures, to breathing difficulty, to diarrhea and poor feeding. Last year, a federal study found that the ... Read more

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

As U.S. Heroin Use Reaches 20-Year High, Cost to Society Soars

Posted 14 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, June 14, 2017 – Heroin use cost the United States more than $51 billion in 2015, a new study shows. The financial toll includes heroin-related crime and imprisonment. It also includes treatment for addiction as well as chronic infectious diseases contracted through heroin abuse (such as HIV, hepatitis B and C, and tuberculosis), according to researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago. The total also includes the cost of treating newborns with heroin-related medical conditions; lost productivity on the job and overdose deaths, the researchers said. "The opioid crisis didn't happen overnight," said study co-author Ruixuan Jiang, a pharmacoeconomist at UIC. In a university news release, she said the number of U.S. heroin users doubled from 2000 to 2013. Study co-author Simon Pickard, a professor of pharmacy systems, has been tracking the rise in heroin use for ... Read more

Related support groups: Opiate Dependence, Opiate Withdrawal, Heroin, HIV Infection, Drug Dependence, Hepatitis B, Tuberculosis, Substance Abuse, Toxic Reactions Incl Drug and Substance Abuse, Substance Abuse - Cocaine

Nearly 10 Million U.S. Adults Suffer From Mental Illness

Posted 12 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, June 12, 2017 – Nearly 10 million American adults have a serious mental illness, and a similar number have considered suicide during the past year, according to a new government report on the nation's behavioral ills. The report also said that 15.7 million Americans abuse alcohol and 7.7 million abuse illicit drugs. The nation's growing opioid epidemic was also a focus in the report. The researchers found that 12.5 million people are estimated to have misused prescription painkillers such as oxycodone (OxyContin, Percocet) or hydrocodone (Vicoprofen). Despite the growing number of Americans with mental health problems, about a third of those who need help aren't getting it, said researcher Dr. Beth Han. She's from the Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality at the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). "These are real increases," ... Read more

Related support groups: Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Percocet, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Opiate Dependence, Lortab, Opiate Withdrawal, Smoking, Roxicodone, Drug Dependence, Alcohol Dependence, Endocet, Acetaminophen/Hydrocodone, Alcoholism, Percocet 10/325, Vicoprofen, Substance Abuse, Cannabis

FDA Requests Removal of Opana ER for Risks Related to Abuse

Posted 9 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

June 8, 2017 – Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration requested that Endo Pharmaceuticals remove its opioid pain medication, reformulated Opana ER (oxymorphone hydrochloride), from the market. After careful consideration, the agency is seeking removal based on its concern that the benefits of the drug may no longer outweigh its risks. This is the first time the agency has taken steps to remove a currently marketed opioid pain medication from sale due to the public health consequences of abuse. “We are facing an opioid epidemic – a public health crisis, and we must take all necessary steps to reduce the scope of opioid misuse and abuse,” said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D. “We will continue to take regulatory steps when we see situations where an opioid product’s risks outweigh its benefits, not only for its intended patient population but also in regard to its potential fo ... Read more

Related support groups: Opiate Dependence, Opiate Withdrawal, Opana, Opana ER, Drug Dependence, Oxymorphone, Substance Abuse, Toxic Reactions Incl Drug and Substance Abuse, Numorphan HCl, Numorphan

Did a 1980 Letter Help Spark the U.S. Opioid Crisis?

Posted 31 May 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, May 31, 2017 – Today's U.S. opioid epidemic is rooted in a 1980 letter to a medical journal that played down the potential for painkiller addiction, a new report states. The 101-word letter, written by Boston University Medical Center researchers, asserted that "despite widespread use of narcotic drugs in hospitals, the development of addiction is rare in medical patients with no history of addiction." That single letter – published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine – went on to be cited in hundreds of later scholarly articles as supporting evidence that long-term use of narcotic painkillers rarely caused addiction, said Dr. David Juurlink. He is a scientist with Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center in Toronto, Ontario. "The surge in opioid prescribing we have seen over the last 20 years is due in no small measure to doctors being reassured about the safety ... Read more

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

New FDA Head Outlines 'Forceful Steps' Against Opioid Crisis

Posted 23 May 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, May 23, 2017 – The new U.S. Food and Drug Administration commissioner has called on senior agency officers to develop "more forceful steps" to control the U.S. opioid epidemic. On Tuesday, Dr. Scott Gottlieb, President Trump's pick for the agency, announced the formation of an opioid policy steering committee to explore and develop additional approaches to confront the crisis. One solution, he said, is to cut back on unnecessarily prolonged painkiller use. Longer use increases the risk of opioid addiction. "The majority of people who eventually become addicted to opioids are exposed first to prescription opioids," Gottlieb said in a blog post on the FDA site. Misuse of potent painkillers such as OxyContin (oxycodone) and Vicoprofen (hydrocodone/ibuprofen) sends 1,000 Americans to emergency rooms each day. Opioid-related overdose deaths have quadrupled since 1999, he said. ... Read more

Related support groups: Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Tramadol, Percocet, Methadone, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Fentanyl, Opiate Dependence, Morphine, Codeine, Lortab, Opiate Withdrawal, Opana, Subutex, Dilaudid, Butrans, Ultram, Heroin

Checking Patient's Drug History May Help Curb Opioid Abuse

Posted 23 May 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, May 23, 2017 – Doctors can help stem the U.S. opioid epidemic by checking their patients' drug history before prescribing powerful painkillers, a new study suggests. Addicts frequently "doctor-shop" in an attempt to obtain opioids such as OxyContin (oxycodone), Percocet (oxycodone/acetaminophen) and Vicodin (hydrocodone/acetaminophen). But, nearly every state now has a database tracking opioid prescriptions, Cornell University researchers said. Doctors can use these databases to check their patients' past prescriptions and identify likely drug abusers. "The main issue is getting providers to change their prescribing behavior. The majority of opioids that people abuse start in the medical system as a legitimate prescription," said study co-author Colleen Carey. She's an assistant professor of policy analysis and management at Cornell's College of Human Ecology in Ithaca, N.Y. ... Read more

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

1 in 4 Americans Knows Someone Hooked on Opioids: Poll

Posted 23 May 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, May 22, 2017 – More than a quarter of Americans – and 1 in 3 millennials – say they know someone addicted to opioids or prescription painkillers, according to a new survey from the American Psychiatric Association (APA). Also, most respondents from the poll of more than 1,000 adults believe treatment is a better option than law enforcement to tackle the problem. "Our poll findings show that American area aware of the problem of opioid addiction, believe people can recover and want to see an emphasis on making treatment available," APA CEO and Medical Director Dr. Saul Levin said. About 2 million Americans have a substance use disorder related to prescription opioid pain medications, such as oxycodone (OxyContin, Percocet) and hydrocodone (Vicoprofen). More than 33,000 Americans died from an opioid overdose in 2015, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says. ... Read more

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

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