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Opioid-Linked Hospitalizations Rising Fastest for Women: Study

Posted 2 days 15 hours ago 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, Hydromet, Roxicet, Acetaminophen/Oxycodone, Tussionex Pennkinetic

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

Posted 4 days ago 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 8 days ago 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, Substance Abuse, Poisoning, Fentanyl Transdermal, Actiq, Fentora, Duragesic-100, Subsys, Toxic Reactions Incl Drug and Substance Abuse, Duragesic-25, Substance Abuse - Cocaine, Duragesic-50, Fentanyl/Ropivacaine, Duragesic-12, Abstral

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

Posted 9 days ago 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: Tramadol, Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Methadone, OxyContin, Vicodin, Fentanyl, Opiate Dependence, Morphine, Codeine, Opiate Withdrawal, Opana, Subutex, Dilaudid, Butrans, Ultram, Opana ER, Nucynta, Roxicodone, MS Contin

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

Posted 10 days ago 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 days ago 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 15 days ago 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, Numorphan HCl

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

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: Tramadol, Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, 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, Oxycodone, Back Pain, 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: Tramadol, Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Percocet, Methadone, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Fentanyl, Opiate Dependence, Morphine, Codeine, Lortab, Opiate Withdrawal, Opana, Subutex, Dilaudid, Butrans, Ultram, Nucynta

It's Often Family to the Rescue During Opioid ODs

Posted 17 May 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, May 17, 2017 – The tragic scenario has become far too familiar: A mother, a father or a sibling discovers the lifeless body of a loved one who has overdosed on opioids. But a new study suggests that family members may be able to play a lifesaving role in some of these instances, mostly because of increased access to an antidote that can reverse an otherwise deadly ending. Sometimes, even the victims can rescue themselves from a potentially fatal overdose. Researchers in Massachusetts looked at people who underwent training in using the antidote – known as naloxone (Narcan, Evzio) – and found that family members used it in about 20 percent of slightly over 4,000 rescue attempts. Almost all rescue attempts were successful. "Individuals who use opioids are likely to use naloxone on both friends and family" who overdose, explained study author Dr. Sarah Bagley, an assistant ... Read more

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

High Rates of Hepatitis C in Pregnancy Mirror Opioid Epidemic: CDC

Posted 11 May 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, May 11, 2017 – Chalk up another potential consequence of the U.S. opioid epidemic: The prevalence of hepatitis C infections among pregnant women nearly doubled between 2009 and 2014, U.S. health officials report. Hepatitis C – which is caused most often by injection drug use – rose 89 percent nationwide among pregnant women. Increases were most notable in West Virginia and rural counties in Tennessee, areas hard-hit by the heroin and prescription painkiller epidemic, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported. Nationwide, 35 infants a day were exposed to the contagious liver disease, on average, study authors said. "We have seen a dramatic increase in opioid use in pregnancy and in the number of infants having drug withdrawal," said report author Dr. Stephen Patrick, of Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville. "Taken together, this suggests that ... Read more

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

Health Highlights: May 11, 2017

Posted 11 May 2017 by Drugs.com

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay: Senate Confirms Scott Gottlieb as FDA Chief The U.S. Senate on Tuesday confirmed Scott Gottlieb as the new commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration. The 57-42 vote was largely along party lines, with Democrats criticizing Gottlieb's financial links with health care and pharmaceutical companies and his past opposition to FDA measures to reduce the risks posed by some products, the Washington Post reported. The 44-year-old Gottlieb, a physician and venture capitalist, was as a deputy FDA commissioner and a high-ranking official at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services during the George W. Bush administration. He takes charge of the FDA as it faces pressure from Republicans to further accelerate its drug-approval process and to be more aggressive role in fighting the ... Read more

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

Babies Born Addicted to Opioids Often Struggle With Learning

Posted 3 May 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, May 3, 2017 – Babies exposed to opioid painkillers in the womb are more likely to need special education services by the time they reach school age, a new U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study found. Many infants born with an addiction to opioids – a condition called neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) – wind up lagging behind other children in school, said Dr. Mary-Margaret Fill. She's a CDC officer assigned to the Tennessee Department of Health. Fill and her colleagues found that, compared with kids without the syndrome, Tennessee children born with NAS were: 44 percent more likely to be referred for evaluation of potential developmental delays. 36 percent more likely to meet their state's criteria for educational disability. 37 percent more likely to receive help with educational and developmental difficulties. "These children were more likely to have ... Read more

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

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