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Opioid Epidemic Costs U.S. $78.5 Billion Annually: CDC

Posted 21 Sep 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 21, 2016 – Abuse of powerful prescription painkillers called opioids costs the U.S. economy $78.5 billion a year, according to a new government study. Researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention analyzed the financial toll of opioid abuse, including direct health care costs, lost productivity and costs to the criminal justice system. "More than 40 Americans die each day from overdoses involving prescription opioids. Families and communities continue to be devastated by the epidemic of prescription opioid overdoses," said CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden. "The rising cost of the epidemic is also a tremendous burden for the health care system." The study, led by Curtis Florence of the CDC's National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, found that health care accounted for about 30 percent of the costs associated with opioid abuse in 2013. Total ... 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

Most on Opioid Painkillers OK With Getting Overdose Antidote: Survey

Posted 13 Sep 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Sept. 13, 2016 – A new, small survey of people taking powerful opioid painkillers like OxyContin and Vicodin found that most were willing to also fill prescriptions for an overdose antidote. Three patients even used the antidote to treat an apparent overdose within a few months, the researchers said. The findings provide more evidence to support wider access to the antidote naloxone, better known by the brand name Narcan. "Physicians should absolutely consider prescribing naloxone with opioids," said study co-author Dr. Phillip Coffin. He is director of substance use research with the San Francisco Department of Public Health's Center for Public Health Research. "Some providers have voiced concern that prescribing naloxone to patients could result in negative patient reactions," Coffin added. "We found that this was rare. Even among the few with a negative initial reaction, ... Read more

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

Doctors Urged to Prescribe Lower Doses of Opioids, No Refills

Posted 9 Aug 2016 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, Tramadol, Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Methadone, Percocet, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Fentanyl, Opiate Dependence, Morphine, Codeine, Lortab, Opiate Withdrawal, Opana, Subutex, Dilaudid, Opana ER, Roxicodone

Painkiller That Killed Prince Part of Dangerous Wave of New Synthetic Drugs

Posted 16 Jun 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, June 16, 2016 – The recent overdose death of rock legend Prince has brought renewed focus on the dangers posed by synthetic opioids – laboratory-created narcotics tweaked by chemists to produce potentially lethal highs while skirting U.S. drug laws. Prince Rogers Nelson, 57, died April 21 from an overdose of fentanyl, a drug often used to quell pain in cancer patients when traditional opioids prove ineffective. Despite its legitimate medical uses, fentanyl has acquired a growing reputation as a dangerous street drug thanks to at least a dozen synthetic variants now available to users, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). And fentanyl is only one of numerous synthetic opioids and designer drugs now flooding the illicit drug market in the United States, DEA acting chief Chuck Rosenberg warned during a U.S. Senate hearing last week. "We are trying to ... Read more

Related support groups: Fentanyl, Opiate Dependence, Morphine, Opiate Withdrawal, Heroin, MS Contin, Drug Dependence, Duragesic, Kadian, Substance Abuse, M O S, Avinza, Fentanyl Transdermal, Actiq, Embeda, MSIR, Opioid Overdose, Fentora, Roxanol, Morphine IR

Many Take Opioids Months After Hip, Knee Replacements

Posted 4 Jun 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, June 3, 2016 – A significant number of patients continue to take powerful prescription opioid painkillers many months after joint replacement surgery, a new study shows. The findings are important because joint replacement surgery is increasingly common and there are sharply rising rates of opioid overdoses in the United States. Common prescription opioid painkillers include drugs such as OxyContin, Vicodin and Percocet. In fact, an autopsy report released Thursday showed that music legend Prince died in April after taking fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid painkiller. The artist was said to have suffered from severe hip pain after years of performing intense acrobatics during his shows. For the new study, researchers looked at 574 patients undergoing knee or hip replacement surgery. About 30 percent of the patients were taking potentially addictive opioid painkillers before ... Read more

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

FDA Approves Implant to Battle Opioid Addiction

Posted 27 May 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, May 26, 2016 – A new long-acting implant that can help treat people addicted to heroin and prescription painkillers was approved Thursday by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. "Opioid abuse and addiction have taken a devastating toll on American families. We must do everything we can to make new, innovative treatment options available that can help patients regain control over their lives," FDA Commissioner Dr. Robert M. Califf said in a statement. "Today's approval provides the first-ever implantable option to support patients' efforts to maintain treatment as part of their overall recovery program." Probuphine is placed in the upper arm of recovering addicts and releases a steady six-month dose of buprenorphine, an anti-addiction drug designed to combat the cravings that come with opioids like heroin or powerful prescription painkillers like Percocet or OxyContin. ... Read more

Related support groups: Suboxone, Opiate Dependence, Opiate Withdrawal, Subutex, Drug Dependence, Butrans, Buprenorphine, Zubsolv, Opioid Overdose, Toxic Reactions Incl Drug and Substance Abuse, Buprenex, Belbuca, Bunavail, Buprenorphine/Naloxone

FDA Medwatch Alert: Morphine Sulfate 0.5 mg/mL Preservative Free in 0.9 percent Sodium Chloride by by Pharmakon Pharmaceuticals: Recall - Super-potent Product

Posted 18 Feb 2016 by Drugs.com

ISSUE: FDA is alerting health care professionals of a voluntary recall of morphine sulfate 0.5 mg/mL preservative free in 0.9% sodium chloride, 1 mL syringe, CII, for intravenous use made and distributed by Pharmakon Pharmaceuticals, in Noblesville, Indiana, because the product is super-potent. Pharmakon initiated the voluntary recall on February 11, 2016, after receiving laboratory results showing the product was super-potent. On February 16, 2016, FDA was alerted of serious adverse events in three infants associated with the use of the recalled morphine sulfate products from Pharmakon. Injecting a patient with super-potent morphine could result in serious consequences including respiratory depression, coma, and death. BACKGROUND: The recalled product was made on February 3, 2016, with an expiration date of March 19, 2016, and labeled with lot E52418EV11C and NDC 45183-0322-78. The ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Morphine, MS Contin, Kadian, M O S, Avinza, Opioid Overdose, MSIR, Roxanol, Morphine IR, MS/S, Morphine Sulfate ER, Statex, Oramorph SR, M-Eslon, Morphine Sulfate SR, Morphine LP Epidural, MorphaBond, Roxanol-T, Astramorph PF

Prescriptions Continue for Most Who Survive Painkiller ODs: Study

Posted 30 Dec 2015 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Dec. 28, 2015 – Even as overdoses from narcotic prescription painkiller reach record levels in the United States, a new report finds that most people who survive such events continue to be prescribed the drugs by their doctors. The new study found that this happened in more than 90 percent of cases, and patients who continued on drugs like OxyContin, Vicodin and Percocet after an overdose had twice the odds of overdosing again within the next two years. "Seventy percent of patients who overdosed were getting their drugs from the same doctor who prescribed the narcotic before the overdose," noted lead researcher Dr. Marc Larochelle, an assistant professor of medicine at Boston University School of Medicine. In many cases, doctors who continued to prescribe the narcotics didn't even know that their patients had suffered an overdose. "This signals a problem with the health system, ... Read more

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

Narcan Nasal Spray Approved to Counter Narcotic Painkiller Overdose

Posted 20 Nov 2015 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Nov. 19, 2015 – Narcan (naloxone hydrochloride) nasal spray has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to stop or reverse an overdose of opioids, a class of narcotic drugs that includes the prescription medication oxycodone (Oxycontin) and the illicit drug heroin. Symptoms of overdose with these drugs could include shallow breathing and difficulty waking a person. Drug overdoses have surpassed traffic accidents as the leading cause of injury death in the United States, the FDA said in a news release. Narcan, if given soon enough, can reverse the effects of an overdose in as little as two minutes, the agency said. The drug was approved previously as an injection. However, many first responders believe a nasal spray is easier to deliver and avoids the possibility of needle contamination, the FDA said. However, the drug is not meant to substitute for immediate ... Read more

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

FDA Approves Nasal Spray to Reverse Narcotic Painkiller Overdose

Posted 20 Nov 2015 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Nov. 19, 2015 – A nasal spray that treats narcotic painkiller and heroin drug overdoses has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The newly approved nasal spray (Narcan) contains the medication naloxone hydrochloride, which can stop or reverse the effects of a narcotic (also called opioid) drug overdose. Narcan is the first approved nasal spray version of the medication and offers an important new easy-to-use treatment option for family members and first responders dealing with a heroin or narcotic painkiller overdose, the FDA said. Narcotic painkillers include prescription pain drugs such as oxycodone (OxyContin), hydrocodone (when combined with acetaminophen, it's called Vicodin or Percocet) and morphine. Narcan can also reverse the effects of heroin. Drug overdose deaths are currently the leading cause of injury death in the United States, the FDA said. ... Read more

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

FDA Approves Narcan (naloxone) Nasal Spray to Treat Opioid Overdose

Posted 18 Nov 2015 by Drugs.com

November 18, 2015 – Today the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Narcan nasal spray, the first FDA-approved nasal spray version of naloxone hydrochloride, a life-saving medication that can stop or reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. Opioids are a class of drugs that include prescription medications such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, and morphine, as well as the illegal drug heroin. Drug overdose deaths, driven largely by prescription drug overdoses, are now the leading cause of injury death in the United States – surpassing motor vehicle crashes. In 2013, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported the number of drug overdose deaths had steadily increased for more than a decade. When someone overdoses on an opioid, it can be difficult to awaken the person, and breathing may become shallow or stop – leading to death if there is no medical intervention. If nal ... Read more

Related support groups: Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Morphine, Narcotic, Overdose, Hydromorphone, Oxymorphone, Naloxone, Narcan, Opioid Overdose

Multiple ER Visits Linked to Risk of Prescription-Drug Overdose Death

Posted 14 May 2015 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, May 14, 2015 – Frequent visits to emergency departments appear to be a predictor of death from a prescription drug overdose, a new study finds. People with four or more ER visits in the past year were 48 times more likely to die of prescription drug overdose compared to those who visited an ER once or not at all, researchers found. With three visits a year, the risk of overdose death from a prescription drug was 17 times greater. The study, by researchers at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, was recently published online in the journal Annals of Epidemiology. "While 'doctor-shopping' – the practice of visiting multiple health care providers to obtain controlled substances – has been shown to be associated with prescription drug overdose in many studies, our investigation demonstrates that the frequency of emergency department visits in the past year is ... Read more

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

ERs See Spike in Narcotic Painkiller Abuse Cases

Posted 14 May 2015 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, May 14, 2015 – There was a sharp rise in the number of emergency room visits involving the narcotic painkiller tramadol between 2005 and 2011, two new government reports show. Tramadol is the active ingredient in brand-name drugs such as Ultram, Ultracet, Conzip, Ryzolt and Rybix ODT. The number of ER visits associated with adverse reactions to tramadol rose 145 percent from nearly 11,000 visits in 2005 to almost 26,000 visits in 2009. The number of visits increased to more than 27,000 visits in 2011, the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reported. "Tramadol and other pain relievers can help to alleviate pain, but they must be used carefully and in close consultation with a physician," SAMHSA Chief Medical Officer Dr. Elinore McCance-Katz said in an agency news release. ER visits associated with adverse reactions to tramadol rose about ... Read more

Related support groups: Tramadol, Ultram, Dromadol SR, Ultracet, Ultram ER, Opioid Overdose, Ryzolt, Zydol, Tramal, GenRx Tramadol, Tramahexal, Ultram ODT, Acetaminophen/Tramadol, ConZip, Tramahexal SR, Zamadol, Tramake Insts, Zamadol Melt, Tramal SR, Rybix

Wider Use of Naloxone Could Cut Deaths From Drug Overdoses: CDC

Posted 24 Apr 2015 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, April 24, 2015 – Allowing more emergency medical service (EMS) workers to administer the prescription drug naloxone could reduce the number of overdose deaths caused by opioid drugs, U.S. health officials said Friday. Opioids include powerful prescription narcotic painkillers such as Vicodin, OxyContin, Percocet and codeine as well as heroin. Prescription opioids caused more than 16,000 deaths in the United States in 2013, while heroin caused more than 8,000 deaths, the officials said. Naloxone is a prescription drug that can be lifesaving if given in time to people who have overdosed on prescription opioids or heroin. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention researchers reviewed nationwide data from 2012 and found that advanced EMS staffers were more likely than basic EMS staffers to administer naloxone. One of the big reasons: as of 2014, only 12 states allowed basic ... Read more

Related support groups: Suboxone, Naloxone, Talwin Nx, Narcan, Zubsolv, Opioid Overdose, Toxic Reactions Incl Drug and Substance Abuse, Bunavail, Buprenorphine/Naloxone, Naloxone/Pentazocine, Evzio, Naloxone/oxycodone

Fatal ODs From Narcotic Painkillers Have Tripled in U.S.

Posted 2 Dec 2014 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Dec. 2, 2014 – The epidemic of prescription painkiller abuse continues to take a deadly toll in the United States, with fatal overdoses involving drugs such as Oxycontin and Vicodin tripling over a decade, a new report shows. Deaths from another form of opiate, heroin, also nearly tripled between 1999 and 2012, according to the report released Tuesday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There was one glimmer of hope, however: In the last year of the study, 2011-2012, the CDC noted a 5 percent drop in prescription painkiller deaths, the first such decline ever. The numbers echo similar findings released by the CDC in September. That report covered the years 1999 to 2011, and found steady year-by-year increases in overdose deaths linked to narcotic painkillers. However, there was one sign of hope in that study, too. "Although the rate [of fatal overdoses] is ... Read more

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

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