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ERs May Need to Rethink Opioid Prescription Practices

Posted 2 days 20 hours ago by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, May 19, 2017 – People in U.S. emergency rooms may receive unnecessary opioid painkiller prescriptions for minor injuries such as a sprained ankle, a new study finds. This practice – which varies widely depending on what area of the country you're treated in – potentially boosts the risk that patients will become dependent on the drugs. "The substantial variation in prescribing patterns of such extremely addictive medications for minor injuries results in many thousands of pills entering the community and places patients at an increased risk of continued use and potentially addiction," said lead author Dr. M. Kit Delgado. He's an assistant professor of emergency medicine and epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine. "It's vital that we identify and understand the root causes of this growing issue," Delgado said in a school news release. The ... Read more

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

It's Often Family to the Rescue During Opioid ODs

Posted 5 days ago 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, Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Tramadol, Methadone, Percocet, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Fentanyl, Opiate Dependence, Morphine, Codeine, Lortab, Opiate Withdrawal, Opana, Subutex, Dilaudid, Opana ER, Roxicodone

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

Posted 11 days ago 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, Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Tramadol, Methadone, Percocet, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Fentanyl, Opiate Dependence, Morphine, Codeine, Lortab, Opiate Withdrawal, Opana, Hepatitis C, Subutex, Dilaudid, Opana ER

Babies Born Addicted to Opioids Often Struggle With Learning

Posted 19 days ago 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, Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Tramadol, Methadone, Percocet, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Fentanyl, Opiate Dependence, Morphine, Codeine, Lortab, Opiate Withdrawal, Opana, Subutex, Dilaudid, Opana ER, Roxicodone

Opioid Use by Iraq, Afghanistan War Vets Mirrors Rest of U.S.: Study

Posted 28 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, April 27, 2017 – U.S. veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars use opioid painkillers at rates similar to that of the general population, a new study finds. Researchers analyzed pharmacy claims data from the U.S. Veterans Health Administration. They found that 23 percent of these combat veterans were prescribed an opioid in a given year. About two-thirds took them for a short time; the rest took them for longer periods. "We found that use of opioids among veterans was characterized by use of moderate doses prescribed for fairly long periods of time," study co-author Teresa Hudson said. Hudson is a research scientist with the Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System and University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. "However, chronic use among this group of veterans appeared to be lower than that of veterans who served in other time periods," Hudson added in a RTI ... Read more

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

Drugs Now Involved in More Fatal U.S. Crashes Than Alcohol Alone

Posted 28 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, April 27, 2017 – In vehicle crashes that claim American lives, illicit drugs are now more likely to have played a role than the use of alcohol on its own, a new report says. The trend comes as more states legalize marijuana and the nation faces a troubling rise in opioid abuse and drug overdose deaths, the researchers noted. In 2015, drugs were detected in 43 percent of drivers who suffered fatal injuries, a higher percentage than cases involving alcohol alone, the report found. The report was by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) and the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility (Responsibility.org). "As drunk driving has declined, drugged driving has increased dramatically. And many of today's impaired drivers are combining two or more substances, which has a multiplicative effect on driver impairment," Ralph Blackman, president and CEO of ... Read more

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

Opioid-Related Deaths Might Be Underestimated: CDC

Posted 25 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, April 25, 2017 – America's prescription drug abuse epidemic may be even more deadly than expected, a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests. Some opioid-related deaths may be missed when people die from pneumonia and other infectious diseases spurred on by drug abuse. Their death certificates may only list the infection as the cause of their demise, explained CDC field officer Victoria Hall. That means a number of drug-related deaths are not being counted, since surveillance systems mainly track overdose deaths. "It does seem like it is almost an iceberg of an epidemic," Hall said. "We already know that it's bad, and while my research can't speak to what percent we are underestimating, we know we are missing some cases." More than half of a series of drug-related unexplained deaths in Minnesota between 2006 and 2015 listed pneumonia as the ... Read more

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

Don't Let Bugs Dampen Your Outdoor Fun

Posted 17 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

SATURDAY, April 15, 2017 – If you've spent any time outdoors recently, you may have found yourself swatting away a fly or mosquito – and that means it's time to bone up on bug avoidance. "Although most bug bites are harmless, some can spread dangerous diseases like Zika virus, dengue, Lyme disease and malaria," said Dr. Lindsay Strowd, an assistant professor of dermatology at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, N.C. "Particularly if you're visiting areas with known insect-borne diseases, it's important to take steps to reduce your risk," Strowd said in an American Academy of Dermatology news release. Here are Strowd's tips to avoid unwanted bites. Your best defense against insect bites is to cover yourself – with bug spray and clothes. Apply insect repellent with 20 to 30 percent DEET. If you're also wearing sunscreen, apply your sunscreen first, let it dry, and ... Read more

Related support groups: Percocet, Vicodin, Norco, Lortab, Tylenol, Ibuprofen, Benadryl, Acetaminophen, Advil, Hydroxyzine, Zyrtec, Promethazine, Claritin, Loratadine, Allegra, Diphenhydramine, Paracetamol, Phenergan, Motrin, Fioricet

Rehab Services Lacking in States Hit Hard by Opioids

Posted 7 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, April 7, 2017 – Opioid treatment programs for low-income Americans are in short supply in areas where they're needed the most, a new study contends. Lack of affordable access is particularly apparent across the Southeast, researchers said. The finding follows the Trump Administration's announcement last week that it would be establishing a new commission to focus on the nation's growing opioid epidemic. Opioid medications include oxycodone (OxyContin, Percocet), hydrocodone (Vicoprofen), codeine, morphine and others. Heroin is also a potent opioid. "In the midst of an escalating opioid epidemic, treatment in opioid treatment programs are almost nonexistent for low-income Americans – (meaning) Medicaid enrollees – in a majority of the country," said study lead author Amanda Abraham. She's an assistant professor of public administration and policy at the University of Georgia. ... Read more

Related support groups: Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Percocet, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Opiate Dependence, Morphine, Codeine, Lortab, Roxicodone, MS Contin, Drug Dependence, Endocet, Kadian, Acetaminophen/Hydrocodone, Cheratussin AC, Tylenol with Codeine, Percocet 10/325, Vicoprofen

Marathon Running May Cause Short-Term Kidney Injury

Posted 28 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, March 28, 2017 – Any marathoner will tell you that the grueling 26-mile races can do a number on the hips, knees, ankles and feet. Now, a small study suggests that these tests of endurance are also tough on the kidneys. "Marathon runners demonstrate transient or reversible short-term kidney injury," said Dr. Chirag Parikh, professor of medicine at Yale University. In his study of 22 participants in the 2015 Hartford, Conn. Marathon, Parikh found that 82 percent showed acute kidney injury after the race. In this condition, the kidneys fail to filter waste from the blood. The good news is that the kidney injury seems to clear up within two days of the race, he said. "On day 2, they are all fine," Parikh said. Runners likely don't even know they've had this transient injury, Parikh said. "For the short term, I don't think they would notice anything," he said. Parikh isn't certain ... Read more

Related support groups: Percocet, Vicodin, Norco, Lortab, Tylenol, Ibuprofen, Naproxen, Acetaminophen, Advil, Aleve, Renal Failure, Paracetamol, Fioricet, Motrin, Excedrin, Tylenol PM, Darvocet-N 100, Endocet, Acetaminophen/Hydrocodone, Tylenol with Codeine

Smoking Slows Recovery From Drug Abuse

Posted 27 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, March 27, 2017 – People recovering from illicit drug abuse are more likely to be successful if they don't smoke cigarettes, a new study finds. Most illicit drug users also smoke cigarettes, but many substance abuse programs do not include treatment for nicotine dependence, the study authors said. "The thinking in clinical settings has been that asking patients to quit cigarette smoking while they try to stop using drugs is 'too difficult,' or that smoking may be helpful in remaining abstinent from alcohol and drugs, but it is not related whether or not one remains abstinent from illicit drug use over the long term," said study leader Renee Goodwin. However, the investigators found that smokers were twice as likely as nonsmokers to relapse within three years. For the study, Goodwin, of the department of epidemiology at Columbia University's School of Public Health in New York ... Read more

Related support groups: Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Percocet, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Opiate Dependence, Morphine, Lortab, Smoking, Heroin, Roxicodone, MS Contin, Smoking Cessation, Drug Dependence, Endocet, Kadian, Acetaminophen/Hydrocodone, Percocet 10/325, Vicoprofen

Fewer U.S. Kids Overdosing on Opioids

Posted 20 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, March 20, 2017 – The number of U.S. kids who overdose on prescription painkillers each year may be declining – but the incidents remain a major public health problem, new research says. Since 2009, U.S. poison control centers have seen fewer calls about children and teenagers who've ingested prescription opioids, researchers found. Often, those incidents involved young children who'd gotten hold of an adult's medication. In other cases, it was a teenager who intentionally abused the drug, or used it to self-harm. The fact that the incidents may be waning is "good news," researchers said. But, they stress, the issue is not going away. "We really have a major problem in this country [with opioid abuse]," said Dr. Marcel Casavant, one of the researchers on the study. "And it's trickling down to our kids." And in certain ways, the study found, things have gotten worse: Among ... 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

Opioid Dependence Can Start in Just a Few Days

Posted 17 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, March 16, 2017 – Doctors who limit the supply of opioids they prescribe to three days or less may help patients avoid the dangers of dependence and addiction, a new study suggests. Among patients without cancer, a single day's supply of a narcotic painkiller can result in 6 percent of patients being on an opioid a year later, the researchers said. The odds of long-term opioid use increased most sharply in the first days of therapy, particularly after five days of taking the drugs. The rate of long-term opioid use increased to about 13 percent for patients who first took the drugs for eight days or more, according to the report. "Awareness among prescribers, pharmacists and persons managing pharmacy benefits that authorization of a second opioid prescription doubles the risk for opioid use one year later might deter overprescribing of opioids," said senior researcher Martin ... 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, Hydromet, Roxicet, Acetaminophen/Oxycodone, Tussionex Pennkinetic, Lorcet 10/650

Opioid Painkillers and Xanax or Valium a Deadly Mix: Study

Posted 15 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, March 15, 2017 – Mixing opioid painkillers with common anxiety and sleep medications is a prescription for a deadly overdose, a new U.S. study shows. Of all fatal overdoses from narcotic medications, nearly 30 percent also involved benzodiazepines, such as Xanax, Klonopin and Valium, the researchers said. "It's not news that this combination is not a good one, but despite being well known, it's gone up over time, and more people are ending up in the hospital because of it," said lead researcher Dr. Eric Sun. "Patients and doctors really need to think twice about this combination." When patients take benzodiazepines along with narcotic painkillers such as Oxycontin, Percocet and Vicodin, the mix lowers the threshold for an overdose, said Sun. He is an assistant professor of anesthesiology, perioperative and pain medicine at Stanford University. Although this study cannot ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Anxiety, Xanax, Suboxone, Oxycodone, Anxiety and Stress, Back Pain, Hydrocodone, Tramadol, Methadone, Percocet, Klonopin, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Fentanyl, Morphine, Valium, Codeine, Lortab

7 in 10 U.S. Workplaces Hit by Opioid Abuse: Survey

Posted 10 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, March 10, 2017 – Prescription drug abuse has seeped into the American workplace, with 70 percent of businesses saying it affects their workers, a new survey reveals. The National Safety Council report also found that while 71 percent of employers believe that abuse of opioid prescription painkillers is a disease that requires treatment, 65 percent also consider it a justifiable reason to fire a worker. "Employers must understand that the most dangerously misused drug today may be sitting in employees' medicine cabinets," said Deborah Hersman, president and CEO of the safety council. "Even when they are taken as prescribed, prescription drugs and opioids can impair workers and create hazards on the job. We hope these findings prompt employers to take the lead on this emerging issue so that workplaces can be as safe as possible," she added in a safety council news release. But ... Read more

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

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