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Fatal Opioid ODs Drop for People Treated While Jailed

Posted 1 day 17 hours ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Feb. 20, 2018 – An opioid addiction treatment program for Rhode Island prison inmates appears to have significantly reduced overdose deaths among those who are released, researchers say. The program screens all inmates for opioid addiction and provides medications to treat the addiction. It was launched in 2016 and is the only program of its kind in the United States, according to the ...

Another Downside to Opioid Use: Pneumonia?

Posted 9 days ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Feb. 12, 2018 – The bad news on opioids just keeps coming. Not only are these painkillers implicated in millions of cases of addiction and tens of thousands of overdose deaths in the United States, new research now suggests that taking opioids can increase your risk of getting a pneumococcal infection by about 60 percent. "The risk was increased even more for long-acting formulations, ...

Long-Term Opioid Use Down Among U.S. Vets: Study

Posted 14 days ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 7, 2018 – Recent efforts by the U.S. Veterans Health Administration (VHA) to promote safe prescribing of opioid painkillers seem to be working. Opioid prescriptions by the VHA have declined since peaking in 2012, a new study finds. Key to the drop is decreases in long-term prescriptions, which carry greater risk for overdose and addiction, said the study's lead author, Katherine ...

How to Avoid Opioid Addiction After Surgery

Posted 30 Jan 2018 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Jan. 30, 2018 – Following surgery, many patients head home with prescriptions for 30 or more opioid painkillers – enough to trigger addiction, warns a leading group of anesthesiologists. The American Society of Anesthesiologists recommends using prescription painkillers sparingly, if at all, after surgery. "Nobody needs a prescription for 30 or 50 opioids, and even those who are in ...

Opioid Epidemic Also Taking Toll on Babies

Posted 22 Jan 2018 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Jan. 22, 2018 – In yet another example of how far-reaching the fallout from America's opioid epidemic is, researchers report that babies exposed to these narcotics while in the womb run the risk of certain head and neck abnormalities. One is a twisting of the neck (torticollis) and the other is a flattening of the head (plagiocephaly), which often occurs in tandem with torticollis. In ...

Opioid Abuse Rises When Prescriptions Are Renewed

Posted 18 Jan 2018 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Jan. 18, 2018 – How long you take opioid painkillers after surgery is a much stronger risk factor for addiction and overdose than the dosage of the opioids you take, researchers report. The new study included more than 560,000 people who were prescribed opioids such as OxyContin or Percocet after surgery. None had a history of recent or chronic opioid use. Each additional week of ...

FDA Medwatch Alert: Prescription Opioid Cough and Cold Medicines: Drug Safety Communication - FDA Requires Labeling Changes

Posted 14 Jan 2018 by Drugs.com

ISSUE: FDA is requiring safety labeling changes for prescription cough and cold medicines containing codeine or hydrocodone to limit the use of these products to adults 18 years and older because the risks of these medicines outweigh their benefits in children younger than 18. FDA is also requiring the addition of safety information about the risks of misuse, abuse, addiction, overdose, death, ...

Tamper-Resistant Opioids May Not Ease Addiction Crisis: Study

Posted 11 Jan 2018 by Drugs.com

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 Drugs.com

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 Drugs.com

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 Drugs.com

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 ...

Patients OK With Fewer Opioids After Gallbladder Surgery

Posted 6 Dec 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 6, 2017 – Far fewer opioid painkillers are needed than thought for people who have their gallbladder removed, a new study suggests. Not only was pain still controlled in these patients following surgery, but the conservative prescribing strategy could help combat the opioid crisis in the United States, the researchers noted. Prescription opioid painkillers include drugs such as ...

Steep Rise in Deaths for People Hospitalized After Opioid OD

Posted 4 Dec 2017 by Drugs.com

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 ...

Another Opioid Scourge: Dangerous Infections

Posted 30 Nov 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Nov. 30, 2017 – The epidemic of opioid abuse in the United States has put hospital ERs on the front line, with staffers increasingly battling infections tied to the problem. ERs are seeing an increasing number of patients seeking care for severe infections resulting from injected use of heroin, fentanyl, oxycodone and the like, new research shows. ER radiologists are often the first to ...

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

Posted 30 Nov 2017 by Drugs.com

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 ...

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