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As Pot Legalization Advances, Pediatricians Warn of Dangers

Posted 19 hours ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Feb. 27, 2017 – The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is urging doctors to protect children from the harms of marijuana as the nation becomes increasingly tolerant of the drug's use. "Marijuana is not a benign drug, especially for teens. Their brains are still developing, and marijuana can cause abnormal and unhealthy changes," said Dr. Seth Ammerman in an AAP news release. He's one of the authors of a new report by the academy. The authors said the report tries to rebut any perceptions that marijuana is safe, even as 29 states and Washington, D.C. allow its use for medical purposes, recreational use or both. Regular use of pot by kids may contribute to addiction, depression, psychosis, lung problems, memory and attention problems, and impaired driving, the AAP said. The report authors noted that research suggests modern marijuana is stronger than it was 20 years ago. They ... Read more

Related support groups: Smoking, Drug Dependence, Substance Abuse, Cannabis, Poisoning, Toxic Reactions Incl Drug and Substance Abuse

Drug OD Deaths Have Nearly Tripled Since 1999: CDC

Posted 4 days ago by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Feb. 24, 2017 – Drug overdose deaths have nearly tripled in the United States since 1999, with whites and middle-aged Americans bearing much of the brunt, a new government report shows. More than 16 out of every 100,000 Americans died of a drug overdose in 2015, compared to just over 6 in 1999, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found. Heroin and other opioids accounted for about half of these deaths, a reflection of the damage wrought by the prescription painkiller epidemic this decade, said Dr. Edwin Salsitz, an addiction medicine specialist. Overdose deaths are so common that they're driving down the average life expectancy for white Americans, said Salsitz, who is with Mount Sinai Health System in New York City. The CDC report, released Feb. 24, found that drug overdose deaths have risen among whites at a rate of about 7 percent each year, compared with 2 ... Read more

Related support groups: Oxycodone, Percocet, OxyContin, Opiate Dependence, Morphine, Codeine, Heroin, Roxicodone, MS Contin, Drug Dependence, Endocet, Kadian, Cheratussin AC, Tylenol with Codeine, Percocet 10/325, Tylenol with Codeine 3, Substance Abuse, M O S, Roxicet, Acetaminophen/Oxycodone

Many Opioid Addicts in Treatment Take Narcotics on the Side

Posted 4 days ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Feb. 23, 2017 – Opioid addicts who undergo "medication-assisted treatment" are often using other narcotics before long, a new study cautions. Doctors frequently give addicts buprenorphine, a low-dose opioid, to minimize withdrawal symptoms while they try to get off opiates like oxycodone (Oxycontin) or heroin. The drug produces a weaker effect than those deadlier drugs. But researchers from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health checked pharmacy records for 38,000 new buprenorphine patients in 11 states and found cause for concern. Forty-three percent of addiction patients filled a prescription for a full-strength opioid like oxycodone while undergoing treatment, which was typically three months. And 67 percent did so in the year after treatment ended, the researchers found. "Policymakers may believe that people treated for opioid addiction are cured, but people with ... Read more

Related support groups: Suboxone, Oxycodone, Percocet, OxyContin, Opiate Dependence, Opiate Withdrawal, Subutex, Butrans, Roxicodone, Buprenorphine, Endocet, Percocet 10/325, Substance Abuse, Roxicet, Acetaminophen/Oxycodone, Percocet 5/325, Zubsolv, OxyIR, Opiate Adjunct, Toxic Reactions Incl Drug and Substance Abuse

Smart Kids Prone to Dumb Choices on Pot, Booze

Posted 5 days ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Feb. 23, 2017 – Smart students usually know better than to light up a cigarette. But when it comes to drinking alcohol or smoking marijuana, these same whiz kids are likely to let knowledge take a backseat to "party" time. New research from the United Kingdom revealed that students who excel in English, math and science appear to be less likely to smoke cigarettes than those with poorer grades. But smart teens are more likely than their less-brainy peers to knock back some drinks or smoke pot. The study, led by James Williams of the University College London, UCL Medical School, included about 6,000 students, starting at the age of 11. The kids came from nearly 900 schools in England. Until they reached the age of 19 or 20, all of the study participants regularly completed behavioral questionnaires, which included questions regarding use of tobacco, alcohol and marijuana. ... Read more

Related support groups: Smoking, Smoking Cessation, Drug Dependence, Alcohol Dependence, Alcohol Withdrawal, Substance Abuse, Alcoholism, Cannabis, Hangover, Toxic Reactions Incl Drug and Substance Abuse, Acute Alcohol Intoxication

Don't Punish Pregnant Women for Opioid Use, Docs Say

Posted 8 days ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Feb. 20, 2017 – Prevention and treatment, not legal action, should be the focus when dealing with pregnant women who use opioids, a leading pediatricians' group says. Some states prosecute and jail pregnant women for substance abuse, but the new statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) warns that punitive measures have no health benefits for mother or child and may deter women from seeking help. "Over the last two decades, use of opioids surged throughout the U.S., and as they did, we have seen an increase in opioid-related complications in nearly every population, including pregnant women and their infants," statement co-author Dr. Stephen Patrick said in an AAP news release. "Our response should be grounded in public health. We should be bolstering efforts targeted at primary prevention, like prescription drug-monitoring programs, and expanding treatment ... Read more

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

Kids' OD Risk Rises When Opioids Left Out at Home

Posted 8 days ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Feb. 20, 2017 – A child's risk of a potentially fatal drug overdose more than doubles if a parent brings home a prescription opioid painkiller like oxycodone, codeine or morphine, a new study reports. When their mother is prescribed an opioid for pain as opposed to a non-narcotic drug like aspirin, ibuprofen or acetaminophen, young children are about two-and-a-half times more likely to accidentally overdose, the researchers found. "The opioid epidemic has not skipped children," said Dr. Yaron Finkelstein, a pediatric emergency doctor with the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. "They are also vulnerable to it, even as a third party or innocent bystander." Finkelstein is lead researcher on the study, published online Feb. 20 in Pediatrics. Another study in the journal helps explain the source of some of this risk. Nearly 70 percent of prescription opioids in homes with ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Suboxone, Oxycodone, Back Pain, Hydrocodone, Methadone, Percocet, Tramadol, Chronic Pain, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Fentanyl, Opiate Dependence, Morphine, Aspirin, Codeine, Lortab, Opana, Ibuprofen

Anti-Addiction Meds Given in ER Can Help Battle Abuse

Posted 9 days ago by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Feb. 17, 2017 – People addicted to opioids treated in a hospital emergency department do better when they receive medication to reduce opioid cravings, researchers report. "The ED [emergency department] visit is an ideal opportunity to identify patients with opioid use disorder and initiate treatment and direct referral, similar to best practices for other diseases, such as high blood pressure and diabetes," said study co-leader Dr. Gail D'Onofrio in a Yale University news release. D'Onofrio is chair of emergency medicine at the university. The study looked at 290 people addicted to opioids who went to an emergency department. They received one of three treatments: a referral to addiction treatment services; a short interview including discussion of treatment; or a brief interview and the medication buprenorphine. The patients given medication also continued treatment with ... Read more

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

Some Docs May Help Fuel Opioid Abuse Epidemic

Posted 12 days ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 15, 2017 – You may be more likely to wind up a long-term user of opioid painkillers if you're treated by a doctor who frequently prescribes those drugs, a new study reports. Emergency room patients are at greater risk for long-term opioid use even after a single prescription from an ER doctor who regularly prescribes the painkillers, researchers found. "If a patient happened to see a high opioid-prescribing doctor, their chance of getting an opioid is over three times higher," said study author Dr. Michael Barnett. He's an assistant professor of health policy and management at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston. "Patients who are treated by frequent prescribers also are 30 percent more likely to develop long-term use over the next year," Barnett continued. One out of every 48 people newly prescribed an opioid will become a long-term user, based on ... Read more

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

Screen Time and Teen Time

Posted 14 days ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Feb. 14, 2017 – A new study challenges the widely held belief that spending a lot of time playing video games, using the computer or watching TV is harmful for teens. The study analyzed data from the 2013 Youth Risk Behavior Survey on Florida teens, average age 16. The findings showed only a small association between high amounts of so-called screen time and increased risk of depression, delinquency and poor school performance. Specifically, screen time accounted for 0.49 percent of the variance in delinquency, 1.7 percent in depressive symptoms and 1.2 percent in average grade points. There was no link between screen time and risky driving, risky sex, substance abuse or eating disorders. "Although an 'everything in moderation' message when discussing screen time with parents may be most productive, our results do not support a strong focus on screen time as a preventative ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Major Depressive Disorder, Eating Disorder, Substance Abuse

Amphetamine Abuse Abuses the Heart

Posted 18 days ago by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Feb. 10, 2017 – Using illegal amphetamine drugs such as "speed" and "ice" may lead to premature aging of the arteries and heart, researchers warn. They said their new study adds to evidence about the need to tackle the "global stimulant epidemic." The investigators were led by Stuart Reece, a clinical associate professor at the University of Western Australia. They assessed arterial stiffening in more than 700 Australians in their 30s and 40s. Arteries tend to harden with age. Those participants who used illegal amphetamines showed greater aging of the arteries than others, including those who smoked tobacco or used the heroin substitute methadone, the study reported. The link between illegal amphetamine use and greater aging of the arteries was seen in men and women. It was also independent of other risk factors for heart disease and stroke, Reece and his colleagues said. It's ... Read more

Related support groups: Adderall, Heart Disease, Ischemic Stroke, Adderall XR, Drug Dependence, Amphetamine, Substance Abuse, Amphetamine/Dextroamphetamine, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Toxic Reactions Incl Drug and Substance Abuse, Evekeo, Ischemic Heart Disease, Dyanavel XR, Adzenys XR-ODT

Opioids and Alcohol a Dangerous Cocktail

Posted 20 days ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 8, 2017 – Drinking alcohol while taking powerful opioid painkillers can trigger a potentially deadly respiratory problem, particularly in seniors, a new study warns. "Unfortunately, we're seeing more fatalities and people in emergency rooms after having misused or abused legally prescribed opioids, like oxycodone, while having consumed alcohol," said study author Dr. Albert Dahan. "Respiratory depression [where breathing becomes very shallow or stops temporarily] is a potentially fatal complication of opioid use. We found alcohol exacerbated the already harmful respiratory effects of opioids," Dahan said. Dahan is head of the Anesthesia and Pain Research Unit at Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands. In the study, the researchers assessed how mixing the opioid painkiller oxycodone and alcohol affected 12 younger volunteers, aged 21 to 28, and 12 older ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Oxycodone, Back Pain, Hydrocodone, Methadone, Percocet, Tramadol, Chronic Pain, OxyContin, Fentanyl, Opiate Dependence, Morphine, Codeine, Opiate Withdrawal, Opana, Subutex, Dilaudid, Ultram, Butrans, Breakthrough Pain

Amnesia Affecting Some Opioid Abusers

Posted 26 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Jan. 26, 2017 – Short-term memory loss may be yet another price of America's opioid addiction epidemic. Massachusetts health officials reported Thursday a cluster of 14 patients in that state who experienced problems remembering things just told to them. Doctors call this sudden-onset amnesia. The patients also had abnormal results on MRI brain scans. And researchers believe this might be the first sign of a new type of amnesia caused by drug use, likely opioids. "The best thing that could happen is that maybe this would be nothing," said report co-author Dr. Alfred DeMaria Jr., Massachusetts state epidemiologist. "But we are suspicious that something is going on possibly related to substance abuse that was not recognized before." From 2012 to 2016, 14 cases of people with the unusual neurological problem were identified from medical records. Thirteen of the 14 were either ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Xanax, Oxycodone, Anxiety and Stress, Percocet, OxyContin, Klonopin, Clonazepam, Opiate Dependence, Morphine, Ativan, Valium, Social Anxiety Disorder, Opiate Withdrawal, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Lorazepam, Alprazolam, Diazepam, Heroin

Rates of Early Deaths Rise for Whites, Drop for Blacks

Posted 26 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 25, 2017 – Premature death rates in the United States have fallen for some groups but risen in others, a federal study says. Researchers looked at death certificate data from 1999 to 2014. They found that rates of premature death (between ages 25 to 64) declined among blacks, Hispanics and Asian/Pacific Islanders. At the same time, the rates went up for whites and American Indians/Alaska Natives. "Death at any age is devastating for those left behind, but premature death is especially so, in particular for children and parents," said study senior author Amy Berrington, from the U.S. National Cancer Institute. "Our study can be used to target prevention and surveillance efforts to help those groups in greatest need," she said in an agency news release. There were fewer deaths from cancer, heart disease and HIV for blacks, Hispanics and Asian/Pacific Islanders. Success in ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Major Depressive Disorder, Opiate Dependence, Opiate Withdrawal, Drug Dependence, Substance Abuse, Liver and Pancreatic Disease, Benzodiazepine Overdose, Toxic Reactions Incl Drug and Substance Abuse

E-Cigarettes Not a Smoking Deterrent for Kids

Posted 23 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Jan. 23, 2017 – There's no evidence that e-cigarettes are driving down teen smoking – and, in fact, they may be drawing in kids who otherwise would never have smoked, a new study suggests. Researchers said the findings add to concerns about teenagers' use of e-cigarettes. E-cigarettes are battery-powered devices that deliver nicotine – along with flavoring and other chemicals – through a vapor rather than tobacco smoke. They are often marketed as a "safer" alternative to smoking, and a bridge toward quitting. But little is actually known about their health effects, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health. In recent years, the devices have been soaring in popularity among U.S kids. A federal report found that between 2013 and 2014, e-cigarette use tripled among high school and middle school students nationwide. Still, cigarette smoking has continued to decline. ... Read more

Related support groups: Smoking, Smoking Cessation, Nicotine, Substance Abuse, Cannabis, Nicorette, Nicoderm CQ, Nicotrol Inhaler, Commit, Toxic Reactions Incl Drug and Substance Abuse, Habitrol, Nicotrol TD, Nicorelief, Nicorette DS, Nicotrol NS, ProStep

Obamacare Covered More People With Mental Illness, Addictions

Posted 20 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Jan. 20, 2017 – More Americans with mental illness and substance abuse disorders got health insurance after the Affordable Care Act was introduced, a new study shows. However, these patients still face significant barriers to treatment, the Johns Hopkins researchers added. "The Affordable Care Act has been very effective in reducing the uninsured rate in this vulnerable population, where there is a real need to get people into services," said study leader Brendan Saloner. He's an assistant professor in the department of health policy and management. "We got more people covered, but we didn't make dramatic progress in closing the under-treatment gap," Saloner said in a university news release. "We need to find ways to take the next step and ensure people are seeing the providers who can help them." For the study, researchers reviewed data from nearly 30,000 adults, aged 18 to ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Anxiety and Stress, Lexapro, Zoloft, Wellbutrin, Cymbalta, Effexor, Prozac, Celexa, Major Depressive Disorder, Opiate Dependence, Seroquel, Citalopram, Paxil, Trazodone, Social Anxiety Disorder, Sertraline

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