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New FDA Head Outlines 'Forceful Steps' Against Opioid Crisis

Posted 11 hours ago 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: Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Tramadol, Methadone, Percocet, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Fentanyl, Opiate Dependence, Morphine, Codeine, Lortab, Opiate Withdrawal, Opana, Subutex, Dilaudid, Heroin, Opana ER, Roxicodone

It's Often Family to the Rescue During Opioid ODs

Posted 7 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 12 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

Health Highlights: May 11, 2017

Posted 13 days ago 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

Bullied in 5th Grade, Prone to Drug Abuse by High School

Posted 16 days ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, May 8, 2017 – A child bullied in fifth grade is more likely to show signs of depression in seventh grade, and abuse substances like alcohol, marijuana or tobacco in 10th grade, researchers say. Their study of more than 4,000 kids in Los Angeles, Houston and Birmingham, Ala., suggests a dangerous trajectory between not-uncommon childhood abuse and worrisome behavior in high school. "Our study suggests that it's important to take peer victimization seriously," said study co-author Valerie Earnshaw. She's an assistant professor in human development and family studies at the University of Delaware. "There's still sometimes this idea that peer victimization and bullying are a normal part of adolescence and that lots of kids will experience it, so it's fine. But, this study adds to a growing body of evidence that peer victimization and bullying are not fine," Earnshaw said. To ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Major Depressive Disorder, Drug Dependence, Dysthymia, Substance Abuse, Toxic Reactions Incl Drug and Substance Abuse

Pot a Factor in More ER Admissions for Colorado Teens After Legalization

Posted 19 days ago by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, May 5, 2017 – A Colorado children's hospital saw four times as many marijuana-intoxicated teenagers land in its ER or urgent care centers following legalization of recreational pot in that state, a new study reports. The number of teens diagnosed annually with marijuana intoxication or testing positive for pot during a drug screen at Children's Hospital Colorado rose from 146 in 2005 to 639 in 2014. The findings run counter to national surveys that have shown no increase in teenage pot use in states where recreational marijuana is legal, said lead researcher Dr. George Sam Wang. He's an assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. For example, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health found a similar percentage of teenagers reported pot use in 2015 as in the prior decade, researchers said in background notes. "Our study shows that ... Read more

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

Is Your Child Using Drugs?

Posted 27 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, April 27, 2017 – Mood swings and sudden changes in behavior can be a normal part of growing up, often starting in the tween years. But they can also signal substance abuse. They're among the signs that parents should look for if they're concerned that their child might be using drugs. Other signs include sudden changes in his or her relationships with family and friends. The child might stop caring about how he or she looks. Parents might notice changes in personal habits, like always locking a bedroom door or going out every night. Money and valuables – or your own pills – may start to disappear from your home. And drug paraphernalia can start to appear – from the obvious, like rolling papers, to strange containers. The child might start having problems at school or work. Drug use can cause physical signs, too, from a constant runny nose to depression to a dramatic change ... Read more

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

Higher Illicit Pot Use in States That OK Medical Marijuana: Study

Posted 26 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, April 26, 2017 – An unintended byproduct of medical marijuana laws could be a sharper increase in illicit pot use, a new U.S. study reports. Illicit pot use increased significantly more in states that passed medical marijuana laws compared to other states, researchers found in comparing three national surveys conducted between 1991 and 2013. States with medical marijuana laws also saw an increase in people who can't stop using pot even though it's interfering with many aspects of their lives, researchers said. This is known as cannabis use disorder. These laws "seem to send a message that use of this drug is safe and acceptable in some way," said lead researcher Deborah Hasin of Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. With this implicit message, more people feel free to use pot as they would alcohol, as a means to relax or to cope with problems like anxiety or ... Read more

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

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

Opioid Abusers at Higher Death Risk When Addiction Specialists Not Part of Care

Posted 21 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, April 21, 2017 – Opioid addicts who get their medical care in settings such as primary care offices and hospitals, rather than addiction centers, are 10 times more likely to die than patients without substance abuse disorders, a new study finds. Opioids include powerful prescription painkillers such as oxycodone (OxyContin, Percocet), hydrocodone (Vicodin), as well as illegal drugs such as heroin. University of California, Los Angeles researchers studied data from nearly 2,600 adults who were diagnosed with opioid addiction between 2006 and 2014 and who received health care at a major university hospital. Not all were receiving treatment for their opioid addiction. By the end of the period, 465 (18 percent) of the patients had died. Based on how long each person was in the study – four years on average – the researchers estimated that death rate was more than twice that of ... Read more

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

Money Spent on Teen Health a Good Global Investment

Posted 20 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, April 20, 2017 – Worldwide investments in teen health could yield significant economic returns, a new study contends. "Investing in young people is in everyone's interest," said Babatunde Osotimehin, executive director of the United Nations Population Fund. "A small investment in empowering and protecting the world's over a billion adolescents can bring a 10-fold return, or sometimes even more." Improving the physical, mental and sexual health of kids aged 10 to 19 – at a cost equivalent to US$4.60 per person per year – could result in a 10-fold economic return by preventing 12 million deaths and more than 30 million unwanted pregnancies, the study authors reported. Investing in teen education at a cost of $22.60 per person each year would generate a 12-fold economic return, and lead to an additional 12 million formal jobs for young adults, the researchers said. Investing ... Read more

Related support groups: Birth Control, Depression, Anxiety, Contraception, Anxiety and Stress, Emergency Contraception, Opiate Dependence, Smoking, Drug Dependence, Postcoital Contraception, Eating Disorder, Substance Abuse, Alcoholism, Acute Alcohol Intoxication

Club Drug 'Poppers' May Pose Eye Dangers

Posted 11 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, April 10, 2017 – For decades, use of the inhaled, legal high known as "poppers" has been common in dance clubs. But new research suggests the drug might pose a danger to club-goers' vision. Poppers are colorless liquids with strong odors that are inhaled for effects such as euphoria and sexual arousal. As the British authors of the new report explained, the prior principal chemical in poppers, isobutyl nitrite, was replaced with isopropyl nitrite after the former was reclassified as a cancer-causing agent in 2006. However, eye problems have now emerged as a side effect since the chemical composition of poppers was changed, the research team said. "The mounting body of evidence [suggests] that poppers can have serious effects on central vision," said a team led by Dr. Rebecca Rewbury, an ophthalmologist at Cheltenham General Hospital in the United Kingdom. Rewbury's team also ... Read more

Related support groups: Substance Abuse, Toxic Reactions Incl Drug and Substance Abuse, Visual Defect/Disturbance

Parents' Pot Use a Tricky Topic When It Comes to Their Kids

Posted 30 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, March 29, 2017 – It's a classic case of parents telling their kids: Don't do as I do, do as I say. The legalization of recreational and medical marijuana in many U.S. states puts parents who use pot in a challenging position, a pediatrician says. It's important to understand that if your children see you using marijuana, they'll want to do the same, according to Dr. Leslie Walker-Harding. She is chair of pediatrics at Penn State Children's Hospital. Parents who use marijuana need to make their children understand that the drug is not for use by youngsters. "Conventional wisdom is kids will do what they're going to do and you can't make a difference. But in reality, parents have the biggest impact on their kids," Walker-Harding said in a university news release. "The most powerful thing you can do as a parent is tell your child, 'I don't want you to use drugs or alcohol,' " ... Read more

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

Senator Probes Opioid Makers' Role in U.S. Drug Abuse Epidemic

Posted 29 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

A U.S. senator wants information from the five top makers of opioid painkiller drugs in order to assess their role in the nation's opioid epidemic. Sen. Claire McCaskill wants to determine whether the five companies – Purdue Pharma, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Insys Therapeutics, Mylan, and Depomed – have contributed to overuse and overprescribing of opioids, the Washington Post reported. Since 2000, 180,000 people in the U.S. have died of prescription opioid overdoses and tens of thousands have died of heroin and fentanyl overdoses, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. On Tuesday, McCaskill sent a letter to the five companies asking them for opioid sales and marketing materials, any research they may have conducted on the addictive properties of their drugs, and information on compliance with legal settlements, the Post reported. "This epidemic is the direct ... Read more

Related support groups: Fentanyl, Opiate Dependence, Opiate Withdrawal, Heroin, Drug Dependence, Duragesic, Substance Abuse, Actiq, Fentora, Duragesic-100, Toxic Reactions Incl Drug and Substance Abuse, Duragesic-25, Fentanyl Transdermal, Duragesic-50, Subsys, Substance Abuse - Cocaine, Duragesic-12, Fentanyl/Ropivacaine, Innovar, Lazanda

Heroin Epidemic Expands Its Grip on America

Posted 29 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, March 29, 2017 – Heroin use in the United States jumped fivefold over a decade, and young, white males are the epidemic's most likely victims, a new study finds. One addiction specialist blamed the lax use of prescription opioid painkillers – narcotics such as Oxycontin, Percocet and Vicodin – for the surge in heroin use. "A nation awash with prescription opioids has led to a large increase in addiction, overdose deaths and transition to heroin-fentanyl [a powerful synthetic opioid]," said Bertha Madras, a professor of psychobiology at Harvard Medical School. She wrote an editorial that accompanied the study. The issue is so pressing that President Donald Trump plans to announce the formation of a commission to investigate the opioid epidemic in the United States on Wednesday. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will chair the commission. The Trump administration also named ... Read more

Related support groups: Percocet, OxyContin, Vicodin, Opiate Dependence, Opiate Withdrawal, Heroin, Drug Dependence, Substance Abuse, Toxic Reactions Incl Drug and Substance Abuse

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