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Opioid-Related Deaths Might Be Underestimated: CDC

Posted 2 days 12 hours ago 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, Methadone, Tramadol, 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 7 days ago 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, Methadone, Tramadol, Percocet, OxyContin, Fentanyl, Opiate Dependence, Morphine, Codeine, Opiate Withdrawal, Opana, Subutex, Dilaudid, Heroin, Opana ER, Roxicodone, MS Contin, Drug Dependence

Don't Give Kids Medicines With Codeine, Tramadol: FDA

Posted 8 days ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, April 20, 2017 – Parents shouldn't give their children any medications containing the narcotics codeine or tramadol, because they can cause life-threatening breathing problems, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned Thursday. Warning labels on medications with codeine or tramadol will be strengthened to reflect these potential dangers, the FDA said in a statement. Nursing mothers should also avoid using these drugs, since they can pass unsafe levels of opioids to their babies through their breast milk, the agency said. Children's bodies tend to process opioids more quickly than most adults, due to their smaller size. That can cause the level of narcotics in their bloodstream to rise too high and too quickly, risking overdose, the agency explained. Tramadol is a prescription drug that is only approved for adults to treat pain, the agency noted. Codeine products are ... Read more

Related support groups: Oxycodone, Surgery, Obesity, Hydrocodone, Methadone, Tramadol, OxyContin, Fentanyl, Morphine, Codeine, Opana, Subutex, Dilaudid, Opana ER, Roxicodone, MS Contin, Butrans, Ultram, Hydromorphone, Nucynta

Many Opioid Addictions Surface After Surgery, Study Finds

Posted 15 days ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, April 12, 2017 – Some surgery patients prescribed opioids for post-operative pain relief may face a high risk for developing a long-term opioid addiction, new research warns. The analysis tracked a half-year of opioid use among more than 36,000 surgery patients. None had taken opioids before their surgical procedure. "We found that 5 to 6 percent of patients not using opioids prior to surgery continued to fill prescriptions for opioids long after what would be considered normal surgical recovery," said study author Dr. Chad Brummett. He is director of the division of pain research at the University of Michigan Medical School. "Moreover, the rates of new chronic use did not differ between patients having major and minor surgeries, suggesting that patients continue to use these pain medications for something other than simply pain from surgery," he added. The risk was highest ... Read more

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

This Fanged Fish Might Someday Help Ease Your Pain

Posted 30 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, March 30, 2017 – You wouldn't want the fang blenny nearby while swimming, but its venom might actually help you someday, scientists say. That's because the heroin-like poison emitted by the blenny may lead to new and better painkillers. "The fish injects other fish with opioid peptides that act like heroin or morphine, inhibiting pain rather than causing it," explained Bryan Fry, an associate professor at the University of Queensland in Australia. "The venom causes the bitten fish to become slower in movement and dizzy by acting on their [nerve cells'] opioid receptors," he explained in a university news release. The fang blenny is found on Australia's Great Barrier Reef and other locations in the Pacific Ocean. The fish – sometimes called poison-fang blennies or sabre-tooth blennies – are also popular as ornamental tropical aquarium fish. But it's their distinctive venom ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Methadone, Tramadol, Percocet, OxyContin, Vicodin, Fentanyl, Morphine, Codeine, Opana, Subutex, Dilaudid, Heroin, Opana ER, Roxicodone, MS Contin, Butrans, Ultram

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, Methadone, Tramadol, 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, Methadone, Tramadol, Percocet, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Fentanyl, Opiate Dependence, Morphine, Codeine, Lortab, Opiate Withdrawal, Opana, Subutex, Dilaudid, Opana ER, Roxicodone

1 in 4 U.S. Adults Disabled by Arthritis: CDC

Posted 8 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, March 7, 2017 – Arthritis is expanding its grip on Americans, with 24 million adults limited in their everyday activities because of the debilitating joint disease, U.S. health officials say. Overall, 54 million adults – or one in four – report an arthritis diagnosis. And the number of people disabled by it has jumped 20 percent since 2002, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Tuesday. "Arthritis symptoms keep millions of Americans from going about their daily routines," CDC acting director Dr. Anne Schuchat said in an agency news release. The joint aches, stiffness and swelling of arthritis can make holding a glass, carrying a grocery bag, or walking a short distance difficult or even impossible, the agency said. Why so many Americans have arthritis isn't clear, and can't be attributed solely to an aging population. Almost two of five adults with ... Read more

Related support groups: Suboxone, Oxycodone, Obesity, Diabetes, Type 2, Hydrocodone, Methadone, Tramadol, Percocet, Rheumatoid Arthritis, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Fentanyl, Morphine, Osteoarthritis, Codeine, Lortab, Opana, Subutex, Heart Disease

Longer Addiction Treatment Is Better, Study Confirms

Posted 5 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, March 3, 2017 – The longer patients receive treatment for addiction, the greater their chances of success, a new study finds. The study included 72 people, with an average age of 30 years. The participants were being treated for a variety of addictions, including alcohol and drugs such as opioids, amphetamines and benzodiazepines. The only significant factor in treatment success was the length of treatment. After one year, the treatment success rate was about 55 percent for those who underwent a standard 30-day treatment program. But the success rate was about 84 percent for those in treatment programs that lasted more than 30 days, the investigators found. The findings are important because most government and private health insurance programs only reimburse patients for 30 days of addiction treatment, said study leader Dr. Akikur Mohammad, of the University of Southern ... Read more

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

Kids' OD Risk Rises When Opioids Left Out at Home

Posted 20 Feb 2017 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, Tramadol, Percocet, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Fentanyl, Opiate Dependence, Morphine, Aspirin, Codeine, Lortab, Chronic Pain, Opana, Ibuprofen

Anti-Addiction Meds Given in ER Can Help Battle Abuse

Posted 19 Feb 2017 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, Tramadol, Percocet, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Fentanyl, Opiate Dependence, Morphine, Codeine, Lortab, Opiate Withdrawal, Opana, Subutex, Dilaudid, Opana ER, Roxicodone

Chronic Pain More Likely for Poor, Less Educated: Study

Posted 18 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Feb. 17, 2017 – Chronic pain is much more common among poor, less educated older Americans than their wealthier, more educated peers, a new study suggests. "I found that people with lower levels of education and wealth don't just have more pain, they also have more severe pain," said study author Hanna Grol-Prokopczyk. She's an assistant professor of sociology from the University at Buffalo in Buffalo, N.Y. "I also looked at pain-related disability, meaning that pain is interfering with the ability to do normal work or household activities. And again, people with less wealth and education are more likely to experience this disability," she added in a university news release. In the analysis of 12 years of data from more than 19,000 people aged 51 and older, those with the least education were 80 percent more likely to have chronic pain than those with the most education. People ... Read more

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

Some Docs May Help Fuel Opioid Abuse Epidemic

Posted 16 Feb 2017 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, Tramadol, Percocet, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Fentanyl, Opiate Dependence, Morphine, Codeine, Lortab, Opiate Withdrawal, Opana, Subutex, Dilaudid, Opana ER, Roxicodone, MS Contin

Try Drug-Free Options First for Low Back Pain, New Guidelines Say

Posted 14 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Feb. 13, 2017 – People with low back pain should try drug-free remedies – from simple heat wraps to physical therapy – before resorting to medication, according to new treatment guidelines. Low back pain is among the most common reasons that Americans visit the doctor, according to the American College of Physicians (ACP), which released the new guidelines on Monday. The recommendations put more emphasis on nondrug therapies than previous ones have. They stress that powerful opioid painkillers – such as OxyContin and Vicodin – should be used only as a last resort in some cases of long-lasting back pain. Another change: When medication is needed, acetaminophen (Tylenol) is no longer recommended. Recent research has shown it's not effective for low back pain, said Dr. Nitin Damle, president of the ACP. The good news, according to Damle, is that most people with shorter-term ... Read more

Related support groups: Oxycodone, Back Pain, Hydrocodone, Cymbalta, Methadone, Tramadol, OxyContin, Fentanyl, Morphine, Codeine, Opana, Ibuprofen, Naproxen, Subutex, Dilaudid, Meloxicam, Sciatica, Opana ER, Advil, Diclofenac

Many Seniors Take Multiple Meds That Can Affect the Brain

Posted 13 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Feb. 13, 2017 – There has been a sharp rise in the number of American seniors who take three or more medications that affect their brains, a new study reveals. The study looked at seniors' use of opioid painkillers, antidepressants, tranquilizers and antipsychotic drugs. A review of U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data showed that the use of these drugs in people over 65 more than doubled from 2004 to 2013. The researchers estimated that approximately 3.7 million doctor visits a year are by seniors taking three or more of these drugs. The largest increase was seen among seniors in rural areas. There, the use of these drugs more than tripled. The spike in the combined use of drugs that act on the central nervous system is cause for concern because it can lead to falls and resulting injuries, affect driving ability, and cause memory and thinking problems, the ... Read more

Related support groups: Xanax, Oxycodone, Lexapro, Zoloft, Hydrocodone, Wellbutrin, Cymbalta, Methadone, Tramadol, OxyContin, Effexor, Prozac, Fentanyl, Celexa, Seroquel, Morphine, Citalopram, Paxil, Valium, Codeine

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