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Opioid Prescriptions Almost Twice as Likely for Rural vs. Urban Americans

Posted 1 day ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Jan. 17, 2019 – As the United States battles an epidemic of opioid abuse, people living in rural areas have nearly two times the odds of being prescribed the painkillers when compared to their urban peers. That's the finding from a new study that suggests more must be done to curb opioid prescribing by doctors in rural America. The research was based on 2014-2017 data from ...

More Americans Mixing Opioids With Sedatives

Posted 2 days ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Jan. 17, 2019 – As if the opioid crisis wasn't already bad enough, new research shows a sharp rise in the number of Americans taking dangerous combinations of opioids and sedatives. These sedatives, known as benzodiazepines, are prescribed for pain, insomnia and anxiety. And another class of similar medications, called Z-drugs, are also being taken with sedatives at alarming rates, the ...

1-800-662-HELP: Too Few Opioid Users Aware of Lifesaving Helpline

Posted 5 days ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Jan. 14, 2019 – Millions of Americans are living with drug addiction, but a free, national hotline that offers help is underused because most don't know about it, new research finds. After the popular singer Demi Lovato was hospitalized in July, researchers found that although her suspected heroin overdose was widely written about, little mention was made of the drug abuse helpline. It ...

Opioids Now More Deadly for Americans Than Traffic Accidents

Posted 5 days ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Jan. 14, 2019 – For the first time in history, Americans' risk of dying from an opioid overdose is higher than their risk of dying in a car accident, the National Safety Council reported Monday. The chances of dying from an accidental opioid overdose in the United States are now 1 in 96, compared to a 1 in 103 risk of dying in a traffic crash, according to the new analysis of preventable ...

At Risk for an Opioid OD? There's an App for That

Posted 10 days ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 9, 2019 – Drug users suffering an opioid overdose might soon have access to an unusual lifeline – a smartphone app. University of Washington researchers have developed an app that can detect when a person's breathing dangerously slows or stops. The Second Chance app accurately detected opioid overdose symptoms more than nine times out of 10 in experimental tests, which took ...

Opioids May Help Chronic Pain, But Not Much

Posted 19 Dec 2018 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Dec. 18, 2018 – Potentially addictive opioid painkillers are often prescribed for chronic pain, but they actually work only slightly better than placebo pills, a new review shows. The analysis, of 96 clinical trials, found that on average, opioids made only a small difference for people with conditions like osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia and sciatica. And the modest pain relief sometimes ...

Health Tip: Manage Pain With Opioids

Posted 5 Dec 2018 by Drugs.com

-- Pain is the number one reason for why people visit the doctor, the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) says. Opioids are often used to treat pain, but they are highly addictive. Every day, more than 100 Americans die from an opioid overdose, the agency says. The NIH offers these suggestions: Ask your doctor about opioid alternatives to relieve your pain. Make sure your health care ...

In Massachusetts, Almost 1 in 20 Adults and Older Kids Abuse Opioids

Posted 26 Oct 2018 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Oct. 26, 2018 – In another distressing snapshot of the opioid epidemic gripping America, a new study reports that nearly 5 percent of older children and adults in Massachusetts have an opioid use disorder. The study found that 4.6 percent of people over the age of 11, or more than 275,000 in the state, abuse opioids. That's nearly four times higher than previous estimates based on ...

Push-Button Pain Meds Curb Need for Opioids After C-Section: Study

Posted 15 Oct 2018 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Oct. 15, 2018 – Letting women who've had a cesarean section dispense and control pain medication through a catheter reduces their use of addictive oral opioid painkillers, researchers report. Their study included 576 women who had planned C-sections. In such cases, it's common to inject a local anesthetic and a small dose of morphine into the spinal fluid. The morphine provides about 18 ...

Despite Opioid Crisis, Most Patients Want the Drugs for Post-Op Pain

Posted 15 Oct 2018 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Oct. 15, 2018 – Despite a flood of news reports on the opioid crisis, many people still want the potentially addictive painkillers after surgery, a new survey suggests. The survey, of more than 500 patients scheduled for surgery, found that more than three-quarters expected to get opioids afterward. Most also thought opioids were the most effective treatment for post-surgery pain. But ...

Reports Warn of Growing Opioid Crisis Among Seniors

Posted 19 Sep 2018 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 19, 2018 – Against the backdrop of an unrelenting opioid crisis, two new government reports warn that America's seniors are succumbing to the pitfalls of prescription painkillers. Issued by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), the reports reveal that millions of older Americans are now filling prescriptions for many different opioid medications at the same ...

'No Documented Reason' for 1 in 3 Outpatient Opioid Rxs: Study

Posted 11 Sep 2018 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Sept. 10, 2018 – The United States is in the grip of an epidemic of opioid painkiller addiction. But now, research shows that in nearly a third of cases there's no medical reason documented for opioids prescribed in an outpatient setting. The findings show the need for stricter rules on recording patients' needs for the highly addictive drugs, the research team said. When medical records ...

Government Rules Aimed at Curbing Opioid Prescriptions May Have Backfired

Posted 23 Aug 2018 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Aug. 23, 2018 – As the U.S. opioid addiction epidemic widened, the federal Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) placed the prescription painkillers in a tougher-to-refill category. Many states also mandated monitoring programs to spot overprescribing by doctors. But two new studies suggest these steps, while well-intentioned, may have led to more opioids – not fewer – being given to ...

Number of Opioid-Addicted Women Giving Birth Quadruples

Posted 10 Aug 2018 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Aug. 9, 2018 – The number of pregnant women addicted to opioids as they give birth has more than quadrupled since 1999, a disturbing new report shows. In 2014, for every 1,000 hospital deliveries, 6.5 were mothers who arrived at the hospital with opioid use disorder, up from 1.5 per 1,000 in 1999, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention researchers found. This increase is ...

Doctors Write Fewer Opioid Scripts After Learning of Overdose Death

Posted 10 Aug 2018 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Aug. 9, 2018 – Doctors prescribed fewer opioid pain medications after receiving letters from a medical examiner informing them of a patient's fatal overdose, a new study says. Many people who die of opioid overdoses got addicted to the drugs after they were prescribed for common problems. This study included 861 doctors in San Diego County who prescribed opioids to 170 patients who ...

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