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Opioid Epidemic Also Taking Toll on Babies

Posted 1 day 17 hours ago 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 the study, doctors at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center looked at 783 infants born over five years, and found that 87 (11 percent) of those exposed to opioids in the womb were diagnosed with torticollis. In 1994, the rate of torticollis in the general population was 0.3 percent to 1.9 percent, the study authors noted. "Awareness of these potential issues in this population is essential, as torticollis may not develop for several months after the infant has been discharged from the ... Read more

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Opioid Abuse Rises When Prescriptions Are Renewed

Posted 6 days ago 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 opioid use increased the risk for addiction or nonfatal overdose by 20 percent, the study found. Each additional refill increased the risk by 44 percent. The first refill more than doubled the risk, according to the study. Dosage proved to be far less of a risk factor for addiction or overdose, defined by the researchers as misuse. In fact, the study authors said that among people who took opioids for two weeks or less, the risk for misuse was the same even for patients whose dosages were twice as ... Read more

Related support groups: Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Percocet, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Opiate Dependence, Lortab, Roxicodone, Drug Dependence, Endocet, Acetaminophen/Hydrocodone, Percocet 10/325, Vicoprofen, Acetaminophen/Oxycodone, Hydromet, Roxicet, Tussionex Pennkinetic, Lorcet 10/650, Vicodin ES

Tamper-Resistant Opioids May Not Ease Addiction Crisis: Study

Posted 13 days ago 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 that tamper-resistant formulations of oxycodone might reduce opioid-related harms – such as overdose – more broadly, she said. Larance is a senior research fellow at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre at the University of New South Wales in Sydney. "Until this study, it wasn't clear whether or not they would do this," Larance said. Tamper-resistant oxycodone did, however, reduce oxycodone use and injection by people who injected drugs, the study found. Australia is in the midst of ... Read more

Related support groups: Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Percocet, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Opiate Dependence, Opiate Withdrawal, Lortab, Roxicodone, Drug Dependence, Endocet, Acetaminophen/Hydrocodone, Percocet 10/325, Substance Abuse, Vicoprofen, Acetaminophen/Oxycodone, Hydromet, Roxicet, Tussionex Pennkinetic

Acetaminophen in Pregnancy Tied to Language Delays -- in Baby Girls

Posted 14 days ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 10, 2018 – Toddlers whose mothers used acetaminophen – best known as Tylenol – early in pregnancy may have a heightened risk of language delays, a new study suggests. Researchers found that when moms-to-be used the painkiller during the first trimester, their daughters were more likely to have language delays at age 2.5 years. No such link was seen among boys, however. A "language delay" meant the child was using fewer than 50 words, according to the report. The study is the latest to link prenatal acetaminophen to developmental issues. Experts, however, said the findings do not prove the blame lies with acetaminophen. But they also said pregnant women should use the drug only when necessary – to bring down a fever, for example, since a high temperature can be dangerous for the fetus. "This medication should probably be used only with caution, and limited to absolute ... Read more

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The Opioid Crisis' Hidden Victims: Children in Foster Care

Posted 15 days ago 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 Public Health. Sometimes children are removed from their parents due to neglect. Or they may no longer have a home because their parents died of an overdose. Some of these youngsters can live with grandparents. But many end up in the already overburdened foster care system. Quast's team explored some of the reasons children are removed from the home and how those removals appear linked to the opioid epidemic. They found that out of every 1,000 kids in Florida, two had to be removed from their homes ... Read more

Related support groups: Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Percocet, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Opiate Dependence, Opiate Withdrawal, Lortab, Roxicodone, Drug Dependence, Endocet, Acetaminophen/Hydrocodone, Percocet 10/325, Vicoprofen, Acetaminophen/Oxycodone, Hydromet, Roxicet, Tussionex Pennkinetic, Lorcet 10/650

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 holds, "we could have more than two years of declining life expectancy in a row, which we haven't seen since the influenza pandemic of 1918," said Bob Anderson, a statistician at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which recently released the 2016 data. Overall, 63,600 Americans – many in young adulthood or middle age – died from an opioid overdose in 2016. That's higher than the 40,000 annual deaths lost to AIDS at the height of the 1990s HIV crisis. The advent of extremely ... Read more

Related support groups: Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Percocet, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Opiate Dependence, Opiate Withdrawal, Lortab, Roxicodone, Drug Dependence, Endocet, Acetaminophen/Hydrocodone, Percocet 10/325, Substance Abuse, Vicoprofen, Acetaminophen/Oxycodone, Hydromet, Roxicet, Tussionex Pennkinetic

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 trend holds, "we could have more than two years of declining life expectancy in a row, which we haven't seen since the influenza pandemic of 1918," said Bob Anderson, chief of the NCHS Mortality Statistics Branch. "We haven't seen three years in a row since then, and that was a century ago." Average life expectancy for the U.S. population in 2016 was 78.6 years, a decrease of one-tenth of a year from 2015, the researchers said. That followed another one-tenth of a year decline between 2014 and ... Read more

Related support groups: Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Percocet, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Opiate Dependence, Opiate Withdrawal, Lortab, Roxicodone, Drug Dependence, Endocet, Acetaminophen/Hydrocodone, Percocet 10/325, Substance Abuse, Vicoprofen, Acetaminophen/Oxycodone, Hydromet, Roxicet, Tussionex Pennkinetic

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 OxyContin, Percocet and Vicodin. "For a long time, there has been no rhyme or reason to surgical opioid prescribing, compared with all the other efforts that have been made to improve surgical care," said study first author Dr. Ryan Howard. He's a resident in the University of Michigan's department of surgery. "We've been overprescribing because no one had ever really asked what's the right amount. We knew we could do better," Howard said in a university news release. In the study, Howard's team ... Read more

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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 analysis of federal hospital data revealed. The same analysis showed that hospitalizations due to opioid or heroin poisoning have increased in recent years, even as the rate of people seeking treatment of opioid addiction at a hospital has gone down, said senior researcher Dr. Zirui Song. He is an assistant professor of health care policy at Harvard Medical School. Before the turn of the century, most opioid-related hospitalizations were for treatment of opioid dependence and abuse. The more dire ... Read more

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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 diagnose such complications, using X-rays, MRIs, CT scans and ultrasounds to spot infections that typically result from the use of non-sterile needles, the researchers said. Insights into how the opioid epidemic is playing out in the ER stem from a 12-year analysis that focused on more than 1,000 substance abuse patients who sought care for related complications between 2005 and 2016. The findings reflect the fact that "the opioid epidemic is a national emergency," said study author Dr. Efren ... Read more

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'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 oxycodone (Oxycontin) as well as the illegal drug heroin, according to researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. For the study, the researchers analyzed more than 24 million opioid prescriptions given in 2015 to more than 4 million people in California, Florida, Georgia, Maryland and Washington state. The investigators found that opioids were often prescribed to high-risk patients by health care providers who typically do not prescribe large volumes of opioids, ... Read more

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Chronic Pain Common Among Those Who OD on Opioids

Posted 28 Nov 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Nov. 28, 2017 – More than 60 percent of opioid overdose deaths involve people who suffer from chronic pain, a new analysis reveals. Many of them also struggled with depression or anxiety, the investigators found. The findings stem from a study that examined the medical backgrounds of more than 13,000 men and women who died from an opioid overdose between 2001 and 2007. "The frequent occurrence of treated chronic pain and mental health conditions among overdose decedents underscores the importance of offering substance use treatment services in clinics that treat patients with chronic pain and mental health problems," said lead investigator Dr. Mark Olfson, a professor of psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center. "Such a strategy," he said in a center news release, "might increase early clinical intervention in patients who are at high risk for fatal opioid overdose." ... Read more

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

Medicaid Tied to Better Addiction Treatment in Pregnancy

Posted 22 Nov 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 22, 2017 – Pregnancy and opioid addiction are an all-too-common problem in the United States. And where you live may affect your treatment. Addicted moms-to-be are more likely to receive recommended therapy if they live in states where anti-addiction medications are covered by Medicaid, a new study says. Medication-assisted treatment – usually with the drug methadone or sometimes buprenorphine – is considered the most effective therapy for opioid dependency in pregnancy, the researchers said in background notes. Their study appears in the December issue of the journal Medical Care. "Our findings suggest that Medicaid coverage of methadone maintenance should be considered a key policy strategy to support pregnant women, their families, and enable their providers to deliver effective care," lead author Dr. Marcus Bachhuber said in a journal news release. He's with ... Read more

Related support groups: Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Percocet, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Opiate Dependence, Opiate Withdrawal, Lortab, Roxicodone, Drug Dependence, Endocet, Acetaminophen/Hydrocodone, Percocet 10/325, Vicoprofen, Acetaminophen/Oxycodone, Hydromet, Roxicet, Tussionex Pennkinetic, Lorcet 10/650

Opioid Crisis Hitting Boomers, Millennials Hardest

Posted 22 Nov 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Nov. 21, 2017 – The U.S. opioid epidemic seems to be taking its biggest toll on the baby boomer and millennial generations, a new study suggests. Researchers found that since 2010, boomers – born between 1946 and 1964 – have had heightened rates of death from prescription opioids and heroin. Meanwhile, millennials – people in their 20s and 30s – also have been hard hit by heroin overdoses. "The opioid epidemic has affected everyone," said senior researcher Dr. Guohua Li. "But what we're seeing is that these two generations are at highest risk," said Li, a professor of epidemiology at Columbia University. Li said he could only speculate on the reasons. But the findings on boomers were not surprising, he noted. That generation is known to have a relatively high rate of drug abuse, versus other generations. Plus, Li said, they were middle-aged when prescriptions for opioids ... Read more

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

Teens' Painkiller Misuse Linked to Dating Violence

Posted 20 Nov 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Nov. 20, 2017 – Teens who abuse prescription drugs, like opioid painkillers, are prone to initiating or being victims of dating violence, a new study finds. In a nationwide survey of more than 10,000 teenagers who had dated in the past year, the researchers found that non-medical use of prescription drugs by boys was associated with sexual dating violence. And non-medical use of prescription drugs by girls was linked more often with physical dating violence, according to the study's lead researcher, Heather Clayton. She is a health scientist at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The findings showed that nearly 10 percent of high school students surveyed said they had experienced physical dating violence, and slightly more than 10 percent said they were victims of sexual dating violence. "According to the 2015 National Youth Risk Behavior Survey, nearly 17 ... Read more

Related support groups: Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Percocet, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Opiate Dependence, Lortab, Roxicodone, Drug Dependence, Endocet, Acetaminophen/Hydrocodone, Percocet 10/325, Substance Abuse, Vicoprofen, Acetaminophen/Oxycodone, Hydromet, Roxicet, Tussionex Pennkinetic, Lorcet 10/650

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