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U.S. Courts, Jails Could Be Key Players in Curbing Opioid Abuse

Posted 7 Dec 2017 by

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 6, 2017 – Just 5 percent of people referred for opioid addiction treatment by the U.S. criminal justice system receive the best treatment, a new study finds. Use of medications such as methadone and buprenorphine is considered the most effective way to treat opioid addiction, said researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The drugs help control the ...

Once-Monthly Injection, Sublocade (buprenorphine) Approved for Opioid Addiction

Posted 1 Dec 2017 by

FRIDAY, Dec. 1, 2017 – Sublocade, a once-monthly injection of buprenorphine to treat opioid use disorder, has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Opioid abuse is diagnosed when a person's pattern of opioid use leads to "significant impairment or distress and includes signs and symptoms that reflect compulsive, prolonged self-administration of opioid substances for no ...

FDA Approves Monthly Dose of Opioid Addiction Treatment, Buprenorphine

Posted 1 Dec 2017 by

FRIDAY, Dec. 1, 2017 – A once-monthly injection of the opioid addiction drug buprenorphine has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. "Millions of Americans are suffering from addiction to opioid drugs, and millions more are worried that the overdose epidemic could claim the lives of a friend or loved one," FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said Thursday in an agency news ...

Chronic Pain Common Among Those Who OD on Opioids

Posted 28 Nov 2017 by

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 ...

Top Meds To Treat Opioid Addiction Equally Safe, Effective

Posted 15 Nov 2017 by

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 15, 2017 – The top two medications used to treat opioid addiction appear equally safe and effective, a new study finds. With the United States in the midst of an unprecedented opioid crisis, researchers conducted a head-to-head trial of two leading addiction treatments – naltrexone (Vivitrol) and buprenorphine-naloxone (Suboxone). "The newer drug, naltrexone, was as effective in ...

Doctors Prescribing Too Many Opioids After Nose Jobs

Posted 9 Nov 2017 by

THURSDAY, Nov. 9, 2017 – Could some patients recovering from a nose job get a problem they didn't bargain for? After these operations, patients are often sent home with more opioid pain pills than they need, increasing the risk for misuse, researchers say. About 218,000 cosmetic nose surgeries were performed in the United States in 2015. In fact, "rhinoplasty" is one of the most common plastic ...

Opioids Not the Only Answer for Pain Relief in the ER

Posted 7 Nov 2017 by

TUESDAY, Nov. 7, 2017 – As the opioid epidemic continues to sweep across the United States, a new study suggests that a combination of Motrin and Tylenol may work as well as narcotic painkillers for ER patients who suffer sprains or fractures. "Although this study focused on treatment while in the emergency department, if we can successfully treat acute extremity pain with a non-opioid ...

People Tend to Overestimate Pain From Surgery

Posted 4 Nov 2017 by

FRIDAY, Nov. 3, 2017 – Many patients overestimate the amount of pain they'll experience after surgery, resulting in needless anxiety, a new study reports. "We believe providers need to do a better job of counseling patients on realistic pain expectations," said study co-author Dr. Jaime Baratta, director of regional anesthesia at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia. The research ...

Taking Four or More Prescription Meds? Consider Scaling Back

Posted 1 Nov 2017 by

TUESDAY, Oct. 31, 2017 – More than half of Americans regularly take about four prescription medications, increasing the likelihood that mistakes could occur, according to Consumer Reports. People taking multiple prescription medications should visit their doctor for a "medication checkup." By showing their doctor or pharmacist a comprehensive list of every drug they are taking, including ...

Lethal Dangers Lurk Even After Opioid OD Rescue

Posted 30 Oct 2017 by

MONDAY, Oct. 30, 2017 – Opioid addicts saved by the overdose reversal medication naloxone are still in danger following their close brush with death, a new study shows. About 10 percent of overdose patients saved with naloxone (Narcan) in Massachusetts hospitals ended up dying within a year, Harvard researchers reported. Further, half of those who died did so within one month of their rescue, ...

Fentanyl Driving Surge in Fatal U.S. Opioid Overdoses

Posted 27 Oct 2017 by

FRIDAY, Oct. 27, 2017 – Extremely powerful synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl or carfentanil, were directly responsible for more than half of thousands of opioid overdose deaths across many states in 2016, a new report finds. Most often, fentanyl and even more potent "fentanyl analog" drugs – such as carfentanil – were mixed into the heroin that addicts were using, often without their ...

Opioid Addiction a Danger After Weight-Loss Surgery

Posted 24 Oct 2017 by

TUESDAY, Oct. 24, 2017 – People who turn to surgery in their struggle with obesity may be more vulnerable to opioid dependence after their procedure, new research suggests. Long-term use of these powerful yet highly addictive painkillers is more common after weight-loss surgery than after general surgery, the researchers reported. "Patients undergoing bariatric [weight-loss] surgery may be ...

U.S. Opioid Painkiller Abuse May Be Leveling Off

Posted 23 Oct 2017 by

MONDAY, Oct. 23, 2017 – The number of Americans abusing prescription painkillers has leveled off in recent years, but there is no apparent decline yet. That's the finding of a new study tracking the U.S. opioid abuse problem. Researchers found that after a large spike in the early 2000s, Americans' misuse of prescription opioid painkillers has plateaued in recent years. Still, the issue isn't ...

Drug OD Rate Now Higher in Rural U.S. Than Cities: CDC

Posted 20 Oct 2017 by

FRIDAY, Oct. 20, 2017 – Drug overdose death rates in rural areas of the United States are now higher than in cities, a trend that worries federal health officials. In 2015, drug overdose was the leading cause of injury-related death in the United States – with 52,000 fatalities attributed to opioid painkillers, heroin and other potentially deadly drugs, researchers said in a new report. U.S. ...

Hepatitis C Screening May Boost Opioid Treatment Success

Posted 20 Oct 2017 by

FRIDAY, Oct. 20, 2017 – Opioid abuse therapy may be more effective if patients are screened for hepatitis C as part of the program, a new Canadian study says. The research found a sharp drop in opioid abuse among patients after they were told they tested positive for the hepatitis C virus (HCV). Hepatitis C causes liver disease that can lead to cirrhosis (scarring of the liver), liver cancer and ...

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