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Heroin is a very addictive chemical called diacetylmorphine. Heroin is a modified form of morphine, a highly abundant opium derived from the seedpods of the poppy plant.

Throw away your old medicines safely

Americans spend nearly $1,100 per person on prescription and over-the-counter medications every year, and much of it is left in cabinets, drawers, or forgotten. [More]
Viewpoints: Obamacare dilemma -- some people dislike the law but embrace its provisions; are health costs falling?

Viewpoints: Obamacare dilemma -- some people dislike the law but embrace its provisions; are health costs falling?

Polls have consistently shown that even though the public opposes Obamacare, people like some of its most significant provisions. That's particularly true of the requirement that insurers ignore preexisting conditions when signing up customers for coverage. [More]

Special Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation conference to focus on issues surrounding addiction

The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation's Professionals in Residence program in collaboration with the University of Minnesota Department of Family Medicine and Community Health and the Scaife Family Foundation will host a special conference June 20-21 in Minnesota for primary health care providers to learn more about the issues surrounding addiction. [More]

Researcher develops novel IBT to help opioid-dependent Vermonters

Opioid dependence - addiction to heroin and prescription painkillers - has reached epidemic levels across the country, with treatment waitlists also at an all-time high. [More]
Acupuncture protects brain neurons against injury in rats following heroin relapse

Acupuncture protects brain neurons against injury in rats following heroin relapse

Heroin abuse can damage many brain areas, including the pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus of the midbrain, the ventral tegmental area, and nucleus accumbens. Persistent use of heroin induced irreversible damage to the nervous system. [More]
Study shows important parallels between epidemic of HIV/AIDS and opioid addiction

Study shows important parallels between epidemic of HIV/AIDS and opioid addiction

‚ÄčThere are important parallels between the early years of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and the current epidemic of opioid addiction - ones that could trigger a significant shift in opioid addiction prevention, diagnosis and treatment. [More]
Roundup: Texas Medicaid fraud settlement; Texas abortion law upheld; Va. mental health tragedy details

Roundup: Texas Medicaid fraud settlement; Texas abortion law upheld; Va. mental health tragedy details

A selection of health policy stories from Texas, Virginia, California, Michigan and Massachusetts. [More]
Longer looks: Exercise to treat depression; crowdsourcing treatment decisions; nitroglycerin shortage

Longer looks: Exercise to treat depression; crowdsourcing treatment decisions; nitroglycerin shortage

Depression is the most common mental illness-;affecting a staggering 25 percent of Americans-;but a growing body of research suggests that one of its best cures is cheap and ubiquitous. [More]
States highlights: N.C. Medicaid overhaul; Conn. 'aid in dying' bill; Calif. Medical expenses crowdfunding

States highlights: N.C. Medicaid overhaul; Conn. 'aid in dying' bill; Calif. Medical expenses crowdfunding

North Carolina health officials said Monday that their long-awaited proposal to overhaul how Medicaid operates in North Carolina is "realistic" and "achievable" and will make state budgets more predictable. [More]

Viewpoints: NRA shouldn't derail Surgeon General nominee; Democrats need to stand up for health law

The National Rifle Association has mounted an outrageous campaign to torpedo President Obama's nomination of an outstanding young doctor to be the next surgeon general of the United States because of his attitudes on gun control. [More]

Use of cocaine drops and marijuana increases across the United States

The use of cocaine dropped sharply across the United States from 2006 to 2010, while the amount of marijuana consumed increased significantly during the same period, according to a new report. [More]
Longer looks: Health care in jail; preventing Medicare drug fraud; new medical codes

Longer looks: Health care in jail; preventing Medicare drug fraud; new medical codes

"Sheriff Ashe," [the waitress] began. "My daughter is in your jail." She then told me her daughter's story. "Laura," as I'll call her here, was a bright and sociable girl who, after graduating from high school, went on to community college. [More]
Researchers find unusual mutation strongly linked to rare liver cancer that affects teens

Researchers find unusual mutation strongly linked to rare liver cancer that affects teens

In the race for better treatments and possible cures, rare diseases are often left behind. In a collaboration of researchers at The Rockefeller University, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and the New York Genome Center (NYGC), an unusual mutation has been found that is strongly linked to one such disease: a rare liver cancer that affects teens and young adults. [More]
Teen diagnosed with liver cancer explores genetic link to rare cancers

Teen diagnosed with liver cancer explores genetic link to rare cancers

A father-daughter scientific collaboration that began after the daughter was diagnosed with a rare liver cancer has led to an important finding and could have broader implications for many other rare cancers. Their story is being published this week in a top tier journal, Science. [More]

Viewpoints: Questioning the tales of Obamacare woes; Republic replacement MIA; 'mixed messages' on mammograms

Conservatives appear to be really upset that liberals are actually taking on the facts in the anti-Obamacare ads they've been running. How dare you question whether the people in these ads are giving an accurate picture -; they're suffering! (Paul Krugman, 2/26). [More]

New report reveals prevalence of heroin-related overdose deaths in Kentucky

A new report from the Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center (KIPRC) reveals the prevalence and charges associated with drug overdose in the Bluegrass state. [More]
Social/behavioral intervention strategies may help drug users avoid injection-related HCV, HIV infections

Social/behavioral intervention strategies may help drug users avoid injection-related HCV, HIV infections

Despite a number of social/behavioral intervention and educational programs, the spread of hepatitis C (HCV) in people who inject drugs (PWIDs) remains a chronic problem. [More]
Highlights: Ky. malpractice bill; Texas punishes doc under abortion law; DOJ enters whistleblower case

Highlights: Ky. malpractice bill; Texas punishes doc under abortion law; DOJ enters whistleblower case

A selection of health policy stories from Kentucky, Texas, Georgia, South Carolina, California, Colorado and Florida. [More]

Pairing school and home programs most effective in curbing teen prescription drug abuse

Programs that aim to curb teen prescription drug abuse have vastly differing effectiveness, ranging from big drops in drug abuse to no measurable effect, according to a new study of 11,000 teenagers by researchers at Duke and Pennsylvania State universities. [More]

Viewpoints: Parsing Obamacare numbers; experts on long-term care insurance; French cancer care

The monthly announcement of Obamacare's enrollment figures has become an exercise in confirmation bias, starting with the administration itself. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius noted the "encouraging trends" in yesterday's release, while House Speaker John Boehner opted to highlight its "embarrassing failures." ... The only debate worth having is how to improve enrollment. ... enrollment numbers for Obamacare aren't some referendum on the president's popularity or lack thereof. They're the best way to tell whether the law is working as planned -- and how to adjust if it isn't (2/13). [More]