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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.
Antidote-resistant overdose patients may have received synthetic opioid W-18, suspects anesthesiologist

Antidote-resistant overdose patients may have received synthetic opioid W-18, suspects anesthesiologist

Months ago, ASRA member and anesthesiologist Anita Gupta, MD, suspected overdose patients had received heroin spiked with a synthetic opioid additive because they were not responding to the antidote, naloxone, routinely used by emergency workers. [More]
Easy, immediate access to effective antidotes could help reduce deaths from opioid overdose

Easy, immediate access to effective antidotes could help reduce deaths from opioid overdose

Over the past 15 years, deaths caused by heroin and prescription opioid overdoses have quadrupled despite the existence of a highly effective antidote. The cover story in Chemical & Engineering News, the weekly news magazine of the American Chemical Society, explores what it might take to turn the tide. [More]
Majority of patients who misuse drugs and alcohol have chronic pain

Majority of patients who misuse drugs and alcohol have chronic pain

With opioid addiction and prescription drug abuse considered one of the biggest public health threats of our time in the U.S., many are asking why so many Americans are struggling with addiction to illegal drugs and prescription medications. New research suggests that chronic pain may be part of the answer. [More]
Adolescent behavior expert suggests early screening to assess teenagers at vaping risk

Adolescent behavior expert suggests early screening to assess teenagers at vaping risk

During a checkup, physicians and nurses often ask about drinking habits, safe sex practice or cigarette use. Vaping is rarely mentioned. [More]
Study shows impact of increasing number of opioid-related hospitalizations on health care costs

Study shows impact of increasing number of opioid-related hospitalizations on health care costs

Infection is a serious complication of intravenous drug abuse and a major cause of illness and death among intravenous drug users. As the national problem of opioid abuse, including of heroin, continues to grow, new research by clinicians at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and the VA Boston Healthcare System, published today in the May issue of the journal Health Affairs, offers new insights into the significant impact of the trend on opioid-related hospitalizations, infectious complications and health care costs. [More]
Heavy marijuana use may lead to lower dopamine release in the brain

Heavy marijuana use may lead to lower dopamine release in the brain

In a recent study, researchers found evidence of a compromised dopamine system in heavy users of marijuana. Lower dopamine release was found in the striatum - a region of the brain that is involved in working memory, impulsive behavior, and attention. Previous studies have shown that addiction to other drugs of abuse, such as cocaine and heroin, have similar effects on dopamine release, but such evidence for cannabis was missing until now. [More]
Naltrexone injections could reduce risk of relapse among opioid dependent individuals

Naltrexone injections could reduce risk of relapse among opioid dependent individuals

In a multicenter, randomized clinical trial, ex-prisoners who received six monthly injections of naltrexone--a long-acting medication that blocks opioid receptors in the brain--were significantly less likely to resume opioid use than those who received counseling and referrals to community treatment centers without naltrexone. [More]
Opioids could be dangerous, deadly at high doses

Opioids could be dangerous, deadly at high doses

Most people know that heroin is a dangerous drug, but its cousins, the legal, pharmaceutical opioids, such as codeine or hydrocodone, must be safe, right?Not so fast.Opioids—which include the illegal drug heroin as well as prescription medications, including hydrocodone (such as Vicodin), oxycodone (such as OxyContin and Percocet), morphine and codeine—can be dangerous, even deadly, at high doses. [More]
Immediate treatment can benefit cannabis users who experience withdrawal symptoms

Immediate treatment can benefit cannabis users who experience withdrawal symptoms

Heavy users of cannabis who experience withdrawal symptoms such as nervousness and cravings when they quit are likely to use again sooner than their peers, a new study finds. [More]
Penn study calls on physicians to avoid over-prescribing opioids for surgical patients

Penn study calls on physicians to avoid over-prescribing opioids for surgical patients

Physicians are prescribing more opioid painkillers than ever before to patients undergoing common surgeries, according to new research from the department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. [More]
Mindfulness meditation reduces pain without endogenous opioid system

Mindfulness meditation reduces pain without endogenous opioid system

Everyone knows that stubbing your toe hurts. What makes it stop hurting is the body's main pain-blocking process - the natural production of opioids. [More]
Understanding dangers of binge drinking

Understanding dangers of binge drinking

Researchers estimate that each year 1,825 college students ages 18-24 die from alcohol-related unintentional injuries, including motor vehicle collisions. About 20 percent of college students meet the criteria for an alcohol use disorder, with one in four college students report adverse academic consequences from drinking, including missing class, falling behind, doing poorly on exams or papers, and receiving lower grades overall. [More]
New vaccine strategy may curb addiction, prevent fatal overdoses

New vaccine strategy may curb addiction, prevent fatal overdoses

With use of synthetic opioid "designer drugs" on the rise, scientists from The Scripps Research Institute have a new strategy to curb addiction and even prevent fatal overdoses. [More]
Implementing harm reduction interventions among PWID to prevent HIV epidemic in Colombia

Implementing harm reduction interventions among PWID to prevent HIV epidemic in Colombia

In the early 1990s, drug production in Colombia diversified to include heroin as well as cocaine, and since then the country's role in the heroin trade has substantially increased. According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Colombia produced approximately 70 to 100 metric tons of heroin between 1998 and 2004. Studies have found an increase in local heroin use since the mid-1990s. This is a strong cause for concern, given the potential for HIV to spread through networks of injection drug users and disseminate to the general public. [More]
Temple University Hospital makes strides in confronting prescription drug abuse

Temple University Hospital makes strides in confronting prescription drug abuse

Prescription drug abuse has become a public health crisis in the U.S., and Temple University Hospital has made strides in confronting this critical situation. [More]
Advances in drug and alcohol testing: an interview with George Powell, President of Summit Diagnostics

Advances in drug and alcohol testing: an interview with George Powell, President of Summit Diagnostics

In the US, drug and alcohol testing has been a part of addiction and recovery for as long as I can remember. I started working in the business, basically in the employment industry, back in the mid-to-late 90s. Testing was essential, in that industries needed to ensure they had alcohol- and drug-free work places [More]
Buprenorphine superior to methadone in reducing duration of treatment for babies born in drug withdrawal

Buprenorphine superior to methadone in reducing duration of treatment for babies born in drug withdrawal

A study of two opioids used to wean babies born in withdrawal from drugs their mothers have taken shows that buprenorphine is superior to methadone in reducing duration of treatment and length of hospital stay. [More]
Opioid prescribing guideline has immediate, sustained impact on prescribing rates

Opioid prescribing guideline has immediate, sustained impact on prescribing rates

Emergency medicine physicians at Temple University Hospital have found that an opioid prescribing guideline had an immediate and sustained impact on opioid prescribing rates for minor conditions and chronic noncancer pain in an acute care setting. [More]
Young teens more vulnerable to opioid addiction, study reveals

Young teens more vulnerable to opioid addiction, study reveals

A Michigan State University study shows that 14- and 15-year-olds are at a higher risk of becoming dependent on prescription drugs within a 12-month period after using them extra-medically, or beyond the prescribed amount. [More]

CRLA offers treatment scholarships to subjects of HBO documentary ‘Heroin: Cape Cod, USA’

Calabasas based Community Recovery Los Angeles (CRLA) is generously embracing the spirit of giving this holiday season by offering 90 day treatment scholarships to all of the subjects of the HBO documentary "Heroin: Cape Cod, USA". [More]
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