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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.
State highlights: Health care takes center stage in debates in Maine, Arizona, Missouri

State highlights: Health care takes center stage in debates in Maine, Arizona, Missouri

The three candidates for governor clashed Tuesday in their final debate, highlighting their differences on a wide range of issues, including health care and welfare. Partisan sparks flew early and often between Republican Gov. Paul LePage and Democratic U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud, who are running in a dead heat in the race, far ahead of independent Eliot Cutler, two weeks before Maine residents go to the polls (10/21). [More]
Buprenorphine maintenance therapy better than detoxification for treating prescription opioid dependence

Buprenorphine maintenance therapy better than detoxification for treating prescription opioid dependence

For treating patients with prescription opioid dependence in primary care, buprenorphine maintenance therapy is superior to detoxification, according to a new study by Yale School of Medicine researchers published in the Oct. 20 issue of JAMA Internal Medicine. [More]
Loyola University Health System to hold medication take-back day

Loyola University Health System to hold medication take-back day

Loyola University Health System will partner with the Cook County Sheriff's Department to hold a medication take-back day. [More]
Socioeconomic disadvantages linked to drug-related mortality

Socioeconomic disadvantages linked to drug-related mortality

For the first time, researchers have found that problem drug users with less successful educational and employment careers are more likely to die of an overdose. Moreover, there is no link between parents' professional status and the likelihood that their problem drug-using child will die from an overdose. [More]
State highlights: Ariz. agrees to settlement on health care for prisoners

State highlights: Ariz. agrees to settlement on health care for prisoners

Prop. 46 would make it mandatory for doctors to consult the database. California would become one of nine states requiring doctors to check before prescribing painkillers to first-time patients. After passing similar laws, Tennessee and New York saw a significant reduction in the number of narcotics prescriptions written. Studies have verified the correlation, but acknowledge that drug abusers may be turning to street drugs, like heroin. Many doctors in California like the database. Some have called it 'indispensable.' But they don't like being told how to practice medicine (Dembosky, 10/14). [More]
RAND study: Specific state guidance can influence patient access to effective heroin treatment

RAND study: Specific state guidance can influence patient access to effective heroin treatment

State policies can influence the number of physicians licensed to prescribe buprenorphine, a drug that can treat addiction to heroin and other opioids in outpatient settings, according to a new RAND Corporation study. [More]

DEA announces rules allowing participating pharmacies to collect medication for proper disposal

It will soon be much easier for Americans to safely dispose of unwanted medications. The U.S. Department of Justice and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) just announced rules allowing participating pharmacies, certain hospitals, clinics, and long-term care facilities to collect medication for proper disposal. The rules go into effect next month. [More]
People can become addicted to eating but not to consuming foods high in sugar or fat

People can become addicted to eating but not to consuming foods high in sugar or fat

People can become addicted to eating for its own sake but not to consuming specific foods such as those high in sugar or fat, research suggests. [More]
Longer looks: Alzheimer's and a marriage; racism in medicine; abortion restrictions in Texas

Longer looks: Alzheimer's and a marriage; racism in medicine; abortion restrictions in Texas

The US, which has a mostly private health-care system, manages to spend more on its public health-care system than countries where the health-care system is almost entirely public. America's government spends more, as a percentage of the economy, on public health care than Canada, the United Kingdom, Japan or Australia. And then it spends even more than that on private health care. [More]
Teens and young adults face high risk from opioid-involved overdose

Teens and young adults face high risk from opioid-involved overdose

The prevalence of opioid-involved overdoses has become an increasing concern to health officials both in NYC and nationally. [More]
State highlights: States seek health care autonomy; L.A. nursing home audit; promoting overdose-reversal drug

State highlights: States seek health care autonomy; L.A. nursing home audit; promoting overdose-reversal drug

Kansas, Missouri and seven other states have signed on to a movement that would wrest regulation of most of the nation's health care insurance systems from the federal government. [More]
UH GCSW receives NIH grant to study health consequences of heroin use

UH GCSW receives NIH grant to study health consequences of heroin use

The University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work is the recipient of a 5-year, $1.25 million grant from the National Institute of Drug Abuse at the National Institutes of Health to study the long-term use and health consequences of heroin use. [More]
First Edition: August 29, 2014

First Edition: August 29, 2014

Today's early morning highlights from the major news organizations, including reports about the Obama administration and Pennsylvania reaching an agreement to expand Medicaid in that state. [More]
State highlights: Heroin deaths rise in N.Y.; TennCare computer system delay; Colo. races to win $87M to integrate care;

State highlights: Heroin deaths rise in N.Y.; TennCare computer system delay; Colo. races to win $87M to integrate care;

A heroin crisis gripping communities across the country deepened in New York last year, with more people in the city dying in overdoses from the drug than in any year since 2003. In all, 420 people fatally overdosed on heroin in 2013 out of a total of 782 drug overdoses, rising to a level not seen in a decade in both absolute numbers and as a population-adjusted rate, according to preliminary year-end data from the city's health department (Goodman, 8/28). [More]
First Edition: August 28, 2014

First Edition: August 28, 2014

Today's headlines include reports about the Congressional Budget Office's latest projections regarding Medicare and Medicaid spending. [More]

Blood bank industry shrinks

Changed medical practice has reduced the need for blood transfusions, spurring cutbacks and mergers in the blood industry. Meanwhile, Chicago and two counties in California are suing five companies for "aggressive marketing" of opioid painkillers, accusing them of fueling addiction. [More]
First Edition: August 25, 2014

First Edition: August 25, 2014

Today's early morning highlights from the major news organizations include reports on Medicare ratings of nursing homes, the growing demand for home-health aides and accounts of the Obama administration's new contraception coverage rules. [More]
Study of chronic users of CCS finds deficits in specific regions of brain white matter

Study of chronic users of CCS finds deficits in specific regions of brain white matter

An imaging study of chronic users of codeine-containing cough syrups (CCS) has found deficits in specific regions of brain white matter and associates these changes with increased impulsivity in CCS users. [More]

Acetyl fentanyl is more potent and dangerous than heroin

Emergency physicians should expect "an upswing in what on the surface appear to be heroin overdoses," but are actually overdoses tied to acetyl fentanyl, an opiate that is mixed into street drugs marketed as heroin. [More]
State highlights: Calif. hospital bid draws scrutiny; hospital house calls

State highlights: Calif. hospital bid draws scrutiny; hospital house calls

Prime Healthcare Services Inc., a hospital chain that has come under fire for billing and patient privacy issues, is facing opposition over its potential acquisition of six California hospitals, including two medical centers in Los Angeles County. On Friday, hospital workers, union representatives and elected officials protested against Prime outside St. Vincent Medical Center near downtown Los Angeles, one of the six hospitals put up for sale this year by the Daughters of Charity Health System (Garland, 8/15). [More]