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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.
Riverview Medical Center receives $120,000 to support addition of Addictions Counselor in the hospital

Riverview Medical Center receives $120,000 to support addition of Addictions Counselor in the hospital

Riverview Medical Center Foundation is honored to announce a gift of $120,000 from the Tigger House Foundation that will support the addition of an Addictions Counselor in the hospital's emergency department. [More]
Increased treatment for HCV in Rhode Island could help eradicate disease by 2030

Increased treatment for HCV in Rhode Island could help eradicate disease by 2030

A new Brown University study projects that increasing the number of Rhode Islanders treated every year for hepatitis C virus infection (HCV) to about 2,000 by 2020 would reduce cases by 90 percent and prevent more than 70 percent of expected liver-related deaths in the state by 2030. [More]
Majority of American adults use prescription drugs inappropriately and dangerously

Majority of American adults use prescription drugs inappropriately and dangerously

The majority of American adults taking opioids and other commonly prescribed medications use them in ways that put their health at risk, including potentially dangerous combinations with other drugs, according to a new study from Quest Diagnostics, the world’s leading provider of diagnostic information services. [More]
Patients with cLBP more likely to use illicit drugs, study reports

Patients with cLBP more likely to use illicit drugs, study reports

People living with chronic low back pain (cLBP) are more likely to use illicit drugs -- including marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine -- compared to those without back pain, reports a study in Spine, published by Wolters Kluwer. [More]
Buprenorphine implants could be effective option to treat adults with opioid dependence

Buprenorphine implants could be effective option to treat adults with opioid dependence

While buprenorphine has long been used to treat adults with opioid dependence, its efficacy can be hindered by lack of adherence to daily, sublingual (beneath the tongue) doses of the medication. [More]
Programs to prevent prescription drug misuse may be underused, study reveals

Programs to prevent prescription drug misuse may be underused, study reveals

Misuse of prescription pain medications remains a major public health problem -- but programs to prevent it may be underused, according to a study in the July issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. [More]
Why does appetite loss occur during illness? An interview with Prof. Conti and Prof. Francesconi

Why does appetite loss occur during illness? An interview with Prof. Conti and Prof. Francesconi

Appetite, as a word, come from the Latin appetitus, meaning "desire for.” Therefore, appetite can be defined as a pleasurable sensation or the desire to eat. This sensation is coordinated by several brain areas associated with reward processing such amygdala, hippocampus, ventral pallidum, nucleus accumbens and striatum, and others. [More]
Study finds dramatic increase in nonmedical use of prescription opioids in the U.S.

Study finds dramatic increase in nonmedical use of prescription opioids in the U.S.

Nonmedical use of prescription opioids more than doubled among adults in the United States from 2001-2002 to 2012-2013, based on a study from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, part of the National Institutes of Health. Nearly 10 million Americans, or 4.1 percent of the adult population, used opioid medications in 2012-2013 a class of drugs that includes OxyContin and Vicodin, without a prescription or not as prescribed (in greater amounts, more often, or longer than prescribed) in the past year. [More]
New survey reveals more than half of patients prescribed opioids have leftover pills

New survey reveals more than half of patients prescribed opioids have leftover pills

In the midst of an epidemic of prescription painkiller addiction and overdose deaths, a new Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health survey suggests that more than half of patients prescribed opioids have leftover pills -- and many save them to use later. [More]
Understanding how opiates affect brain pathways to drive addiction cycle

Understanding how opiates affect brain pathways to drive addiction cycle

New research by Steven Laviolette's research team at Western University is contributing to a better understanding of the ways opiate-class drugs modify brain circuits to drive the addiction cycle. [More]
Short-term use of opioids implicated in protracted pain, new study finds

Short-term use of opioids implicated in protracted pain, new study finds

Painkillers such as morphine, oxycodone and methadone could actually prolong and increase pain even after only a few days’ use, according to research conducted on rats by scientists at the University of Colorado Boulder in the US. [More]
Pharmacist suggests education as foremost strategy to control opioid abuse

Pharmacist suggests education as foremost strategy to control opioid abuse

Technologies that make it harder for people to abuse opioids - like doctoring pills so that they produce unpleasant side effects if broken, crushed or injected -- likely will have limited effectiveness in stemming the global epidemic of opioid abuse, according to Adam Kaye, a professor of pharmacy at University of the Pacific. [More]
First buprenorphine implant for opioid dependence treatment gets FDA approval

First buprenorphine implant for opioid dependence treatment gets FDA approval

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Probuphine, the first buprenorphine implant for the maintenance treatment of opioid dependence. Probuphine is designed to provide a constant, low-level dose of buprenorphine for six months in patients who are already stable on low-to-moderate doses of other forms of buprenorphine, as part of a complete treatment program. [More]
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]
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