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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.
New experimental study shows immunotherapy can reduce acute effects of heroin

New experimental study shows immunotherapy can reduce acute effects of heroin

Immunotherapy could have a place in the treatment of substance abuse in the future. A specific antibody can reduce the acute effects of heroin, according to a new experimental study at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health. [More]
European countries implement ATOME project to study improved access to essential painkillers

European countries implement ATOME project to study improved access to essential painkillers

Governments in 12 European countries are to implement the recommendations of research into why more patients are not receiving essential painkillers. [More]
CET ‘feasible’ in schizophrenia patients with substance misuse

CET ‘feasible’ in schizophrenia patients with substance misuse

Patients with schizophrenia and comorbid substance abuse diagnoses are able to benefit from cognitive enhancement therapy, preliminary research suggests. [More]
Study finds link between contraband cigarette and illicit drug use among teens in Canada

Study finds link between contraband cigarette and illicit drug use among teens in Canada

A University of Alberta economics professor has discovered a link between contraband cigarette use and illicit drug use among Canadian teens. [More]
National survey shows decrease in alcohol, cigarette and illicit drug use among U.S. teens

National survey shows decrease in alcohol, cigarette and illicit drug use among U.S. teens

A national survey of students in U.S. middle schools and high schools shows some important improvements in levels of substance use. [More]
Heroin use impacts HIV disease progression

Heroin use impacts HIV disease progression

Researchers at Yale and Boston University and their Russian collaborators have found that occasional heroin use by HIV-positive patients may be particularly harmful to the immune system and worsens HIV disease, compared to persistent or no heroin use. [More]
Month-long residential program helps young adults stay drug-free

Month-long residential program helps young adults stay drug-free

Residential treatment may be an appropriate first-line option for young adults who are dependent on opioid drugs - including prescription painkillers and heroin - and may result in higher levels of abstinence than does the outpatient treatment that is currently the standard of care. [More]
Prescription opioids involved in 67.8% of nationwide ED visits in 2010, find researchers

Prescription opioids involved in 67.8% of nationwide ED visits in 2010, find researchers

Researchers from Rhode Island and The Miriam hospitals and the Stanford University School of Medicine have found that prescription opioids, including methadone, were involved in 67.8 percent of (or over 135,971 visits to) nationwide emergency department (ED) visits in 2010, with the highest proportion of opioid overdoses occurring in the South. [More]

Study identifies multiple risk behaviors associated with gun possession, violence among youths

A fatal high school shooting in October near Seattle reignited a long-running national debate about gun safety, mental illness and minors. An important major study, to be published on Nov. 5 by researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center and Teachers College, Columbia University, contributes new insights to the discussion, including the finding that "multiple risk behaviors, beyond more commonly discussed indicators of poor mental health…are associated with gun possession among youth." [More]
Even brief workouts can reduce risk of relapse during meth withdrawal

Even brief workouts can reduce risk of relapse during meth withdrawal

Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have found that even brief workouts can reduce the risk of relapse in rats withdrawing from methamphetamine. In addition, the team found that exercise affected the neurons in a brain region that had never before been associated with meth withdrawal, suggesting a new direction for drug development. [More]
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

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

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

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]