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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.
Study demonstrates that stress hormone cortisol can reduce heroin cravings

Study demonstrates that stress hormone cortisol can reduce heroin cravings

Every addiction is characterized by a strong desire for a certain addictive substance, be it nicotine, alcohol or other drug. Researchers at the University of Basel in Switzerland recently conducted a study on heroin addiction and demonstrated that the stress hormone cortisol can reduce addictive cravings. [More]
Drug addiction expert uncovers molecular mechanisms that contribute to addiction resistance

Drug addiction expert uncovers molecular mechanisms that contribute to addiction resistance

Growing up in West Virginia, Jill Turner saw firsthand the kind of havoc that drug addiction can wreak. "I had a lot of friends who had very promising lives and promising careers ahead of them," the assistant professor in the South Carolina College of Pharmacy says, "but they ended up either overdosing or going to jail for drug-related stuff. It's one of the reasons I went into drug addiction research." [More]
Opioid prescribing guidelines that focus high-dose use may need revision, say researchers

Opioid prescribing guidelines that focus high-dose use may need revision, say researchers

Overdoses of opioid pain medications frequently occur in people who aren't chronic users with high prescribed opioid doses--the groups targeted by current opioid prescribing guidelines, reports a study in the August issue of Medical Care. [More]
Study examines self-reported use of bath salts among high school seniors in the U.S.

Study examines self-reported use of bath salts among high school seniors in the U.S.

Recent years have seen an unprecedented growth in number and availability of new synthetic psychoactive drugs in the US and worldwide. In 2014, 101 new psychoactive drugs were identified, worldwide. Such drugs are often sold as "legal" highs or "research chemicals" over the internet or in head shops. Among these new drugs, "bath salts" appear to be one of the more commonly used in the US. [More]
Research findings may help health care providers curb painkiller misuse

Research findings may help health care providers curb painkiller misuse

People who misuse prescription pain relievers all have one thing in common, University of Georgia researchers have discovered: a history of recent illicit drug use. How they acquire such drugs varies according to age, however. [More]
Study explores link between medical marijuana ads and youth behavior

Study explores link between medical marijuana ads and youth behavior

Adolescents who saw advertising for medical marijuana were more likely to either report using marijuana or say they planned to use the substance in the future, according to a new RAND Corporation study. [More]
1 in 4 people with histories of nicotine use, substance abuse likely to use opioid painkillers long-term

1 in 4 people with histories of nicotine use, substance abuse likely to use opioid painkillers long-term

Opioid painkiller addiction and accidental overdoses have become far too common across the United States. To try to identify who is most at risk, Mayo Clinic researchers studied how many patients prescribed an opioid painkiller for the first time progressed to long-term prescriptions. The answer: 1 in 4. People with histories of tobacco use and substance abuse were likeliest to use opioid painkillers long-term. [More]
New study examines how reasons for illicit marijuana use relate to use of other drugs

New study examines how reasons for illicit marijuana use relate to use of other drugs

Marijuana is the most prevalent drug in the U.S. Approximately 70% of the 2.8 million individuals who initiated use of illicit drugs in 2013 reported that marijuana was their first drug. [More]
New technology can detect illegal drugs from a single fingerprint

New technology can detect illegal drugs from a single fingerprint

An innovative technology pioneered by Sheffield Hallam University academics can detect the presence of a range of illegal and designer drugs from a single fingerprint, which could be a valuable new tool in bringing drug dealers and other criminals to justice. [More]
Implementation of needle exchange programs can prevent HIV outbreaks in Indiana

Implementation of needle exchange programs can prevent HIV outbreaks in Indiana

Congress needs to immediately lift the ban on federal funding for needle exchange programs to counter the threat of HIV outbreaks among injection drug users like the one that has seen an alarming number of new cases erupt in a single rural Indiana county. [More]

US physicians with waivers increase potential access to effective medication-assisted treatment

American physicians with waivers allowing them to provide office-based medication-assisted buprenorphine treatment to patients addicted to opioids were able to increase potential access to effective medication-assisted treatment by 74 percent from 2002 to 2011, according to a new RAND Corporation study. [More]
Braeburn reports positive topline results from Probuphine Phase 3 study for treatment of opioid addiction

Braeburn reports positive topline results from Probuphine Phase 3 study for treatment of opioid addiction

Braeburn Pharmaceuticals, an Apple Tree Partners company, today reported positive topline results from the Phase 3 double-blind, double-dummy clinical study of Probuphine, the investigational subdermal implant containing buprenorphine HCl for the long-term maintenance treatment of opioid addiction. [More]
MedUni Vienna expert suggests pricing strategy to reduce smoking

MedUni Vienna expert suggests pricing strategy to reduce smoking

30% of the estimated 2.3 million smokers in Austria are considered to be heavily tobacco-dependent and, according to experts at MedUni Vienna, require professional treatment. This would mean around 690,000 people. According to Michael Kunze, an expert on smoking at the Center for Public Health at MedUni Vienna, an effective strategy would be to increase the price of tobacco products: "If the price of cigarettes were to rise just one percent above the inflation rate, that would bring about a 0.5% reduction in consumption worldwide." [More]

Heroin-assisted treatments benefit some drug users

Drug users who do not benefit from conventional treatments for heroin addiction should be able to access the drug through the health system, urges a Canadian expert in The BMJ today. [More]
ACA calls for 'conservative care first' approach to low-back pain

ACA calls for 'conservative care first' approach to low-back pain

The American Chiropractic Association, in response to recent research calling into question the efficacy of acetaminophen in the management of spinal pain, strongly encourages patients and healthcare providers to consider the benefits of a conservative approach to back pain. [More]
Many teens still ignorant of significant physical danger posed by legal drugs

Many teens still ignorant of significant physical danger posed by legal drugs

Legal drugs such as OxyContin now kill more people than heroin and cocaine combined. While awareness of the dangers of illegal drugs has increased, many teens are still ignorant of the significant physical danger posed by legally prescribed drugs, according to a new study in Journal of Public Policy & Marketing. [More]
Study finds that reformulated OxyContin forces some drug abusers to switch to heroin

Study finds that reformulated OxyContin forces some drug abusers to switch to heroin

A reformulation of OxyContin that makes it harder to abuse has curtailed the drug's illicit use. But some 25 percent of drug abusers entering rehab said they still abused the prescription painkiller despite package labeling that emphasizes its abuse-deterrent properties, new research indicates. [More]
Researchers develop robust screening method for routine measurement of drugs in exhaled breath

Researchers develop robust screening method for routine measurement of drugs in exhaled breath

Drug testing is most commonly performed using urine samples. The methodology and regulations for reliable urine testing are well developed and can be considered the current gold standard for drug testing. [More]
New healthcare law may threaten federally subsidized coverage for over 2.5 million Americans

New healthcare law may threaten federally subsidized coverage for over 2.5 million Americans

A new study shows that over 2.5 million Americans who have a serious mental health condition in 34 states will become uninsured in 2016, if the Supreme Court rolls back tax credit subsidies that currently make it affordable for those individuals to purchase coverage on federally-run health insurance marketplaces under the Affordable Care Act. [More]
Opioid withdrawal in Ontario newborns increases 15-fold

Opioid withdrawal in Ontario newborns increases 15-fold

The number of newborns suffering from opioid withdrawal increased 15-fold in Ontario over 20 years, according to research published today in CMAJ Open. [More]
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