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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.
One in every 17 college students smokes marijuana on daily or near-daily basis

One in every 17 college students smokes marijuana on daily or near-daily basis

Daily marijuana use among the nation's college students is on the rise, surpassing daily cigarette smoking for the first time in 2014. [More]
Fentanyl sold as heroin causing new wave of overdose deaths

Fentanyl sold as heroin causing new wave of overdose deaths

With the heroin epidemic in the United States reaching deadlier heights, Jacksonville-based Lakeview Health drug and alcohol treatment center's Dr. Philip Hemphill is helping to explain why fentanyl is causing a new wave of overdoses. Because Fentanyl is approximately 40 to 50 times more potent than pharmaceutical grade heroin and often illegally purchased unknowingly by recreational users as heroin, the risk of death skyrockets. [More]
Researchers evaluate use of pharmacy-based naloxone education and distribution to fight opioid overdoses

Researchers evaluate use of pharmacy-based naloxone education and distribution to fight opioid overdoses

In response to the growing opioid crisis, several states, including Massachusetts and Rhode Island, have granted pharmacists the authority to provide naloxone rescue kits without a prescription to at-risk patients. This model of pharmacy-based naloxone (PBN) education and distribution is one of the public health strategies currently being evaluated at hundreds of pharmacies in both states to determine the impact on opioid overdose death rates. [More]
Growing availability of heroin changing the face of opiate addiction in the U.S.

Growing availability of heroin changing the face of opiate addiction in the U.S.

The growing availability of heroin, combined with programs aimed at curbing prescription painkiller abuse, may be changing the face of opiate addiction in the U.S., according to sociologists. [More]
Urban emergency department sees high rates of HCV infection among intravenous drug users, Baby Boomers

Urban emergency department sees high rates of HCV infection among intravenous drug users, Baby Boomers

An urban emergency department that set up a hepatitis C testing protocol saw high rates of infection among intravenous drug users and Baby Boomers, with three-quarters of those testing positive unaware they were infected. [More]
Nonmedical use of prescription opioids increasing among young adults

Nonmedical use of prescription opioids increasing among young adults

The nonmedical use of prescription opioids (POs) has become an area of increasing public health concern in the United States and rates of use are particularly high among young adults. In the past decade, an emerging "epidemic" of nonmedical PO use has been reported. [More]
Research shows specific routes of administration can predict risk of drug addiction

Research shows specific routes of administration can predict risk of drug addiction

Abstinence is the best way to avoid drug addiction. But in many societies, drug use is the norm, not the exception, especially by youth. [More]
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

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]
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