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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.
Opioids could be dangerous, deadly at high doses

Opioids could be dangerous, deadly at high doses

Most people know that heroin is a dangerous drug, but its cousins, the legal, pharmaceutical opioids, such as codeine or hydrocodone, must be safe, right?Not so fast.Opioids—which include the illegal drug heroin as well as prescription medications, including hydrocodone (such as Vicodin), oxycodone (such as OxyContin and Percocet), morphine and codeine—can be dangerous, even deadly, at high doses. [More]
Immediate treatment can benefit cannabis users who experience withdrawal symptoms

Immediate treatment can benefit cannabis users who experience withdrawal symptoms

Heavy users of cannabis who experience withdrawal symptoms such as nervousness and cravings when they quit are likely to use again sooner than their peers, a new study finds. [More]
Penn study calls on physicians to avoid over-prescribing opioids for surgical patients

Penn study calls on physicians to avoid over-prescribing opioids for surgical patients

Physicians are prescribing more opioid painkillers than ever before to patients undergoing common surgeries, according to new research from the department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. [More]
Mindfulness meditation reduces pain without endogenous opioid system

Mindfulness meditation reduces pain without endogenous opioid system

Everyone knows that stubbing your toe hurts. What makes it stop hurting is the body's main pain-blocking process - the natural production of opioids. [More]
Understanding dangers of binge drinking

Understanding dangers of binge drinking

Researchers estimate that each year 1,825 college students ages 18-24 die from alcohol-related unintentional injuries, including motor vehicle collisions. About 20 percent of college students meet the criteria for an alcohol use disorder, with one in four college students report adverse academic consequences from drinking, including missing class, falling behind, doing poorly on exams or papers, and receiving lower grades overall. [More]
New vaccine strategy may curb addiction, prevent fatal overdoses

New vaccine strategy may curb addiction, prevent fatal overdoses

With use of synthetic opioid "designer drugs" on the rise, scientists from The Scripps Research Institute have a new strategy to curb addiction and even prevent fatal overdoses. [More]
Implementing harm reduction interventions among PWID to prevent HIV epidemic in Colombia

Implementing harm reduction interventions among PWID to prevent HIV epidemic in Colombia

In the early 1990s, drug production in Colombia diversified to include heroin as well as cocaine, and since then the country's role in the heroin trade has substantially increased. According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Colombia produced approximately 70 to 100 metric tons of heroin between 1998 and 2004. Studies have found an increase in local heroin use since the mid-1990s. This is a strong cause for concern, given the potential for HIV to spread through networks of injection drug users and disseminate to the general public. [More]
Temple University Hospital makes strides in confronting prescription drug abuse

Temple University Hospital makes strides in confronting prescription drug abuse

Prescription drug abuse has become a public health crisis in the U.S., and Temple University Hospital has made strides in confronting this critical situation. [More]
Advances in drug and alcohol testing: an interview with George Powell, President of Summit Diagnostics

Advances in drug and alcohol testing: an interview with George Powell, President of Summit Diagnostics

In the US, drug and alcohol testing has been a part of addiction and recovery for as long as I can remember. I started working in the business, basically in the employment industry, back in the mid-to-late 90s. Testing was essential, in that industries needed to ensure they had alcohol- and drug-free work places [More]
Buprenorphine superior to methadone in reducing duration of treatment for babies born in drug withdrawal

Buprenorphine superior to methadone in reducing duration of treatment for babies born in drug withdrawal

A study of two opioids used to wean babies born in withdrawal from drugs their mothers have taken shows that buprenorphine is superior to methadone in reducing duration of treatment and length of hospital stay. [More]
Opioid prescribing guideline has immediate, sustained impact on prescribing rates

Opioid prescribing guideline has immediate, sustained impact on prescribing rates

Emergency medicine physicians at Temple University Hospital have found that an opioid prescribing guideline had an immediate and sustained impact on opioid prescribing rates for minor conditions and chronic noncancer pain in an acute care setting. [More]
Young teens more vulnerable to opioid addiction, study reveals

Young teens more vulnerable to opioid addiction, study reveals

A Michigan State University study shows that 14- and 15-year-olds are at a higher risk of becoming dependent on prescription drugs within a 12-month period after using them extra-medically, or beyond the prescribed amount. [More]

CRLA offers treatment scholarships to subjects of HBO documentary ‘Heroin: Cape Cod, USA’

Calabasas based Community Recovery Los Angeles (CRLA) is generously embracing the spirit of giving this holiday season by offering 90 day treatment scholarships to all of the subjects of the HBO documentary "Heroin: Cape Cod, USA". [More]

Crackdown on Florida's 'pill mills' reduces painkiller overdose deaths

A crackdown on Florida's "pill mills" - clinics dispensing large quantities of prescription painkillers often for cash-only and without proper medical examinations - appears to have dramatically reduced the number of overdose deaths in the state from these drugs and may have also led to a drop in heroin overdose deaths, new research suggests. [More]

New data shows opioid overdose deaths hit record levels in 2014

From 2000 to 2014 nearly half a million Americans died from drug overdoses. Opioid overdose deaths, including both opioid pain relievers and heroin, hit record levels in 2014, with an alarming 14 percent increase in just one year, according to new data published today in CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. [More]
Drug use remains stable among teens, MTF survey shows

Drug use remains stable among teens, MTF survey shows

The 2015 Monitoring the Future survey (MTF) shows decreasing use of a number of substances, including cigarettes, alcohol, prescription opioid pain relievers, and synthetic cannabinoids ("synthetic marijuana"). Other drug use remains stable, including marijuana, with continued high rates of daily use reported among 12th graders, and ongoing declines in perception of its harms. [More]
Access to harm reduction programs vey low in rural and suburban areas affected by HIV infections

Access to harm reduction programs vey low in rural and suburban areas affected by HIV infections

Access to harm reduction programs such as syringe exchange is lowest in rural and suburban areas, where rates of addiction to heroin and other opioids are on the rise, according to a study led by researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and published online today in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. [More]
Motivational interviewing helps curb prescription opioid abuse among older adults with chronic pain

Motivational interviewing helps curb prescription opioid abuse among older adults with chronic pain

Prescription opioid abuse has reached epidemic proportions, with more than half of patients being treated for chronic pain reportedly misusing their medication at some point. [More]
TSRI researchers awarded $1.6 million grant to advance preclinical studies of potential heroin vaccine

TSRI researchers awarded $1.6 million grant to advance preclinical studies of potential heroin vaccine

Now researchers at The Scripps Research Institute have been awarded a prestigious Translational Avant-Garde Award, which supports the development of medications for substance abuse disorders, from the National Institutes of Health National Institute on Drug Abuse. [More]
FDA approves Narcan nasal spray to prevent or reverse effects of opioid overdose

FDA approves Narcan nasal spray to prevent or reverse effects of opioid overdose

Today the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Narcan nasal spray, the first FDA-approved nasal spray version of naloxone hydrochloride, a life-saving medication that can stop or reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. Opioids are a class of drugs that include prescription medications such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, and morphine, as well as the illegal drug heroin. [More]
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