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New study finds opioid dependence affects perception of cute images of babies

New study finds opioid dependence affects perception of cute images of babies

A new pilot study has found that opioid dependence - which includes dependence on drugs such as heroin - affects how 'cute' we perceive images of children to be. [More]
Hospitalizations for injection drug use-related infective endocarditis increasing among young Americans

Hospitalizations for injection drug use-related infective endocarditis increasing among young Americans

Hospitalizations for infective endocarditis, a heart valve infection often attributed to injection drug use, have increased significantly among young adult Americans--particularly in whites and females--according to a new study by researchers from Tufts Medical Center and Tufts University School of Medicine. [More]
New non-drug approach may help manage pain in individuals receiving addiction treatment

New non-drug approach may help manage pain in individuals receiving addiction treatment

It's a Catch-22 with potentially deadly consequences: People trying to overcome addiction can't get treatment for their pain, because the most powerful pain medicines also carry an addiction risk. [More]
Adults with pain could be at higher risk of developing prescription opioid use disorders

Adults with pain could be at higher risk of developing prescription opioid use disorders

What do we really know about the relationship between the experience of pain and risk of developing opioid use disorder? Results from a recent study - the first to directly address this question -- show that people with moderate or more severe pain had a 41 percent higher risk of developing prescription opioid use disorders than those without, independent of other demographic and clinical factors. [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]

Opioid funding bill should address greater access to balanced pain management

The Alliance for Balanced Pain Management (AfBPM) made the following statement on the Obama administration’s plan to curb the opioid addiction crisis, which was released this morning as Congress prepares to tackle funding for related programs. [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]
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]
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]

High doses of Imodium to self-treat opioid addictions could be extremely dangerous

The over-the-counter anti-diarrhea medication Imodium, or its key ingredient loperamide, is increasingly being abused by people attempting to self-treat their opioid addiction, with sometime fatal results. [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]
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]
Restrictions to opioid prescription block their use for safe, effective pain relief

Restrictions to opioid prescription block their use for safe, effective pain relief

Opioids are very effective for treating some types of pain, such as cancer pain and postoperative pain, but not for other kinds of pain like chronic low back pain. An increase in the number of opioid-related deaths among addicts has led to the current movement to restrict opioid prescribing by state and federal authorities. [More]
FDA announces required class-wide safety labeling changes for IR opioid pain medications

FDA announces required class-wide safety labeling changes for IR opioid pain medications

In a continuing effort to educate prescribers and patients about the potential risks related to opioid use, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration today announced required class-wide safety labeling changes for immediate-release (IR) opioid pain medications. Among the changes, the FDA is requiring a new boxed warning about the serious risks of misuse, abuse, addiction, overdose and death. [More]
Overprescribing of opioids leads to serious public health problems

Overprescribing of opioids leads to serious public health problems

Overprescribing of opioids and opioid addiction are serious and growing public health problems in the U.S., and are the focus of a new report by an expert panel, entitled The American Opioid Epidemic: Population Health Implications and Potential Solutions," from the National Stakeholder Panel, Jefferson College of Population Health, which is published in a special supplement to Population Health Management, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The supplement is available open access on the Population Health Managementwebsite [More]

Blue Cross Blue Shield Association commits to address nation's growing opioid crisis

Blue Cross Blue Shield Association and top executives from Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies around the country today committed to addressing the nation's growing opioid crisis with an executive-level committee that will investigate its impact on individuals, local communities and the healthcare system as a whole. [More]
Modulation of opioid system may improve effectiveness of drugs for treatment-resistant depression

Modulation of opioid system may improve effectiveness of drugs for treatment-resistant depression

A clinical trial of an experimental drug for treatment-resistant major depression finds that modulation of the endogenous opioid system may improve the effectiveness of drugs that target the action of serotonin and related monoamine neurotransmitters. [More]
First patient enrolled in Phase 3 efficacy trial of CAM2038 for opioid dependence

First patient enrolled in Phase 3 efficacy trial of CAM2038 for opioid dependence

Braeburn Pharmaceuticals and Camurus announce that the first patient has been randomized in the double blind Phase 3 efficacy trial of CAM2038 in opioid-dependent patients. CAM2038 medications are designed for long-acting weekly and monthly administration. [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]
New data shows opioid overdose deaths hit record levels in 2014

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]
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