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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]
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]
Women need different treatment from men with addiction, says McMaster University-led study

Women need different treatment from men with addiction, says McMaster University-led study

Painkillers prescribed by doctors are the starting point for an opioid addiction for more than half of female methadone clinic patients, and they need different treatment from men with addiction, says a study led by McMaster University researchers. [More]
Braeburn, Camurus announce FDA Fast Track designation for CAM2038 to treat opioid addiction

Braeburn, Camurus announce FDA Fast Track designation for CAM2038 to treat opioid addiction

Braeburn Pharmaceuticals and Camurus announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted Fast Track designation for the CAM2038 weekly and monthly buprenorphine subcutaneous injection products under development for the treatment of opioid addiction. [More]
Nonmedical use of prescription opioids drops but overdose death rates rise in U.S.

Nonmedical use of prescription opioids drops but overdose death rates rise in U.S.

From 2003 to 2013, the percentage of nonmedical use of prescription opioids decreased among adults in the U.S., while the prevalence of prescription opioid use disorders, frequency of use, and related deaths increased, according to a study in the October 13 issue of JAMA. [More]
Integrating addiction treatment into primary care lowers substance dependence in patients with HIV

Integrating addiction treatment into primary care lowers substance dependence in patients with HIV

A program developed at Boston Medical Center, which integrates addiction treatment into primary care for patients with or at risk for HIV, has been shown to lower patients' substance dependence and encourage their engagement in treatment. [More]

FDA accepts Braeburn's resubmission of Probuphine NDA for review

Braeburn Pharmaceuticals, an Apple Tree Partners company, today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has accepted Braeburn's resubmission of the Probuphine New Drug Application (NDA) for review and set February 27, 2016 as the target date for Agency action. [More]

New guideline on the use of prescription medications for treatment of opioid addiction

Medications play an important role in managing patients with opioid use disorders, but there are not enough physicians with the knowledge and ability to use these often-complex treatments. [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]
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