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UAB physician calls for better education, legislation to help patients with opioid abuse

UAB physician calls for better education, legislation to help patients with opioid abuse

The U.S. opioid epidemic has evolved so much in the last four years that current federal policy responses risk diminishing returns in saving human lives, according to a new peer-reviewed perspective by University of Alabama at Birmingham Associate Professor of Preventive medicine Stefan Kertesz, M.D. His perspective was published online in the addiction journal Substance Abuse. [More]
New vaccine shows potential to decrease risk of fatal opioid overdose

New vaccine shows potential to decrease risk of fatal opioid overdose

Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have developed a vaccine that blocks the pain-numbing effects of the opioid drugs oxycodone and hydrocodone in animal models. [More]
Medical cannabis may help treat mental health problems and opioid addiction

Medical cannabis may help treat mental health problems and opioid addiction

Using marijuana could help some alcoholics and people addicted to opioids kick their habits, a UBC study has found. [More]
John Cryer MP, CPPC and TalkHealth jointly launch new chronic pain patient medication survey

John Cryer MP, CPPC and TalkHealth jointly launch new chronic pain patient medication survey

It is thought that more than 28 million British people across the United Kingdom suffer with chronic pain, with 8 million of those reporting pain that is moderately to severely disabling. [More]
Urgent Matters announces recipients of Emergency Care Innovation of the Year Award

Urgent Matters announces recipients of Emergency Care Innovation of the Year Award

Urgent Matters, Philips Blue Jay Consulting, and Schumacher Clinical Partners are pleased to announce the winners of the Emergency Care Innovation of the Year Award, a competition to foster innovation in emergency departments nationwide. [More]
Wayne State receives NIH grant to study use of opioid addiction drug to fight relapse in recovering addicts

Wayne State receives NIH grant to study use of opioid addiction drug to fight relapse in recovering addicts

A team led by Wayne State University School of Medicine researcher Mark Greenwald, Ph.D., will use a four-year, $2,279,723 competitively renewed grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse of the National Institutes of Health to explore whether the opioid addiction treatment medication buprenorphine can decrease the magnitude and/or duration of responses to stressors faced by recovering addicts. [More]
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]
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