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An opioid is a chemical that works by binding to opioid receptors, which are found principally in the central nervous system and the gastrointestinal tract. The receptors in these two organ systems mediate both the beneficial effects and the side effects of opioids.
Opioid users treated in compulsory drug detention centre more likely to relapse, study shows

Opioid users treated in compulsory drug detention centre more likely to relapse, study shows

People with chronic opioid use disorders are more likely to relapse and do so sooner if they are treated in a compulsory drug detention centre rather than a voluntary drug treatment centre using methadone maintenance therapy, according to the first study comparing the outcome of both approaches published in The Lancet Global Health. [More]
Study reveals self-harm is leading cause of pregnancy-related deaths in Colorado

Study reveals self-harm is leading cause of pregnancy-related deaths in Colorado

Self-harm was the leading cause of pregnancy-associated deaths in Colorado from 2004 to 2014, ahead of car crashes, medical conditions and homicide, according to researchers at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. [More]
Geisinger physicians report opioid therapy to be ineffective in treating chronic pain

Geisinger physicians report opioid therapy to be ineffective in treating chronic pain

A new study by a pair of Geisinger Health System physicians reports that the use of opioid therapy to treat chronic pain is not only ineffective, it can actually increase the likelihood of more harmful consequences, including death. [More]
PinnacleHealth’s initiative helps reduce opioid prescriptions in primary care setting

PinnacleHealth’s initiative helps reduce opioid prescriptions in primary care setting

PinnacleHealth Medical Group, a network of more than 200 primary care providers and specialists, singled out opioid abuse epidemic and initiated a formal opioid reduction program in 2014. [More]
Researchers developing opioid vaccines to help prevent overdose fatalities

Researchers developing opioid vaccines to help prevent overdose fatalities

In 2014, the number of deaths from opioid overdoses in the U.S. jumped to its highest level on record. The spike brought national attention to the epidemic and the awareness that new interventions are needed. [More]
Study examines link between employment status and nonmedical use of prescription opioids

Study examines link between employment status and nonmedical use of prescription opioids

Researchers at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health found that employment status is a factor in nonmedical use of prescription opioids and prescription stimulants. [More]
Research underscores need for targeted interventions to prevent hip fractures among dementia patients

Research underscores need for targeted interventions to prevent hip fractures among dementia patients

The hip fracture risk factors are generally similar among those with and without Alzheimer's disease, according to a recent study from the University of Eastern Finland. [More]
New study to explore link between sleep and chronic pain

New study to explore link between sleep and chronic pain

Washington State University will lead a study to understand the relationship between sleep and chronic pain, part of a nationwide effort to address the rising abuse of opioid pain relievers and expand the arsenal of non-drug treatment options. [More]
TSRI scientists discover potential drug candidate to suppress pain and itch

TSRI scientists discover potential drug candidate to suppress pain and itch

In a new study, scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute have identified a possible drug candidate that suppresses pain and itch in animal models. [More]
Researchers find differences in use of prescription analgesics between people with and without Alzheimer’s disease

Researchers find differences in use of prescription analgesics between people with and without Alzheimer’s disease

Approximately one third of persons with Alzheimer’s disease use prescription medicines for pain after their diagnosis, reports a recent study conducted at the University of Eastern Finland. [More]
Kratom may be safer and less addictive than current treatments for pain, research suggests

Kratom may be safer and less addictive than current treatments for pain, research suggests

A delayed U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration ban on kratom would stifle scientific understanding of the herb's active chemical components and documented pharmacologic properties if implemented, according to a special report published today in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association. [More]
Private practitioners urge patients to choose physical therapy over opioids to manage pain

Private practitioners urge patients to choose physical therapy over opioids to manage pain

Prescription opioid headlines are staggering: 40 Americans die each day from overdoses involving prescription opioids; they cost the United States economy $78.5 billion a year; and 227 million opioid prescriptions were handed out in the U.S. in 2015. [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]
Study reveals new insights into drug-caused deaths among health care professionals

Study reveals new insights into drug-caused deaths among health care professionals

An Australian-first study conducted by Monash University has found that from 2003-2013 nearly five deaths per 1000 employed Australian health care professionals were caused by drugs, with a significant association between specific professions and drug type. [More]
Opioid exposure may impact healing in patients with chronic wounds

Opioid exposure may impact healing in patients with chronic wounds

Patients with chronic wounds who never receive opioids heal faster than those who do receive the drugs, according to a new study by George Washington University (GW) researcher Victoria Shanmugam, M.D. [More]
New technique for identifying illicit drugs can provide high sensitivity and rapid results

New technique for identifying illicit drugs can provide high sensitivity and rapid results

For the identification of illicit drugs in forensic toxicological casework, analysis can be delayed and potentially compromised due to lengthy sample preparation. However a new technique has been developed that can provide high sensitivity and fast results. [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]
Study finds long-term use of transdermal opioid patches twice as common among Alzheimer's patients

Study finds long-term use of transdermal opioid patches twice as common among Alzheimer's patients

Approximately seven per cent of persons with Alzheimer's disease use strong pain medicines, opioids, for non-cancer pain for a period longer than six months, according to a recent study conducted at the University of Eastern Finland. [More]
AMCC to raise awareness about dangers of prescription drug abuse across the U.S.

AMCC to raise awareness about dangers of prescription drug abuse across the U.S.

On November 12, 2016 the 7th Annual American Medicine Chest Challenge --- a national public health initiative to raise awareness about the dangers of prescription drug abuse and encourage safe disposal of prescription drugs will be held in communities throughout the nation. [More]
Mothers in therapy for substance use recover faster if children take part in treatment, study shows

Mothers in therapy for substance use recover faster if children take part in treatment, study shows

Mothers in therapy for drug and alcohol use recover faster if their children take part in their treatment sessions, according to a first-of-its-kind study. [More]
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