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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.
Heroin use impacts HIV disease progression

Heroin use impacts HIV disease progression

Researchers at Yale and Boston University and their Russian collaborators have found that occasional heroin use by HIV-positive patients may be particularly harmful to the immune system and worsens HIV disease, compared to persistent or no heroin use. [More]
Researchers find that one in six Ontario adults reports a history of TBI

Researchers find that one in six Ontario adults reports a history of TBI

Nearly seventeen per cent of adults surveyed in Ontario said they have suffered a traumatic brain injury that left them unconscious for five minutes or required them to be hospitalized overnight, according to new research. These same adults also reported more substance use, smoking and recent psychiatric distress. [More]
MOVENTIG (naloxegol) receives EC approval for treatment of opioid-induced constipation

MOVENTIG (naloxegol) receives EC approval for treatment of opioid-induced constipation

Nektar Therapeutics reported partner AstraZeneca today announced that MOVENTIG (naloxegol) has been granted Marketing Authorisation by the European Commission for the treatment of opioid-induced constipation (OIC) in adult patients who have had an inadequate response to laxative(s). [More]
Doctors prescribe fewer opioids for pain as prescription drug abuse rises

Doctors prescribe fewer opioids for pain as prescription drug abuse rises

Nine in 10 primary care physicians say that prescription drug abuse is a moderate or big problem in their communities and nearly half say they are less likely to prescribe opioids to treat pain compared to a year ago, new Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health research suggests. [More]
Orexo announces positive results from ISTART/006 study

Orexo announces positive results from ISTART/006 study

Orexo US, Inc. announced results from the ISTART/006 study, being presented today at the 25th Annual Meeting and Symposium of the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry in Aventura, Florida, USA. [More]
University of Utah professor develops MORE intervention program for chronic pain patients

University of Utah professor develops MORE intervention program for chronic pain patients

How can people who are dependent on prescription opioids reduce their cravings? Learn to enjoy other aspects of their lives. [More]
Young adults who skip college are at higher risk for nonmedical prescription opioid use

Young adults who skip college are at higher risk for nonmedical prescription opioid use

A study just released by Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health compared the use of prescription opioids and stimulants among high school graduates, non-graduates, and their college-attending peers, and found that young adults who do not attend college are at particularly high risk for nonmedical prescription opioid use and disorder. [More]
SLU researcher discovers way to block pain pathway

SLU researcher discovers way to block pain pathway

In research published in the medical journal Brain, Saint Louis University researcher Daniela Salvemini, Ph.D. and colleagues within SLU, the National Institutes of Health and other academic institutions have discovered a way to block a pain pathway in animal models of chronic neuropathic pain including pain caused by chemotherapeutic agents and bone cancer pain suggesting a promising new approach to pain relief. [More]
Month-long residential program helps young adults stay drug-free

Month-long residential program helps young adults stay drug-free

Residential treatment may be an appropriate first-line option for young adults who are dependent on opioid drugs - including prescription painkillers and heroin - and may result in higher levels of abstinence than does the outpatient treatment that is currently the standard of care. [More]
Opioid abuse in pregnant women increases 127% in 14 years

Opioid abuse in pregnant women increases 127% in 14 years

The number of pregnant women who abuse or are dependent on opioids (narcotics) jumped 127 percent in 14 years, leading to an increased risk of maternal death and stillbirth among other serious problems, according to a review of more than 57 million American women admitted for delivery. [More]
World-first transitional pain program aims to stop chronic pain following surgery

World-first transitional pain program aims to stop chronic pain following surgery

A world-first transitional pain program that aims to stop pain from becoming chronic after surgery is being pioneered at Toronto General Hospital, University Health Network. [More]
Prescription opioids involved in 67.8% of nationwide ED visits in 2010, find researchers

Prescription opioids involved in 67.8% of nationwide ED visits in 2010, find researchers

Researchers from Rhode Island and The Miriam hospitals and the Stanford University School of Medicine have found that prescription opioids, including methadone, were involved in 67.8 percent of (or over 135,971 visits to) nationwide emergency department (ED) visits in 2010, with the highest proportion of opioid overdoses occurring in the South. [More]
Linden Care announces new national contract under Comprehensive Hub Solutions Program

Linden Care announces new national contract under Comprehensive Hub Solutions Program

Linden Care LLC, a leading provider of comprehensive specialty pharmacy solutions to the pain management industry and a portfolio company of BelHealth Investment Partners, announced a new national contract under its Comprehensive Hub Solutions Program (the "Program"). [More]
New data shows EXPAREL provides effective pain control following total knee arthroplasty

New data shows EXPAREL provides effective pain control following total knee arthroplasty

Pacira Pharmaceuticals, Inc. today announced results of an independent, physician-initiated study designed to evaluate the difference in postsurgical pain and opioid consumption between patients who received EXPAREL versus a multi-drug analgesic cocktail for pain management following total knee arthroplasty (TKA). [More]
BioElectronics to present innovative chronic pain therapy at OTC Pharma Asia Conference

BioElectronics to present innovative chronic pain therapy at OTC Pharma Asia Conference

BioElectronics Corporation, the maker of advanced consumer and healthcare medical devices announced today that its Executive Vice President, Dr. Deepak Kotak has been invited to present BioElectronics' innovative chronic pain therapy at the OTC Pharma Asia Conference, on Tuesday, March 3, 2015 in Singapore. [More]

Socioeconomic disadvantages linked to drug-related mortality

For the first time, researchers have found that problem drug users with less successful educational and employment careers are more likely to die of an overdose. Moreover, there is no link between parents' professional status and the likelihood that their problem drug-using child will die from an overdose. [More]
Sedasys announces launch of new sedation system in the U.S.

Sedasys announces launch of new sedation system in the U.S.

Sedasys, a Division of Ethicon US, LLC, announced today the U.S. launch of its SEDASYS System, a Computer-Assisted Personalized Sedation (CAPS) system that enables trained physician-led teams to administer minimal-to-moderate propofol sedation to healthy patients undergoing routine colonoscopy or esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) procedures. [More]
Viewpoints: Relatively few face insurance cancellations; new doctor payment site is 'impenetrable'

Viewpoints: Relatively few face insurance cancellations; new doctor payment site is 'impenetrable'

People are starting to get letters telling them their health insurance plans have been canceled because of the Affordable Care Act. Because the letters will go out just before the midterm congressional elections, they are likely to get a lot of attention. There have been several stories this past week. But the people affected will represent only a small fraction of the population with health insurance (Margot Sanger-Katz, (10/6). [More]

RAND study: Specific state guidance can influence patient access to effective heroin treatment

State policies can influence the number of physicians licensed to prescribe buprenorphine, a drug that can treat addiction to heroin and other opioids in outpatient settings, according to a new RAND Corporation study. [More]
Viewpoints: Shop around for health coverage; 'gaming' Obamacare; FDA and painkillers

Viewpoints: Shop around for health coverage; 'gaming' Obamacare; FDA and painkillers

My colleagues Margot Sanger-Katz and Amanda Cox wrote recently that shopping around for the best price can be crucial for people renewing their coverage on the health insurance exchanges this fall. [More]