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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.
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]
Study examines link between craving and glutamate levels in the brain of patients with AUDs

Study examines link between craving and glutamate levels in the brain of patients with AUDs

Craving consists of cognitive, emotional, and behavioral elements related to a desire to drink alcohol, and can be experienced during intoxication, withdrawal, and/or prior to relapse. [More]
Buprenorphine implants could be effective option to treat adults with opioid dependence

Buprenorphine implants could be effective option to treat adults with opioid dependence

While buprenorphine has long been used to treat adults with opioid dependence, its efficacy can be hindered by lack of adherence to daily, sublingual (beneath the tongue) doses of the medication. [More]
Parental substance use increases health risks among children

Parental substance use increases health risks among children

Children whose parents or caregivers misuse alcohol or use, produce or distribute drugs face an increased risk of medical and behavioral problems. According to a new clinical report by experts at Beth Israel Medical Center and Boston Children's Hospital, pediatricians are in a unique position to assess risk and intervene to protect children. [More]
New opioid use among older adults with COPD linked to increased risk for respiratory-related death

New opioid use among older adults with COPD linked to increased risk for respiratory-related death

Older adults with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease who start using opioids have a more than two-fold higher risk of dying from a respiratory-related complication compared to non-opioid users, St. Michael's Hospital researchers have found. [More]

Policies restricting opioid prescriptions could harm pain patients, suggests review

A recent review and analysis suggests that some policies restricting opioid prescriptions to curb overdose deaths could be harming those who need them the most: pain patients. [More]
ASA recommends parents to ask seven questions to child's physician anesthesiologist prior to surgery

ASA recommends parents to ask seven questions to child's physician anesthesiologist prior to surgery

Millions of children have surgery every year - for everything from tonsil removal to correction of a heart defect - and understandably parents are often anxious about their child's safety and comfort. [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]
Study reveals many women may be smoking and exposed to nicotine during pregnancy

Study reveals many women may be smoking and exposed to nicotine during pregnancy

More women may be smoking and exposed to nicotine during pregnancy than previously thought, according to a new study by researchers from Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center in collaboration with Cradle Cincinnati. [More]
Study reveals high healthcare costs for chronic pain patients in Canada

Study reveals high healthcare costs for chronic pain patients in Canada

Costs of patients who develop chronic post-surgical pain could range from $2.5 million to $4.1 million a year, in one Ontario hospital alone, according to a study in Pain Management. [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]
NYU dentists receive grant to test whether non-viral gene delivery can effectively treat oral cancer pain

NYU dentists receive grant to test whether non-viral gene delivery can effectively treat oral cancer pain

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, part of the National Institutes of Health, has awarded Drs. Brian Schmidt and Seiichi Yamano a $1.2M (3-year) grant to test whether their non-viral gene delivery method can effectively and safely treat oral cancer pain. [More]

Researchers use wristband sensors to detect how opioid users in emergency room reacted to dosages

There is merit in looking at the use of wearable biosensors to detect whether opioid users stay focused on their rehabilitation programs. [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]
Drexel University researchers aim to identify new molecular mechanisms involved in chronic pain

Drexel University researchers aim to identify new molecular mechanisms involved in chronic pain

Chronic pain is one of the most prevalent, disabling and expensive public health crises in the United States. It affects more than 100 million Americans, with annual costs estimated at $635 billion, says a 2014 report from the American Pain Society. [More]
Long-term opioid therapy may not be effective to manage pain in sickle cell disease patients

Long-term opioid therapy may not be effective to manage pain in sickle cell disease patients

In a small study looking at pain assessments in adults with sickle cell disease, researchers at Johns Hopkins says overall, those treated long-term with opioids often fared worse in measures of pain, fatigue and curtailed daily activities than those not on long-term opioids. [More]
Nonopioid interventional options for chronic pain not covered by insurance in few U.S. states

Nonopioid interventional options for chronic pain not covered by insurance in few U.S. states

Recent studies have shown significant therapeutic value from the use of high-frequency - 10,000 (HF-10) spinal cord stimulation (SCS) for patients experiencing chronic back and leg pain. [More]
Opioid use common among Medicare beneficiaries after hospital discharge

Opioid use common among Medicare beneficiaries after hospital discharge

Nearly 15 percent of opioid-naïve patients hospitalized under Medicare are discharged with a new prescription for opioids, according to a study published today in JAMA Internal Medicine. [More]
New survey reveals more than half of patients prescribed opioids have leftover pills

New survey reveals more than half of patients prescribed opioids have leftover pills

In the midst of an epidemic of prescription painkiller addiction and overdose deaths, a new Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health survey suggests that more than half of patients prescribed opioids have leftover pills -- and many save them to use later. [More]
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