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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.
New drug target could help prevent opioid tolerance and addiction

New drug target could help prevent opioid tolerance and addiction

Researchers have identified a brain mechanism that could be a drug target to help prevent tolerance and addiction to opioid pain medication, such as morphine, according to a study by Georgia State University and Emory University. [More]
Opioid naive individuals at low risk of developing persistent opioid use after surgery, research shows

Opioid naive individuals at low risk of developing persistent opioid use after surgery, research shows

Researchers from the University Health Network's Department of Anesthesia and Pain Management and the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences have determined that patients who have not had an opioid prescription within a year prior to their procedure are at low risk of developing persistent opioid use after major surgery. [More]
New study suggests increased levels of hypocretin in the brain may play role in cocaine addiction

New study suggests increased levels of hypocretin in the brain may play role in cocaine addiction

A new study from scientists at The Scripps Research Institute, funded by the National Institutes of Health's National Institute on Drug Abuse and National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, suggests that increased levels of a molecule in the brain, called hypocretin, may contribute to cocaine addiction. [More]
Study finds racial-ethnic disparities in emergency department opioid prescription for pain-related conditions

Study finds racial-ethnic disparities in emergency department opioid prescription for pain-related conditions

Dr. Astha Singhal, Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Policy and Health Services Research at Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine, published a study that found a racial disparity in opioid prescriptions for emergency department visits for non-definitive pain-related conditions. [More]
European Union may be catching up to the United States in nonmedical prescription drug abuse

European Union may be catching up to the United States in nonmedical prescription drug abuse

There is a high rate of prescription pain reliever abuse in Europe, largely accounted by opioids, according to the first comparative study of prescription drug abuse in the European Union, which was conducted by researchers at RTI International and published in BMC Psychiatry. [More]
Study finds high rate of misuse of seizure and pain drug

Study finds high rate of misuse of seizure and pain drug

With increasing public attention to overdose deaths and misuse of prescription medications in the United States, researchers today presented the results of a new study looking at abuse and misuse of gabapentin, a medication used to treat seizures and relieve nerve pain often associated with shingles. [More]
NABP report points rogue internet drug outlets serve as dealers to people purchasing controlled substances

NABP report points rogue internet drug outlets serve as dealers to people purchasing controlled substances

Today, the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) released its Internet Drug Outlet Identification Program Progress Report for State and Federal Regulators: July 2016. [More]
Majority of American adults use prescription drugs inappropriately and dangerously

Majority of American adults use prescription drugs inappropriately and dangerously

The majority of American adults taking opioids and other commonly prescribed medications use them in ways that put their health at risk, including potentially dangerous combinations with other drugs, according to a new study from Quest Diagnostics, the world’s leading provider of diagnostic information services. [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]
FDA-approved nerve ablation procedure may offer new treatment option for low back pain

FDA-approved nerve ablation procedure may offer new treatment option for low back pain

It's the most common reason people go to their doctors - back pain. According to the National Institutes of Health, 80 percent of adults will experience low back pain some time in their lives. [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]
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]
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