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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.

Special Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation conference to focus on issues surrounding addiction

The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation's Professionals in Residence program in collaboration with the University of Minnesota Department of Family Medicine and Community Health and the Scaife Family Foundation will host a special conference June 20-21 in Minnesota for primary health care providers to learn more about the issues surrounding addiction. [More]
Small financial incentives can improve people’s completion of HBV vaccination, study finds

Small financial incentives can improve people’s completion of HBV vaccination, study finds

Small financial incentives, totalling as little as £30, can dramatically increase the likelihood of people who inject drugs completing a course of hepatitis B virus (HBV) vaccination, according to new research published in The Lancet. [More]
SLU researcher receives NIH grant to study on type of opioids that lead to depression

SLU researcher receives NIH grant to study on type of opioids that lead to depression

After finding a link between chronic use of prescription-based painkillers and increase in risk of depression, Saint Louis University researcher Jeffrey Scherrer, Ph.D., has received a $391,706 NIH grant to further investigate the pattern in a wider patient base, and study the type of opioids that lead to depression. [More]

Treatment for opioid overdose now available for use by non-medical personnel

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the first naloxone treatment specifically designed to be given by family members or caregivers to treat a person with opioid overdose. [More]
Study shows important parallels between epidemic of HIV/AIDS and opioid addiction

Study shows important parallels between epidemic of HIV/AIDS and opioid addiction

​There are important parallels between the early years of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and the current epidemic of opioid addiction - ones that could trigger a significant shift in opioid addiction prevention, diagnosis and treatment. [More]
New drug multiplies analgesic effect of opioids without increasing constipation

New drug multiplies analgesic effect of opioids without increasing constipation

Scientists from the University of Granada have taken part, alongside the Esteve laboratory, in the development of a new drug that multiplies the analgesic effect of opioids (drugs for treating intense pain), without increasing constipation, one of the most common side-effects of these drugs, among which is morphine. [More]
Egalet provides business update, reports full year 2013 financial results

Egalet provides business update, reports full year 2013 financial results

Egalet Corporation ("Egalet") today reported business highlights and financial results for the year ended December 31, 2013. This marks the first time that Egalet is reporting its operating results as a public company. [More]
Prescriptions of opioid analgesics increased during U.S. emergency department visits

Prescriptions of opioid analgesics increased during U.S. emergency department visits

George Washington University (GW) researchers report dramatic increases in prescriptions of opioid analgesics, such as Percocet, Vicodin, oxycodone and Dilaudid, during U.S. emergency department visits from 2001 to 2010. [More]

Orexo signs multi-year agreement with OptumRx and UnitedHealth Group

Orexo AB, the manufacturer of ZUBSOLV® (buprenorphine and naloxone) sublingual tablets (CIII), announced a multi-year agreement with UnitedHealth Group® and OptumRx® providing preferred coverage and reimbursement of ZUBSOLV®. [More]
New research reveals how substance abuse problems take hold in returning veterans

New research reveals how substance abuse problems take hold in returning veterans

Of nearly 1 million veterans who receive opioids to treat painful conditions, more than half continue to consume opioids chronically or beyond 90 days, new research says. Results presented at the 30th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Pain Medicine reported on a number of factors associated with opioid discontinuation with the goal of understanding how abuse problems take hold in returning veterans. [More]
Prescriptions for benzodiazepines with opioid analgesics may lead to medication-related deaths

Prescriptions for benzodiazepines with opioid analgesics may lead to medication-related deaths

Prescriptions for benzodiazepines are rising in primary care, and their frequent combined use with opioid analgesics may be contributing to medication-related deaths, a finding that goes largely unreported, according to Stanford researchers. [More]
New approach to breast reconstruction surgery decreases use of postoperative opioid painkiller

New approach to breast reconstruction surgery decreases use of postoperative opioid painkiller

A new approach to breast reconstruction surgery aimed at helping patients' bodies get back to normal more quickly cut their postoperative opioid painkiller use in half and meant a day less in the hospital on average, a Mayo Clinic study found. [More]
Photoreactive compounds open new routes to treatment of neurological diseases

Photoreactive compounds open new routes to treatment of neurological diseases

Photoreactive compounds developed by scientists of Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich directly modulate nerve-cell function, and open new routes to the treatment of neurological diseases, including chronic pain and certain types of visual impairment. [More]

Storytelling can help doctors recall opioid guidelines

In the fight against a nationwide prescription opioid abuse epidemic, Penn Medicine researchers are using storytelling to help doctors recall important, potentially lifesaving national guidelines on how to prescribe these medications. [More]
Viewpoints: Questioning the tales of Obamacare woes; Republic replacement MIA; 'mixed messages' on mammograms

Viewpoints: Questioning the tales of Obamacare woes; Republic replacement MIA; 'mixed messages' on mammograms

Conservatives appear to be really upset that liberals are actually taking on the facts in the anti-Obamacare ads they've been running. How dare you question whether the people in these ads are giving an accurate picture -; they're suffering! (Paul Krugman, 2/26). [More]

New report reveals prevalence of heroin-related overdose deaths in Kentucky

A new report from the Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center (KIPRC) reveals the prevalence and charges associated with drug overdose in the Bluegrass state. [More]

Opiate use alters activity of specific protein needed for normal functioning of brain's reward center

Identifying the specific pathways that promote opioid addiction, pain relief, and tolerance are crucial for developing more effective and less dangerous analgesics, as well as developing new treatments for addiction. [More]
Research roundup: Palliative care and ACOs; employers and Supreme Court case on contraception

Research roundup: Palliative care and ACOs; employers and Supreme Court case on contraception

In preparation for the new ACO environment, leaders recognized the contribution palliative care can make to health care "value," especially in the care of our sickest (and most expensive) patients ... [More]

Pairing school and home programs most effective in curbing teen prescription drug abuse

Programs that aim to curb teen prescription drug abuse have vastly differing effectiveness, ranging from big drops in drug abuse to no measurable effect, according to a new study of 11,000 teenagers by researchers at Duke and Pennsylvania State universities. [More]

Study reveals that more than 14% of pregnant women are prescribed opioids for pain

More than 14 percent of pregnant women were prescribed opioids (narcotics) for pain at some time during their pregnancy, according to a study posted to the online version of Anesthesiology. [More]