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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]
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]
Opioids could be dangerous, deadly at high doses

Opioids could be dangerous, deadly at high doses

Most people know that heroin is a dangerous drug, but its cousins, the legal, pharmaceutical opioids, such as codeine or hydrocodone, must be safe, right?Not so fast.Opioids—which include the illegal drug heroin as well as prescription medications, including hydrocodone (such as Vicodin), oxycodone (such as OxyContin and Percocet), morphine and codeine—can be dangerous, even deadly, at high doses. [More]
Better quality of care may reduce mortality risk in patients treated with opioid therapy for pain

Better quality of care may reduce mortality risk in patients treated with opioid therapy for pain

Better quality of care may reduce the risk of death for patients who are prescribed opioid painkillers for chronic pain, say Yale researchers. Their study, published Feb. 4 in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, offers evidence that supports recommendations from clinical practice guidelines encouraging physicians to engage patients with mental health services and substance abuse treatment, as well as to avoid co-prescriptions for sedatives. [More]
Temple University Hospital makes strides in confronting prescription drug abuse

Temple University Hospital makes strides in confronting prescription drug abuse

Prescription drug abuse has become a public health crisis in the U.S., and Temple University Hospital has made strides in confronting this critical situation. [More]
Buprenorphine superior to methadone in reducing duration of treatment for babies born in drug withdrawal

Buprenorphine superior to methadone in reducing duration of treatment for babies born in drug withdrawal

A study of two opioids used to wean babies born in withdrawal from drugs their mothers have taken shows that buprenorphine is superior to methadone in reducing duration of treatment and length of hospital stay. [More]
Young teens more vulnerable to opioid addiction, study reveals

Young teens more vulnerable to opioid addiction, study reveals

A Michigan State University study shows that 14- and 15-year-olds are at a higher risk of becoming dependent on prescription drugs within a 12-month period after using them extra-medically, or beyond the prescribed amount. [More]
Drug use remains stable among teens, MTF survey shows

Drug use remains stable among teens, MTF survey shows

The 2015 Monitoring the Future survey (MTF) shows decreasing use of a number of substances, including cigarettes, alcohol, prescription opioid pain relievers, and synthetic cannabinoids ("synthetic marijuana"). Other drug use remains stable, including marijuana, with continued high rates of daily use reported among 12th graders, and ongoing declines in perception of its harms. [More]
TSRI researchers awarded $1.6 million grant to advance preclinical studies of potential heroin vaccine

TSRI researchers awarded $1.6 million grant to advance preclinical studies of potential heroin vaccine

Now researchers at The Scripps Research Institute have been awarded a prestigious Translational Avant-Garde Award, which supports the development of medications for substance abuse disorders, from the National Institutes of Health National Institute on Drug Abuse. [More]
New computer-based modeling may help improve outcomes for babies with neonatal abstinence syndrome

New computer-based modeling may help improve outcomes for babies with neonatal abstinence syndrome

Computer-based modeling is helping to further reduce length of hospital stay and duration of treatment with opioids that are used therapeutically to wean babies born in withdrawal from drugs their mothers have taken. This condition is known as neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS). [More]
New treatment protocol can improve outcomes for babies with neonatal abstinence syndrome

New treatment protocol can improve outcomes for babies with neonatal abstinence syndrome

A new protocol to treat babies born in withdrawal from drugs can be used widely to improve outcomes for these babies. The protocol reduces length of stay and the duration of treatment with opioids that are used therapeutically to wean babies off of drugs. [More]
New research could help reverse side effects of acetaminophen overdose

New research could help reverse side effects of acetaminophen overdose

New research could help reverse deadly side effects caused by excessive doses of the drug acetaminophen, the major ingredient in Tylenol and many other over-the-counter and prescription medicines. [More]
Veterans who died from drug overdoses also prescribed benzodiazepines for pain

Veterans who died from drug overdoses also prescribed benzodiazepines for pain

In a recent study, nearly half of all veterans who died from drug overdoses while prescribed opioids for pain were also receiving benzodiazepines, or benzos, which are common medications for the treatment of anxiety, insomnia and alcohol withdrawal. Veterans prescribed higher doses of benzodiazepines while concurrently receiving opioids were at greater risk of overdose death than those on lower doses of benzodiazepines. [More]
BioDelivery Sciences calls for new treatment options for opioid addiction

BioDelivery Sciences calls for new treatment options for opioid addiction

As the rate of opioid abuse soars to new levels, growing recognition of the problem is garnering unprecedented media attention—as well as motivating innovative new approaches to better treatment. [More]
Physicians urge households to add 'clean my medicine cabinet' to Spring cleaning chores list

Physicians urge households to add 'clean my medicine cabinet' to Spring cleaning chores list

After marijuana and alcohol, the most commonly abused drugs by those over the age of 14 are prescription and over-the-counter medications. [More]
Research to understand how medical marijuana laws may influence overdose deaths

Research to understand how medical marijuana laws may influence overdose deaths

In states where it is legal to use medical marijuana to manage chronic pain and other conditions, the annual number of deaths from prescription drug overdose is 25 percent lower than in states where medical marijuana remains illegal, new research suggests. [More]
First Edition: August 22, 2014

First Edition: August 22, 2014

Kaiser Health News consumer columnist Michelle Andrews writes: "How much leeway do employers and insurers have in deciding whether they'll cover contraceptives without charge and in determining which methods make the cut? Not much, as it turns out, but that hasn't stopped some from trying. Kaiser Health News readers still write in regularly describing battles they're waging to get the birth control coverage they're entitled to" (Andrews, 8/22). [More]
Once-a-day pill for patients experiencing opioid-induced constipation

Once-a-day pill for patients experiencing opioid-induced constipation

Opioids - strong morphine-based painkillers - are widely prescribed to patients experiencing chronic severe pain. While these drugs are very effective for treating and managing pain, they have one particularly bothersome side effect: constipation. [More]
Prescription drug deaths drop in Fla. after crackdown on doctors

Prescription drug deaths drop in Fla. after crackdown on doctors

Deaths involving narcotic painkillers dropped 26 percent over two years in Florida after stricter doctor scrutiny, according to a report from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. [More]
State highlights: Texas immigrant surge brings health crisis

State highlights: Texas immigrant surge brings health crisis

Large stores in California need not keep automated external defibrillators for customers who suffer heart attacks, the California Supreme Court decided. In a unanimous ruling Monday, the state's highest court said California law requires only that fitness centers have such potentially life-saving devices and encourages most public buildings to keep them (Dolan, 6/23). [More]
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