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07 Oct

HealthDay Now: Fentanyl, Supply Chain Issues, and Isolation Drove Record High Drug Overdoses in 2020

In a HealthDay Now interview, we spoke to Dr. Thomas Stopka, associate professor and epidemiologist who studies opioid use and abuse at Tufts University School of Medicine. Considering the record high number of drug overdoses reported in 2020, Dr. Stopka discussed factors that may be responsible for this increase.

Health News Results - 179

13 Jan
Opioid Misuse Keeps Rising Among Older Americans

Opioid Misuse Keeps Rising Among Older Americans

The opioid addict you know might not be the college kid who has always dabbled in alcohol and drugs.

It could be your grandparent.

Opioid misuse doesn't discriminate by age — and rates are rising steadily among adults aged 55 and up,

29 Dec
ERs Can Boost Efforts to Stamp Out Opioid Addiction

ERs Can Boost Efforts to Stamp Out Opioid Addiction

A program meant to encourage the use of a drug that can help people overcome opioid addiction led to dramatic increases in its use in emergency rooms, researchers report.

22 Dec
NYC's Overdose Prevention Centers Already Saving Lives

NYC's Overdose Prevention Centers Already Saving Lives

At least 59 overdoses were prevented in the first three weeks that two overdose prevention centers have been open in New York City, the city's health department said Tuesday.

During that time, there were more than 2,000 visits to the centers that are operated by OnPoint ...

14 Dec
Did Pandemic Lockdowns Worsen the Epidemic of Opioid Abuse?

Did Pandemic Lockdowns Worsen the Epidemic of Opioid Abuse?

Pandemic lockdowns may have led fewer Americans to seek pain treatment last year, but folks who did seek help had higher-than-usual odds of receiving dangerous opioid painkillers, a new study says.

And that could lead to a worsening of the opioid epidemic, researchers su...

01 Dec
Getting a Pacemaker Can Raise Odds for Opioid Abuse

Getting a Pacemaker Can Raise Odds for Opioid Abuse

People who are prescribed opioid painkillers after receiving a heart pacemaker or defibrillator may be at risk for opioid abuse -- and the higher the initial dose, the greater the risk, according to a new study.

“The significance of this study is to make other electrop...

24 Nov
Wearable Device Spots, Reverses Opioid Overdoses

Wearable Device Spots, Reverses Opioid Overdoses

A wearable device that could inject a lifesaving antidote for an opioid overdose might be on the horizon.

A new study shows that the device, worn on the stomach like an insulin pump, can detect when someone stops breathing from an overdose and inject the drug naloxone to...

17 Nov
Over 100,000 Americans Died From Drug Overdoses in One Year: Report

Over 100,000 Americans Died From Drug Overdoses in One Year: Report

New government data confirms what many have suspected: The pandemic has prompted a record number of drug overdose deaths, with more than 100,000 Americans succumbing to addiction as COVID-19 raged across the country.

That figure is almost 30% higher than the previous yea...

15 Nov
Trauma in Childhood Can Harm Health for a Lifetime: Study

Trauma in Childhood Can Harm Health for a Lifetime: Study

As if suffering through a childhood trauma weren't enough, new research suggests it might raise the risk of poor mental and physical health later in life.

Researchers analyzed nearly 2,900 responses to the 2019 New Zealand Family Violence Survey and found that about 45% ...

10 Nov
Oklahoma Supreme Courts Overturns $465 Million J & J Opioid Ruling

Oklahoma Supreme Courts Overturns $465 Million J & J Opioid Ruling

A previous court ruling that ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay Oklahoma $465 million for the company's role in the opioid epidemic was tossed out by the state's highest court on Tuesday.

In a 5-1 vote, the Oklahoma Supreme Court rejected the state's argument that Johnson ...

03 Nov
California Judge Sides With Drug Companies in Opioid Lawsuit

California Judge Sides With Drug Companies in Opioid Lawsuit

A California judge has ruled against local governments that sued drug companies for billions of dollars to recover their costs of dealing with the opioid epidemic.

In a tentative ruling issued Monday, Orange County Superior Court Judge Peter Wilson rejected the plaintiff...

26 Oct
Number of Teens Who Vape Marijuana Doubled in 7 Years

Number of Teens Who Vape Marijuana Doubled in 7 Years

Teenagers have followed the vaping trend into marijuana use, with recent studies chronicling a boom in pot vaping among adolescents in the United States and Canada, researchers report.

The percentage of teens who've experimented with vaped pot has more than doubled in re...

22 Oct
Scientists Develop Quick Test for Marijuana Use

Scientists Develop Quick Test for Marijuana Use

Researchers may be one step closer to developing the equivalent of a Breathalyzer for detecting marijuana use.

In an early study, scientists found that their rapid test was able to reliably detect THC in people's saliva in under 5 minutes. THC, short for tetrahydrocannab...

14 Oct
CDC Reports Record High 12-Month Drug Overdose Death Toll

CDC Reports Record High 12-Month Drug Overdose Death Toll

Drug overdose deaths in the United States hit a new record for the 12-month period ending March 2021, new government data shows.

A record high 96,779 drug overdose deaths occurred between March 2020 and March 2021, representing a 29.6% rise, new statistics from the U.S....

14 Oct
Many Addicts Turned to Telemedicine During Pandemic, But Does It Beat In-Person Care?

Many Addicts Turned to Telemedicine During Pandemic, But Does It Beat In-Person Care?

The coronavirus pandemic forced a significant shift to telemedicine treatment for addiction, but it's not clear whether that approach is better than in-person care, a new study finds.

Before the pandemic, addiction treatment services in the United States had many restric...

06 Oct
'Breakthrough' COVID More Likely in People With Problem Drug, Alcohol Use

'Breakthrough' COVID More Likely in People With Problem Drug, Alcohol Use

Drug and alcohol abuse increase the risk of breakthrough COVID-19 infection as well as severe illness and death among fully vaccinated people, a new study shows.

"First and foremost, vaccination is highly effective for people with substance use disorders, and the overall...

01 Oct
How the COVID Pandemic Made the Opioid Epidemic Worse, Even as Telehealth Helped

How the COVID Pandemic Made the Opioid Epidemic Worse, Even as Telehealth Helped

The COVID-19 pandemic has shaken up the U.S. opioid crisis in ways bad and good, increasing the risk of use and overdose but also spurring innovative approaches to treatment.

The pandemic has definitely been linked to an increase in opioid use and overdose deaths, Tufts ...

23 Sep
U.S. Meth Overdose Deaths Tripled in Recent Years

U.S. Meth Overdose Deaths Tripled in Recent Years

Deaths from methamphetamine overdoses in the United States nearly tripled between 2015 and 2019, health officials report in a new study.

While the number of methamphetamine users did not increase as steeply, researchers said frequent use of methamphetamine, and using oth...

21 Sep
Animal Sedative Is Driving Rise in Fatal Drug ODs

Animal Sedative Is Driving Rise in Fatal Drug ODs

An animal tranquilizer, xylazine, is increasingly linked to drug overdose deaths across the United States, health officials say.

According to a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, xylazine has turned up in overdose deaths in 25 of 38 stat...

20 Sep
Opioid Use Disorder Is as Deadly as Heart Attack: Study

Opioid Use Disorder Is as Deadly as Heart Attack: Study

Hospitalized opioid addicts die at a rate similar to people who have a heart attack after leaving the hospital.

Nearly 8% of patients addicted to opioids died within 12 months of hospital discharge, according to researchers from Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU)....

16 Sep
Why Are More U.S. Babies Being Born With Syphilis?

Why Are More U.S. Babies Being Born With Syphilis?

The number of U.S. infants born with syphilis is climbing at an alarming pace, reaching a high not seen since the 1990s, according to new government figures.

Newborn syphilis, a potentially fatal condition, was at one time nearly eliminated in the United States. But the ...

13 Sep
Fatal Opioid ODs Keep Rising in Black Americans

Fatal Opioid ODs Keep Rising in Black Americans

The decades-long U.S. opioid epidemic could be hitting Black people harder than white folks as the crisis enters a new phase.

Opioid overdose death rates among Black Americans jumped nearly 40% from 2018 to 2019 in four states hammered by the epidemic, researchers found....

30 Aug
Half of Adults With ADHD Have Struggled With Alcohol, Drug Use

Half of Adults With ADHD Have Struggled With Alcohol, Drug Use

Fully half of all young adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may also battle alcohol or drug abuse.

And folks with ADHD who have a history of depression or anxiety are particularly vulnerable to substance abuse problems, a new study showed.

...

26 Aug
Fatal ODs From Illicit Tranquilizers Jumped 6-Fold During Pandemic

Fatal ODs From Illicit Tranquilizers Jumped 6-Fold During Pandemic

Overdose deaths linked to illicit "designer" benzodiazepines have surged in the United States, as underground labs crank out new synthetic variations on prescription tranquilizers like Valium, Xanax and Ativan.

Overdose deaths involving illicit benzos increased more than...

24 Aug
No Change in Adolescent Drug, Alcohol Use During Pandemic

No Change in Adolescent Drug, Alcohol Use During Pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic has posed significant challenges for many, but it did not appear to drive U.S. preteens and young teens to drugs.

Repeated surveys of more than 7,800 10- to 14-year-olds between September 2019 and August 2020 found the overall rate of drug use r...

24 Aug
Pandemic Tied to Rising Number of Fatal Opioid ODs

Pandemic Tied to Rising Number of Fatal Opioid ODs

Opioid overdose deaths rose in several states during the coronavirus pandemic, according to authors of a new study who say their findings may help identify and assist at-risk people.

"Our work represents the first multi-state report with detailed analyses," said study se...

23 Aug
Rising Number of U.S. Cardiac Arrests Tied to Opioid Abuse

Rising Number of U.S. Cardiac Arrests Tied to Opioid Abuse

There's been a sharp rise in opioid-related cardiac arrests in the United States and they now equal those associated with other prime causes, a new study finds.

Of more than 1.4 million cardiac arrest hospitalizations nationwide between 2012 and 2018, more than 43,000 (3...

17 Aug
New CDC Guidelines May Have Made Opioid Prescribing Safer

New CDC Guidelines May Have Made Opioid Prescribing Safer

Five years after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention retooled a guideline for prescribing opioid painkillers, research suggests the change is paying off.

With the United States in the grip of an opioid overdose epidemic, the CDC released an evidence-base...

29 Jul
Hearts From Drug Abusers Can Be Used for Transplants

Hearts From Drug Abusers Can Be Used for Transplants

In a finding that could mean more patients desperate for a heart transplant get a new lease on life, two new studies show that hearts from donors who abused drugs can be safely donated.

In the past two decades, the U.S. opioid crisis has taken the lives of hundreds of th...

27 Jul
Could Heavy Marijuana Use Be Driving Rise in Schizophrenia Cases?

Could Heavy Marijuana Use Be Driving Rise in Schizophrenia Cases?

There's been a sharp rise in schizophrenia cases linked with marijuana use since the mid-1990s, a new Danish study finds.

Prior research has suggested that marijuana -- particularly very heavy use -- is associated with an increased risk of schizophrenia. Although s...

19 Jul
High-Dose Withdrawal Drug in ER Can Help Battle Opioid Addiction

High-Dose Withdrawal Drug in ER Can Help Battle Opioid Addiction

Giving high doses of buprenorphine in the emergency department is a safe and effective way of treating withdrawal symptoms in patients battling opioid addiction, according to a new study.

"Emergency departments are at the front lines of treating people with opioid use di...

14 Jul
U.S. Drug Overdose Deaths Jumped Nearly 30% During Pandemic

U.S. Drug Overdose Deaths Jumped Nearly 30% During Pandemic

As America went into lockdown and treatment centers closed their doors, drug overdose deaths in the United States jumped by nearly a third last year, new data show.

The estimated 93,331 drug overdose deaths recorded during 2020 are a sharp increase -- a 29.4% rise -- ov...

14 Jul
Dr. Rahul Gupta to Be Nominated as Next U.S. Drug Czar

Dr. Rahul Gupta to Be Nominated as Next U.S. Drug Czar

President Joe Biden plans to nominate Dr. Rahul Gupta as the head of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.

Gupta led the Biden transition team for that office, was the former health commissioner of West Virginia, and is chief medical and health officer ...

14 Jul
Meth Abuse Drove Huge Surge in Heart Failure Crises in California

Meth Abuse Drove Huge Surge in Heart Failure Crises in California

In a finding that demonstrates methamphetamine's power to destroy the human heart, new research shows hospitalizations for heart failure related to the illicit drug have soared by 585% in California.

"Our study results should bring urgent attention to this insidious, yet...

08 Jul
Autism & Drinking, Drug Abuse Can Be Dangerous Mix

Autism & Drinking, Drug Abuse Can Be Dangerous Mix

Teens and adults with autism may be less likely than others to use drugs and alcohol, but new research finds those who do are nearly nine times more likely to use these substances to mask symptoms, including those related to autism.

This is known as camouflaging, and it ...

14 Jun
Doctors May Be Overprescribing Opioids After Surgeries

Doctors May Be Overprescribing Opioids After Surgeries

Many patients who are prescribed opioids after surgery could get the same level of pain relief with non-opioid alternatives such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen without the risk of addiction, researchers say.

"Opioids have been a routine part of postsurgical pain care for ...

04 Jun
Other Health Woes Common When Meth Addiction Strikes

Other Health Woes Common When Meth Addiction Strikes

Methamphetamine users are at increased risk for physical and mental health problems as well as other substance use disorders, new research shows.

Meth is an illegal and highly addictive stimulant drug that can harm organs such as the heart, lungs, liver and neurological ...

20 May
During Pandemic, Fewer Using Drug That Fights Opioid Overdose

During Pandemic, Fewer Using Drug That Fights Opioid Overdose

Use of the opioid overdose reversing medication naloxone has declined in the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers found.

The study authors said their findings suggest that people with opioid misuse disorders may be facing a dangerous decrease in access...

29 Apr
Who Is Using Herbal Kratom?

Who Is Using Herbal Kratom?

Herbal kratom is used by less than 1% of the U.S. population, but the rate is much higher among those who misuse opioid painkillers, a new study finds.

Kratom is used to manage pain and opioid withdrawal. However, it carries the risk of addiction and harmful side effects...

07 Apr
Jail Dims Hopes for Recovery for Young People With Mental Illness

Jail Dims Hopes for Recovery for Young People With Mental Illness

Being jailed puts teens with untreated psychiatric disorders at increased risk for long-term mental health struggles, researchers say.

"These are not necessarily bad kids, but they have many strikes against them," said study lead author Linda Teplin. "Physical abuse, sex...

07 Apr
1 in 3 COVID Survivors Struggle With Mental Health Issues Months Later

1 in 3 COVID Survivors Struggle With Mental Health Issues Months Later

Doctors are seeing such cases around the world: About a third of COVID-19 patients go on to develop "long-haul" neurological or psychiatric conditions months after being infected, new research shows.

The findings suggest a link between COVID-19 and a higher risk for late...

02 Apr
Rising U.S. Deaths After Users Mix Coke, Meth With an Opioid

Rising U.S. Deaths After Users Mix Coke, Meth With an Opioid

Overdose deaths resulting from a dangerous combination of cocaine and opioids are outpacing fatalities linked to cocaine abuse alone, a new U.S. government report warns.

"Much of the increase in the rate of drug overdose deaths involving cocaine in recent years is due to...

02 Apr
People Are Buying Illegal Opioids on the Dark Web

People Are Buying Illegal Opioids on the Dark Web

Illegal drug sales on the dark web are common, hard to detect and are fueling America's opioid epidemic, a University of Texas study reveals.

Opioids include prescription painkillers (such as oxycodone) and illegal drugs (such as heroin and fentanyl).

"People are s...

30 Mar
When Pot Use Starts in Teens, Drug Addiction More Likely: Study

When Pot Use Starts in Teens, Drug Addiction More Likely: Study

Teens who try marijuana or other drugs are at greater risk of developing a drug addiction than those who wait a few years before experimenting with drugs, a new study finds.

"Though not everyone who uses a drug will develop addiction, adolescents may develop addiction to...

25 Mar
FDA Clamping Down on Abuse of an OTC  Decongestant

FDA Clamping Down on Abuse of an OTC  Decongestant

Makers of inhalers that contain the nasal decongestant propylhexedrine should make design changes to prevent misuse, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says.

Propylhexedrine is a nasal decongestant in over-the-counter inhalers, and right now is "only marketed under th...

11 Mar
Could Opioid Crisis Mean More Strokes for Americans?

Could Opioid Crisis Mean More Strokes for Americans?

One Ohio medical center has seen a sharp rise in heart infections and strokes related to IV drug abuse -- pointing to one more consequence of the U.S. opioid epidemic, researchers say.

In a preliminary study, the researchers found that between 2014 and 2018, their hospit...

05 Mar
Lockdowns Tied to Temporary Drops in Illicit Drug Seizures

Lockdowns Tied to Temporary Drops in Illicit Drug Seizures

Seizures of illegal drugs fell sharply in the United States during early COVID-19 lockdowns, but spiked once stay-at-home orders eased.

Researchers studied seizures of marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin and fentanyl in five locations between March 2019 (a year b...

04 Mar
Opioid Addiction Relapse May Be Different for Men, Women

Opioid Addiction Relapse May Be Different for Men, Women

Who is more likely to relapse after opioid addiction treatment -- women or men?

A new study that followed 1,100 recovering opioid users reveals that their risks are different.

The researchers followed the men and women for one year after treatment at more than 100 ...

17 Feb
Child Bullies at Higher Odds for Substance Abuse as Adults: Study

Child Bullies at Higher Odds for Substance Abuse as Adults: Study

Schoolyard bullies have been making life difficult for kids for eons, often causing lasting damage to their victims. Now, new research shows these bullies can also suffer lasting consequences as they age.

Bullies may be more likely to abuse drugs, alcohol and tobacc...

04 Feb
Drugged Driving a Growing Threat on America's Roads

Drugged Driving a Growing Threat on America's Roads

Combining drugs with driving is a potentially deadly but all too common combination in the United States, according to a new report.

University of Cincinnati (UC) researchers found that almost 9% of adults reported driving under the influence of alcohol. Marijuana use ...

03 Feb
1 in 3 Young Americans Prescribed a Psychiatric Drug Misuses Them: Study

1 in 3 Young Americans Prescribed a Psychiatric Drug Misuses Them: Study

Many young Americans are prescribed psychiatric drugs to treat medical conditions, but nearly one-third of them wind up misusing the medications, a new study finds.

"Misuse of prescription substances is alarmingly high among U.S. youth and young adults," said lead resear...

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