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08 Feb
U.S. Justice Dept. Might Allow Safe Injection Sites to Curb Opioid Deaths

U.S. Justice Dept. Might Allow Safe Injection Sites to Curb Opioid Deaths

There are indications the U.S. Justice Department may be open to the idea of allowing safe injection sites, a year after it won a court battle against them.

The department told the Associated Press that it is "evaluating" safe injection sites and speaking with r...

19 Jan
Opioid Addiction Treatment in Jail Could Change Lives

Opioid Addiction Treatment in Jail Could Change Lives

No magic bullet exists for ending the U.S. opioid crisis, but there's hopeful news for one high-risk population: Providing addiction medication in jails reduces the odds of addicts being re-arrested after their release, new research shows.

"Studies like this provide much...

28 Apr
1 in 5 U.S. Pharmacies Blocks Access to Key Opioid Addiction Treatment

1 in 5 U.S. Pharmacies Blocks Access to Key Opioid Addiction Treatment

The Biden administration has eased guidelines for prescribing a crucial addiction treatment drug, just as a new study reveals one in five U.S. pharmacies refuses to dispense the medication, called buprenorphine.

"Buprenorphine is a vital, lifesaving medication for people...

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...

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...

03 Feb
In Philadelphia, an Animal Tranquilizer Is Driving Deadly Rise in Opioid ODs

In Philadelphia, an Animal Tranquilizer Is Driving Deadly Rise in Opioid ODs

Philadelphia is seeing a surge in overdose fatalities involving heroin and/or fentanyl plus an animal tranquilizer not approved for human use, according to a new study.

The tranquilizer -- called xylazine -- is a non-opioid sedative and painkiller approved by the U.S. Fo...

28 Oct
1 in 3 High School Seniors Who Misuse Prescription Opioids Turn to Heroin

1 in 3 High School Seniors Who Misuse Prescription Opioids Turn to Heroin

Among high school seniors, nearly a third of those who misuse prescription opioids use heroin by age 35, a new study shows.

"It is a very timely study given the number of adolescents and young adults who were overprescribed opioids and who are now aging into adulthood," ...

27 Oct
1 in 3 High School Seniors Who Misuse Prescription Opioids Turn to Heroin

1 in 3 High School Seniors Who Misuse Prescription Opioids Turn to Heroin

Among high school seniors, nearly a third of those who misuse prescription opioids use heroin by age 35, a new study shows.

"It is a very timely study given the number of adolescents and young adults who were overprescribed opioids and who are now aging into adultho...

19 Mar
Opioid OD Deaths Fall Despite Growing Use of Synthetic Drugs: CDC

Opioid OD Deaths Fall Despite Growing Use of Synthetic Drugs: CDC

Overall, opioid-related deaths in the United States fell 2% between 2017 and 2018, according to newly released data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC said deaths involving prescription opioids were down 13.5%, while heroin-rela...

11 Feb
U.S. Heroin Use Nearly Doubled Over Two Decades

U.S. Heroin Use Nearly Doubled Over Two Decades

Nearly twice as many people in the United States used heroin in 2018 as did in 2002, a new government study shows.

"I think the rise in heroin use is probably precipitated by prescription opioid abuse. People tend to move from prescription opioids to heroin because ...

10 Jan
Obamacare May Have Prevented Many Opioid-Related Deaths

Obamacare May Have Prevented Many Opioid-Related Deaths

The Medicaid expansion brought in by Obamacare may have prevented thousands of deaths from opioid overdoses, a new study suggests.

Researchers found that in U.S. states that expanded their Medicaid programs under the Affordable Care Act, fatal opioid overdoses dipped...

06 Jan
Opioid Use By Teens a Red Flag for Other Dangers

Opioid Use By Teens a Red Flag for Other Dangers

Teenagers who've experimented with opioid painkillers are likely to be taking other health risks, a new study finds.

In a national survey of U.S. high school students, 14% said they had ever "misused" a prescription opioid such as Vicodin, OxyContin or Percocet. ...

25 Oct
One Region Is Being Hit Hardest by U.S. Opioid Crisis

One Region Is Being Hit Hardest by U.S. Opioid Crisis

More people die from drug overdoses in the northeastern U.S. than other regions, making it a major hotbed of the nation's opioid epidemic, a new federal report says.

Fueled mainly by fentanyl and heroin, overdose (OD) deaths are soaring in an area that runs east from...

01 Oct
For Rural Patients, Opioid Treatment Centers Often Too Far Away

For Rural Patients, Opioid Treatment Centers Often Too Far Away

Methadone is often used in the fight against opioid addiction, but long travel times in rural areas may be hampering efforts to get more people treated, a new study finds.

If methadone for opioid addiction was available in primary care clinics, more people would hav...

12 Jul
Teens' Opioid Abuse May Be Gateway to Heroin

Teens' Opioid Abuse May Be Gateway to Heroin

Teens who take prescription opioid painkillers to get high could be taking a step toward heroin use, researchers say.

"Prescription opioids and heroin activate the brain's pleasure circuit in similar ways," said senior author Adam Leventhal. He's director of the Inst...

04 Jun
'Secret Shopper' Study Finds Many Who Need Addiction Treatment Can't Get It

'Secret Shopper' Study Finds Many Who Need Addiction Treatment Can't Get It

When people who are addicted to opioids make the difficult decision to quit, the last thing they need to face are barriers to treatment.

Yet, a new "secret shopper" study suggests most addicts seeking a prescription for buprenorphine -- which helps people stop using ...

21 May
Could CBD Treat Opioid Addiction?

Could CBD Treat Opioid Addiction?

Cannabidiol (CBD) has been receiving a lot of attention lately as a potential treatment for everything from epilepsy to anxiety. Now, researchers report it might also help curb the cravings that come with opioid addiction.

Like marijuana, CBD comes from the cannabis...

16 May
Heroin ODs Have Started Declining in Some States

Heroin ODs Have Started Declining in Some States

After years of steady increases, the number of Americans showing up in emergency departments with heroin overdoses is on a downswing, at least in some states.

Between 2017 and 2018, many states saw a dramatic drop in the number of people being rushed to hospitals as ...

25 Apr
Fatal Drug ODs Surging Among Young Americans

Fatal Drug ODs Surging Among Young Americans

THURSDAY, April 25, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The cost of America's opioid epidemic just keeps rising, with new research showing that overdose deaths among teens and young adults are soaring.

The death rate from drug overdoses rose from eight in every 100,000 people ...

21 Mar
Overdose Deaths From Fentanyl Soaring: Report

Overdose Deaths From Fentanyl Soaring: Report

The number of Americans dying from overdoses of the powerful narcotic fentanyl rose 12-fold in recent years, health officials reported Thursday.

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that's hundreds of times more potent than heroin or cocaine. But sometimes drug users don't...

12 Mar
Many Heroin Users Unprepared for Fentanyl OD

Many Heroin Users Unprepared for Fentanyl OD

Though they know that nearly all heroin is laced with the dangerous synthetic opioid fentanyl, many Baltimore users aren't prepared to prevent or treat fentanyl-related overdoses, a new study finds.

Baltimore has a thriving heroin trade and 1,000 opioid overdose deat...

06 Mar
Another Side Effect of the Opioid Crisis: Heart Infections

Another Side Effect of the Opioid Crisis: Heart Infections

New research uncovers more damage wrought by the opioid epidemic: Cases of a dangerous heart infection linked to injection drug use have spiked in recent years at an Ohio medical center.

Researchers found that admissions for infective endocarditis at The Ohio State U...

04 Feb
Making OxyContin 'Tamper Proof' Helped Spread Hepatitis C

Making OxyContin 'Tamper Proof' Helped Spread Hepatitis C

An effort to make the opioid painkiller OxyContin harder to abuse drove addicted patients to heroin and caused a dramatic increase in hepatitis C, a new study suggests.

In a classic case of unintended consequences, Connecticut-based Purdue Pharma reformulated its po...

10 Jan
Fatal Drug ODs Soaring Among Middle-Aged Women: CDC

Fatal Drug ODs Soaring Among Middle-Aged Women: CDC

The rate at which middle-aged American women die from overdoses involving opioids and other drugs nearly quadrupled between 1999 and 2017, new government data shows.

In 1999, about seven out of every 100,000 deaths among U.S. women aged 30 to 64 was caused by a drug ...