Current Heroin News and Events

Current Heroin News and Events, Heroin News Articles.
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IU study finds unintended consequences of state, opioid policies
Study reveals the unintended and negative consequences of policies designed to reduce the supply of opioids in the population for overdose. (2021-02-17)

Experimental vaccine blunts the deadliest of synthetic opioids
As the opioid epidemic raged on with an even greater force during COVID-19, the Scripps Research laboratory of chemist Kim Janda, PhD, has been working on new therapeutic interventions that may be able to prevent the bulk of deaths from opioid overdose. Janda and his team have developed experimental vaccines that have shown in rodents to blunt the deadly effects of fentanyl as well as its even more fatal cousin, carfentanil. (2021-02-04)

Counties with more cannabis dispensaries show reduced opioid deaths
This is the first study to examine the association between active cannabis dispensary operations -- both medical and recreational -- and opioid-related mortality rates at the county level, suggesting that providing alternative pain management could improve public health outcomes, researchers said. (2021-01-28)

Highly specific synaptic plasticity in addiction
Addiction, or substance use disorder (SUD), is a complex neurological condition that includes drug-seeking behavior among other cognitive, emotional and behavioral features. Synaptic plasticity, or changes in the way neurons communicate with one another, drives these addictive behaviors. A new study in Biological Psychiatry, published by Elsevier, now shows that players in the extracellular environment - not just at neuronal interfaces - contribute to addiction plasticity. (2021-01-26)

Incentivizing vaccine adherence: could it be the key to achieving herd immunity?
To achieve success, experts estimate that at least 70 to 90 percent of the population must be inoculated with a COVID-19 vaccine to achieve herd immunity, but how can we ensure folks will voluntarily receive a vaccine? An examination of scientific evidence on incentivizing vaccine adherence found that modest financial incentives resulted in as much as a 7-fold increase in adherence compared to no incentives. (2021-01-20)

Free all non-violent criminals jailed on minor drug offences, say experts
Non-violent offenders serving time for drug use or possession should be freed immediately and their convictions erased, according to research published in the peer-reviewed The American Journal of Bioethics. (2021-01-07)

Cannabis strength soars over past half century -- new study
Largest study on how cannabis has changed over time finds increased strength putting consumers at greater risk of harm (2020-11-15)

From pills to powder: 1 in 3 high school seniors who misused prescription opioids later used heroin
Nearly one-third of students who reported misusing prescription opioids as high school seniors between 1997 and 2000, but did not have a history of medical use, later used heroin by age 35, according to a University of Michigan study. (2020-10-20)

Cannabis use appears to encourage, not replace, non-medical opioid use
Contrary to some claims, people in the US may not be substituting cannabis for opioids, New research at Columbia examined the direction and strength of association between cannabis and opioid use among adults who used non-medical opioids. The findings showed that opioid use was at least as prevalent on days when cannabis was used as on days when it was not. The study is among the first to test opioid substitution directly. (2020-10-08)

College students with disabilities at greater risk for substance abuse
College students with physical and cognitive disabilities use illicit drugs more, and have a higher prevalence of drug use disorder, than their non-disabled peers, according to a Rutgers study. (2020-09-21)

Heroin-addicted individuals have unique brain disturbances resembling those of Alzheimer's
Herion-addicted individuals have alterations in the expression a gene called FYN - a gene known to regulate the production of Tau, a protein that is highly elevated and implicated in neurocognitive disorders like Alzheimer's disease. The study emphasizes that opioid use can affect the brain in a way that might increase vulnerability of neural systems that trigger neurodegeneration later in life; however, since these changes are epigenetic (alterations in gene function that are influenced by environmental factors and not alterations of the DNA itself), they are reversible and medications that have already been developed to target FYN for neurodegenerative disorders may be studied as a novel treatment for opioid addiction. (2020-09-14)

Opioid use can trigger deafness
Opioid use, particularly in high doses, can cause deafness, according to Rutgers researchers. The study, published in The Journal of Medical Toxicology, reviewed records from the New Jersey Poison Control Center, based at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, from 1999 to 2018 to determine the association between opioid use and degrees of hearing loss. (2020-08-17)

Heavy class A drug use linked to heightened risk of sight loss in US military
Heavy use of class A drugs, such as heroin, methamphetamine, or cocaine is linked to a heightened risk of partial or total blindness among US military personnel, finds research published online in the journal BMJ Military Health. (2020-08-13)

Opium linked with more deaths after bypass surgery
The largest study on opium use and outcomes after bypass surgery has found that - in contrast to widely held beliefs - it is linked with more deaths and heart attacks. The research is published today in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, a journal of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC). The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime estimates that in 2015, 17.7 million people used opiates (opium, heroin, and morphine) illicitly worldwide. (2020-07-16)

Nordic countries struggle with a severe drug overdose problem
Despite the fact that the Nordic countries are often seen as ideal in practically every global ranking of quality of life and social equality, the number of drug-related deaths in these countries are among the highest in Europe. (2020-05-27)

Follow-up treatments after opioid overdose rare among insured patients
The majority of commercially insured patients who visited the emergency department (ED) for an opioid overdose didn't receive the timely follow-up care known to help prevent a future overdose or death. Of nearly 6,500 patients treated in EDs nationwide for an overdose or other opioid-related medical complications, only 16 percent accessed opioid use disorder (OUD) medications or another form of treatment within three months of the ED visit (2020-05-27)

Majority of cannabis use in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside for therapeutic purposes
Most people at high risk of overdose in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside who use cannabis do so for pain relief and other therapeutic reasons -- and they may be at lower risk of overdosing on opioids as a result, suggests new research published in the peer-reviewed journal PLOS ONE. (2020-05-25)

Job skills training leads to long-term reduction in drug abuse
Job skills training for low-income youth does more than just help them get better jobs - it makes them significantly less likely than others to use some illicit drugs, even 16 years later. (2020-05-13)

Emergency drug overdose visits associated with increased risk for later suicide
A new study finds patients who visited the emergency department for an opioid overdose are 100 times more likely to die by drug overdose in the year after being discharged and 18 times more likely to die by suicide relative to the general population. In the year after emergency department discharge, patients who visited for a sedative/hypnotic overdose had overdose death rates 24 times higher, and suicide rates 9 times higher, than the general population. (2020-05-07)

Treatment for opioid use disorder is rare in hospitals, study finds
Despite a national opioid-related overdose epidemic that continues to claim tens of thousands of lives annually, a new nationwide study shows that a scant proportion of hospitalized patients with opioid use disorder receive proven life-saving medications both during and after they're discharged. (2020-05-07)

In glowing colors: Seeing the spread of drug particles in a forensic lab
NIST Scientists used UV light and glow powder to study the way small amounts of drug residue get spread around a forensic chemistry lab when analysts test seized drugs. Their study, recently published in Forensic Chemistry, addresses safety concerns in an age of super-potent synthetic drugs like fentanyl, which can potentially be hazardous to chemists who handle them frequently. (2020-04-22)

Anterior insula activation restores prosocial behavior in animal model of opioid addiction
Researchers in the Arizona State University Department of Psychology have shown that chemogenetic activation of the anterior insula restores prosocial behavior in an animal model of opioid addiction and empathy. The findings suggest an important role for the anterior insula in the brain response to addiction. (2020-04-03)

UC identifies populations most at risk of opiate addiction
UC's Health Geography and Disease Modeling Laboratory found that white males ages 30 to 39 were most at risk of fatal overdoses in Ohio. The study also identified 12 clusters in the state where overdose rates were highest. (2020-03-19)

Study shows rising age of first drug use in teens, young adults
The average age at which teens and young adults start using drugs has been rising, according to a study published in JAMA Pediatrics. The study examined changes in the average age of first drug use for 18 different drugs--including alcohol and tobacco products--between 2004 and 2017 and found that average ages had increased for the majority of those drugs. (2020-03-02)

New data shows rising repeat ER visits for opioid-related emergencies
The emergency department is being increasingly utilized as a patient's best or only treatment option for opioid use disorder (OUD). New analysis in Annals of Emergency Medicine shows that the prevalence of patients who visited emergency departments at four Indiana hospital systems for repeat opioid-related emergencies jumped from 8.8 percent of all opioid-related visits in 2012 to 34.1% in 2017 -- nearly a four-fold increase in just five years. (2020-02-12)

Heroin use in US
Survey responses from a nationally representative group of 800,000 US adults were used to examine changes in heroin use, heroin injection and heroin use disorder from 2002 to 2018. (2020-02-11)

Re-engineered plant compound treats opioid addiction in mice
The abuse of prescription and illegal opioids, such as morphine and heroin, is a major problem in the US, with devastating public health, economic and social consequences. That's why scientists are searching for new medicines to help break the cycle of addiction. Now, researchers reporting in ACS' Journal of Medicinal Chemistry have re-engineered the structure of vincamine, a plant-derived compound, so that it reduces morphine-seeking behaviors in mice.  (2020-02-05)

UC study shows dramatic increase in naloxone dispensing in Ohio
A new study by pharmacy researchers at the University of Cincinnati shows a 2,328% increase in the number of naloxone prescriptions dispensed in Ohio. The increase occurred since 2015 when the Ohio General Assembly approved a law that allows pharmacists to dispense naloxone -- the life-saving medicine given to those who overdose on drugs such as heroin -- without a prescription. Researchers also found that low-employment counties had 18% more naloxone prescriptions dispensed per month compared to high employment counties. (2020-01-31)

New research shows more people knowingly use fentanyl
Fentanyl use by people who use drugs has doubled since 2015, and two-thirds of people are aware they've taken it, finds new research out of British Columbia, the Canadian province that has experienced the highest number of illicit drug toxicity deaths as a result of the opioid crisis. (2020-01-24)

UCI researchers identify a connection between early life adversity and opioid addiction
Individuals with a history of early life adversity (ELA) are disproportionately prone to opioid addiction. A new UCI-led study reveals why. Published in Molecular Psychiatry, the study titled, ''On the early life origins of vulnerability to opioid addiction,'' examines how early adversities interact with factors such as increased access to opioids to directly influence brain development and function, causing a higher potential for opioid addiction. (2020-01-24)

Most youths surviving opioid overdose not getting timely treatment to avoid recurrence
A study of more than 4 million Medicaid claims records during a recent seven-year period concludes that less than a third of the nearly 3,800 US adolescents and young adults who experienced a nonfatal opioid overdose got timely (within 30 days) follow-up addiction treatment to curb or prevent future misuse and reduce the risk of a second overdose. (2020-01-16)

Study contests use of smoked cannabis in treatment of cocaine addiction
Researchers in Brazil evaluated cocaine and crack addicts undergoing rehabilitation for six months and observed a higher relapse rate and worse cognitive impairment among patients who smoked cannabis to try to mitigate their craving for cocaine. (2020-01-15)

A molecular map of the brain's decision-making area
Researchers at Karolinska Institutet have come one step closer toward understanding how the part of our brain that is central for decision-making and the development of addiction is organized on a molecular level. In mouse models and with methods used for mapping cell types and brain tissue, the researchers were able to visualize the organization of different opioid-islands in striatum. Their spatiomolecular map, published in Cell Reports, may further our understanding of the brain's reward-system. (2019-12-24)

Gender-tailored treatment could ease opioid epidemic
Gender-tailored methods to address the harmful mental health effects of childhood adversity may help alleviate the current opioid crisis and make treatment more effective, concludes University of Massachusetts Amherst epidemiology researcher Elizabeth Evans in her latest research about opioid use disorder (OUD). (2019-12-20)

Knee-jerk vaping bans will fail public health, experts argue
Bans and other policies restricting e-cigarette sales could do more public harm than good, according to a group of public-health, tobacco-policy and ethics experts. (2019-12-12)

Regional trends in overdose deaths reveal multiple opioid epidemics, according to new study
A recently published study shows the United States in the grip of several simultaneously occurring opioid epidemics, rather than just a single crisis. The epidemics came to light after the researchers analyzed county-level data on drug overdose deaths. The study highlights the importance of different policy responses to the epidemics rather than a single set of policies. (2019-12-09)

Researchers find clue to preventing addiction relapse
A study published in Neuropsychopharmacology reported that relapse can be prevented by controlling cells in a brain region called the nucleus accumbens. The study was conducted among 90 Sprague Dawley rats with genetic diversity. (2019-12-02)

Activation of opioid receptor uncovered
Together with colleagues from Shanghai, Brussels, Canada and the USA, researchers from the University of Bonn have uncovered the binding mechanism of an important pain receptor. The results facilitate the development of new active substances. The opioids used today to treat severe pain can be addictive and sometimes have life-threatening side effects. The results are published in the renowned journal Science Advances. (2019-11-27)

People who qualify for Medicare due to disability account for most opioid-related deaths
New findings from The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston found that Medicare beneficiaries who qualify because of a disability are a growing group of patients hospitalized for opioid or heroin overdose and account for 25 percent of deaths from prescription opioid overdose each year. Previous research shows that not many of these patients make use of opioid treatment programs. (2019-11-26)

Study reveals urban hotspots of high-schoolers' opioid abuse
A new study from researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that in several cities and counties the proportion of high-schoolers who have ever used heroin or misused prescription opioids is much higher than the national average. (2019-11-14)

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