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Current Heroin News and Events, Heroin News Articles.
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State prescription drug monitoring programs: The rise and fall in heroin fatalities
A new study found a consistent association between the adoption of state Prescription Drug Monitoring programs (PDMP) and death rates from heroin poisoning. However, the research showed that rates vary by program type. States with Proactive Prescription Drug Monitoring programs, which are more likely to report outlying prescribing and dispensing and provide broader access to law enforcement, reported a 6 percent reduction in heroin poisoning mortality by the program's third year. (2019-11-14)

Drug dust
Researchers at Harvard University and the Drug Enforcement Administration have designed a promising new tool that can identify smaller concentrations of drug powders than any other device. Portable, simple to use, and cost effective, the technology could provide law enforcement officers and forensic chemists a quick and accurate way to identify unknown, potentially dangerous, substances. (2019-11-12)

Fingerprint test can distinguish between those who have taken or handled heroin
A state-of-the-art fingerprint detection technology can identify traces of heroin on human skin, even after someone has washed their hands -- and it is also smart enough to tell whether an individual has used the drug or shaken hands with someone who has handled it. (2019-11-11)

Drug overdose deaths in CT doubled in 6 years
Opioid overdose deaths in Connecticut doubled in the past 6 years, largely driven by use of multiple drugs together, according to a team of researchers from the University of Connecticut and Yale University. (2019-10-29)

Fentanyl's risk on the 'darknet'
US overdose deaths attributed to synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl, have increased from under 3,000 in 2013 to nearly 20,000 in 2016, making up half of all opioid-related overdose deaths. These drugs are often purchased on the web's hidden 'darknet.' An analysis published in Contemporary Economic Policy that examined the darknet's opioid purchases from 2014 to 2016 found that vendors priced fentanyl in 2014 at a 90% discount compared with an equivalent dose of heroin. (2019-10-09)

New national guideline sets out best practices for delivering injectable opioid agonist treatment
A new Canadian guideline lays out the optimal strategies for providing injectable opioid agonist treatment with prescription heroin and hydromorphone for people with severe opioid use disorder. The clinical guideline was created for a wide range of health care providers to address an urgent need for evidence-based treatment of opioid use causing overdose and death, and is published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal). (2019-09-23)

Preference for fentanyl higher amount young, white, frequent opioid users
A minority of people who use illicit opioids indicated a preference for fentanyl, the super-potent synthetic opioid that accounts for much of the recent rise in US overdose deaths, according to a new study led by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. (2019-09-18)

A safer way for police to test drug evidence
Scientists have demonstrated a way for police to quickly and safely test whether a baggie or other package contains illegal drugs without having to handle any suspicious contents directly. The new technique can limit the risk of accidental exposure to fentanyl and other highly potent drugs that can be dangerous if a small amount is accidentally inhaled. (2019-09-17)

How relapse happens: Opiates reduce the brain's ability to form, maintain synapses
Exposure to heroin sharply reduces levels of the protein necessary for developing and maintaining the brain's synapses, a preclinical study by University at Buffalo researchers has found. (2019-09-12)

Opioid treatment for teens? Medications can help
Teens who misuse prescription or illicit opioids might benefit from opioid treatment medications, according to a new study led by a Yale researcher. An estimated 900 adolescents started to misuse opioid painkillers every day in 2017, and some of them turned to cheaper and more potent illegal opioids like heroin. Yet little is known about the effectiveness of opioid medications -- the recommended treatment for adults with opioid use disorder -- in teens who are younger than 18. (2019-09-11)

Most-comprehensive analysis of fentanyl crisis urges innovative action
The sudden appearance of the drug fentanyl in the US has driven up overdose deaths dramatically, even as the abuse of heroin and other opioids has shown signs of stabilizing. In the most-comprehensive analysis yet of the crisis, researchers urge that innovative new strategies be pursued because the epidemic is unlike others that have struck the nation. (2019-08-29)

UNM study confirms cannabis flower is an effective mid-level analgesic medication for pain
Using the largest database of real-time recordings of the effects of common and commercially available cannabis products in the United States, researchers at The University of New Mexico found strong evidence that cannabis can significantly alleviate pain, with the average user experiencing a three-point drop in pain suffering on a 0-10 point scale immediately following cannabis consumption. (2019-08-21)

Study shows hazardous patterns of prescription opioid misuse in the US
Among adults aged 18 years and older, 31 percent used prescription opioids only as prescribed by a physician medically and 4 percent misused them. Thus, the overwhelming majority (88 percent) of all past-12-month prescription opioid users used the drugs for medical purposes only. (2019-08-21)

Spending on illicit drugs in US nears $150 billion annually
Spending on cannabis, cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine fluctuated between $120 billion and $145 billion each year from 2006 to 2016, rivaling what Americans spend each year on alcohol, according to a new study. (2019-08-20)

What to call someone who uses heroin?
A first-of-its-kind study by researchers from the Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) and the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS), published in the journal Addiction, has found that people entering treatment for heroin use most often called themselves 'addicts,' but preferred that others called them 'people who use drugs.' (2019-07-16)

Teens abusing painkillers are more likely to later use heroin
A USC study in the July 8, 2019 issue of JAMA Pediatrics shows that teens who use prescription opioids to get high are more likely to start using heroin by high school graduation. (2019-07-08)

Is nonmedical opioid use by adolescents associated with later risk of heroin use?
This observational study used data from a survey of behavioral health that included students from 10 Los Angeles-area high schools to examine whether nonmedical prescription opioid use was associated with later risk of heroin use in adolescents. (2019-07-08)

New research backs Australian regulatory decision on poppers
Young gay and bisexual men are frequent users of alkyl nitrites, or poppers, but few show signs of addiction, risky consumption habits or other psychosocial problems, a study shows. (2019-06-20)

Safe consumption spaces would be welcomed by high-risk opioid users
A large majority of people who use heroin and fentanyl would be willing to use safe consumption spaces where they could obtain sterile syringes and have medical support in case of overdose, suggests a study led by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. (2019-06-05)

For many, friends and family, not doctors, serve as a gateway to opioid misuse
In a common narrative of the path to opioid misuse, people become addicted to painkillers after a doctor prescribed them pills to treat an injury and then, later, switch to harder drugs, such as heroin. However, nonmedical opioid users were more likely to say they began abusing opioids after friends and family members offered them the drugs, according to researchers. (2019-06-03)

As more veterans die of opioid overdoses, study shows need to focus beyond prescriptions
A dramatic rise in opioid overdose deaths among American veterans in recent years has happened mainly among veterans dying from heroin and synthetic opioids, a new study shows. The study highlights a pressing need to find and provide care to veterans who need help for use of non-prescription opioids, whether or not they are also taking prescription opioids. (2019-05-22)

CBD reduces craving and anxiety in people with heroin use disorder
Mount Sinai study highlights the potential of cannabidiol as a treatment option for opioid abuse. (2019-05-21)

New study examines geographic differences in fatal pediatric opioid poisonings
A new study shines light on pediatric opioid deaths by US region. (2019-04-27)

Drug overdoses in young people on the rise
In American adolescents and young adults, death rates from drug poisoning, particularly from opioids, have sharply increased over the last 10 years, according to new research in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. (2019-04-25)

Fentanyl deaths up 122 percent in West Virginia, say WVU researchers
An interdisciplinary research team -- involving the WVU School of Pharmacy, the WVU School of Public Health and the West Virginia Office of the Chief Medical Examiner -- analyzed data and found that fentanyl deaths are up 122 percent in the state. (2019-04-15)

Surgical implications of rising heroin abuse
With heroin abuse on the rise in the United States, related surgical complications are also increasing, including severe infections and complications related to heroin injection. (2019-03-28)

Opioid use associated with dramatic rise in dangerous heart infection
Hospital admissions for a dangerous heart infection related to intravenous drug use increased by 436 percent from 2012-2017 at a medical center in a region hit hard by the nation's opioid crisis, according to research presented at the American College of Cardiology's 68th Annual Scientific Session. (2019-03-06)

Heroin users aware of fentanyl, but at high risk of overdosing
Most heroin users in Baltimore, a city heavily affected by the opioid epidemic, recognize that the heroin they buy is now almost always laced with the highly dangerous synthetic opioid fentanyl, according to a new study led by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. (2019-03-05)

US opioid deaths jump fourfold in 20 years; epidemic shifts to Eastern states
Opioid-related deaths nationwide jumped fourfold in the last two decades, and the epidemic has made major inroads in the Eastern states, according to a new study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine, Harvard University and the University of Toronto. (2019-02-22)

Peer support, healing hands may curb prescription opioid misuse
A program offering group support, acupuncture, mindfulness, massage and gentle exercise may help prevent patients on prescription opioids from spiraling down to drug misuse, overdose and death, according to a study led by researchers at UCSF. (2019-02-20)

Insurance rules make it harder to treat opioid use disorder
Insurance industry cost-control measures may be worsening the nation's opioid epidemic by limiting access to a key medication that treats addiction, according to a research letter published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Despite the medical profession's growing acceptance of the need for medications for addiction treatment that give hope to people suffering with opioid use disorder, a new study finds that insurance rules increasingly limited the use of buprenorphine among Medicare beneficiaries between 2007 and 2018. (2019-02-12)

Overdose deaths could increase with 'changing nature' of opioid epidemic
The opioid epidemic in the United States could be responsible for 700,000 overdose deaths between 2016 and 2025, according to a new study published today in JAMA Network Open. (2019-02-07)

Rutgers study finds rise in overdoses from opioids in diarrhea drug
A Rutgers study has uncovered a new threat in the opiate epidemic: overdoses of loperamide, an over-the-counter diarrhea medication, have been steadily increasing in number and severity nationwide over five years. (2019-02-04)

OxyContin reformulation to curb opioid abuse led to hepatitis C surge, study finds
Public health officials have blamed the shift from prescription opioids to injectable heroin as a cause of the rise in hepatitis C cases. A new study provides the best evidence to date that reformulation of the pain medicine OxyContin in 2010 to make it more difficult to abuse directly led to a surge in hepatitis C infections as drug abusers switched to heroin. (2019-02-04)

Study predicts worsening of overdose crisis, limits of focusing on prescription opioids
A study from investigators at the Massachusetts General Hospital Institute for Technology Assessment projects that the opioid overdose epidemic in the US is likely to increase in coming years, and that measures based on restricting access to prescription opioids will have a minimal impact in reducing overdose deaths. (2019-02-01)

Opioid epidemic fueling a rise in infection-related stroke
The opioid epidemic is fueling a steep rise in infection-related stroke hospitalizations. Injecting opioids, such as heroin, can introduce bacteria into the body which travels through the bloodstream to infect heart valves. Clumps of infected tissue can break off and travel to the brain, resulting in stroke. (2019-01-30)

Doctors are prescribing opioids for shorter duration, lower doses in children
As the opioid epidemic continues to plague the United States, physician-researchers at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia analyzed prescription patterns in children. They found that both duration of treatment and dose amounts declined between 2013 and 2017, while the rate of prescribing remained the same. (2019-01-29)

West Virginia study details promising method for estimating rural intravenous drug use
A study published today in the American Journal of Public Health estimates that 1,857 people injected drugs in the last six months in Cabell County, W.Va., a rural county with a population of 94,958. This estimate is based on an innovative survey technique that public health officials can now use in their own rural communities to address the opioid epidemic. (2019-01-24)

Firsthand accounts indicate fentanyl test strips are effective in reducing overdose risk
Young adults who use drugs find fentanyl test strips useful, residue testing more convenient and testing at home more private, a Brown study found. (2019-01-18)

Demi Lovato's overdose causes surge in media, but few mentions of lifesaving hotline
Demi Lovato's drug overdose and Anthony Bourdain's suicide resulted in unequal news coverage of national help hotlines, finds a new study published Jan. 14 in JAMA Internal Medicine. (2019-01-14)

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