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Current Opioid Abuse News and Events, Opioid Abuse News Articles.
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Methadone linked to lower death rates among convicted offenders with opioid dependence
Among convicted offenders, receiving methadone is associated with lower rates of death from external and non-external causes, according to new research published this week in PLOS Medicine by Angela Russolillo of Simon Fraser University, Canada, and colleagues. (2018-07-31)

Poll: Older adults support opioid Rx limits, need better counseling on use & disposal
Nearly a third of older adults have received a prescription for an opioid pain medicine in the past two years, but many didn't get enough counseling about the risks that come with the potent painkillers, how to reduce their use, when to switch to a non-opioid option, or what to do with leftover pills, a new poll finds. Nearly three-quarters would support limits on how many opioid pills a doctor could prescribe at once. (2018-07-30)

Reducing opioid prescriptions for one operation can also spill over to other procedures
Study results show revised recommendations resulted in about 17 fewer pills being dispensed per patient for four major operations. (2018-07-26)

For spinal fusion surgery patients, taking opioids before surgery is major risk factor for long-term opioid use
Patients taking opioids for at least three months before spinal fusion surgery in the lower spine are much more likely to continue taking opioids one year after surgery, reports a study in Spine. The journal is published in the Lippincott portfolio by Wolters Kluwer. (2018-07-26)

Common painkillers triple harmful side effects in dementia
Two studies at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference 2018 (AAIC) highlight a significant increase in harmful side effects related to the use of commonly prescribed opioid painkillers in people with dementia. Researchers also identified a mechanism that may be causing the problem. (2018-07-24)

Chance of being prescribed opioids for minor injury differs dramatically by where you live
Patients who sought care for a sprained ankle in states that were found to be 'high prescribers' of opioids were approximately three times more likely to receive a prescription for the drugs than those treated in 'low-prescribing' states, according to new research. Additional results of the study show that patients who received prescriptions for long courses of the drugs were five times more likely to fill additional opioid prescriptions over the next 6 months than those who received just a few days' supply. (2018-07-24)

New research: High burden of hepatitis C among people who inject drugs
Globally, more than one in three (39 percent) people who have injected drugs in the last year are living with hepatitis C infection, according to new research from the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre and the Kirby Institute at UNSW Sydney. (2018-07-23)

US opioid prescribing rates by congressional district
Congressional districts with the highest opioid prescribing rates are predominantly concentrated in the southeastern U.S., with other hotspots in Appalachia and the rural west, according to the first study to focus on opioid prescribing rates at the congressional district level. (2018-07-19)

Former inmates at high risk for opioid overdose following prison release
A recent study in North Carolina found that in the first two weeks after being released from prison, former inmates were 40 times more likely to die of an opioid overdose than someone in the general population. (2018-07-19)

Low-dose ketamine may be an effective alternative to opioids
Opioids are commonly prescribed in the emergency department (ED) for the treatment of acute pain, but due to the epidemic of opioid misuse, analgesic alternatives are being explored. A new Academic Emergency Medicine analysis of relevant studies found that low-dose ketamine is as effective as opioids for the control of acute pain in the ED. (2018-07-18)

Lower default amount of opioid pills in electronic medical record may reduce opioid prescribing
Lowering the default amount of opioid pills prescribed to patients in a health care system's electronic medical record was associated with a deccrease in the amount of opioids prescribed systemwide. (2018-07-18)

Novel botulinum toxin compound relieves chronic pain
A modified form of botulinum toxin gives long-lasting pain relief in mice without adverse effects and, in time, could replace opioid drugs as a safe and effective way of treating chronic pain, according to research by UCL, the University of Sheffield and the Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto. (2018-07-18)

Prolonged opioid use before knee or hip replacement surgery increases risk of poor outcomes
Patients who take prescription opioids for more than 60 days before total knee or hip replacement surgery are at significantly higher risk of being readmitted to the hospital and of undergoing repeat joint-replacement surgery, compared to patients with no preoperative opioid use, reports a study in the July 18 issue of The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery. The journal is published in the Lippincott portfolio in partnership with Wolters Kluwer. (2018-07-18)

Researchers find that hunger hormones offer promising avenue for addiction treatment
Hormones that signal the body's state of hunger and fullness could be the key to new treatments for drug and alcohol addiction. That is the consensus of an expert panel convened this week at the annual meeting of the Society for the Study Ingestive Behavior, the leading international research conference on food and fluid intake. Gut hormones have received considerable attention from scientists seeking to understand overeating and obesity, which led the panelists to discover that those hormones are also involved in addiction. (2018-07-17)

Study: Childhood abuse linked to greater risk of endometriosis
A study of more than 60,000 women has found that sexual and physical abuse in childhood and adolescence is associated with a greater risk of laparoscopically-confirmed endometriosis diagnosed during adulthood. The study -- the largest of its kind -- found that women reporting severe-chronic abuse of multiple types had a 79 percent higher risk of laparoscopically-confirmed endometriosis. (2018-07-17)

Older kids who abuse animals much more likely to have been abused themselves
Older children who abuse animals are two to three times as likely to have been abused themselves as kids that don't display this type of behavior, highlights a review of the available evidence published online in the Archives of Disease in Childhood. (2018-07-16)

Expert panel compares opioid epidemic to early days of HIV epidemic
Experts are drawing on lessons learned from the early days of the HIV epidemic to address the current opioid epidemic. As a result of widespread opioid abuse, new epidemics of hepatitis C virus (HCV) and HIV infection have arisen and hospitalizations for related infections have increased. An expert panel convened by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) recommends five crucial steps for clinicians treating patients affected by opioid addiction and these intersecting infections. (2018-07-13)

National Academies target opioid abuse and infectious disease consequences
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine today released proceedings of a March 12 workshop exploring the rise in infectious diseases accompanying opioid abuse, and possible strategies for reducing both epidemics. (2018-07-13)

Routine, coordinated treatment of opioid abuse can stem national epidemic
To help stem the nationwide opioid epidemic and related increases in HIV, hepatitis C and other infections, health care providers should routinely screen and treat patients for opioid abuse when they come to clinics and hospitals seeking other services. That's one of five recommendationsin a paper published in the Annals of Internal Medicine that supplements a document that outlines the proceedings of a March 12, 2018, workshop convened on the topic by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. (2018-07-13)

In Medicaid patients, high opioid doses and concurrent sedative use are risk factors for fatal opioid overdose
Among Medicaid recipients taking prescription opioids, high opioid doses and concurrent treatment with benzodiazepine sedatives are among the key, potentially modifiable risk factors for fatal overdose, reports a study in the August issue of Medical Care. The journal is published in the Lippincott portfolio by Wolters Kluwer. (2018-07-12)

Study reveals opioid patients face multiple barriers to treatment
In areas of the country disproportionately affected by the opioid crisis, treatment programs are less likely to accept patients paying through insurance of any type or accept pregnant women, a new Vanderbilt study found. (2018-07-12)

Preoperative opioid use by patients having surgery
Nearly 1 in 4 patients undergoing surgery at an academic medical center reported preoperative opioid use in a study of about 34,000 patients who underwent surgery from 2010-2016. Age, tobacco use, illicit drug use, higher pain severity, depression, lower life satisfaction and more coexisting medical conditions were associated with preoperative opioid use by patients before surgery. (2018-07-11)

Intimate partner violence doesn't end with the relationship
Violence that occurs between intimate partners does not end with the relationship's conclusion, yet few resources exist to help survivors move beyond the betrayal of abusive relationships in order to begin new, healthy relationships. The effects of intimate partner violence (IPV) are profound, painfully enduring and should command as much attention as providing victims with the help necessary to leave violent relationships, according to a new study by a University at Buffalo social work researcher. (2018-07-11)

Hepatitis C vaccine could dramatically reduce transmission in people who inject drugs
Among the most serious consequences of the opioid epidemic is the spread of hepatitis C among injecting drug users. A study published in Science Translational Medicine shows that if a hepatitis C vaccine were successfully developed, it would dramatically reduce transmission of hepatitis C among drug users -- even though it's unlikely such a vaccine would provide complete immunity. (2018-07-11)

Study analyzes opioid overdose risk during and after pregnancy among Massachusetts women
A study from a research team consisting of investigators from the Mass. Department of Public Health and several academic medical centers, led by a MassGeneral Hospital for Children physician, found that opioid overdose events decreased during pregnancy, reaching their lowest level during the third trimester, but then increased during the postpartum period, becoming significantly higher during the second six months after delivery. (2018-07-11)

What is the role of the physician when a patient discloses intimate partner violence perpetration?
Intimate partner violence (IPV) is prevalent and has lasting impacts on the health and well-being of the entire family involved. Unfortunately, very little research and guidance about how to address perpetration of IPV in the health care setting, especially among primary care physicians who are in a role to potentially intervene has been available until now. (2018-07-10)

Male couples report as much domestic violence as straight couples
Nearly half of all men in a new study about intimate partner violence in male couples report being victims of abuse. (2018-07-10)

Parents who had severe trauma, stresses in childhood more likely to have kids with behavioral health problems
A new study finds that severe childhood trauma and stresses early in parents' lives are linked to higher rates of behavioral health problems in their own children. (2018-07-09)

How do state policies on alcohol use affect pregnant women and infants?
It is well known that if women drink while they are pregnant, they increase the chances that children may be affected by alcohol, including a broad range of serious defects referred to as fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. Many states have enacted laws aimed at pregnant women intended to reduce these risks. But do the laws have the intended effects? A new, first of its kind study helps answer that question. (2018-07-06)

How is opioid use associated with health, other substance use, involvement in criminal justice system?
A public health approach to address the opioid epidemic in the United States needs to understand the populations of people affected, including their health, other substance use and any involvement they may have with the criminal justice system. This study examined that using data from the 2015-2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. (2018-07-06)

Non-opioid drug relieves pain in mice, targets immune cells
Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have found that inhibiting a receptor on immune cells called macrophages may help relieve pain in some patients, particularly those with chronic neuropathic pain, such as those with conditions such as diabetic neuropathy. (2018-07-05)

Opioid epidemic responses overlook gender
Yale health experts warn that current efforts to confront the growth of opioid addiction and overdose deaths must better incorporate an understanding of how women fit into this epidemic. (2018-07-05)

Expanding primary care buprenorphine treatment could curb opioid overdose crisis
Two physicians from Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health write that expanding the availability of medication treatment for opioid use disorder in primary care settings would be a major step toward reducing overdose deaths. (2018-07-04)

Chronic pain remains the same or gets better after stopping opioid treatment
Stopping long-term opioid treatment does not make chronic, non-cancer-related pain worse and, in some cases, makes it better, Washington State University researchers have found. (2018-07-02)

As asylum requests rise, doctors have important role
With applications for asylum in the United States increasing sharply, a new paper from a team of asylum medicine and law experts is highlighting physicians' important role in evaluating refugees' claims of torture and persecution. (2018-06-28)

URI drug study produces 'promising therapy' for alcohol abuse
A University of Rhode Island College of Pharmacy professor is working to change that, and a new clinical trial is right around the corner. Fatemeh Akhlaghi, the Ernest Mario Distinguished Chair in Pharmaceutics, is part of a team working to develop a novel medication to treat alcohol use disorder, the term scientists and health practitioners use. (2018-06-28)

70K opioid-related deaths likely went unreported due to incomplete death certificates
Several states are likely dramatically underestimating the effect of opioid-related deaths because of incomplete death certificate reporting, with Pennsylvania leading the pack, according to a new analysis by the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health. (2018-06-27)

A wakefulness molecule is abundant in the brains of heroin addicts
Researchers have discovered that the brains of heroin addicts harbor a greater number of neurons that produce hypocretin, a molecule involved in arousal and wakefulness, and one lacking in abundance in people with narcolepsy. In mice with narcolepsy, these researchers went on to show, administering morphine -- an opioid similar. (2018-06-27)

Spine surgery patients less likely to be opioid dependent after surgery
Spine surgeons and researchers at UofL, concerned about potential opioid misuse resulting from pain management related to surgery, have discovered positive news in a study of back surgery patients. The study, conducted by researchers in the UofL Department of Neurological Surgery, concludes that patients undergoing surgery for degenerative spondylolisthesis are less likely to be dependent on opioids after than before the surgery. (2018-06-26)

Fatigue is a common but underestimated symptom of endometriosis
Two papers published in Human Reproduction journal show that the prevalence of fatigue is more than doubled in women with endometriosis but is underestimated, meaning that doctors should be making greater efforts to discuss and treat this debilitating symptom in these women, and that a history of some types of child abuse is linked to an increased likelihood of endometriosis in adulthood. (2018-06-26)

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