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Current Opioids News and Events, Opioids News Articles.
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New findings about mechanisms underlying chronic pain reveal novel therapeutic strategies
Canadian neuroscientist Michael Salter and his team have uncovered a critical role for a class of cells present in the brain and spinal cord, called microglia, in pain. They have found microglia to neuron signaling to be crucial in the development of pain hypersensitivity after injury, but also for one of the paradoxical effects morphine and other opioids sometimes produce, called hyperalgesia, which is an increase in pain sensitivity. (2015-05-26)

Treating infants of mothers with opioid dependence -- rising rates, rising costs
As more infants are born to mothers with dependence on prescription pain medications, the costs of treatment for babies with neonatal abstinence syndrome have increased dramatically, suggests a report in the March/April issue of the Journal of Addiction Medicine, the official journal of the American Society of Addiction Medicine. The journal is published by Wolters Kluwer. (2015-05-19)

Substance abuse risk not greater in those using medical marijuana with prescribed opioids
Among people who use medical cannabis for chronic pain, those who also take prescription pain medications are not at increased risk for serious alcohol and other drug involvement, according to a study in the May issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. (2015-05-18)

Recreational drug use on weekends often morphs into daily use, BU study finds
More than half of patients who report 'weekend-only' drug use end up expanding their drug use to weekdays, too -- suggesting that primary care clinicians should monitor patients who acknowledge 'recreational' drug use, says a new study by Boston University public health and medicine researchers. (2015-05-13)

The opioid epidemic and its impact on orthopaedic care
The United States makes up less than 5 percent of the world's population but consumes 80 percent of the global opioid supply and approximately 99 percent of all hydrocodone -- the most commonly prescribed opioid in the world. (2015-05-07)

Emergency department opioid prescribing
In new research published online by the Annals of Emergency Medicine, researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital found that the majority of opioid prescriptions in the ED setting had a low pill count and almost exclusively were immediate-release formulations, not the long-acting medications such as methadone, Oxycontin and MS-Contin, which are more strongly associated with overdoes. (2015-05-04)

Emergency department treatment for opioid addiction better than referrals
Yale researchers conducted the first known randomized trial comparing three treatment strategies for opioid-dependent patients receiving emergency care. They found that patients given the medication buprenorphine were more likely to engage in addiction treatment and reduce their illicit opioid use. (2015-04-28)

Heroin use spikes among whites who abuse prescription painkillers
Researchers looked at the frequency of nonmedical prescription opioid use and the risk of heroin-related behaviors and found that past-year heroin use rose among individuals taking opioids like oxycontin and these increases varied by race and ethnicity. The most significant rise in heroin use was among Hispanics and non-Hispanic whites, where the rate of heroin use for the latter group increased by 75 percent in 2008-2011 compared to earlier years. (2015-04-27)

Rates of opioid dispensing, overdose drop following market changes
Dispensing of prescription opioid pain relievers and prescription opioid overdoses both dropped substantially after abuse-deterrent extended-release oxycodone hydrochloride was introduced on the pharmaceutical market and the narcotic drug propoxyphene was withdrawn from the US market in 2010, according to an article published online by JAMA Internal Medicine. (2015-04-20)

Reduction in opioid prescribing, overdoses associated with pharma industry changes
Results of a new study led by Boston Medical Center researchers, in collaboration with Harvard Medical School, indicate that the introduction of abuse-deterrent OxyContin, coupled with the removal of propoxyphene from the US prescription marketplace, may have played a role in decreasing opioid prescribing and overdoses. (2015-04-20)

Penn Medicine pain management study reveals patient confusion about opioid addiction
Emergency department patients have misperceptions about opioid dependence and want more information about their pain management options, according to a new study from researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. The study, published online in the Annals of Emergency Medicine, found that patients seen in the emergency department for acute pain expressed a desire for better communication from physicians about their pain management options, along with discussion of the risks of opioid dependence. (2015-04-13)

Cellular signals for pain fine tune neurons' sensitivity to opiods
At the cellular level, pain and pain relief are caused by two different signaling pathways. But the two pathways aren't necessarily independent of one another, according to a study published by Carnegie Mellon researchers in Cell Reports. The researchers determined the mechanism by which cellular signals for pain fine-tunes neurons' sensitivity to opioids, medications that relieve pain. The finding could help researchers better understand pain and addiction. (2015-04-13)

Babies exposed to narcotic pain relievers more likely to experience withdrawal
Neonatal abstinence syndrome, a drug withdrawal syndrome in infants following birth, has historically been associated with illicit drug use among pregnant women. (2015-04-13)

Early physical therapy for low back pain reduces costs, resources
A study in the scientific journal BMC Health Services Research shows that early and guideline adherent physical therapy following an initial episode of acute, nonspecific low back pain resulted in substantially lower costs and reduced use of health care resources over a two-year period. (2015-04-09)

Rate of opioid misuse is around 25 percent, addiction rate 10 percent, reports study in Pain
New estimates suggest that 20 to 30 percent of opioid analgesic drugs prescribed for chronic pain are misused, while the rate of opioid addiction is approximately 10 percent, reports a study in the April issue of Pain, the official journal of the International Association for the Study of Pain. The journal is published by Wolters Kluwer. (2015-03-30)

Despite broad awareness, only half of doctors use prescription drug monitoring programs
In a new survey, researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that physicians report relatively high awareness of state databases that track drug prescriptions but more than one-fifth indicated they were not aware of their state's program at all. (2015-03-02)

Shake it off? Not so easy for people with depression, new brain research suggests
Rejected by a person you like? Just 'shake it off' and move on, as music star Taylor Swift says. But while that might work for many people, it may not be so easy for those with untreated depression, a new brain study finds. (2015-02-27)

Painkillers for non-cancer chronic pain: New insights on risk
Two new studies from the School of Medicine at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio bring fresh insights about the risks faced by patients taking cocktails of medications for non-cancer chronic pain. (2015-02-18)

BUSM's SCOPE of Pain receives national award
White House Drug Control Policy Director Michael Botticelli has awarded Boston University School of Medicine's Safe and Competent Opioid Prescribing Education program a 2014 National High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area award for Outstanding Prevention Effort. (2015-02-18)

SLU scientist finds higher opioid doses associated with increase in depression
Patients who increased doses of opioid medicines to manage chronic pain were more likely to experience an increase in depression. (2015-02-13)

Research finds 15-fold increase in newborn opioid withdrawal in Ontario
The number of newborns suffering from opioid withdrawal increased 15-fold in Ontario over 20 years, according to research published today in CMAJ Open. (2015-02-11)

Opioid and heroin crisis triggered by doctors overprescribing painkillers
Researchers at Brandeis University, the University of North Florida and Johns Hopkins University say policymakers must look beyond painkiller abuse in their efforts to reduce opioid overdose deaths. 'The Prescription Opioid and Heroin Crisis: A Public Health Approach to an Epidemic of Addiction' reframes the heroin and prescription drug abuse problem as a wave of opioid addiction caused by overprescribing of painkillers by doctors. (2015-02-04)

Researchers provide insights for reducing drug overdoses through community education
Results from a new study show that participants in drug overdose education programs tend to be parents (mostly mothers) who provide financial support for their son/daughter, have daily contact with their loved one, have applied for court-mandated treatment and have witnessed an overdose. (2015-01-29)

Age concern in largest ever study of heroin user deaths
Older users of opioids such as heroin are 27 times more likely to become a victim of homicide than the general population, a University of Manchester study of almost 200,000 users has found. (2015-01-27)

Prescription painkillers, widely used by childbearing age women, double birth defects risk
Many women are unaware that prescription opioid-based medications such as codeine, oxycodone, hydrocodone, or morphine, used to treat severe pain, may increase the risk for serious birth defects of the baby's brain, spine, and heart, as well as preterm birth when taken during pregnancy. Use of these medications also can cause babies to suffer withdrawal symptoms when born, a condition known as neonatal abstinence syndrome or NAS, a growing problem in US birthing hospitals. (2015-01-22)

Study finds that opioids administered in the ER don't influence patient satisfaction
A new study co-authored by investigators at the University of Massachusetts Medical School found that there is no correlation between opioids administered in the emergency room setting and Press Ganey ED patient satisfaction scores, one of the most commonly used metrics for measuring patient satisfaction. (2015-01-15)

Panel cites need for individualized, patient-centered approach for chronic pain
An independent panel convened by the National Institutes of Health concluded that individualized, patient-centered care is needed to treat and monitor the estimated 100 million Americans living with chronic pain. To achieve this aim, the panel recommends more research and development around the evidence-based, multidisciplinary approaches needed to balance patient perspectives, desired outcomes, and safety. (2015-01-13)

100 million Americans live with chronic pain, but treatment research is insufficient
An estimated 100 million Americans live with chronic pain. A new report by an independent panel convened by NIH has found a need for evidence-based, multidisciplinary approaches to pain treatment that incorporate patients' perspectives and desired outcomes while also avoiding potential harms. Panel member Christopher Callahan, M.D., of Regenstrief Institute and Indiana University comments. (2015-01-13)

Annals of Internal Medicine tip sheet for Jan. 13, 2015
In this issue: 'NIH publishes final report on the use of opioids for chronic pain', 'evidence suggests that some serious risks of long-term opioid therapy may be dose-dependent' and 'ACP publishes recommendations to improve clinical documentation in electronic health records'. (2015-01-12)

Occasional heroin use may worsen HIV infection
Researchers at Yale and Boston University and their Russian collaborators have found that occasional heroin use by HIV-positive patients may be particularly harmful to the immune system and worsens HIV disease, compared to persistent or no heroin use. The findings are published in the journal AIDS and Behavior. (2014-12-15)

Primary care doctors report prescribing fewer opioids for pain
Nine in 10 primary care physicians say that prescription drug abuse is a moderate or big problem in their communities and nearly half say they are less likely to prescribe opioids to treat pain compared to a year ago, new Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health research suggests. (2014-12-08)

Survey of primary care physicians' beliefs on prescription drug abuse
A survey of primary care physicians found the vast majority of practicing internists, family physicians and general practitioners consider prescription drug abuse to be a significant problem in their community and most physicians agreed opioids were overused to treat pain, according to a research letter published online by JAMA Internal Medicine. (2014-12-08)

Utah study: Mindfulness intervention boosts brain activation for healthy pleasures
After a sample of chronic pain patients misusing opioids went through MORE, they exhibited increased brain activation on an EEG to natural healthy pleasures. (2014-12-05)

Two in 100 adults seriously considered suicide in 2013, CAMH survey shows
Results from an ongoing survey conducted by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) show that 2.2 percent of adults -- or over 230,000 people in Ontario, Canada -- seriously contemplated suicide in the last year. The 2013 edition of the CAMH Monitor, released today, included questions about suicidal ideation for the first time in the survey's history. (2014-12-04)

Skipping college makes young people more likely to abuse pain pills
A study just released by Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health compared the use of prescription opioids and stimulants among high school graduates, non-graduates, and their college-attending peers, and found that young adults who do not attend college are at particularly high risk for nonmedical prescription opioid use and disorder. In contrast, the nonmedical use of prescription stimulants is higher among college-educated young adults. (2014-12-01)

Legally prescribed opioid use may increase mortality in chronic pain patients
Associations between opioid-related overdoses and increased prescription of opioids for chronic noncancer pain are well known. But some suggest that overdose occurs predominately in individuals who obtain opioids from nonmedical sources. In a new study published in PAIN, researchers in Denmark found an increased risk of death associated with chronic pain without opioid treatment, as well as an even higher risk among those prescribed opioids for long-term use and a somewhat lower risk associated with short-term use. (2014-11-13)

Rhode Island, Miriam hospitals, other researchers: Opioid OD cause for over 100,000 ED visits in '10
Researchers from Rhode Island and The Miriam hospitals and the Stanford University School of Medicine have found that prescription opioids, including methadone, were involved in 67.8 percent of -- or over 135,971 visits to -- nationwide emergency department visits in 2010, with the highest proportion of opioid overdoses occurring in the South. (2014-11-10)

Ibuprofen better choice to relieve fracture pain in children than oral morphine
Although ibuprofen and oral morphine both provide effective pain relief for children with broken limbs, ibuprofen is the recommended choice because of adverse events associated with oral morphine, according to a randomized trial published in CMAJ. (2014-10-27)

Prescription opioids involved in most overdoses seen in emergency departments
In a national study of hospital emergency department visits for opioid overdoses, 67.8 percent of the overdoses involved prescription opioids (including methadone), followed by heroin, other unspecified opioids and multiple opioids, according to a research letter published online by JAMA Internal Medicine. (2014-10-27)

Pathological gambling is associated with altered opioid system in the brain: Reduced feeling of euphoria when compared to healthy volunteers
All humans have a natural opioid system in the brain. Now new research, presented at the ECNP Congress in Berlin, has found that the opioid system of pathological gamblers responds differently to those of normal healthy volunteers. The work was carried out by a group of UK researchers from London and Cambridge, and was funded by the Medical Research Council. This work is being presented at the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology congress in Berlin. (2014-10-18)

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