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07 Oct

HealthDay Now: Fentanyl, Supply Chain Issues, and Isolation Drove Record High Drug Overdoses in 2020

In a HealthDay Now interview, we spoke to Dr. Thomas Stopka, associate professor and epidemiologist who studies opioid use and abuse at Tufts University School of Medicine. Considering the record high number of drug overdoses reported in 2020, Dr. Stopka discussed factors that may be responsible for this increase.

Health News Results - 24

New government data confirms what many have suspected: The pandemic has prompted a record number of drug overdose deaths, with more than 100,000 Americans succumbing to addiction as COVID-19 raged across the country.

That figure is almost 30% higher than the previous year, when 78,000 overdose deaths were reported, according to provisional figures from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control...

The COVID-19 pandemic has shaken up the U.S. opioid crisis in ways bad and good, increasing the risk of use and overdose but also spurring innovative approaches to treatment.

The pandemic has definitely been linked to an increase in opioid use and overdose deaths, Tufts University's Thomas Stopka said during a HealthDay Now video interview.

"We've been seeing increases in o...

People buying pills that look like prescription opioid painkillers or stimulants who are not buying them from a licensed pharmacy may be buying a lethal drug, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration warned this week.

This was the first public safety alert the DEA has issued in six years, CNN reported.

Many of these counterfeit pills are laced with fentanyl and methamphet...

Overdose deaths linked to illicit "designer" benzodiazepines have surged in the United States, as underground labs crank out new synthetic variations on prescription tranquilizers like Valium, Xanax and Ativan.

Overdose deaths involving illicit benzos increased more than sixfold (520%) between 2019 and 2020, rising from 51 to 316, according to data from 32 states and the District of Colum...

Accidental exposure to fentanyl pain patches is putting children's lives at risk, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warns.

Fentanyl is a powerful opioid pain reliever; so powerful that fentanyl patches are typically only prescribed to patients who require round-the-clock, long-term pain relief, such as cancer patients. They're generally replaced every three days.

Kids can overdo...

A proposed $26 billion settlement on opioid-related lawsuits has been reached with four large drug companies, a group of state attorneys general announced Wednesday.

If enough states sign on to the deal with the country's three major drug distributors -- Cardinal Health, AmerisourceBergen and McKesson -- and pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson, the companies could be released from all ...

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 struggling from the effects of addiction," said Tiffany Champagne-Langabeer, senior author of a new investigation of ille...

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 before the pandemic began in the United States) through September 2020, six months into the pandemic.

During that t...

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. Food and Drug Administration solely as a veterinary drug. In Philadelphia, it goes by the street name "tranq."

Tranq...

A new synthetic opioid as powerful as fentanyl is causing overdose deaths at an ever-increasing rate, experts warn.

What's worse, the designer drug is legal in most places in the United States.

Isotonitazene -- commonly referred to as "iso" -- is causing around 40 to 50 overdose deaths a month in the United States, compared with about six per month last summer, said Dr. Ant...

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-related deaths fell 4%. But fatal overdoses involving synthetic opioids (excluding methadone) were up 10%.

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 by 6%, compared to states that opted out. That included an 11% lower death rate from heroin overdoses, and a 10...

A study of over 1 million urine drug tests from across the United States shows soaring rates of use of methamphetamines and fentanyl, often used together in potentially lethal ways.

The drug test results came primarily from clinics dealing with primary care, pain management or substance abuse disorders.

The results showed that between 2013 and 2019, urine samples testing pos...

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 Minnesota and Illinois and north from West Virginia and Virginia, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and...

The good news is overdose deaths from opioids in the United States have dropped slightly in 25 states, but here's the bad news: Deaths from fentanyl are still increasing, federal health officials reported Thursday.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), overdose deaths from fentanyl increased, especially when mixed with other opioids, benzodiazepines, ...

Across the United States and Canada, people are buying cocaine only to discover too late that it contains potentially deadly fentanyl, a new report warns.

In one cluster of cases occurring in Fresno, Calif., in January of this year, four people were brought to local emergency rooms.

Two of the incapacitated cocaine users died from their inadvertent fentanyl overdose, local d...

As if using cocaine or methamphetamines isn't risky enough, new research shows a sharp spike in urine drug tests that are positive for those drugs and the powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl.

The findings could provide insight into steeply rising rates of cocaine- and methamphetamine-related overdoses in the United States.

For the study, researchers analyzed data on on...

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 aged 15 to 24 in 2006 to nearly 10 per 100,000 in 2015, researchers found.

"Drug poisoning deaths affect famil...

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 know they're buying it, because fentanyl is often mixed with other opioids or misrepresented as heroin.

"We s...

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 deaths a year.

The study, by researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, included...

Deaths from drugs, alcohol and suicide in the United States hit an all-time high in 2017 -- more than 150,000 in all.

That number was more than double 1999 levels, according to a chilling new analysis of U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data by the Trust for America's Health and Well Being Trust, two health policy organizations.

Nationwide, the death rate due ...

U.S. opioid overdose deaths have quadrupled in the last two decades, and the highest rates are now seen in eight Eastern states, a new study shows.

Those states are: Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, New Hampshire and Ohio.

The researchers also found that the death rate from opioids has increased the fastest in the District of Columbia, more tha...

Drug makers and federal regulators dropped the ball in tracking the use of a potentially deadly fast-acting form of the synthetic opioid fentanyl, putting thousands of patients at risk of a fatal overdose, a new study claims.

Transmucosal Immediate-Release Fentanyl (TIRF) drugs are approved for use in cancer patients who've developed tolerance against the around-the-clock opioids norm...

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 overdose, but by 2017 that rate had risen to about 24 women per 100,000 -- a 260 percent increase, the U.S. Centers for ...

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