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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 - 226

MONDAY, Sept. 26, 2022 (HealthDay News) – Admissions to drug treatment programs declined sharply during the pandemic's first year, likely explaining a later surge in fatal overdoses.

Among people of color, admissions dropped nearly 25%, a RAND Corp. study found.

This is one possible reason for the recent surge in

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 21, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- Fewer U.S. teenagers are drinking and smoking these days, but marijuana and vaping have gained in popularity — p...

As opioid overdose deaths continue to soar, a Canadian program points to one way to save lives: providing "safer" opioids to people at high risk of overdose.

That's the conclusion of a study evaluating Canada's first formal "safer opioid supply," or SOS, program. Such programs aim to prevent overdoses by giving vulnerable people an alternative to the increasingly dangerous street supply o...

Nitazenes: You've probably never heard of these highly toxic drugs, and neither have many Americans who abuse opioid street drugs.

That lack of awareness could prove deadly, experts warn, because nitazenes are increasingly being added into heroin and ...

Telehealth flourished during the pandemic, and now a new study shows it saved lives: The practice meant more people struggling with opioid addiction stayed in treatment longer and thereby lowered their risk of dying from an overdose.

For the study, researcher...

Fentanyl, the synthetic opioid that's driving a surge in drug overdose deaths, kills by stopping breathing even before someone loses consciousness, a new study reveals.

To come to that conclusion, researchers ran

Marijuana and hallucinogen use are at an all-time high among young adults, U.S. health officials reported Monday.

Compared to five or 10 years ago, the use of these drugs over the past year has risen significantly among 19- to 30-year-olds, according to the Monitoring the Future panel study. The new dat...

Naloxone is a lifesaving antidote to an opioid overdose, but it may be priced too high for those most vulnerable to opioid-related death, a new study finds.

Between 2014 and 2018, naloxone costs rose 500% for those without insurance, while out-of-pocket costs for the medication dropped 26% for people with i...

Many opioid abusers cite short-term, legitimate use of an opioid for relief of joint or dental pain as their "gateway" into addiction.

Now, research done at one New York State clinic finds that dentists can cut their use of opioids down to zero, using other painkillers for patients instead.

The end...

Methamphetamine is driving an epidemic of drug overdoses in rural America, a new study concludes.

Researchers attribute the surge to meth laced with fentanyl or combined with an opioid that contains fentanyl.

"

A new study of U.S. military veterans reveals they are more comfortable getting help for physical ills than for mental health issues.

"The majority of participants indicated they would be willing to seek treatment for both physical and mental health problems. However, they reported significantly greater willingness to seek treatment for physical than mental health conditions," said princi...

Taking part in certain sports in high school may lead to misuse of prescription stimulants in the years after graduation, a new study finds.

It reported that high school seniors who play contact sports are 50% more likely to abuse prescription stimulants in their 20s. Seniors who take part in any sport are more likely than those who don't to abuse these drugs, said lead author Philip Veli...

People appear less likely to turn to dangerous synthetic pot products in U.S. states where marijuana has been legalized, a new Washington State University study finds.

Researchers discovered a 37% drop in poisoning reports for

  • By Dennis Thompson HealthDay Reporter
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  • August 4, 2022
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  • The United States has an opioid epidemic, but there's one bright spot in the fight against it: Prescriptions for these addictive drugs have declined for patients with private insurance.

    Amid guidelines over the past decade from governments, health systems and insurers aimed at reducing opioid prescriptions, previous studies have pointed to a nationwide drop in prescribing rates.

    <...

    Experts predict opioid overdoses will climb in both rural and urban areas because of the lethal practice of mixing the highly addictive narcotics with other drugs.

    The coming wave of opioid overdoses “...

    The nation's opioid epidemic is hitting minority groups the hardest, with the latest government study reporting the steepest increases in overdose deaths among Black Americans and American Indians/Alaska Natives.

    While overdose deaths climbed 24% among whites in 2020, still an historic high, they jumped 44% ...

    In yet another report that illustrates the dangers pot poses to the young, developing brain, a new British study finds teenagers are much more likely than adults to develop an addiction to marijuana.

    "We found that teenagers are three and a half times more likely to have severe cannabis use disorder, whi...

    Doctor burnout and suicide are a growing concern, a new study finds.

    "We often overlook the physical health of our health care workers, but poor health can lead to difficulty performing tasks at work, which then leads to job stress and mental health issues," said corresponding author Dr. Kristen Kim, a resident in psychiatry at UC San Diego Health.

    About 1 in 15 doctors experience s...

    Use of medical marijuana has surged across the United States, but a new analysis finds that evidence supporting its use in treating chronic pain remains surprisingly thin.

    There have been few well-performed clinical trials focused on pain relief from the sort of products you'd buy at a marijuana dispensary, including smoked cannabis, edibles, extracts and

  • Dennis Thompson HealthDay Reporter
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  • June 7, 2022
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  • Reacting to the nation's opioid epidemic, doctors in the United States are co-prescribing fewer opioid painkillers and benzodiazepines such as Ativan and Xanax, federal health officials report.

    When these drugs are taken together, the odds of an overdose, even a fatal overdose, increase sharply.

    However, between 2016 and 2019, co-prescription of the two classes of drugs fell by near...

    Here's a simple weapon to employ against the opioid epidemic: New research finds that placing time limits on prescriptions for highly addictive narcotic painkillers may reduce the risk of misuse.

    In 2019, 1% of opioid prescriptions from U.S. dentists and surgeons were filled more than 30 days after bei...

    Organs from donors who died of drug overdoses helped keep the number of U.S. liver transplants steady during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, a new study finds.

    "When the pandemic began, we saw no decline in liver transplants, which seemed surprising since many surgeries were canceled or postponed," said lead author Peter Lymberopoulos, a fourth-year medical student at St. George'...

    A potentially lifesaving drug that reduces overdose risk is prescribed to less than half of Americans treated for opioid addiction, a new study finds.

    This underuse of buprenorphine is "equivalent to giving those with advanced cancer a less aggressive ...

    Drug overdose deaths in the United States continue to climb, but at a slower pace, federal health officials reported Wednesday.

    Early data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that nearly 108,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2021.

    "Drug overdose deaths are s...

    Could giving surgery patients ready-to-use mailed disposal kits for unused opioids lower the risk of abuse of the drugs?

    Yes, claims a new study that found patients with unused opioid pain pills are much more likely to d...

    Ohio State University is warning students to be wary of fake Adderall pills after two students died last week.

    University officials said that Columbus Public Health has warned the community about the counterfeit Adderall, which contain the deadly synthetic opioid fentanyl and are fueling increases in overdoses and hospitalizations in the area.

    "Be aware of the possibility of unexpec...

    Folks who struggle with depression and substance use disorders often tend to be smokers, but a new study finds that smoking rates among these vulnerable Americans have fallen significantly.

    "This study shows us that at a population-level,...

    People with substance abuse disorders, depression and other mental health conditions may be at higher risk for COVID-19 -- even when they are fully vaccinated, new research suggests.

    "Individuals with psychiatric disorders, and especially older adults with psychiatric disorders, may be particularly vulnerable to breakthrough infections," said study author Kristen Nishimi, a postdoctoral f...

    Drug overdose deaths among America's teens have skyrocketed during the pandemic, and not because drug use is more common, researchers report.

    In 2020, overdose deaths among adolescents nearly doubled, compared with 10 years before the pandemic. They rose another 20% in the first six months of 2021, a new study finds.

    "Teen drug use rates are at historic lows, so this is really becau...

    Does youthful experimentation with drugs and alcohol always fade with age? Not necessarily, a long-term study warns.

    Researchers found that more than 60% of teens who report heavy use of alcohol, marijuana, and/or other drugs continue to have a drug problem as adults, often involving misuse of p...

    Dovetailing with a surge in overdose deaths, the United States has seen a sharp rise in seizures of illicit fentanyl, according to a new report.

    Law enforcement seizures of pills containing illicit fen...

    Even though medication is considered the most effective therapy for opioid addiction, many Americans who need it don't receive it, a new study finds.

    "Evidence supporting the effectiveness of medication for opioid use disorder - such as methadone, buprenorphine or naltrexone - is unequivocal, but most people who needed [opioid addiction] treatment in the U.S. did not receive this gold sta...

    Medical marijuana could be a viable alternative to opioid painkillers for people dealing with arthritis or chronic back pain, two new studies show.

    Many patients prescribed opioids for their chronic pain wound up taking fewer painkillers -- or stopping them altogether -- after doctors ce...

    The party drug "ecstasy" might be the key to helping people heal from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), new clinical trial results indicate.

    In a small study, PTSD patients treated with a powerful combination of the psychedelic drug, also known as MDMA, and talk therapy were much more likely to...

    Using medical marijuana to treat pain, anxiety or depression may quickly lead to dependence, without relieving symptoms, a new study suggests.

    Those most at risk for misusing medical marijuana are patients using it to treat anxiety and depression, the researchers found. Based on these findings, the b...

    Taken correctly, prescription drugs used to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can help teens and young adults navigate their condition, but a new study finds many are dying from overdosing on these medications.

    In 2019,

    Settlements totaling $26 billion have been finalized between drugmaker Johnson & Johnson plus three major pharmaceutical distributors and state and local governments, over the companies' role in America's opioid crisis.

    The

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  • February 28, 2022
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  • Extreme heat from climate change is making it harder for people with mental illness and drug addiction to cope and adding to pressure on pandemic-stretched U.S. emergency rooms.

    During these severe summer temperature spikes, Americans with depression, anxiety, mood disorders and drug addiction are increasingly flocking to hospital ERs for help, a

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  • February 24, 2022
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  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued another pointed warning about the dangers posed by tianeptine, an antidepressant that is not approved for any type of medical treatment in the United States.

    Topping the list of possible risks from ta...

    Microdosing has become trendy in the era of drug legalization, with TV shows like "Nine Perfect Strangers" promoting the potential positives of regularly taking tiny amounts of psychedelics.

    But a new study finds that short-term microdosing of one hippy-era psychedelic, LSD, doesn't appear to cause any lasting or dramatic improvements to a person's disposition or brainpower, researchers r...

    Millions of American adults take a potentially deadly duo of prescription opioid painkillers and sedatives at the same time, researchers warn.

    The side effects of concurrent use of opioids and sedatives such as

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  • February 23, 2022
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  • If they quit early on, there's a good chance that teenage drug abusers can still succeed in life, researchers say.

    The findings show the importance of stopping drug use by early adulthood in order to protect future health and well-being, according to Jake Najman, a professor at the University of Queensland in Australia, and co-author of a new study.

    "Adolescent behavior proble...

    The wealthy Sackler family upped its cash offer to settle thousands of opioid-related lawsuits against the family and their company, Purdue Pharma.

    Instead of paying out $4.5 billion, the company is now offering $6 billion to settle the slew of lawsuits.

    But the family still wants all civil claims against them related to Purdue and opioids ended, and a ban on future such claims, acc...

    Potent and poisonous, the synthetic opioid known as fentanyl has infiltrated nearly every corner of the U.S. illegal street drug market, experts warn.

    In the process, it's killing addicts and recreational "party drug" users alike.

    "This is the time of fentanyl, a drug that's 50 to 100 times more powerful than mo...

    Young people with autism or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have a higher risk of dying early from a range of causes, a new research review suggests.

    Researchers found that before middle-age, people with autism face higher-than-average rates of death from both "natural" causes, like heart disease, and "unnatural" ones, including accidents and suicide.

    Meanwhile, unna...

    Amphetamines can pull people into a vicious cycle of addiction, but new research now shows that people who abuse these stimulants are also five times more likely to develop psychosis than non-users.

    The effect of "speed" on neurotransmitter signaling in the brain often causes psychosis symptoms such as paranoia, voices and hallucinations. These typically resolve after a few days, but may ...

    The U.S. drug epidemic continues its death march, with new research showing American teens and young adults have lost nearly 1.5 million years of life due to drug overdose deaths in recent years.

    For the study, the researchers examined years of life lost -- the difference between a person's e...

    The opioid addict you know might not be the college kid who has always dabbled in alcohol and drugs.

    It could be your grandparent.

    Opioid misuse doesn't discriminate by age -- and rates are rising steadily among adults aged 55 and up, new research shows.

    "You can still use recrea...

    A program meant to encourage the use of a drug that can help people overcome opioid addiction led to dramatic increases in its use in emergency rooms, researchers report.

    Buprenorphine is a medication that stabilizes opioid withdrawal and soothes cravi...

    At least 59 overdoses were prevented in the first three weeks that two overdose prevention centers have been open in New York City, the city's health department said Tuesday.

    During that time, there were more than 2,000 visits to the centers that are operated by OnPoint NYC and are the first publicly recognized overdose prevention sites to open in the United States. The city first

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