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opioid epidemic 155 articles

Opioid Rx from dentist may increase abuse risk in youth

Young people who are given opioids to treat pain following a dental procedure have a higher risk of risk of refilling the prescription within a year, and those who do are at greater risk of becoming addicted to the drugs, according to a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine. The study, conducted by researchers with Stanford University, involved a sampling of youth who had not taken opioids prior to visiting the dentist. About 6.9 percent who had received a prescription for opioids filled at least one additional prescription between three months and one year after they were first prescribed the ... Read More

China, US reach agreement over fentanyl

In an effort to curb the deadly opioid epidemic that killed more than 49,000 in the United States last year, President Donald Trump struck a deal with China’s President Xi over regulation of the powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl during a scheduled dinner between the two leaders at the G-20 summit. “Very importantly, President Xi, in a wonderful humanitarian gesture, has agreed to designate fentanyl as a controlled substance, meaning that people selling fentanyl to the United States will be subject to China’s maximum penalty under the law,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement. The statement issued ... Read More

Increases in overdoses, suicide drive down life expectancy again

New statistics showing a downtick in U.S. life expectancy for the second time in three years is a “wake up call,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said, with many causes of death being preventable, namely drug overdoses and suicide. “Life expectancy gives us a snapshot of the Nation’s overall health,” said CDC Director Robert Redfield, adding the latest numbers are “sobering.” The drop in overall life expectancy averaged 78.6 years in 2017, a 0.1 decrease from the year before. Redfield said the reason was due to the rise in overdoses and suicides. Opioids are especially deadly. More than ... Read More

FDA warns companies for marketing ‘unlawful’ supplements for opioid withdrawal

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned two companies for illegally selling dietary supplements that contain the unapproved antidepressant tianeptine, and for making “unproven and unlawful” claims that the products can treat opioid withdrawal symptoms, pain and anxiety. Jack B Goods Outlet Store was warned about its Tianaa Red, Tianaa White and Tianaa Green supplements. MA Labs was warned for its Vicaine supplement. The supplements pose risks to consumers for a variety of reasons. Tianeptine is not approved in the United States or the United Kingdom, as well as other countries, because it can induce euphoria and carries a risk ... Read More

Kratom products laced with ‘dangerous’ amounts of heavy metals

“Disturbingly” high levels of heavy metals that can be harmful to humans, like lead and nickel, have been found in more than two dozen different kratom products, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned. “While the levels of the specific products we’ve tested so far are not likely to result in immediate acute heavy metal poisoning from a single use, some of these products included levels that, with chronic use, could cause some people to suffer heavy metal poisoning,” FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., said in a statement. The agency tested 26 different kratom products, and is concerned that there ... Read More

Colbert blames Purdue Pharma and its owners for worsening opioid epidemic

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert took a swipe at the family behind Big Pharma giant Purdue Pharma, blaming the company and its owners for what he described as its ruthless plan to increase profits by increasing the number of opioid addicts around the world. Colbert calls the opioid epidemic a problem that affects both political parties. “It does not discriminate,” he said. “And a lot of people blame big pharma. But only because it’s their fault.” National Safety Council reported that 80 percent of new heroin users started on the illicit drug after misusing prescription pain killers. It was ... Read More

Proposed class of babies born addicted to opioids targets drug companies

More than 20 drug companies were hit with a proposed class action brought by dozens of children who were born addicted to opioid painkillers, a condition known as Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome, or NAS. The latest attack in the fight to curb the opioid epidemic blames the pharmaceutical companies for ignoring regulations in order to increase their profits, which allowed the drugs into the black market, further fueling the nation’s opioid crisis. According to the 95-page complaint, the number of babies born addicted to opioids in the United States has jumped from 1.2 per 1,000 babies in 2000 to 5.8 per ... Read More

First Lady calls opioid epidemic ‘worst drug crisis’ in U.S. history

First Lady Melania Trump has adopted opioid addiction as a signature FLOTUS cause and says she wants to lift the “stigma of shame” from addiction. She aims to generate more public discussion about the crisis so more people who are addicted to the powerful painkillers can get help. Trump spoke at a town hall-type gathering on addiction at Liberty University in southwestern Virginia along with ex-Fox News’ Eric Bolling, Demi Lovato’s mother Dianna Hart, and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, where she called the opioid epidemic the “worst drug crisis in American history.” During her nine-minute speech, Trump urged students ... Read More

60% of arthritis patients use opioids prior to joint replacement surgery

Six in 10 patients with moderate-to-severe hip or knee arthritis use opioids prior to total joint surgery, and these patients tended to have poorer outcomes that those who do not use the powerful painkillers. They also may be more likely to develop a dependence or addiction to opioids after surgery, according to a study published in Healio Rheumatology. Researcher Seoyoung C. Kim, M.D., ScD, MSCE, an associate professor of medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, and colleagues, analyzed Medicare data to determine preoperative opioid use patterns among nearly a half million patients 65 years or older ... Read More

Former EMT shares story of son’s opioid overdose in hopes of helping others

“Here, Corey. Just take this. It will knock the pain right out.” For the first time, Chuck Deprill was talking publicly about the events that led up to his son’s opioid overdose death in 2011. In a speech to first responders, he shared how Cory was dealing with pain after a recent hernia repair surgery but needed to return to his full-time job as a wheelchair van driver. A friend offered him an Oxycontin. “And that was the beginning…” Deprill said. That one pill led to more pills, to a strong dependence for more opioids, and on to a heroin ... Read More