A new study finds that OxyContin abuse has decreased now that the painkiller has been reformulated to make it more difficult to misuse. Many people who abused the drug have switched to heroin, the researchers report in this week’s New England Journal of Medicine.
The rise in popularity of the painkiller Opana illustrates the challenges facing law enforcement authorities, addiction specialists and pharmaceutical companies trying to tackle prescription drug abuse, USA Today reports.
The increase in prescription drug abuse is fueling a rise in heroin addiction, NBC News reports. A growing number of young people who start abusing expensive prescription drugs are switching to heroin, which is cheaper and easier to buy.
Heroin-dependent adults are more sensitive to pain than people who do not use illicit drugs, according to a new study that finds their sensitivity does not decrease even when they are treated with methadone or buprenorphine.
Heroin use has increased so much in Ohio that users say it is “falling out of the sky,” according to a new report by state health officials. Children as young as 13 are starting to use the drug, they said.
Interest is growing in Good Samaritan laws aimed at saving lives by encouraging people who witness drug overdoses to call 911. But much is not yet known about the laws’ impact on drug users, bystanders, paramedics and police.
Researchers at the University of Washington found that fatal overdoses in the Seattle area, involving prescription-type opiates, declined for the first time in a decade, from 161 in 2009 to 130 in 2010, though they remain the most common drug type involved in overdose deaths.
Two U.S. senators are calling on the federal government to shut down a website that sells illegal drugs using layers of secrecy to avoid detection. The website sells drugs including cocaine, heroin and methamphetamines.
The Canadian Supreme Court will consider the legality of North America’s only government-sanctioned facility that medically supervises the injection of illegal drugs. On Thursday, the court is scheduled to hear a case that pits its founders against the government, which says the facility promotes drug abuse.
The use of heroin and other injectable drugs are contributing to the rise in hepatitis C infections among white youth in Massachusetts, according to a report by the state’s Department of Public Health.
An increase in heroin use in Ohio in the past six months is due partly to the rise in addiction to opioid medication, according to a new report by the Ohio Department of Drug and Alcohol Addiction Services. The report says that people who become addicted to opioids may turn to heroin when they can no longer afford the pills.