Some patients with chronic pain say they are having increasing trouble obtaining prescription painkillers. This trend may be an unintended consequence of the government’s attempts to reduce illicit use of prescription drugs, PBS NewsHour reports.
Heroin abuse is rising across the United States, according to a new government report that finds the strongest risk factor for a heroin use disorder is a prescription opioid use disorder. People addicted to opioid painkillers are 40 times more likely to abuse or be dependent on heroin, NPR reports.
Many primary care physicians have misconceptions about opioid abuse, a new survey finds. Almost half of internists, family physicians and general practitioners incorrectly believe that abuse-deterrent pills are less addictive than standard opioid painkillers, according to the survey.
Increasingly, state lawmakers are recognizing the important role that naloxone, an opioid antagonist that blocks the effects of opioids in one’s body, can play in quelling the opioid crisis in the United States, and legislatures are enacting naloxone access laws at breakneck speed.
At least 175,000 doses of prescription drugs were stolen from 27 pharmacies and two methadone clinics during the Baltimore riots in April, according to Police Commissioner Anthony Batts. He said the stolen drugs have led to turf wars and violence over their illegal resale.
Abuse-deterrent formulations of opioid painkillers are making it more difficult for people to misuse the medications, but have not eliminated the problem of opioid abuse, experts tell The New York Times.
The Drug Enforcement Administration has arrested 280 people in a four-state crackdown of illegal distribution of prescription pills, named “Operation Pilluted,” Reuters reports. The arrests took place in Louisiana, Arkansas, Alabama and Mississippi.
People who visit the emergency room at least four times in one year are at much greater risk of dying from a prescription drug overdose, compared with those who visit the ER once a year or not at all, a new study finds.
Emergency rooms across the country reported a large increase in the number of visits related to the opioid painkiller tramadol between 2005 and 2011, HealthDay reports. Tramadol is the active ingredient in a number of brand-name drugs, including Ultram, Ultracet, Conzip and Ryzolt.
CVS Health Corp has agreed to pay $22 million to resolve a federal investigation into whether two of its pharmacies in Florida sold oxycodone pills that were not prescribed for legitimate medical purposes, Reuters reports.
A new study finds heroin use among people who abuse prescription opioids has risen, particularly among whites. From 2008 to 2011, the study found a 75 percent increase in heroin use among whites who abuse painkillers such as OxyContin or Vicodin, HealthDay reports.
Emergency room doctors are limiting opioid prescriptions and avoiding long-acting opioids, a new study suggests. Most of the prescriptions include a low number of pills, and most are immediate-release versions of the medication, HealthDay reports.
The rate of OxyContin overdoses dropped 19 percent in the two years after the company that makes the drug introduced an abuse-deterrent formulation in 2010, a new study finds. Prescriptions of the drug decreased 19 percent after the new version was released.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this week launched a social media campaign called “When the Prescription Becomes the Problem.” The campaign is designed to raise awareness of prescription painkiller abuse and overdose.