A minor increase in drug craving can cause a disproportionate hike in the likelihood that a person dealing with opioid addiction will pick up the drug, a new study has found.
Craving is one of 11 symptoms that doctors use to diagnose substance use disorder (substance abuse/substance addiction). In a study published in October 2014 in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, a team of American researchers used clinical trials conducted at several locations to help determine how much the presence of opioid cravings increases the odds that a person affected by opioid addiction will consume more of an opioid drug or medication. Continue reading
Significant numbers of people throughout the U.S. abuse prescription opioid medications such as OxyContin and Vicodin. In turn, substantial numbers of the individuals who abuse these medications will eventually transition into use of the powerful opioid drug heroin. In a study published in May 2014 in the American Medical Association journal JAMA Psychiatry, researchers from two U.S. universities explored the reasons some prescription opioid abusers eventually initiate heroin use. These researchers concluded that any given person commonly has any one of three potentially overlapping reasons for making the transition from opioid medications to heroin.
In late 2013, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a new prescription opioid medication, called Zohydro ER, as a treatment for people affected by certain forms of chronic, severe pain. This approval came over the clear objections of the in-house FDA advisory panel responsible for reviewing and considering the medication’s pros and cons. Zohydro ER will enter the U.S. market in March 2014. Numerous critics, including addiction specialists and attorneys general from more than half of all U.S. states, have spoken out against the medication’s imminent release. These critics cite concerns over Zohydro ER’s potential to increase opioid abuse and addiction rates and boost the number of fatal opioid overdoses.
Suboxone is an opioid medication that is used to treat people with opioid addictions. It is comprised of a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone. The chemical make-up of buprenorphine is very similar to opioids such as codeine, heroin, and morphine. The primary difference is that buprenorphine does not produce as much of a euphoric high, which makes it easier to stop taking. Naloxone is a drug that blocks the overall effects of opioids. Continue reading
An opiate, codeine is considered one of the most widely used drug in the world. Already in the generic form, codeine is part of a group of drugs that are used as narcotic pain medicines to treat mild to moderate pain. It is also used as a cough suppressant and a small amount in the body converts to morphine. The drug is available in both white scored tablets and a liquid solution for injection.
Although opioid medications are very effective in managing pain after surgery, injury, or other chronic conditions when prescribed by an overseeing physician, nonmedical use of opioid pain-relieving medications in the U.S. has now surpassed the nation’s levels of abuse of nearly all illicit substances. Doctor shopping and other forms of prescription drug diversion have spread rampantly across all the states—leading to greater prevalence of abuse, dependency, addiction, overdose, and poisoning deaths among all age groups and demographics. While some prescription drug addicts obtain their drugs illegally on the street, from false online prescription markets, or from friends or family members, many addicts actually begin their habit after developing a dependency to their legitimate pain-relieving prescriptions.