Tag Archives: painkiller abuse

Even Minor Opioid Cravings Greatly Increase Chances of Abuse

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

Doctors Must Better Know Patients Before Prescribing Opioids

Prescription opioids are medications typically used to help people with moderate or severe pain. Unfortunately, significant numbers of people become addicted to these medications and/or experience non-fatal or fatal episodes of opioid overdose. In a report published in 2014 in the American Journal of Public Health, a team of researchers from the University of Cincinnati explored the role that doctors play in inadvertently boosting the risks for opioid addiction and the odds that any given opioid abuser will experience an overdose event.

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CDC Figures Show Prescription Drug Deaths Are Still Increasing

Prescription drug abuse is a huge problem in the United States, with opioid painkillers like OxyContin and Vicodin being a particular concern for public health. These painkillers have been credited with driving the soaring overdose rate in the U.S., and a new report from the CDC adds further evidence that we need to take action to bring the overdose rate down. The headline finding from this report is that opioid painkiller deaths nearly quadrupled between 1999 and 2011. Finding out more about the report and prescription drug abuse helps you understand the epidemic sweeping the country.

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How Painkiller Addiction Swept the Nation, Invaded the Workplace

If you take OxyContin or Vicodin, make no mistake, you’re taking an opioid drug that has more in common with heroin than mild painkillers like Tylenol. Prescription opioids are causing huge problems all across the country, leading to widespread addiction and shocking numbers of deaths from overdoses. Understanding the epidemic of prescription drug abuse and how it got started gives you a broader perspective on the root of the problem, but the impact it’s having on the workforce often escapes notice. Not only does the high rate of opioid use in the workforce increase the risk of addiction and overdose, it can also create liability risks for employers and lead to reductions in efficiency and productivity.

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Uproar Ensues Over Potent Painkiller Zohydro

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.

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