The Florida Prescription Drug Addiction Helpline is committed to helping those who struggle with drug addiction find treatment. These resources will provide readers with articles and up to date reports on issues concerning drug addiction and treatment programs. Check back frequently for new and exciting material.

Majority of prescribed postoperative opioids remain unused, says study

Prescription opioids dispensed to patients for combating pain after shoulder surgeries largely remained unused and were stored carelessly, a recent study published in The JAMA Network has found. The March 2017 report says that such a practice paves the way for opioid abuse and can lead to serious addiction, mortality and morbidity.

The team of researchers from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Maryland, Baltimore carried out an exhaustive review of databases like MEDLINE, EMBASE and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials from the beginning until October 18, 2016, for picking up studies in which opioids were oversupplied for adults subsequent to a surgical procedure for pain alleviation. Read more

First responders and emergency personnel at risk from opioid overdose

The nation has declared war against the opioid epidemic, and like all battles, the people standing right in the front lines are the ones facing the risks too. Emergency personnel including health care professionals, doctors, nurses, and police officers, who are constantly in close contact with illicit drugs and opioid overdose victims, are suffering and need attention. Apart from the risk of unintentional exposure, they also suffer from mental illnesses due to their overwhelming responsibilities and demands of the job. They are increasingly exposed to drugs, which can enter the system simply by coming in contact with their skin. Read more

New reforms at state level can tackle the opioid epidemic

Long-term use of opioids often causes an addiction that’s hard to forego. Something that starts off as a legal means to assuage chronic pain may soon turn into a cycle of abuse and gateway to other drugs. The constant abuse of opioids has also paved way to the abuse of heroin. The past few years have seen an unprecedented increase in heroin use as it is much cheaper and can be acquired easily through dealers. Read more

Tackling chronic pain and opioid epidemic by reducing prescriptions

Drug addiction not only occurs out of dependence on illicit substances, but can be a result of opioids prescribed by physicians to help manage chronic pain that may arise due to a back or a leg injury. Opioids act on the nervous system to relieve pain by attaching to brain receptors. It thereby reduces the transmission of pain messages to the brain, spinal cord and other parts of the body, and increase the levels of feel-good hormone dopamine, which produces an intense feeling of ecstasy.  Read more

Sleep medications: Long-term use of Ambien leads to addiction

An inability to fall asleep can happen to anyone and would have plagued everyone at some point in their life. The reasons could be many ranging from the pleasant, such as excitement to the unpleasant such as marital discord or simply due to too much caffeine. In chronic cases of sleep disorder, medical practitioners recommend the sedative-hypnotic known as Ambien to patients, which is the brand name of the sleep-inducing medicine zolpidem. Read more

Weight-loss drug shows potential to treat opioid abuse, finds study

Opioid abuse is a fine example of a good thing going wrong. Opioids, medically approved as effective painkillers, are being increasingly used for non-medicinal purposes and the numbers are devastating. With 91 people in the United States losing lives to opioid overdose every day, the overall figure for millions dying of drug overdoses has been over half a million between 2000 and 2015, cites the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Read more

Rise in buprenorphine prescription with Medicaid expansion, suggests study

Despite the continuous efforts by the government, opioid-involved deaths are on the rise in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately six in 10 drug overdose-related deaths involve an opioid, with 91 Americans succumbing to an opioid overdose every day. Read more

Cold medicines: An easier route to get high

Cough and cold is a very common symptom of a viral or bacterial infection that usually gets cured on its own within some time. There is no medication to cure it, but one can get relief from the associated symptoms with cough syrups and other cold medicines. Millions of Americans take cough and cold medicines each year to get relief from this common disease. Since many of such medicines are bought “over-the-counter” (OTC), one does not need a prescription to access them. Therefore, chances of misuse are always high. Read more

Role of prescription drug monitoring programs in curbing prescription drug abuse

To help reduce the devastations caused by prescription drug abuse, prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) have been employed to gather information on all prescriptions written for controlled substances. PDMPs are primarily state-run electronic databases that assist health care providers to maintain safety while prescribing controlled substances. The repository keeps records of the data regarding prescription and dispensation of controlled and scheduled drugs. The repository even contains data regarding the use of drugs that have the potential to be abused. Whether it is providing safe medications and ensuring that one medication does not counteract adversely with the other, the PDMP provides timely interventions and saves lives. Read more

Study finds link between prescription drug abuse and rising sexual crimes

Instances of students being involved in illicit sexual activities following overdose of alcohol are common among college campuses. Findings from previous studies have also hinted at the fact that more than half of the cases involving sexual assault in campuses are the result of excessive alcohol consumption by either the victim or the perpetrator. Recent observations by researchers from the University at Buffalo Research Institute on Addictions hint at similar effects of prescription medications in increasing the likelihood of assault and regretful sexual participation. Read more