Florida Legislature passes bill to spend $53 million on opioid addiction treatment

Florida Legislature passes bill to spend $53 million on opioid addiction treatment

The American states have been striving hard to fight against the problem of opioid addiction. In the wake of the opioid crisis, they have enunciated a string of measures to curb the problem. In yet another initiative taken against the ongoing opioid crisis, the Florida Legislature has now passed the bill HB 21, which imposes restrictions on prescription drugs and allows spending funds worth over $53 million on the treatment and prevention of opioid abuse. Read more

Post-surgical opioid prescription and risk of addiction

Post-surgical opioid prescription and risk of addiction

The opioid epidemic has taken a huge toll on lives of Americans affecting people across socio-cultural, financial and geographical demographics, and is only worsening. Primarily prescribed to treat chronic pain stemming from diseases like cancer or arthritis, prescription opioids are also given to patients following a surgery to lessen post-operative pain and facilitate recovery. Given the fact that prescription opioids can easily cause an addiction, many surgeons are unsure about how to tweak the prescribing patterns to cause minimal misuse and abuse. Read more

New reforms at state level can tackle the opioid epidemic

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Prescription drug addiction -  Part 4: Detoxing from prescription painkillers

Prescription drug addiction – Part 4: Detoxing from prescription painkillers

Prescription painkillers, particularly opioids, are the most abused prescription drugs in the United States due to the increased practice of self-medication for nonmedical uses. According to the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), out of the total 20.5 million Americans in the age group of 12 and above having a substance use disorder in 2015, two million had an addiction to prescription painkillers and 591,000 had a heroin addiction. Opioids include heroin and pain relievers, such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, morphine, fentanyl, etc. Read more