Carfentanil is an ultra-potent synthetic opioid. Its only legitimate use is in veterinary practice for large animals such as elephants, but it sneaks into heroin shipments to increase its potency.
More Americans died from drug overdose in 2014 than any year on record and six in 10 of those involved opioids. How did we get here and what to do about it?
Counterfeit drugs and heroin laced with illicitly made fentanyl have been linked to overdoses across the country. So what can be done?
Media reports have suggested that many young athletes who become injured abuse prescription painkillers and may move to heroin. One of the first studies to look at this suggests otherwise.
The nation is still in the grip of an opioid addiction epidemic, but there is some good news. Treatment options are expanding, as professionals learn more about the illness.
The Senate passed a bill July 13 to address the opioid epidemic. Georgia recently passed a bill that would limit rather than expand the number of treatment centers. Could others follow suit?
About 8% of the population is unable to metabolise codeine, and a small number metabolise it at a much larger extent.
Prince’s death was recorded as accidental. Accidents are common when it comes fentanyl, a powerful pain killer 100 times stronger than morphine.
Unrelieved pain contributes more to human suffering than any other disease.
Heroin was used medically in Australia for coughs and pain relief until 1953.
The FDA just approved a new implant of a drug that treats opioid addiction. Why hasn't the drug been prescribed more widely already?
What exactly is addiction? What role, if any, does choice play? And if addiction involves choice, how can we call it a "brain disease," with its implications of involuntariness?
The sources of the opioid epidemic are complex, but one powerful motivator has been the pursuit of profit.
We don't know enough about the people who use painkillers non-medically to make the judgement that there is a natural transition from legal to illicit drug use.
Why are so many people in dire need of pain relief unable to access the powerful painkillers that are so commonly prescribed in the United States?
Hoping to avoid the pitfalls and tropes of drug genre photography, documentary photographer Aaron Goodman spent a year following three addicts enrolled in a heroin-assisted treatment program.
We are witnessing widespread abuse of legal, prescribed drugs that, while structurally similar to illicit opioids such as heroin, are used for sound medical practices. So how did we get here?
A sea change in pain treatment helped create the opioid abuse epidemic, and another sea change in how doctors view chronic pain could help curb it.
Why have the demographics of heroin use changed so much? For that, we can look to dramatic increase in prescriptions for opioid painkillers, such as Oxycontin or Vicodin.
Naloxone, commonly known as Narcan, is a medicine that temporarily reverses the effects of opioid drugs such as heroin, morphine and oxycodone.