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Will stricter controls on painkillers curb abuse and addiction? Stock images of pills from www.shutterstock.com

Do stricter controls curb opioid abuse?

Americans consume a staggering amount of the opioid painkiller hydrocodone - about 99% of the world’s supply. In October, after 10 years of debate the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) reclassified medications…
Opioid addicts now being armed with overdose antidote. Gretchen Ertl/Reuters

Explainer: naloxone, the antidote to opioid overdose

Many first responders’ – even some university police officers – are carrying a new tool in their first-aid kits. It’s naloxone, the opioid overdose antidote drug, and today it’s more widely available than…
Young people want better information about illicit drugs so they can make informed choices. Jirka Matousek/Flickr

Six reasons Australia should pilot ‘pill testing’ party drugs

The death of 19-year-old Georgina Bartter at a music festival on the weekend from a suspected ecstasy overdose could possibly have been avoided with a simple harm-minimisation intervention. Pill testing…
People overdose from illicit substances, such as heroin, or prescription medications, such as valium or opioid painkillers. Thomas Marthinsen/Flickr

Three things you need to know about drug overdoses

In 2012, 103,000 people around the world lost their lives to drug poisoning or overdose. As terrible as this waste of life seems, it’s important to remember that drug overdoses are not inevitably fatal…
Philip Seymour Hoffman’s death has caused old myths about heroin to come to the fore again. ANDREW GOMBERT/EPA

Three persistent myths about heroin use and overdose deaths

Philip Seymour Hoffman’s death earlier this week from a suspected heroin overdose unleashed the usual media coverage of deaths related to this drug. While the actor’s actual cause of death has not yet…
Existing evidence for distributing naloxone to prevent overdose deaths is weak. intropin/Flickr

Should naloxone be used to reduce opioid overdoses?

It’s now almost two years since ACT chief minister and minister for health, Katy Gallagher, launched Australia’s first program to distribute naloxone to prevent heroin overdoses. Other states have followed…

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