At higher-than-prescribed doses, pregabalin causes sedation and euphoria.
Bruno van der Kraan
Ambulance call-outs associated with the misuse of pregabalin (Lyrica) have increased tenfold in Victoria since 2012, mirroring an increase in prescription rates.
The biological pathways related to physical and emotional pain overlap.
People who use painkillers for non-medical reasons often justify it as a form of self-medication for legitimate medical diagnoses such as depression, anxiety and stress.
Few medical schools offer training in addictions medicine and most doctors feel they lack the specialist expertise to deal with the inpatient opioid crisis.
(THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan)
Canadian hospitals are ill-equipped to deal with the inpatient opioid crisis. Lack of specialist addictions care puts patients and staff at risk.
Naloxone counteracts the effects of an overdose.
Naloxone programmes have sprung up in the UK and elsewhere, but drug death rates keep climbing.
More young people are using Xanax – but overdose, addiction and side effects present serious risks.
Phenibut was included in medical kits for Russian cosmonauts for its anti-anxiety and tranquilising properties.
Phenibut is a central nervous system depressant, and is currently being investigated for its possible role in seven overdoses at a Queensland school.
A woman holds a photo of her best friend, who died of a drug overdose in January 2017, before a march to draw attention to the opioid overdose epidemic, in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, B.C.
(THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
Catastrophic increases in opioid overdose deaths across Canada require a broad response -- tackling housing, food and income insecurity as well as the contaminated drug supply.
An injecting centre has been set up in Victoria after years of requests from the local community.
An injecting centre provides the setting and the possibility for a new type of connection with drug users.
At present, surgeons vary widely in their approach to opioid prescription and some patients use opioids for prolonged periods post-surgery.
Surgeons are big prescribers of opioids. But while guidelines are in place for dentists and for doctors who prescribe opioid-based painkillers for long-term pain, there are none for surgeons.
Maybe it's time the government listened to the advice offered by its Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs.
Michelle Holley holds a photograph of her daughter Jaime Holley, 19, who died of a heroin overdose in November 2016.
Lynne Sladky/AP Photo
Your guide to a public health crisis that's likely to get worse.
Discarded used hypodermic needles along the Merrimack River in Lowell, Massachusetts.
Charles Krupa/AP Photos
HIV, STIs and other dangerous infections are feeding off of the opioid epidemic, creating an even more complicated threat to public health.
A safe injecting facility is a priority for Melbourne, but more can be done Australia wide.
The parliamentary inquiry into establishing an injecting room in Victoria has failed to make any recommendations. This is despite finding drug use is at crisis levels in the area.
The latest evidence-based treatments for opioid addiction are often under-used, due to inadequate addiction education for doctors and nurses.
Most physicians are unaware of effective approaches to treat opioid addiction. Addiction medicine fellowships offer a new and effective way to save lives.
Most people are unaware of the severe impact ice has on the heart.
When we think of methamphetamine-related death we tend to focus on overdose. The extent of the problem, however, extends far beyond drug toxicity.
Terrorists and hostages were gassed with a drug suspected to be fentanyl in 2002.
It is thought that in 2002 fentanyl, or a drug based on fentanyl, was used by Russian special forces to disable Chechen rebels after a four day stand off in the Dubrovka theatre in Moscow.
Look for a warning on the box before you attempt to crush or chew tablets, or cut capsules open.
Some people are incapable of swallowing tablets because of physical or psychological reasons. What should they do when the doctor prescribes a drug that comes in tablet form?
Opioid addicts now being armed with overdose antidote.
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…
Barriers around bridges could save lives.
On April 15, 2014 a man jumped to his death from the O'Callaghan-Tillman Memorial Bridge – a massive, new concrete arch that soars over the Hoover Dam. He was the eighth known person to do so since the…
There are some effective ways to balance the harms of opioids with its benefits.
The use of opioid medication in Australia has grown considerably in the past 20 years, and so have related harms. This increase in use is primarily for chronic pain conditions, now the most common reason…