The term “epidemic” is now being used for more than infectious diseases. So what does it actually mean?
The obesity epidemic, the flu epidemic, the opioid epidemic... in the 21st century, everything seems to be an "epidemic". But what does the term actually mean?
Every patient is different.
Each person experiences pain differently, depending on his or her genetic makeup. That makes it difficult to figure out what treatments patients need.
Naloxone is often used to revive people overdosing from opioids.
Scientists are just starting to understand how your parents' genes and experiences might shape your own susceptibility to dangerous drugs. Could that help to stop addictions before they start?
Thousands of people are dying every year of opioid-related overdoses, in an epidemic that traces its roots to 1996 and the introduction of the prescription drug OxyContin. Here, prescription opioids are shown in Toronto during 2017.
THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
Prescription drugs are policed by industry and Health Canada has never prosecuted a drug company for illegally marketing a drug.
Exercise is recommended as an effective non-opioid strategy for non-cancer pain such as fibromyalgia and chronic low back pain. Yet most adults living with chronic pain do not exercise. Or they exercise very little.
Research shows that exercise offers promise -- as an alternative to prescription opioids -- for relieving chronic pain.
Pain lets us know when there is something wrong, but sometimes our brains can trick us.
Mai Lam/The Conversation NY-BD-CC
Trust Me I’m An Expert: The science of pain.
The Conversation 58.7 MB (download)
Our podcast Trust Me, I'm An Expert, goes beyond the headlines and asks researchers to explain the evidence on issues making news. Today, we're talking pain and what science says about managing it.
Needles used for shooting heroin and other opioids litter the ground of a Philadelphia park.
By undermining the ACA, Republicans may be taking away one of the health care system's best tools for improving the lives of those with addiction.
Vivitrol, a non-opioid medication, is used to treat some cases of opioid dependence. Addiction specialists stress that not all patients need medication, but that many do.
AP Photo/Carla K. Carlson
The U.S. has had multiple drug epidemics, and, until recently, has not had evidence-tested ways to help people. That has changed. New medicines can help. But other medical issues should also be addressed.
Opioids don’t work for chronic pain, and can make it worse in the long-term.
Australia is facing a critical public health issue of poorly managed pain. The result is more opioid-related deaths than the road toll.
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.
When it comes to treating low back pain, opioids have many risks and few benefits.
Opioids should only be considered in limited circumstances for low back pain.
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.
President Donald Trump displays a presidential memorandum he signed, declaring the opioid crisis a public health emergency in the East Room of the White House, Oct. 26, 2017, in Washington.
(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Opioids kill an average of eight people every day in Canada. The federal government must officially declare this a 'public welfare emergency' and invest the funds critical to a humane response.
Pain is something everyone experiences. This episode of The Anthill podcast explores how and why it works in our brains, what kinds of drugs are being developed to reduce pain, and whether or not robots of the future should be built so that they experience pain.
Australian Federal Police/AAP
Small quantities of drugs are getting past customs and then being used to create much bigger batches of illegal drugs like synthetic heroin.
People wait in line for a methadone clinic to open in Hoquiam, Washington, a small town within a predominantly rural area.
David Goldman/AP Photo
Many who need help with opioid addiction live far from dedicated treatment centers.
An emergency overdose kit in Providence, Rhode Island.
The White House has laid out a plan to address the opioid crisis. But people suffering from opioid addiction aren't the only ones who need help.
As North America’s opioid crisis worsens, schools across Canada are purchasing naloxone anti-overdose kits. Research suggests that risks of opioid addiction could also be addressed through attention to children’s nutrition.
High fructose corn syrup in food and drinks has long been linked to rising rates of child and teen obesity. New evidence suggests it increases the risks of opioid addiction and overdose too.
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.
Talk it out.
While talking about drugs with young people isn't always comfortable, research has shown that it's critical for prevention.