Articles on Opioids

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Heroin dependence can be treated with pharmaceutical heroin - but it hasn’t been approved in Australia. from www.shutterstock.com.au

Weekly dose: treating heroin dependence with heroin

Heroin was used medically in Australia for coughs and pain relief until 1953.
Is addiction a brain disease or a disease of choice? Addiction definition image via www.shutterstock.com.

Is addiction a brain disease?

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?
A nurse treats Johnny at Vancouver’s Crosstown Clinic before he self-injects his medication. © Aaron Goodman

Humanizing the heroin epidemic: a photo essay

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.
A man injects himself with heroin using a needle obtained from the People’s Harm Reduction Alliance, the nation’s largest needle-exchange program, in Seattle, Washington. David Ryder/Reuters

From the clinic to the street: How the explosion in prescription painkillers has created more heroin users

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.
Safe injection facilities (SIFs) offer clean syringes, bandages and antiseptics to drug users. SIFs reduce overdose deaths and limit the spread of disease. Andy Clark/Reuters

Safe injection facilities: more than just a place to shoot drugs

Not only can they improve public health and decrease treatment costs, but they can also address one of the root causes of addiction: loneliness.
Little pills with big problems. Teens buying pills via Photographee.eu/Shutterstock

Easier access to prescription drugs puts teens at risk

When you think about substance use and teens, drugs like marijuana or Ecstasy might come to mind. But recreational prescription drug use is a significant problem. Nationally, 17.8% of high school students…
In states like Massachusetts, heroin overdoses have skyrocketed in recent years. vidguten/Shutterstock

Can medical marijuana curb the heroin epidemic?

In the 1930s, Harry J. Anslinger, the first head of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, embarked on a fierce anti-marijuana campaign. Highlighted by the 1936 anti-marijuana film Reefer Madness – where marijuana…
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…

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