Prince reportedly died of an accidental overdose of fentanyl.
Prince’s death was recorded as accidental. Accidents are common when it comes fentanyl, a powerful pain killer 100 times stronger than morphine.
Back pain image via www.shutterstock.com.
Unrelieved pain contributes more to human suffering than any other disease.
Heroin dependence can be treated with pharmaceutical heroin - but it hasn’t been approved in Australia.
Heroin was used medically in Australia for coughs and pain relief until 1953.
Suboxone is often prescribed as a treatment for those addicted to opioids, but only doctors with a certain waiver may prescribe it.
The FDA just approved a new implant of a drug that treats opioid addiction. Why hasn't the drug been prescribed more widely already?
Is addiction a brain disease or a disease of choice?
Addiction definition image via www.shutterstock.com.
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?
Oxycontin helped drive the opioid epidemic.
The sources of the opioid epidemic are complex, but one powerful motivator has been the pursuit of profit.
Concerns have been raised about the potential to abuse and become addicted to pharmaceutical opiates.
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.
Hard to get.
Morphine pills image via www.shutterstock.com.
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?
A nurse treats Johnny at Vancouver’s Crosstown Clinic before he self-injects his medication.
© Aaron Goodman
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.
How did it start?
Pills image via www.shutterstock.com.
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?
Rethinking chronic pain.
Doctor and patient image via www.shutterstock.com.
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.
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.
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.
Most opioid overdoses occur among experienced users.
Naloxone, commonly known as Narcan, is a medicine that temporarily reverses the effects of opioid drugs such as heroin, morphine and oxycodone.
Stigma doesn’t help.
Man on stairs via www.shutterstock.com.
Stigma toward heroin use might prevent a lot of people from using the drug, but these attitudes don't help people who are dependent.
Chris Christie has vowed to ‘crack down’ on marijuana if elected president.
The myth has been debunked time and time again.
Safe injection facilities (SIFs) offer clean syringes, bandages and antiseptics to drug users. SIFs reduce overdose deaths and limit the spread of disease.
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
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…
Addictive drugs generate immune-like signals within the brain.
Cocaine is a popular recreational drug that makes users energetic, confident and talkative. It’s also highly addictive and dependence-producing. Australians rank fourth in the world in cocaine abuse rates…
In states like Massachusetts, heroin overdoses have skyrocketed in recent years.
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
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…