Articles on Opioids

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Governor Charlie Baker of Massachusetts and unidentified woman at a rally in November aiming to destigmatize addiction. Joanne DeCaro/flickr

Some good news on opioid epidemic: Treatment options are expanding

The nation is still in the grip of an opioid addiction epidemic, but there is some good news. Treatment options are expanding, as professionals learn more about the illness.
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.

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