The way opioids work on the brain makes finding non-opioid treatments for addiction very challenging.
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren
Two neuroscientists explain the cruel chemistry of opioid addiction and why this crisis could last a lifetime.
Contrasting cityscapes, similar challenges
Universities teach students and produce research -- but do they have responsibility to engage with the communities that surround them? Two university presidents explain why their answer is an emphatic yes.
The U.S. has the highest daily opioid use rate in the world.
Most countries need to find a happy balance between the American attitude that all pain needs to be cured – and the ethos in other countries that pain is to be endured.
As doctors have learned more about the types of pain, they can better tailor treatment.
As knowledge of pain and the highly addictive nature of opioids has grown, so has the knowledge grown about pain and its origins. A pain specialist explains the intricacies, and how treatment is changing as a result.
Pain of the sick: ‘Anatomy of Expression,’ by Sir Charles Bell, 1806.
In today's opioid crisis, why are some people with addictions treated with empathy and others with disdain? The answer to that question has roots in the 19th century.
Paramedics and firefighters in Cincinnati respond to a possible opioid overdose at a hotel on Nov. 2, 2017.
John Minchillo/AP Photo
Deaths from opioid overdose and suicide are at an all-time high. One in 10 adult Americans uses marijuana. And only 1 in 3 Americans self-describes as 'happy.' A public health expert asks, what's going on?
‘Confessions of an English Opium-Eater’ was the first modern drug memoir and set the tone for opium use for decades. Here: Papaver somniferum (Opium poppy), a group of deep red flowers, buds and seed pods. Opium is extracted from the latex of the unripe seed pods. Ripe seeds are innocuous and widely used in baking.
(Rowan McOnegal/Wellcome Collection)
'Confessions of an English Opium-Eater' is considered the first modern drug memoir. Many believe it is responsible for our romantic ideas of opium-based drug use today.
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?
Evidence from countries that execute people for drug offenses shows no relationship between harsh punishment and rates of drug use.
Just seven countries worldwide regularly execute people for drug crimes, most of them authoritarian regimes. Nothing suggests that this brutal policy actually curbs drug use.
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.
When should you ask your doctor for opioids?
Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock.com
A scholar explains why there is no one answer. Some pain is devastating, and sometimes such pain responds well to opioids. On the other hand, there is evidence that some physicians overprescribe.
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.
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.
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.
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.