To reduce opioid-related harms, we must ensure treatments for opioid dependence are accessible to those who need them.
Treatments for opioid dependence, such as methadone and buprenorphine, are effective. But some people who stand to benefit are missing out.
Many hospitals are implementing new procedures to replace prescribing opioids after surgery.
About 1 in 4 people prescribed an opioid for pain end up abusing it. New methods to reduce the need for opioids after surgery have been shown to work – and thus minimize the need for such drugs.
Advice from the people who've reviewed all the latest evidence about the effectiveness of these painkillers.
Critics have worried Purdue might use bankruptcy to avoid accountability.
AP Photo/Jessica Hill
While critics accuse companies facing lots of lawsuits of using bankruptcy as a sort of 'get of jail free card,' the reality of the legal procedure is more complicated.
Women who are sexually assaulted by their partners or other men sometimes turn to opioids to numb themselves.
A strong link exists among sexual violence, substance use disorder and HIV in women. Why are the women who are most at risk being overlooked?
Purdue faces about 2,000 lawsuits related to the opioid crisis.
AP Photo/Toby Talbot
OxyContin maker Purdue has reportedly been mulling a bankruptcy filling, just as the first of around 2,000 lawsuits against it prepares to go to trial.
Classified advertisement for Leslie Keeley’s Gold Cure.
ProQuest Historical Newspapers: Chicago Tribune, July 21, 1884
Considered in historical context, Purdue's plan to peddle opioid addiction medicines to vulnerable people is not so surprising. Gilded-Age pharmaceutical companies used similar strategies.
The Chronic Pain Association of Canada has received money from Eli Lilly Canada Inc., Purdue Canada Inc. and Merck Frosst Canada. A blog post on the association’s website contains messages favourable to increased opioid use.
Evidence shows that opioid manufacturers fund patient advocacy groups in Canada, distorting policies to protect public health.
Listening to friends who are grieving can be more important than saying something.
For many who know someone who has lost a loved one, it can be hard to know what to say or how to respond. For those who have lost a loved one, the silence can be deafening. Some things to keep in mind.
Pain medication such as oxycodone often helps cancer patients deal with intense pain after treatment, but it also can lead to abuse.
The opioid epidemic has hit parts of Appalachia very hard' places where cancer rates are high. Many patients are surviving cancer treatment only to become addicted.
Mortality data show only the final result of opioid overdose, not why it happens.
Skyward Kick Productions/Shutterstock.com
The toll of the opioid epidemic is often derived from toxicology reports. These rely on drug tests. A medical historian explains these tests and how they fall short of capturing why people are dying.
wong yu liang/Shutterstock
The opioid crisis in the US has quadrupled the number of babies born addicted to drugs.
The US opioid epidemic killed more than 40,000 people in 2016 – now, other countries are at risk.
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.
Scientists have taken atomic resolution snapshots of an opioid receptor interacting with a drug. Now they are using these images to design "biased" opioids that block pain without the dangerous side effects.
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?
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.
A Philadelphia man, who struggles with opioid addiction, in 2017.
AP Photo/Matt Rourke
As the nation grapples with its opioid addiction epidemic, an understanding of how the drugs affect people is important. The powerful class of drugs actually can change the brain.
The leaves of the plant kratom.
The herb kratom has a large following and is so popular that it is sold in vending machines. The FDA recently issued a public warning about the herb, which contains low levels of opioids.