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Articles on Opioids

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The cannabis plant produces both THC – the psychoactive component in marijuana – and the compound commonly known as CBD, which does not lead to a ‘high.’ Jena Ardell/Moment via Getty Images

Cannabis holds promise for pain management, reducing the need for opioid painkillers – a neuropharmacology expert explains how

Studies suggest that marijuana and CBD use might help relieve chronic pain while also reducing a patient’s need for opioids.
Trends in recreational or illicit drug use often make the jump to Halloween warnings. Malte Mueller/fstop via Getty Images

Rainbow fentanyl – the newest Halloween scare

Like clockwork, September crime news is often cast as an ominous sign of what could happen on Halloween.
OxyContin, an opioid drug heavily marketed by Purdue Pharma, is associated with billions of dollars of health-care costs in Canada related to the opioid crisis. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot)

$150M is not enough: Canada’s proposed Purdue Pharma settlement for opioid damages is paltry and won’t prevent future crises

The Purdue Pharma settlement is paltry compared to costs of the opioid crisis. Without major changes to pharma industry regulation, there is little reason to think a similar crisis won’t occur again.
A variety of pain-relieving drugs are available both over the counter and by prescription. SelectStock/Vetta via Getty Images

How do painkillers actually kill pain? From ibuprofen to fentanyl, it’s about meeting the pain where it’s at

Different painkillers provide relief in different ways. The most effective medication is the one that best targets the type of pain you’re experiencing with minimal side effects.
Opioids can help reduce the amount of medication needed to achieve anesthesia. gpointstudio/iStock via Getty Images Plus

Why opting out of opioids can be dangerous in the operating room

Non-opioid directives allow patients to refuse opioids in all health care settings. For surgical procedures that require anesthesia, however, this may do more harm than good.
Dr. Laura Kehoe gives a presentation about why emergency room physicians should prescribe buprenorphine for people recovering from opioid overdoses. Jonathan Wiggs/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Drugs that treat opioid use disorder are a good use for multibillion-dollar settlement funds

After battling drug manufacturers and distributors in court for years, local and state governments are about to receive a windfall that could expand access to treatments that can save lives.
Methamphetamine, heroin and cocaine distributed by the Drug User Liberation Front, a grassroots organization proving a safe supply of illicit drugs, in Vancouver, in April 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Safer supply of opioids saves lives: Providing alternatives to toxic street drugs

People are dying from using a toxic drug supply. Safer supply and other approaches that listen to the needs of people who use drugs are critical to saving lives and addressing the opioid crisis.
The concept of placebos – which are sometimes called “sugar pills” – has been around since the 1800s. Wladimir Bulgar/Science Photo Library via Getty Images

In research studies and in real life, placebos have a powerful healing effect on the body and mind

Drug manufacturers often shun the use of placebos in clinical trials. But research suggests that placebos could play an important role in the treatment of depression, pain and other maladies.
A part of the brain called the lateral parabrachial nucleus regulates pain, anxiety and breathing. Aleksei Morozov/iStock via Getty Images Plus

Pain and anxiety are linked to breathing in mouse brains – suggesting a potential target to prevent opioid overdose deaths

Opioids can cause death by slowing breathing to dangerously low levels, or stopping it altogether. Examining one area of the brain may eventually lead to safer painkillers.
Exercise spurs the release of the body’s natural cannabinoids, which have myriad benefits for mental health and stress relief. Luca Sage/Stone via Getty Images

The ‘runner’s high’ may result from molecules called cannabinoids – the body’s own version of THC and CBD

A growing body of research points to the body’s natural cannabinoid system as the primary driver behind the runner’s high – and the mental health boost and stress relief following exercise.

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