Mortality data show only the final result of opioid overdose, not why it happens.
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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.
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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.
Physical therapists Steven Hunter and Laura Hayes teach an unidentified patient lumbar stabilization exercises at the Equal Access Clinic in Gainesville, Florida.
Maria Belen Farias, UF Health Photography
As the nation grapples with its opioid addiction epidemic, one solution for many with chronic joint pain and back pain could be physical therapy. But it’s often underutilized. Here’s why.
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.
Helping people with pain, whether it be physical or emotional, could limit the need for opioids.
A bill to deal with the opioid crisis recently came out of a Senate committee. While some of its recommendations are good, some key points are missing.
Chris Burkett deposits old needles at a needle exchange program in Aberdeen, Wash., June 14, 2017.
AP Photo/David Goldman
Opioids kill 100 people each day in the US, more than vehicular accidents. Those addicted are often left without treatment. An addiction researcher offers six steps to address the epidemic.
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.
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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.
Vivitrol, a non-opioid medication, is used to treat some cases of opioid dependence. Addiction specialists stress that not all patients need medication, but that many do.
AP Photo/Carla K. Carlson
The U.S. has had multiple drug epidemics, and, until recently, has not had evidence-tested ways to help people. That has changed. New medicines can help. But other medical issues should also be addressed.
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.
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.
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.
Talk it out.
While talking about drugs with young people isn’t always comfortable, research has shown that it’s critical for prevention.
Schedule 2 narcotics: Morphine Sulfate, OxyContin and Opana.
Rich Pedroncelli/AP Photo
How can we fight the opioid epidemic? Redesign the drugs, rethink how we assess patients and mandate prescription monitoring.
Drug addiction isn’t about bad habits, fear of withdrawal or a selfish search for pleasure. It’s about the brain.
Discarded used hypodermic needles along the Merrimack River in Lowell, Massachusetts.
Charles Krupa/AP Photos
HIV, STIs and other dangerous infections are feeding off of the opioid epidemic, creating an even more complicated threat to public health.