A pump for pain control, with highly addictive drug fentanyl via Wikimedia.
New evidence suggests that opioids cause the immune system to run amok and, surprisingly, increase pain. Does this mean that opioids might be contributing to the chronic pain epidemic?
President Obama hugs Carey Dixon, who has a loved one affected by addiction. Via REUTERS.
The Senate passed a bill July 13 to address the opioid epidemic. Georgia recently passed a bill that would limit rather than expand the number of treatment centers. Could others follow suit?
President Obama spoke in Atlanta at a summit on how to curb the opioid epidemic.
As congressional leaders today discuss legislation to curb the opioid epidemic, we look at three articles that explain how it happened and one that suggests some solutions.
Prince reportedly died of an accidental overdose of fentanyl.
Prince’s death was recorded as accidental. Accidents are common when it comes fentanyl, a powerful pain killer 100 times stronger than morphine.
Suboxone is often prescribed as a treatment for those addicted to opioids, but only doctors with a certain waiver may prescribe it.
The FDA just approved a new implant of a drug that treats opioid addiction. Why hasn't the drug been prescribed more widely already?
Oxycontin helped drive the opioid epidemic.
The sources of the opioid epidemic are complex, but one powerful motivator has been the pursuit of profit.
Concerns have been raised about the potential to abuse and become addicted to pharmaceutical opiates.
We don't know enough about the people who use painkillers non-medically to make the judgement that there is a natural transition from legal to illicit drug use.
Hard to get.
Morphine pills image via www.shutterstock.com.
Why are so many people in dire need of pain relief unable to access the powerful painkillers that are so commonly prescribed in the United States?
How did it start?
Pills image via www.shutterstock.com.
We are witnessing widespread abuse of legal, prescribed drugs that, while structurally similar to illicit opioids such as heroin, are used for sound medical practices. So how did we get here?
Rethinking chronic pain.
Doctor and patient image via www.shutterstock.com.
A sea change in pain treatment helped create the opioid abuse epidemic, and another sea change in how doctors view chronic pain could help curb it.
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.
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.
Will stricter controls on painkillers curb abuse and addiction?
Stock images of pills from www.shutterstock.com
Americans consume a staggering amount of the opioid painkiller hydrocodone - about 99% of the world’s supply. In October, after 10 years of debate the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) reclassified medications…
Opioid addicts now being armed with overdose antidote.
Many first responders’ – even some university police officers – are carrying a new tool in their first-aid kits. It’s naloxone, the opioid overdose antidote drug, and today it’s more widely available than…