Do you know that when scientists studied the autopsied brains of sixteen-year-old abusers and compared them to the autopsied brains of sixteen-year-old non-users, they found that opioid abuse damages the nerve cells in the areas of the brain involved in learning, memory, and emotional well being? Neuropathology and Applied Neurobiology
OPINION: Over-prescribing painkillers fuels heroin rise
The Centers from Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) July report documents a disturbing increase in heroin use. The use of this highly addictive and dangerous drug is now expanding to all demographic groups.
In fact, the most rapid expansion of heroin use and addiction is now occurring among segments of the population that up until recently were not as impacted: women and those with higher incomes. This signals a disturbing widening of a problem that had already reached epidemic proportions. Deaths from heroin overdoses have tripled over the past several years with more than 8,000 people now dying annually.
Read the whole article here.
From the Partnership for a Drug Free America:
From U.S. News and World Report:
Heroin-related overdose deaths in the U.S. have increased by nearly 300 percent in recent years, and a new report from the federal government shows people who use the drug are not confined to a particular income level or age group.
New research reveals the trends and risk factors behind America’s growing heroin epidemic
Heroin use seen increasingly in most demographic groups
Heroin use has increased across the United States among men and women, most age groups, and all income levels. The greatest increases have occurred in groups with historically lower rates of heroin use, including women and people with private insurance and higher incomes. In addition, nearly all people who use heroin also use multiple other substances, according to the latest Vital Signs report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The report also finds the strongest risk factor for a heroin use disorder is a prescription opioid use disorder.
By Elaine Pozycki and Steve Pozycki
The over-prescribing of prescription painkillers is the main source of today’s opiate addiction epidemic.
Three out of four people who are addicted to heroin and other opiates started with a prescription pain reliever. Opiate overdoses are now the leading cause of accidental death in the United States, as well as in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. About 25,000 people die each year from these overdoses: 17,000 from opiate-based prescription painkillers, such as Vicodin and oxycodone, and 8,000 from heroin.
From Partnership for a Drug Free America:
While opioid medications are considered powerful painkillers, evidence shows taking a combination of ibuprofen and acetaminophen can be more effective in treating pain, according to Dr. Don Teater, MD, Medical Advisor of the non-profit National Safety Council.
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Researchers Note Variability in Rates across Studies, Question Whether Benefits of Opioid for Chronic Pain Outweigh Consequences
March 30, 2015 – New estimates suggest that 20 to 30 percent of opioid analgesic drugs prescribed for chronic pain are misused, while the rate of opioid addiction is approximately 10 percent, reports a study in the April issue of PAIN®, the official journal of the International Association for the Study of Pain. The journal is published by Wolters Kluwer.
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From the Partnership for a Drug Free New Jersey:
TRENTON – The majority of New Jersey residents want the legislature to mandate that their doctor tell them if their prescription medicine is addictive and believe those conversations will reduce the number of individuals who become addicted to pain medications, according to a recent survey effort between Fairleigh Dickinson University’s independent survey research center, PublicMind, and Partnership for a Drug Free New Jersey (PDFNJ).
The study finds that 91% of New Jersey residents agree, the majority (78%) strongly agreeing, that physicians should be legally required to discuss the risk of developing either a physical or psychological dependency on the prescription pain medication with patients prior to prescribing it. Individuals 35 to 59 – the cohort most likely to have been prescribed such a pain medication, are also the most likely to (82%) to strongly agree.