Opioid overdose reduced in patients taking buprenorphine

The drug buprenorphine is an effective treatment for opioid use disorder, but many who misuse opioids also take benzodiazepines — drugs that treat anxiety and similar conditions. Many treatment centers hesitate to treat patients addicted to opioids who also take benzodiazepines. Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis studied overdose risk in people taking buprenorphine and found that the drug lowered risk, even in people taking benzodiazepines.

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Experts to Discuss the Essential Efforts of Clinical Laboratories to Fight the Opioid Epidemic at the 2020 AACC Annual Scientific Meeting

The opioid epidemic has only gotten worse since the advent of COVID-19, with some areas in the U.S. reporting a 50% increase in drug overdoses due to the pandemic. With no end in sight to this public health crisis, scientific sessions during the virtual 2020 AACC Annual Scientific Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo will highlight the integral role of clinical laboratories in efforts to manage it, as well as the latest drug tests needed to do so.

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Negative side effects of opioids could be coming from users’ own immune systems (video)

Opioid users can develop chronic inflammation and heightened pain sensitivity. These side effects might stem from the body’s own immune system, which can make antibodies against the drugs. The researchers will present their results at the American Chemical Society Fall 2020 Virtual Meeting & Expo.

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Linking Hospital and Other Records Can Predict Both Fatal and Nonfatal Opioid Overdoses, Study Suggests

A new study by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that the odds of a fatal opioid overdose were 1.5 times higher for individuals with one to two visits to the emergency department for any medical issue than for people with no hospital visits.

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Opioid Dependence Found to Permanently Change Brains of Rats

Approximately one-quarter of patients who are prescribed opioids for chronic pain misuse them, with five to 10 percent developing an opioid use disorder or addiction. In a new study, UC San Diego researchers found that opioid dependence produced permanent changes in the brains of rats.

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Epidemic levels of chronic pain, opioid use disorder add to challenges of managing patients in pain

A series of seven articles in AACN Advanced Critical Care focuses on the challenges of safe, effective pain management in the ICU, including more Americans reporting daily chronic pain and the rapidly increasing prevalence of opioid misuse and opioid use disorder.

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Northwestern Medicine to Host Five Medication Collection Sites for National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

Northwestern Medicine is once again coming together with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to participate in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day with five medication collection sites on Saturday, October 26 from 10 am to 2 pm at locations in Chicago, Winfield, Lake Forest, St. Charles and Sandwich. This DEA initiative provides the community with a safe, convenient and responsible way to dispose of unused opioids and other prescription medications.

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Sanford Burnham Prebys awarded $3.58 million NIH grant to advance potential treatment for opioid-use disorders

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), awarded a $3.58 million grant to Sanford Burnham Prebys scientist Anthony Pinkerton, Ph.D., to advance a potential treatment for opioid-use disorders, called SBI-553.

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Other treatments can reduce need for addictive pain medication

Hardly a day goes by without the public being warned about the dangers of opioids. But still, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, more than 130 people die every day of opioid overdose and the problem is getting worse. A Houston Methodist pain specialist says new advancements in pain management are giving patients options.

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Patients in the U.S. and Canada are Seven Times as Likely as those in Sweden to Receive Opioids After Surgery

Patients in the United States and Canada are seven times as likely as those in Sweden to receive a prescription for opioid medications after surgery, according to a new multi-institutional study led by researchers from Penn Medicine.

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