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Workers' Comp Often a Gateway to Opioid Abuse: Study

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MONDAY, Oct. 29, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Many injured workers turn to opioid painkillers for relief, and nearly 30 percent may still be taking them three months after their injury -- increasing the odds of addiction, a new study suggests. "The increased likelihood of persistent opioid use among strain and sprain injuries is potentially concerning, [...]

Despite Opioid Crisis, Most Patients Want the Drugs for Post-Op Pain

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MONDAY, Oct. 15, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Despite a flood of news reports on the opioid crisis, many people still want the potentially addictive painkillers after surgery, a new survey suggests. The survey, of more than 500 patients scheduled for surgery, found that more than three-quarters expected to get opioids afterward. Most also thought opioids [...]

Most Seniors Uninformed on Opioid Use

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TUESDAY, July 31, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- A new survey suggests health care professionals are giving short shrift to their older patients when it comes to explaining the risks of opioid painkillers. Researchers found that most older Americans who are prescribed opioids aren't advised about the dangers of the drugs, how to use fewer of [...]

Opioids Given Too Easily to Children: Study

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MONDAY, July 16, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Many children are prescribed powerful opioid painkillers they don't really need, putting them and those around them at risk, a new study shows. More than one in 10 kids enrolled in Tennessee's Medicaid program received an opioid prescription each year between 1999 and 2014, even though they did [...]

Have Insurers Played a Role in Opioid Crisis?

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FRIDAY, June 22, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Health insurers may have helped fuel the U.S. opioid epidemic by not encouraging use of less addictive pain medications, a new study contends. In 2016, more than 2.1 million Americans had an opioid addiction. And more than 42,000 died from opioid overdoses, government data show. "Our findings suggest [...]

Meds Can Cut Deaths From Opioid Abuse, But Too Few Get Them

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MONDAY, June 18, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Buprenorphine and methadone can cut the chances that someone who survives an opioid overdose will succumb to yet another one, but too few patients get the treatments, a new study shows. "We have two drugs that are lifesaving for people who have had an overdose," said lead researcher [...]

Racial Divide Narrows in Opioid Prescribing in U.S.

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FRIDAY, May 4, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Black Americans are no longer less likely than whites to be prescribed opioid painkillers -- but that means their risk of addiction to the narcotics has increased, researchers say. "To our knowledge, this is the first evidence of a potential narrowing of the divide in opioid prescribing by [...]

Many Opioid Overdoses May Be Suicides

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WEDNESDAY, April 25, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- As the United States grapples with an ongoing opioid epidemic, experts are calling attention to a hidden aspect of the crisis: Many overdose deaths may, in fact, be suicides. The researchers describe suicide as a "silent contributor" to the nation's opioid overdose death rate. It's hard to know [...]

Addictive Opioids Still Overprescribed After Surgery: Study

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THURSDAY, April 19, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Doctors continue to prescribe far too many opioid painkillers to patients following surgery, a new study indicates. In fact, one of every three patients prescribed an opioid, such as Oxycontin, didn't take a single pill during their recuperation, said lead researcher Elizabeth Habermann. She is scientific director for [...]

Certain Teens More Likely to Get Hooked on Opioids

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MONDAY, March 12, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Teenagers with any mental health problem are more prone to painkiller dependence after receiving a prescription opioid, a new study finds. The odds of progressing to long-term opioid therapy can double, triple or more, depending on the kid's diagnosis and the other drugs prescribed to treat their disorder, [...]