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A Vaccine Against Deadly Fentanyl Might Be Near

Researchers report they have created a vaccine to fight fentanyl addiction, in a potential breakthrough in the opioid epidemic.

The shot would block the ability of fentanyl to enter the brain and cause the “high” that users crave. It could be used to prevent relapses in people trying to quit opioids, once it gets through clinical trials, the scientists said.

“We believe these ...

More U.S. Teens Are Getting Heavily Addicted to Vaping

More American youth than ever are so addicted to e-cigarettes that they vape within 5 minutes of waking up in the morning, a new analysis shows.

While that percentage was around just 1% in 2017, it increased every year after that. It reached 10.3% by 2021, researchers reported.

"The increasing intensity of use of modern e-cigarettes highlights the clinical need to address youth addi...

CVS, Walgreens Announce $10 Billion Opioid Settlements

Years of litigation over the opioid epidemic could end soon, as the national pharmacy chains CVS and Walgreens announced Wednesday that each company has agreed to a nearly $5 billion settlement.

While neither of the companies admitted wrongdoing, the settlements are part of the fight over the drug industry's role in the epidemic that has led to 500,000 U.S. deaths in the past 20 years, t...

No Change in Number of Post-Op Opioid Prescriptions, But Dosages Drop

New research out of Canada offers some encouraging news amid concerns about the opioid epidemic.

Doctors are prescribing a lower dose of the painkillers after older adults have surgery, the study found. They are not, however, writing fewer prescriptions for the potentially addictive drugs.

"While it's good news that the dos...

'Friends' Star Matthew Perry Reveals Harrowing Addiction Journey

Just a few years ago, "Friends" actor Matthew Perry almost died from opioid overuse that nearly destroyed his colon and almost killed him.

Now, he's sober and wants to tell his story.

Perry has written a memoir,

  • Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter
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  • October 20, 2022
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  • Pregnancy May Have Women Cutting Back on Smoking Before They Know They've Conceived

    Pregnancy can be a big motivator for women to stop smoking. Now a new study suggests that at least some pregnant smokers start cutting back even before they know they've conceived.

    The findings, researchers say, suggest there may be biological mechanisms during pregnancy that can bl...

    Menthols Make Up 40% of U.S. Cigarette Sales; Ban Could Have Huge Impact

    A proposed ban on menthol cigarettes could have a significant impact on smoking rates, especially among minorities, new U.S. research suggests.

    Adult smokers who are younger, have mental health problems and are from racial/ethnic minority groups are more likely to use menthol cigarettes than other groups, according to a study from Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health and Th...

    Knee, Shoulder Surgeries Without Opioids? It's Possible, Study Finds

    While politicians and health officials seek solutions to an opioid epidemic that kills tens of thousands every year, doctors who prescribe the pain medications are seeking alternatives for their patients.

    1 in 7 U.S. High School Students Now Vapes

    Teen vaping continues at concerning levels, U.S. health officials reported Thursday.

    About 2.5 million middle school and high school students reported that they had vaped in the past 30 days in 2022,...

    Big Drop Seen in Drug Treatment Admissions During Pandemic

    Admissions to drug treatment programs declined sharply during the pandemic's first year, likely explaining a later surge in fatal overdoses.

    Among people of color, admissions dropped nearly 25%, a RAND Corp. study found.

    This is one possible reason for the recent surge in drug overdose deaths, according...

    In Canada, Program That Supplies Safe Opioids to Addicts Is Saving Lives

    As opioid overdose deaths continue to soar, a Canadian program points to one way to save lives: providing "safer" opioids to people at high risk of overdose.

    That's the conclusion of a study evaluating Canada's first formal "safer opioid supply," or SOS, program. Such programs aim to prevent overdoses by giving vulnerable people an alternative to the increasingly dangerous street supply o...

    Teens More Likely to Vape If Parent Smokes

    Parents who smoke should know that their kids are more likely to vape and try smoking.

    Those teens were 55% more likely to try e-cigarettes than those of nonsmoking parents and 51% more likely to have tried traditional cigar...

    Deadly 'Rainbow Fentanyl' Looks Like Candy, Could Entice Kids

    The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is warning the public that colorfully dyed fentanyl — dubbed "rainbow fentanyl" — is readily available across the United States.

    “Rainbow fentanyl — fentanyl pills and powder that come in a variety of bright colors, shapes, and sizes — is a deliberat...

    'Healthier' Option? Fit Teens Are More Likely to Vape

    It might seem incongruous, but new research suggests that teens who engage in more physical activity may vape m...

    Deep Brain Stimulation Shows Promise Against Binge Eating Disorder

    Electrically stimulating the brain's "reward" circuity may hold promise as a treatment for binge eating disorder, a small pilot study suggests.

    The findings are based on just two patients who received deep brain stimulation (DBS) -- a technique used for ...

    Magic Mushroom Hallucinogen May Treat Problem Drinking

    Jon Kostas, a lifelong resident of New York City, started bar-hopping at age 13. At the height of his alcoholism, he was consuming as many as 30 drinks a night.

    Desperate for a way out, Kostas, 32, turned to a new therapy: psilocybin -- the psychedelic compound found in so-cal...

    America's Love Affair With Sleeping Pills May Be Waning

    Fewer Americans are turning to sleep medications to fight insomnia.

    After a dramatic rise in prescriptions for drugs like Ambien, the trend has ebbed, according to a new study, and fewer doctors are prescribing sleep medications

    Use of Pot, Hallucinogens Soaring Among Young Americans

    Marijuana and hallucinogen use are at an all-time high among young adults, U.S. health officials reported Monday.

    Compared to five or 10 years ago, the use of these drugs over the past year has risen significantly among 19- to 30-year-olds, according to the Monitoring the Future panel study. The new dat...

    Why Coffee & Cigarette Is a Morning Ritual for Millions

    Smokers in the throes of nicotine withdrawal when they wake up in the morning may crave not just a cigarette but a cup of coffee along with it.

    Science can explain that.

    Researchers have identified two compounds in coffee that directly affect certain nicotine receptors in...

    FDA Issues Warning to Maker of Illegal Nicotine Gummies

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday warned a maker of nicotine gummies to stop marketing what is an illegal product.

    In what is a first-of-its-kind warning, the agency said it considers these gummies part...

    3 Big Pharmacy Chains Must Pay $650 Million to Ohio Counties for Role in Opioid Crisis

    Three of the country's largest pharmacy chains will have to pay $650.5 million over the next 15 years to two Ohio counties for their role in the opioid epidemic, a U.S. federal judge has ordered.

    The decision follows a November jury verdict that found CVS, Walgreens and Walmart pharmacies continued to ...

    Meth Plays Big Role in Drug ODs in Rural America

    Methamphetamine is driving an epidemic of drug overdoses in rural America, a new study concludes.

    Researchers attribute the surge to meth laced with fentanyl or combined with an opioid that contains fentanyl.

    "

    Fewer Smokers Tried to Quit During COVID Pandemic

    Fewer people tried to quit smoking as the COVID-19 pandemic began, and this continued for at least a year, according to a new U.S. study.

    The American Cancer Society detailed pandemic smoking behavior in the report, while stressing the need to re-engage smokers in

  • By Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter
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  • August 8, 2022
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  • Wave of Opioid Overdoses Expected to Hit U.S. Rural, Urban Areas

    Experts predict opioid overdoses will climb in both rural and urban areas because of the lethal practice of mixing the highly addictive narcotics with other drugs.

    The coming wave of opioid overdoses “...

    Telehealth, Phone Visits a Lifesaver for Veterans Addicted to Opioids

    There are many obstacles to opioid addiction treatment, but a new study shows one that one outgrowth of the COVID pandemic -- telehealth -- is enabling more U.S. veterans to get help.

    Researchers examined care given to vets before and after a transition to telehealth visits in early 2020 for treatment of their opioid use disorder. Telehealth for patients receiving the prescription drug

    Many Smokers Who Want to Quit Just End Up Vaping, Too

    Many smokers eager to quit embrace electronic cigarettes as a tool for kicking the habit, but a new study warns the move may raise the risk for becoming addicted to both cigarettes and vaping.

    The finding follows a look at the experience of nearly 112,000 smokers who sought outpatie...

    Today's Potent Pot Could Be Prescription for Addiction

    Cannabis has become far more potent over the years, and that may explain why the number of people becoming addicted to the drug has soared, a new study suggests.

    Researchers from the University of Bath Addiction and Mental Health Group in the United Kingdom used data from 20 studies to analyze the relationship between the types of marijuana people use and their addiction and mental healt...

    Methadone ODs Didn't Rise in Pandemic, Supporting Use as At-Home Treatment

    Giving more patients at-home access to the opioid addiction treatment drug methadone during the COVID pandemic did not lead to more overdose deaths, a nationwide study shows.

    The research, which covered the period from January 2019 to August 2021, found that the push to let more patients take home doses rather than visit a clinic daily did not increase harm among users.

    "Treatment ...

    Drinking Alone in Youth a Big Sign for Future Problems

    Drinking by yourself may have lifelong consequences, especially if the habit begins early in life, a new study suggests.

    Researchers found that drinking alone during adolescence and young adulthood greatly increases risk for alcohol use disorder later on and the risk for women is especially worrisome.

    Alcohol abuse causes more than 3 million deaths a year worldwide.

    "Most youn...

    Teens Have Triple the Odds of Misusing Marijuana Compared to Adults

    In yet another report that illustrates the dangers pot poses to the young, developing brain, a new British study finds teenagers are much more likely than adults to develop an addiction to marijuana.

    "We found that teenagers are three and a half times more likely to have severe cannabis use disorder, whi...

    Biden to Announce Nicotine-Reduction Rule for Tobacco Companies

    A new rule that would require tobacco companies to slash nicotine levels in cigarettes could be issued Tuesday by the Biden administration.

    The rule, which would have an unprecedented effect in lowering smoking-related deaths, would be unveiled as part of a compilation of planned federal regulatory actions released twice a year, an individual with knowledge of the rule who spoke on the co...

    Weekend Binge Drinking: Not as Harmless as You Think

    Many may consider an episode of binge drinking -- defined as 5 or more drinks on one occasion --- as just being harmless fun. But a new study suggests that even moderate drinkers who indulge in binge drinking can suffer lasting consequences.

    Researchers found that among people who typically drank at moderate levels, those who sometimes binged were at increased risk of alcohol-related prob...

    Menthol Cigarettes May Hook Young Smokers Faster: Study

    As the U.S. Food and Drug Administration weighs banning the sale of menthol cigarettes, a new study strengthens the tie between mint-flavored tobacco and teen smoking.

    According to the survey, adolescents who began...

    4 in 10 U.S. Adults Who Need Mental Health Care Can't Get It: Survey

    There is a "staggering" gap between the number of Americans who need care for anxiety, depression and other mental health conditions and those who can actually get it, a new survey shows.

    In all, 42% of U.S. adults who needed care in the previous 12 months did not get it because of costs and other barriers, according to the online survey from the National Council for Mental Wellbeing. Nea...

    Too Few People Treated for Opioid Use Get Anti-Overdose Med

    A potentially lifesaving drug that reduces overdose risk is prescribed to less than half of Americans treated for opioid addiction, a new study finds.

    This underuse of buprenorphine is "equivalent to giving those with advanced cancer a less aggressive ...

    Teens Who Misuse Drugs Rarely Shake the Issue as Adults: Study

    Does youthful experimentation with drugs and alcohol always fade with age? Not necessarily, a long-term study warns.

    Researchers found that more than 60% of teens who report heavy use of alcohol, marijuana, and/or other drugs continue to have a drug problem as adults, often involving misuse of p...

    Big Drop Seen in Kids Getting Opioids After Surgery

    Efforts to cut back on risky opioid use for pain after surgery are trickling down to kids.

    New research shows that fewer Americans under the age of 18 were prescribed narcotics to treat surgical pain between 2014 and 2017, and these numbers dropped even more rapidly beginning in late 2017.

    While

  • Denise Mann HealthDay Reporter
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  • April 4, 2022
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  • Police Records Show Use of Illegal Fentanyl-Laced Pills Soaring

    Dovetailing with a surge in overdose deaths, the United States has seen a sharp rise in seizures of illicit fentanyl, according to a new report.

    Law enforcement seizures of pills containing illicit fen...

    Too Few People With Opioid Disorder Receive Best Treatments

    Even though medication is considered the most effective therapy for opioid addiction, many Americans who need it don't receive it, a new study finds.

    "Evidence supporting the effectiveness of medication for opioid use disorder - such as methadone, buprenorphine or naltrexone - is unequivocal, but most people who needed [opioid addiction] treatment in the U.S. did not receive this gold sta...

    Arthritis? Back Pain? Medical Pot May Help You Avoid Opioid Painkillers

    Medical marijuana could be a viable alternative to opioid painkillers for people dealing with arthritis or chronic back pain, two new studies show.

    Many patients prescribed opioids for their chronic pain wound up taking fewer painkillers -- or stopping them altogether -- after doctors ce...

    Black Americans Now More Likely to Die of Drug Overdoses Than Whites

    For two decades, the death rate from opioid overdoses was higher among white Americans than Black Americans. But that changed in 2020, signaling an end to the notion that the overdose crisis is a "white problem."

    Using data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, researchers found that overdose deaths jumped nearly 49% among Black people in the United States from 2019 to...

    Sackler Family & Purdue Pharma Reach Deal With U.S. States Over Opioid Crisis

    A deal has been reached between members of the Sackler family and their company, Purdue Pharma, to settle thousands of lawsuits over their role in the U.S. opioid epidemic.

    In return for an end to all current and future civil claims against them over the company's prescription opioid business, the Sacklers will pay as much as $6 billion to assist communities harmed by the

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  • March 3, 2022
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  • CDC Issues Proposed Changes to Opioid Painkiller Guidelines

    Proposed changes to voluntary federal guidelines for prescribing opioid painkillers emphasize that doctors should first try other treatments for acute and chronic pain.

    The non-opioid treatment options suggested by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention include prescription medications like gabapenti...

    Opioids, Cocaine, Meth Are Hitting America's Black Communities Hardest

    Combined use of opioids and stimulant drugs like cocaine and methamphetamine can be deadly, and in the United States Black communities have been hit especially hard by this lethal combo, new research indicates.

    Over a 12-year period, Black Americans have had much larger increases in overdose deaths from opioids

    Vaping Not a Great Aid to Quitting Smoking: Study

    E-cigarettes have been touted as an aid to quit smoking tobacco cigarettes, but a new study suggests that's a myth.

    Researchers found that using e-cigarettes resulted in fewer successful attempts than other smoking cessation aids. And, they added, e-cigarette users weren't less...

    Could the 'Love Hormone' Help Drive Sex Addiction in Men?

    Men compelled to find myriad new partners and ways to have sex may be driven by high levels of the so-called "love hormone," oxytocin, new research suggests.

    Oxytocin, which is produced by the hypothalamus and secreted by the pituitary gland, plays a key role in sexual behavior, and abnormal levels are believed...

    Young Americans Lost Almost 1.5 Million Years of Life to Opioids Between 2015 and 2019

    The U.S. drug epidemic continues its death march, with new research showing American teens and young adults have lost nearly 1.5 million years of life due to drug overdose deaths in recent years.

    For the study, the researchers examined years of life lost -- the difference between a person's e...

    Opioid Addiction Treatment in Jail Could Change Lives

    No magic bullet exists for ending the U.S. opioid crisis, but there's hopeful news for one high-risk population: Providing addiction medication in jails reduces the odds of addicts being re-arrested after their release, new research shows.

    "Studies like this provide much-needed evidence and momentum for jails and prisons to better enable the treatment, education and support systems that i...

    Opioid Misuse Keeps Rising Among Older Americans

    The opioid addict you know might not be the college kid who has always dabbled in alcohol and drugs.

    It could be your grandparent.

    Opioid misuse doesn't discriminate by age -- and rates are rising steadily among adults aged 55 and up, new research shows.

    "You can still use recrea...

    ERs Can Boost Efforts to Stamp Out Opioid Addiction

    A program meant to encourage the use of a drug that can help people overcome opioid addiction led to dramatic increases in its use in emergency rooms, researchers report.

    Buprenorphine is a medication that stabilizes opioid withdrawal and soothes cravi...