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Health News Results - 55

Hearts From Drug Abusers Can Be Used for Transplants

THURSDAY, July 29, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- In a finding that could mean more patients desperate for a heart transplant get a new lease on life, two new studies show that hearts from donors who abused drugs can be safely donated.

In the past two decades, the U.S. opioid crisis has taken the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans -- often young, otherwise healthy pe...

U.S. Drug Overdose Deaths Jumped Nearly 30% During Pandemic

As America went into lockdown and treatment centers closed their doors, drug overdose deaths in the United States jumped by nearly a third last year, new data show.

The estimated 93,331 drug overdose deaths recorded during 2020 are a sharp increase -- a 29.4% rise -- over the 72,151 deaths estimated in 2019, according to preliminary data from the National Center for Health Statistics (N...

Dr. Rahul Gupta to Be Nominated as Next U.S. Drug Czar

President Joe Biden plans to nominate Dr. Rahul Gupta as the head of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.

Gupta led the Biden transition team for that office, was the former health commissioner of West Virginia, and is chief medical and health officer for the March of Dimes, CNN reported.

If confirmed as the so-called drug czar, Gupta would be the first p...

Meth Abuse Drove Huge Surge in Heart Failure Crises in California

WEDNESDAY, July 14, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- In a finding that demonstrates methamphetamine's power to destroy the human heart, new research shows hospitalizations for heart failure related to the illicit drug have soared by 585% in California.

"Our study results should bring urgent attention to this insidious, yet rapidly growing, form of severe heart failure — metha...

Autism & Drinking, Drug Abuse Can Be Dangerous Mix

Teens and adults with autism may be less likely than others to use drugs and alcohol, but new research finds those who do are nearly nine times more likely to use these substances to mask symptoms, including those related to autism.

This is known as camouflaging, and it has been linked to mental health issues and increased risk for suicide among people with autism.

"Seeing such star...

Other Health Woes Common When Meth Addiction Strikes

Methamphetamine users are at increased risk for physical and mental health problems as well as other substance use disorders, new research shows.

Meth is an illegal and highly addictive stimulant drug that can harm organs such as the heart, lungs, liver and neurological system, and injecting it can increase the risk of infectious diseases, the researchers noted.

Their analysis of da...

Rising U.S. Deaths After Users Mix Coke, Meth With an Opioid

Overdose deaths resulting from a dangerous combination of cocaine and opioids are outpacing fatalities linked to cocaine abuse alone, a new U.S. government report warns.

"Much of the increase in the rate of drug overdose deaths involving cocaine in recent years is due to the co-occurrence of opioids," said study author Dr. Holly Hedegaard.

A similar trend has started taking hold bec...

People Are Buying Illegal Opioids on the Dark Web

Illegal drug sales on the dark web are common, hard to detect and are fueling America's opioid epidemic, a University of Texas study reveals.

Opioids include prescription painkillers (such as oxycodone) and illegal drugs (such as heroin and fentanyl).

"People are struggling from the effects of addiction," said Tiffany Champagne-Langabeer, senior author of a new investigation of ille...

When Pot Use Starts in Teens, Drug Addiction More Likely: Study

Teens who try marijuana or other drugs are at greater risk of developing a drug addiction than those who wait a few years before experimenting with drugs, a new study finds.

"Though not everyone who uses a drug will develop addiction, adolescents may develop addiction to substances faster than young adults," said study co-lead author Dr. Nora Volkow. She is director of the U.S. National I...

Could Opioid Crisis Mean More Strokes for Americans?

One Ohio medical center has seen a sharp rise in heart infections and strokes related to IV drug abuse -- pointing to one more consequence of the U.S. opioid epidemic, researchers say.

In a preliminary study, the researchers found that between 2014 and 2018, their hospital saw a 630% increase in infectious endocarditis related to IV drug use.

Infectious endocarditis arises when bact...

Anabolic Steroids Could Do Long-Term Harm to Testicles: Study

Men who use anabolic steroids may be doing serious damage to their testicular function, new research warns.

And the damage may last long after they stop.

Illegal use of the drugs is not uncommon among athletes seeking to increase muscle size and strength and look more muscular, according to study lead author Dr. Jon Rasmussen, a postdoctoral scientist at the University Hospital of C...

Drugged Driving a Growing Threat on America's Roads

Combining drugs with driving is a potentially deadly but all too common combination in the United States, according to a new report.

University of Cincinnati (UC) researchers found that almost 9% of adults reported driving under the influence of alcohol. Marijuana use among drivers was more than 4%, while many adults also use both pot and other drugs in combination with alcohol.

T...

In Philadelphia, an Animal Tranquilizer Is Driving Deadly Rise in Opioid ODs

Philadelphia is seeing a surge in overdose fatalities involving heroin and/or fentanyl plus an animal tranquilizer not approved for human use, according to a new study.

The tranquilizer -- called xylazine -- is a non-opioid sedative and painkiller approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration solely as a veterinary drug. In Philadelphia, it goes by the street name "tranq."

Tranq...

CBD Won't Help Addicts Kick the Coke Habit: Study

Cannabidiol (CBD) products are seemingly everywhere these days, but they won't help cure a cocaine addiction, a Canadian study finds.

CBD, a chemical in the cannabis plant, has long been touted as a treatment for cocaine addiction. But researchers at the University of Montreal Hospital Research Center found that it doesn't lessen addicts' craving for cocaine or reduce their risk of relaps...

Meth Overdose Deaths Are Surging in America, With Minorities Most at Risk

Deaths from overdoses of methamphetamine are rising across the United States, especially among Blacks and American Indians/Alaska Natives, a new study warns.

"While much attention is focused on the opioid crisis, a methamphetamine crisis has been quietly, but actively, gaining steam -- particularly among American Indians and Alaska Natives, who are disproportionately affected by a number ...

U.S. Drug Overdose Deaths Reach Record Highs

The number of U.S. drug overdose deaths reached a record high as the coronavirus pandemic held the country in its grip last spring, new government data shows.

For the 12 months ending in May, more than 81,000 people died from an overdose. That is the highest number ever recorded during a 12-month period, scientists from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

"The ...

Yes, Pot Is Stronger Now Than in Decades Past, Study Finds

Marijuana packs a lot more punch than it did 50 years ago, making it a greater threat to health, researchers say.

"As the strength of cannabis has increased, so too has the number of people entering treatment for cannabis use problems," said study co-author Tom Freeman, director of the addiction and mental health group at the University of Bath in England.

In Europe, more people no...

Overdose Deaths From Cocaine Rising Dramatically

While opioids were grabbing the headlines, cocaine overdose deaths in the United States have marched upward, nearly tripling over five years, a new government report shows.

After a period of stability, cocaine-induced deaths rose by about 27% per year, on average, from 2013 through 2018, researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

"While mu...

Booze, Drug Use Common at Virtual Parties During Pandemic

Drug use is common among people taking part in virtual raves and happy hours during the coronavirus pandemic, a new study finds.

"We explored whether stay-at-home orders changed how people use drugs -- and it appears that drug use during virtual gatherings is somewhat prevalent among the party-going population we studied," said study author Joseph Palamar. He's associate professor of ...

Marijuana Withdrawal Is Real, Study Shows

It's widely believed that marijuana is not addictive, but a major new evidence review suggests that's not true.

Not only can people suffer withdrawal symptoms when they quit pot, but nearly half of those who regularly or heavily use marijuana will go through withdrawal when they stop, according to the study published online April 9 in JAMA Network Open.

About 47% ...

Meth Use, Addiction on the Rise Among Americans: CDC

Methamphetamine use is soaring again, with nearly one million Americans hooked on it, according to federal health officials.

Between 2015 and 2018, about 53% of the 1.6 million meth users were addicted to it and slightly more than 22% said they injected the drug, according to a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC noted that mental illn...

Opioid Withdrawal Raises Health Risks for Injection Drug Users: Study

Having opioid withdrawal symptoms increases the odds that injection drug users will share needles or have a non-fatal overdose, new research suggests.

For the study, the researchers questioned more than 800 injection drug users in San Francisco and Los Angeles. Eighty-five percent said they had had at least one withdrawal episode in the previous six months. More than one-third reporte...

Opioid OD Deaths Fall Despite Growing Use of Synthetic Drugs: CDC

Overall, opioid-related deaths in the United States fell 2% between 2017 and 2018, according to newly released data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC said deaths involving prescription opioids were down 13.5%, while heroin-related deaths fell 4%. But fatal overdoses involving synthetic opioids (excluding methadone) were up 10%.

U.S. Kids Waiting a Little Longer to Try Alcohol, Drugs

It's never good news that kids are using drugs and alcohol, but fewer U.S. teens are starting before their 16th birthday, a new study finds.

Researchers found that between 2004 and 2017, the age at which teens started drinking alcohol and smoking rose from 16 to 17 years. The age for trying heroin went from 17 to 18, and for cocaine it increased from 18 to 19 years. For crack cocaine...

Use of Club Drug 'Special K' Could Be Underreported

Ketamine use among electronic dance music party-goers is much higher than previously thought. And unintentional use appears to play a role, a new study finds.

Ketamine is known as Special K on the party scene. The operating room anesthetic was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2019 as a treatment for depression. But it has long been used as a club drug.

"I...

U.S. Heroin Use Nearly Doubled Over Two Decades

Nearly twice as many people in the United States used heroin in 2018 as did in 2002, a new government study shows.

"I think the rise in heroin use is probably precipitated by prescription opioid abuse. People tend to move from prescription opioids to heroin because it's cheaper and easier to obtain," said Dr. Lawrence Brown Jr., an addiction treatment specialist. He's CEO of START Tr...

What's the Best Way to Administer the Opioid OD Antidote?

In the midst of a U.S. epidemic of opioid abuse, knowing how to quickly administer the anti-overdose drug naloxone could save a life.

Now, research finds that delivering naloxone via nasal spray could be the quickest and easiest of three methods of administration.

"Our goal was to see if there was a method that was the most intuitive," said William Eggleston, a clinical assi...

Psychedelics May Boost Mood Even After Their High Wears Off

Psychedelic drugs like LSD and psilocybin -- also known as "magic mushrooms" -- can elevate mood and make one feel close to others, and those feelings may last after the high is gone, new research shows.

The findings, from more than 1,200 art and music festival-goers, echo lab work that showed psychedelics enhance feelings of social connectedness and well-being, Yale University resea...

Opioid Addiction Med Under-Used in Younger People, Study Finds

Treatment with the opioid addiction drug buprenorphine is on the rise among most age groups in the United States, but falling among 15- to 24-year-olds, a new study finds.

"While it's encouraging to see an overall increase in prescription rates for buprenorphine, the data suggest that the youngest group is having difficulty accessing this potentially lifesaving treatment," said study ...

U.S. Drug Deaths Might Be Twice as High as Thought

Drugs may kill twice as many Americans as government records suggest, a new study claims.

In 2016, the reported rate of drug-related deaths among 15- to 64-year-olds was 9% -- compared with about 4% several years earlier -- with 63,000 deaths classified as drug-related.

However, the new study concluded that the actual number of drug-related deaths could have been abo...

Opioid-Meth Habit Particularly Hard to Break

Opioid addiction is tough enough to beat, but new research shows that having an accompanying methamphetamine habit may make quitting far more difficult.

For the study, researchers looked at 799 people receiving opioid addiction treatment at three sites in Washington State. They found that methamphetamine use was associated with a more than twofold higher risk of dropping out of treatm...

Youth Vapers Often Use Nicotine or Pot, Not Just Flavoring

Three-quarters of U.S. teens who use e-cigarettes are vaping addictive or mind-altering substances -- more than once suspected, according to a new study.

The findings add to growing concerns about teen vaping.

"We found that youth were more likely to report vaping nicotine and marijuana than 'just flavoring' only, and that cigarette smoking intensity was associated with an i...

Fewer Americans Now Struggle With 'Problem' Pot Use

There are fewer problem "potheads" today than before the wave of marijuana legalization that's swept the United States, a new analysis of federal survey data shows.

Researchers found an across-the-board decline in daily or near-daily pot users who could be diagnosed with cannabis use disorder, according to results published in the Dec. 1 issue of Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

Needle Exchange Programs Guard Against HIV

Needle exchange programs in two large U.S. cities prevented thousands of new HIV infections and saved hundreds of millions of dollars, researchers say.

Needle, or syringe, exchange programs prevented nearly 10,600 new cases of HIV in Philadelphia and almost 1,900 new cases of HIV in Baltimore over 10 years, leading to significant savings for the cities, the new study found.

...

Report Finds Americans' Health Is Flagging

The United States just received its annual checkup, and the news isn't good.

Life expectancy has declined over the past three years, driven down by increasing rates of suicides and drug overdoses.

Electronic cigarette use among teens nearly doubled in the last year, increasing the risk of addiction for an entire generation of Americans.

And only about half of unins...

Construction Workers at Very High Odds for Opioid and Drug Abuse

Hard-hat jobs are tough and demanding, often entailing intense physical labor performed in dangerous situations.

But a new study finds construction work also comes with another danger: An increased risk of drug abuse.

Construction workers and miners are much more likely than people in other professions to misuse opioids, cocaine and marijuana, the research showed

C...

One Region Is Being Hit Hardest by U.S. Opioid Crisis

More people die from drug overdoses in the northeastern U.S. than other regions, making it a major hotbed of the nation's opioid epidemic, a new federal report says.

Fueled mainly by fentanyl and heroin, overdose (OD) deaths are soaring in an area that runs east from Minnesota and Illinois and north from West Virginia and Virginia, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and...

Sick Americans Turning to Medical Pot for Help

More Americans use marijuana to help them cope with an illness than just to get high, a new study finds.

Nearly 46% of those who use pot say they do so because of a medical condition, compared with 22% who say they use marijuana for recreation.

And only 36% of those with a medical problem say they use pot to get high, compared with 58% of other users, resear...

'Synthetic Pot' Laced With Rat Poison Lands People in the ER

Using "synthetic pot" is rolling the dice with your health, experts warn, pointing to a healthy 26-year-old woman who ended up in the ER after smoking a batch laced with rat poison.

Synthetic pot is created in a lab. It's supposed to safely mimic marijuana by targeting the same cannabinoid receptors as the real thing.

But the unregulated chemical composition of fake weed can...

America Has a Huge -- and Very Costly -- Drug Habit

If you don't think Americans have a problem with illicit drugs, a new study shows that nearly $150 billion was spent on marijuana, cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine in 2016.

"To better understand changes in drug use outcomes and the effects of policies, policymakers need to know what is happening in markets for these substances," said study author Greg Midgette. He's an assistant pr...

'Swinging' and Illicit Drugs Often Go Together, Study Finds

When swingers gather for sexual mixers, drugs are often part of the equation, new Dutch research reveals.

And that combination is known to increase the risk of sexually transmitted infections, the researchers added.

In an online poll of more than 1,000 swingers, "we found that almost half, 44%, used drugs during sex in the past six months," said study author Ymke Evers. ...

Pure CBD Won't Make You Fail a Drug Test, But…

As the CBD craze sweeps the nation, some users may wonder whether the cannabis extract can make them fail a drug test. A preliminary study suggests the answer is "no" -- at least if the CBD is pure.

Researchers found that CBD, or cannabidiol, did not react with either of two commercially available tests used to screen for marijuana use. However, another cannabis compound -- cannabinol...

Lethal Deception: Deaths From Cocaine Laced With Fentanyl on the Rise

Across the United States and Canada, people are buying cocaine only to discover too late that it contains potentially deadly fentanyl, a new report warns.

In one cluster of cases occurring in Fresno, Calif., in January of this year, four people were brought to local emergency rooms.

Two of the incapacitated cocaine users died from their inadvertent fentanyl overdose, local d...

How Does Meth Trigger Heart Disease? New Research Offers Clues

Autopsies have uncovered new insight into how the illegal drug methamphetamine harms the heart.

Preliminary findings presented Thursday at an American Heart Association meeting, in Boston, suggest that meth triggers a buildup of tough protein fibers known as collagen in the heart muscle.

Previous autopsy studies have noted injury to heart cells, scarring and enlargement of ...

Teens' Opioid Abuse May Be Gateway to Heroin

Teens who take prescription opioid painkillers to get high could be taking a step toward heroin use, researchers say.

"Prescription opioids and heroin activate the brain's pleasure circuit in similar ways," said senior author Adam Leventhal. He's director of the Institute for Addiction Science at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine.

"Teens who enjoy...

Teens Risk Seizures, Coma When They Use 'Synthetic Pot'

Teens who use Spice, K2 or other synthetic marijuana products may risk medical harm, including coma and seizures, researchers report.

A review of emergency department records in the United States also found that those who mixed the manmade "marijuana" with other drugs, such as stimulants, could become dangerously agitated.

"These findings suggest that teens are particularl...

Could CBD Treat Opioid Addiction?

Cannabidiol (CBD) has been receiving a lot of attention lately as a potential treatment for everything from epilepsy to anxiety. Now, researchers report it might also help curb the cravings that come with opioid addiction.

Like marijuana, CBD comes from the cannabis plant. Unlike pot, it does not produce a high.

The study included 42 men and women with a history of heroin a...

Fentanyl Becoming a Deadly Accomplice in Cocaine, Meth Abuse

As if using cocaine or methamphetamines isn't risky enough, new research shows a sharp spike in urine drug tests that are positive for those drugs and the powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl.

The findings could provide insight into steeply rising rates of cocaine- and methamphetamine-related overdoses in the United States.

For the study, researchers analyzed data on on...

FDA Approves 1st Generic Nasal Spray Against Opioid Overdose

The first generic naloxone nasal spray to treat opioid overdose has received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Teva Pharmaceuticals' lifesaving product is also the first generic naloxone nasal spray approved for use by people without medical training. There was already a brand-name spray (Narcan) for emergency use by untrained people, such as family members and byst...

Many Heroin Users Unprepared for Fentanyl OD

Though they know that nearly all heroin is laced with the dangerous synthetic opioid fentanyl, many Baltimore users aren't prepared to prevent or treat fentanyl-related overdoses, a new study finds.

Baltimore has a thriving heroin trade and 1,000 opioid overdose deaths a year.

The study, by researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, included...