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01 Sep

Smoking Cigarettes Changes the Teenage Brain, New Study Finds

A new study finds gray matter differences in the teenage brain that may lead to early nicotine use and long-term addiction.

27 Apr

“Promising Evidence” Exercise Helps Battle Addiction: New Study

Patients with substance use disorders benefit from adding exercise therapy to their treatment plan, researchers find.

Health News Results - 325

Menthols Ban Would Slash U.S. Smoking Rates: Study

A ban on menthol cigarettes would likely lead to a meaningful reduction in smoking rates, a new review argues.

Almost a quarter of menthol smokers quit smoking altogether after menthol cigarettes were banned in their country or community, researchers report Feb. 21 in the journal Nicotine & Tobacco Research.

“This review provides compelling evidence for the U.S. Food ...

It's Tougher for Non-White Americans to Get Opioid Addiction Drug

Americans addicted to opioids who need the anti-addiction med buprenorphine are far more likely to find it if they live in a predominantly white neighborhood, new research finds.

“Access is substantially better in areas that are very white," said study lead author Coleman Drake, an assistant professor of health policy and ma...

Access to Opioids Could Be Boosting Suicide Rates

Increased access to prescription opioids has driven up U.S. suicide rates by making it easier to women to end their lives, a new study claims.

The study also blames a shrinking federal safety net during tough economic times for rising suicide rates.

“We contend that the U.S. federal government's weak regulatory oversight of the pharmaceutical industry and tattered social safety ne...

Drug That Treats Cocaine Addiction May Curb Colon Cancer

FRIDAY, Feb. 16, 2024 (HealthDay news) -- A drug first developed to treat cocaine addiction might also help slow the spread of advanced colon cancer, a new study suggests.

The drug vanoxerine appears to suppress cancer stem cell activity by essentially rewiring gene networks critical to tumor growth, the researchers explained.

“Tumors treated with vanoxerine become more susceptibl...

E-Coupons Are Luring Folks to Taking Up Vaping

Coupons for e-cigarettes appear to be a powerful way to get people hooked on vaping, a new study shows.

People who receive coupons for e-cigarettes are 50% more likely to begin vaping, and less likely to quit once they've started, according to findings published recently in the American Journal of Preventive M...

Mom's Opioid Use in Pregnancy Raises Child's Asthma, Eczema Risk

Fetal exposure to opioids may change a baby's immune system, triggering a rise in risks for eczema and asthma through early childhood, new research shows.

Children born to women who used opioids during pregnancy had much higher rates of eczema, as well as conditions such as "diaper rash," during infancy, Australian researchers report.

These children also went on to have significantl...

Marijuana Has No Role in Taking Up or Quitting Opioids: Study

There's no link at all between weed use and a person's use of illicit opioids, one way or the other, a new review concludes.

Cannabis isn't a gateway drug that can spark a person's desire to try narcotics, results show.

On the other hand, weed also isn't effective in helping wean addicts off opioids, researchers said.

These results have significant implications for U.S. opioid...

U.S. Has Seen Steady Rise in Role of Alcohol, Drugs in Heart Deaths

Heart disease deaths linked with alcohol or drug use have been steadily increasing in the United States, a new study has found.

Deaths from heart disease in which substance use was cited as contributor rose an average of 4% per year between 1999 and 2019, researchers report.

Further, the death rate accelerated in recent years, rising more than 6% from 2012 to 2019, according to find...

What's Your Bedtime Routine? Survey Finds Americans' Favorites

A hot shower, a glass of wine, a good book and sex are a few of Americans' favorite ways to unwind at bedtime, a new survey shows.

"What defines a comfortable night's sleep varies from person to person, but developing a consistent sleep routine that removes distraction is a big first step in building a habit of good sleep health," said Dr. ...

Reddit Posts Show Ozempic, Wegovy Cutting Users' Alcohol Use

Social media is abuzz with the possibility that newfangled weight loss drugs can also reduce cravings for alcohol, a new study says.

Across a number of Reddit threads, users of weight-loss drugs like Ozempic reported that they felt less need to drink beer, wine and liquor.

Threads bearing titles like “Did scientists accidentally invent an anti-addiction drug?” and “I don't kno...

Addiction Treatment for Teens in Crisis Is Often Hard to Find

A 'secret shopper' study finds that for many American families, accessing inpatient treatment for a teen battling addiction can be next to impossible.

“If you are a family in crisis and you have a kid for whom outpatient treatment is not an option, you hope to be able to call the closest residential facility to you and have access to timely, safe, affordable care for your child,” said...

America's School Counselors Say Vaping, Gaming Are Tough Issues for Kids

Online gaming and vaping to the point of addiction have become widespread enough that most high school counselors regularly confront these behaviors in today's teens, a new survey shows.

Four out of five counselors say they've worked with at least one student during the past year who had struggled with problematic use of video games or e-cigarettes. However, few said they had the training...

FDA Approves First Test to Spot Folks at High Risk of Opioid Use Disorder

A newly approved test can determine whether a person has a genetically driven risk of becoming addicted to opioids.

The AvertD test, the first of its kind, uses a DNA sample swabbed from a patient's cheek to determine if they have a combination of genetic variants associated with an elevated risk of opioid addiction.

The 15 genetic variants detected by the test are involved in the b...

You're Far Less Likely to Get an Opioid Now After Surgery

In response to the ongoing crisis of opioid misuse, U.S. doctors had already cut the amount of opioids they gave patients after surgery by 2022 to just a third of the amount given in 2016, new research shows.

Much of the decline happened before the pandemic, however, and the rate at which doctors are reducing the use of post-op opioids has slowed.

The use of opioids during surgery r...

Popular 'Nicotine Pouches' Won't Help Smokers Quit: Study

Oral nicotine pouches might be marketed as an alternative to cigarettes, but they do little to curb smokers' nicotine cravings, a new study finds.

The pouches -- which contain nicotine powder and other flavorings, but no tobacco leaf -- take too long to provide the nicotine “spike” that eases cravings, researchers report in the Nov. 15 issue of journal Addiction.


More Than 1 in 6 U.S. Adults, Teens Have Substance Use Disorder

TUESDAY, NOV. 14, 2023 (Healthday News) -- Over 1 in 6 Americans, adults and teens alike, suffered a substance use disorder in 2022, new government data released Monday shows.

In the survey, alcohol and drug abuse involved roughly the same numbers of people: About 30 million had an al...

Vaping's Popularity Falls Among U.S. High School Students

Warnings about the dangers of vaping may be reaching American teens: A new U.S. government report shows e-cigarette use is down among high school students.

In fact, use of any tobacco product over the past 30 days declined among this age group during the 2022-2023 school year, from 16.5% to 12.6%.

This was driven largely by a decline in e-cigarette use, which dropped from 14.1% to ...

'Friends' Star Matthew Perry Dead at 54

Matthew Perry, one of the stars of the beloved television sitcom “Friends,” died on Saturday.

Perry, 54, was best known for his portrayal of Chandler Bing in the long-running show, but he also starred in many other roles.

Capt. Scot Williams, of the Los Angeles Police Department's Robbery-Homicide division, confirmed Perry's death, the New York Times reported. Investiga...

Drug-Linked Disciplinary Actions by Schools Spiked After Oregon Legalized Marijuana

New research suggests a link between middle school students being disciplined for marijuana use and legalization of recreational weed, particularly when schools are close to dispensaries that sell the drug.

Researchers studied this in Oregon, where recreational marijuana became legal for adults back in 2015.

They found that middle school students received office discipline referral...

Restricting Access to Vapes Might Drive People to Cigarettes

While U.S. policymakers have restricted flavored vapes to make e-cigarettes less appealing to young people, that plan may be backfiring.

A new study found that for every 0.7 milliliters of “e-liquid” for e-cigarettes that isn't sold because of flavor restrictions, an additional 15 traditional cigarettes were sol...

Telemedicine Could Improve Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder

Telehealth may be a powerful way to get people with opioid use disorder to take -- and stay on -- medication to treat their addiction.

Researchers report that those who started buprenorphine treatment via telehealth had an increased likelihood of staying in treatment longer compared to those who started the treatment in another setting.

“This study suggests that telehealth may inc...

As Menthol Ban Nears, Big Tobacco Is Adding Synthetic Version to Cigarettes Instead

Cigarette makers are using synthetic menthol substitutes in what appears to be an effort to skirt a looming federal menthol ban, researchers say.

The menthol flavor appeals to younger and newer smokers, according to investigators at Duke Health in Durham, N.C., and Yale University in New Haven, Conn.

These new “non-menthol” cigarettes are being introduced in states that have alr...

Third of Medicaid Patients With Opioid Use Disorder Don't Get Treatment

Medications that cut cravings have been shown to help with opioid use disorder, yet nearly a third of Medicaid recipients dealing with opioid addiction aren't getting them, a new report shows.

There were significant disparities in who gets these medications by age, race and states, according to the report re...

Oregon Decriminalized Possession of Small Amounts of Drugs. Fatal ODs Didn't Skyrocket

Critics of a law that decriminalized drug possession in Oregon have blamed the policy for rising overdose deaths in the state, but a new study finds no evidence of that.

Researchers discovered that while drug overdose deaths have risen recently in Oregon, it appears the trend has no relation to a law popularly known as Measure 110.

Passed by Oregon voters in 2020, the policy decrim...

Talking to a Loved One Battling Substance Abuse: Staying Positive Is Key

A conversation with a family member or loved one struggling with addiction can be the catalyst for getting help.

But it's important to choose your words carefully when discussing possible addiction to controlled substances with your loved one, said Dr. Aleksandra Zgierska, a profess...

Substance Abuse Greatly Raises Odds of Heart Attack, Stroke During Pregnancy

Substance abuse and pregnancy may be a dangerous combination.

New research finds that pregnant women with a history of substance abuse had a dramatically increased risk of death from heart attack and stroke during childbirth compared to women with no drug history.

“This telling research shows that substance use during pregnancy doubled cardiovascular events and maternal mortality ...

Fatal ODs Involving Fentanyl Plus Coke, Meth Rose 50-Fold Over a Decade

The "fourth wave" of the U.S. overdose crisis involves the use of illicit fentanyl mixed with stimulants such as cocaine or methamphetamine, and it's killing people in droves.

The proportion of U.S. overdose deaths involving both fentanyl and stimulants jumped by more than 50-fold since 2010, from 0.6% in 2010 to more than 32% in 2021, a new study shows.

“Fatal overdose invol...

Counterfeit Pills Fuel Rising Number of Fatal Drug Overdoses

A growing number of overdose deaths in the United States involve counterfeit pills, health officials reported Thursday.

Overdose deaths involving counterfeit pills were twice as common in the latter half of 2021 as they were in the last six months of 2019, accounting for about 5% of overdose deaths, according to a new study from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In West...

Do Most Americans Know How to Help Loved Ones Battling Addictions? New Poll Says Yes

If a loved one were living with addiction, a majority of Americans say they would know how to get help.

About 71% of 2,200 respondents to an American Psychiatric Association poll said they would know how to assist a friend or family members.

Most, about 73%, would refer that loved one to treatment, and 74% would talk to them about their addiction.

"It's promising, especially ...

Opioid OD Rescue Drug Narcan Will Reach Drug Store Shelves Next Week

Narcan, a lifesaving medication that reverses opioid overdose, will be available on U.S. drugstore shelves and online starting next week.

People who want to carry Narcan, the nasal spray version of naloxone, will be able to find it at Walgreens, Rite Aid, Walmart and CVS for a suggested retail price of $44.99 for a box of two doses, the drug maker reported Wednesday.


1 in 5  Marijuana Users Struggle With Dependency on the Drug

Cannabis use disorder is a very real problem for a significant percentage of people who use marijuana, new research suggests.

About 21% of those who use weed struggle with dependency, including recurring problems socially and with work, the study published Aug. 29 in the journal JAMA Network...

CBD Vapes Rising in Popularity Among Teens

Vaping CBD (cannabidiol) is on the rise among middle and high school students, according to a national U.S. survey, and health experts warn there can be serious risks involved.

More than 1 in 5 students who use electronic cigarettes said they had vaped CBD, a component of marijuana that does not get people high the way THC does, according to results of the 2022 National Youth Tobacco...

Two-Thirds of Americans Say Their Lives Have Been Affected by Addiction: Poll

Millions of Americans are addicted to drugs or alcohol, and millions more struggle with an addicted family member or friend, a new poll finds.

Two-thirds of those surveyed said either they or a family member have been addicted to alcohol or drugs, been homeless because of an addiction, or overdosed or died from drug use. Moreover, 19% say they themselves have been addicted to drugs or al...

In Monkey Trial, Gene Therapy Shows Promise in Curbing Severe Problem Drinking

For people with severe alcohol use disorder, a new gene therapy trial could lead to an effective treatment that would involve chemically rebalancing the area of the brain associated with addiction.

“With alcohol alone, there's generally more than 100,000 deaths [in the United States] per year,” said

  • Sarah D. Collins HealthDay Reporter
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  • August 14, 2023
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  • Full Page
  • Just 1 in 5 Americans Struggling With Opioid Misuse Gets Meds That Can Help

    The U.S. opioid abuse epidemic wages on, and overdose deaths continue to rise, yet just 1 in 5 people receives potentially lifesaving medication such as methadone, buprenorphine or naltrexone to treat their addiction, a new study finds.

    “These medications are effective for prescription opioids like hydrocodone [Vicodin] and oxycodone [OxyContin] and all those medications we rely on for ...

    Taking Kratom Claimed Her Son's Life. Now She and Others Are Warning of the Dangers

    J.D. Butler was planning a future with his girlfriend at his favorite New York City restaurant when that future came to a sudden, crushing halt.

    “They were planning on when she was moving in and arranging floor plans on the table, with where the furniture was going to go,” said his mother, Karen Butler, a lifelong New York resident. “And he had a grand mal seizure, and then his hear...

    Researchers Explore New Nonaddictive Means of Fighting Pain

    New research shows that an experimental drug fine-tuned to a specific pain pathway can ease post-surgery aches, a finding that may eventually offer an alternative to highly addictive opioids.

    The pill, known for now as VX-548, targets a particular sodium channel that is active only in the body's peripheral sensory nerves, where it helps transmit pain signals to the brain. The idea is that...

    Marijuana Use by Youth: After Legalization, Education Seems to Matter

    After their U.S. states legalize marijuana, young adults who aren't in college are more likely than college kids to use the drug and progress to cannabis use disorder, a new study finds.

    Prior to legalization, 23% of non-college young adults reported using cannabis in the past month, and after legalization it went up to 28%, researchers found. Among U.S. college students in the same ...

    Vaping Might Beat Nicotine Patches in Helping Pregnant Women Quit Smoking

    It's well known that smoking in pregnancy can harm a developing baby's growth.

    Now, a new study suggests that using e-cigarettes may be more effective that traditional nicotine replacement therapy, such as patches, in helping pregnant women kick the habit and reduce the risk of low birthweight.

    “E-cigarettes seem more effective than nicotine patches in helping pregnant women...

    First Murder Conviction for Fentanyl Dealer Delivered in California

    A fentanyl dealer has been found guilty of second-degree murder in what authorities believe is the first-ever murder conviction for dealing the dangerous drug.

    The conviction happened in Placer County, Calif., in a case involving the fatal overdose last summer of a 15-year-old girl in Roseville, about 20 miles northeast of Sacramento, ABC News reported.

    "This conviction cou...

    Taking ADHD Meds Won't Raise a Kid's Odds for Drug Abuse Later: Study

    Stimulant medications like Ritalin are commonly prescribed to help treat the symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, but there have been concerns the drugs may lay the groundwork for later substance abuse.

    New research may now set those worries at ease.

    Children who take prescription stimulants for ADHD do not have more substance use disorders as teens or young adults...

    Program Helps Folks Battling Mental Illness Beat Another Foe: Smoking

    Dr. Richard Stumacher's coworker at Northwell Health in New York City used to smoke to curb her severe anxiety, and tried multiple times to stop.

    “She went through the program and she would quit, and then she would fall off, and we would always support her...

    Access to Medical Marijuana Won't Lower Use of Opioid Painkillers: Study

    Medical marijuana is touted as a pain reliever, but in U.S. states where it's legal, prescriptions for opioid or non-opioid painkillers haven't decreased, a new study finds.

    According to researchers, this means that people aren't switching to cannabis for pain relief in huge numbers even when it's legally available, so it's unlikely to ease the nation's opioid overdose epidemic.

    Binge Drinking in Middle Age: Has 'Wine Mom' Culture Gone Too Far?

    It's an image you see everywhere on social media and television: Groups of 30-something women, glistening glasses of chardonnay or cabernet in their hands as they let loose with their friends.

    But a new study digs into the downside of "booze bonding" — these women are 60% more likely to engage in excessive drinking than their peers were some 25 years earlier.

    The investigators al...

    Vape Sales Soared in 2022, Especially Flavors Appealing to Youth

    Despite a federal ban that has removed many flavored vapes from the U.S. market, monthly e-cigarette sales jumped 47% in the first two years of the pandemic, a new government study shows.

    "The surge in total e-cigarette sales during 2020-2022 was driven by non-tobacco flavored e-cigarette sales, such as menthol, which dominates the prefilled cartridge market, and fruit and candy flavors, ...

    Cutbacks on Opioids Around Surgery May Do More Harm Than Good

    Many doctors have stopped giving opioids for pain, even during surgery, because of the opioid addiction crisis in the United States. But a new study questions the wisdom of this approach.

    Restricting the drugs during surgery may do more harm than good, researchers report.

    “The opioid crisis is a major motivator for mitigating the risks of opioid usage,” said study co-author

    Using 'Grey's Anatomy' to Warn Teens Away From Vaping

    Could popular TV medical dramas jump-start a discussion about vaping among teens and almost teens?

    A recent experiment using clips from "Grey's Anatomy,” “New Amsterdam” and “Chicago Med” suggests the answer is yes. Watching the clips appeared to help kids open up and talk about the health impacts of using electronic cigarettes.

    Along the way, researchers learned more abou...

    Lesbians, Gays Suffer More Mental Health Issues, Drug Use Problems: Survey

    Lesbians, gays and bisexuals are experiencing more mental health and substance use issues than their heterosexual peers, researchers say.

    According to a new government report released Tuesday, this includes major depressive episodes, serious thoughts of suicide,...

    Teens Rarely Get Anti-Addiction Meds When Treated for Opioid Misuse

    The medication buprenorphine normalizes brain function in people addicted to opioids, but teens rarely receive it at U.S. treatment centers, a new study finds.

    Only one in four adolescent residential treatment centers in the United States uses the medication to treat opioid use disorder, according to research out of Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU).

    “These residential tre...

    Most Injection Drug Users Are Not Seeking Out Fentanyl: Study

    Many Americans who inject illicit drugs are unknowingly getting fentanyl mixed in with their heroin, which can increase their risk for overdose and perhaps their tolerance for the drug.

    About 80% of injection drug users in New York City test positive for fentanyl, but only 18% intended to use that drug, according to research from NYU School of Global Public Hea...

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