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Many Hip and Knee Replacement Patients Take Opioid Painkillers Months After Surgery

Many patients who have undergone knee or hip replacement surgery are still taking prescription opioid painkillers up to six months after the operation, a new study finds. Some patients continue to use potentially addictive pain medications even though their hip or knee pain has improved, the findings suggest. The study also suggests persistent opioid use […]

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In Fight Against Opioid Addiction, Congress Focuses on Treatment, Not Restricting Access

Congress is focusing on expanding treatment for opioid addiction instead of restricting access to painkillers in its efforts to address the opioid epidemic, The New York Times reports. Legislators seem to be willing to allow opioid prescriptions to remain widely accessible, the article notes. The U.S. House, after overwhelmingly approving 18 bills last week aimed […]

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Medication-Assisted Treatment for Addiction Cut Short When People Are Incarcerated

Most jails and prisons do not provide medication-assisted treatment for opioid addiction. Experts tell NPR that for inmates who are forced to detox from methadone, tolerance for opioids decreases, while cravings increase. This raises their risk of overdose after they are released. The World Health Organization recommends continued methadone treatment for people who are incarcerated. […]

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E-Cigarettes the Most Widely Used Tobacco Product Among Teens

E-cigarettes are now the most widely used tobacco product among teens, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). E-cigarette use rose among middle school and high school students from 2011 to 2015, the report found. Three million middle and high school students used e-cigarettes in 2015, an increase of […]

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FDA Advisory Panel Calls for Requiring Training for Doctors Who Prescribe Opioids

A Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory panel on Wednesday voted to recommend requiring doctors who prescribe opioids to receive training. Doctors’ groups have resisted mandatory training. The FDA often follows their advisory panels’ recommendations, but the agency is not required to do so. The Wall Street Journal reports the panel heard evidence on ways […]

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Opioid Abuse Could Be Costing Employers as Much as $8 Billion Annually

Opioid abuse could be costing U.S. employers up to $8 billion annually, according to a report by the benefits firm Castlight Health. Employees who abuse opioids cost employers almost twice as much in healthcare expenses on average, compared with workers who don’t abuse opioids, the report found. The average healthcare cost for employees who abuse […]

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Scientists Warn About Mental Health Consequences of Using Marijuana

A group of scientists in the United States, United Kingdom, Europe and Australia is warning about the potential mental health consequences of marijuana use, The Guardian reports. They say frequent use of marijuana increases the risk of psychotic disorders in vulnerable people. The scientists are calling for global public health campaigns to warn the public […]

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People Who Become Addicted to Drugs Later in Life More Likely to Relapse: Study

A new study finds people who become addicted to drugs later in life are more likely to relapse during treatment, compared with those whose addictions started earlier. For every year increase in the age of starting to abuse opioids, there is a 10 percent increase in relapse, according to Science Daily. The study of people […]

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College Students’ Drinking Drops in the Summer, Spikes During Fall and Spring Break

College students’ drinking drops during the summer, but spikes during the return to school in the fall semester, and during spring break, a new study shows. Researchers at the University of California, San Diego studied alcohol consumption among 462 college freshmen eight times over the course of a year. They looked at associations between drinking […]

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Law Enforcement Sees More High-Potency Marijuana, Called “Shatter”

Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents in Houston are seeing an increasing amount of a type of high-potency marijuana known as “shatter,” ABC7NY reports. Some forms of shatter have as much as 90 percent THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. That is about five times the potency of unrefined smoked marijuana. It is more powerful than […]

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