Medical professionals and addiction treatment advocates have long argued that buprenorphine, which is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, should be available in every emergency room in the country — just like drugs for heart attacks, strokes and diabetic emergencies. And they argue that emergency physicians should have basic training in addiction medicine and be licensed to write a take-home prescription for buprenorphine.
Although cannabis (and cannabis-derived products, such as CBD) may be widely used for reducing pain, how effective it really is in doing this is still unclear. This is what our recent systematic review and meta-analysis sought to uncover. Our study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, suggests cannabis is no better at relieving pain than a placebo.
Fentanyl is now involved in 70% of all confirmed overdose deaths to date in 2022, up from under 10% before 2018.
The powerful pain-killing effects of opioids have been known for thousands of years. Some people become addicted to them, but most people who take them for pain do not. However, they are tricky drugs with some unexpected effects.
In states where marijuana is legalized, opioid-related ER visits drop nearly 8% and opioid prescriptions are modestly lower.
Administering buprenorphine to overdose patients within 10 minutes after resuscitation quickly alleviates withdrawal symptoms and results in a nearly six-fold increase in patients showing up for treatment within 30 days, a recent study has found.
This year, King County is working with community partners to expand the use of naloxone (also known as Narcan) – a powerful and very safe tool that can save the life of someone experiencing an opioid overdose – and educate the community about available treatments for opioid use disorder.
Research shows that alternative therapies are associated with improved sleep, feeling better emotionally and an enhanced sense of control. Some patients can avoid prescription medications altogether with one or more complementary treatments. For others, the nontraditional treatments can be used along with prescription medication.
There are multiple pathways that signal tissue damage to the brain and sound the pain alarm bell.
Buying drugs on the street is a game of Russian roulette. From Xanax to cocaine, drugs or counterfeit pills purchased in nonmedical settings may contain life-threatening amounts of fentanyl.
“What if chronic pain is neither a physical sensation nor an emotional state?” the author writes. “What if chronic pain is something else altogether: a memory?”
The number of individual pills seized by law enforcement increased nearly 50-fold from the first quarter of 2018 to the last quarter of 2021 and the proportion of pills to total seizures more than doubled, with pills representing over a quarter of illicit fentanyl seizures by the end of 2021.
The soaring death toll has been fueled by a much more dangerous black market opioid supply. Illicitly synthesized fentanyl – a potent and inexpensive opioid that has driven the rise in overdoses since it emerged in 2014 – is increasingly replacing heroin. Fentanyl and fentanyl analogs were responsible for almost two-thirds of the overdose deaths recorded in the 12 months period ending in April 2021.
Nationwide, there has been a 31% increase in overdose deaths during the pandemic compared with the year before, fueled largely by the presence of the potent opioid fentanyl in heroin, methamphetamines and other illicit drugs.
Health officials urge people to carry naloxone and know overdose signs