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NIDA Notes Articles: Pain Medication

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Messages Shore Up Support for Making Life-Saving Anti-Overdose Medication Widely Available

October 2016

Public health messages can increase public approval for making naloxone legally available to friends and relatives of opioid users to administer if an overdose occurs.

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Life Skills Training Shields Teens From Prescription Opioid Misuse

December 2015

Communities that implemented Life Skills Training in a trial more than recouped its cost in reduced health, social, and other expenditures related to teen prescription opioid misuse.

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Long-Term Follow-Up of Medication-Assisted Treatment for Addiction to Pain Relievers Yields “Cause for Optimism”

November 2015

In the first long-term follow-up of patients treated with buprenorphine/naloxone for addiction to opioid pain relievers, half reported that they were abstinent from the drugs 18 months after starting the therapy.

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Study Points to Individualized Therapy for Opioid Addiction

February 2015

Trial participants who were addicted to opioid painkillers and did not inject drugs stayed in treatment longer and achieved better outcomes than those who were addicted to heroin or injected drugs.

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Patients Addicted to Opioid Painkillers Achieve Good Results With Outpatient Detoxification

February 2015

A significant portion of individuals who are addicted to opioid painkillers may initiate and maintain abstinence with a brief but intensive outpatient detoxification treatment followed by opioid antagonist therapy using naltrexone.

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Although Relatively Few, “Doctor Shoppers” Skew Opioid Prescribing

May 2014

One out of every 143 U.S. patients who received a prescription for an opioid painkiller in 2008 obtained prescriptions from multiple physicians in a pattern that suggests misuse or abuse of the drugs.

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Problem Behaviors Can Signal Risk in Prescribing Opioids to Teens

July 2013

Researchers found that 1 in 8 high school seniors had used a prescription opioid nonmedically, and 70 percent of these teens had compounded the attendant risk by co-ingesting an opioid with one or more other drugs. Nonmedical opioid use was significantly more prevalent among whites than among African Americans or Hispanics.

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Oxycodone Vaccine Passes Early Tests

May 2013

A new vaccine hindered the often-abused prescription opioids oxycodone and hydrocodone from entering the brain and suppressed one of the drugs’ signature central nervous system effects. The findings warrant continued development of the vaccine as a potential aid in the treatment of oxycodone and hydrocodone abuse and dependence.

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Thoughts of Suicide May Persist Among Nonmedical Prescription Opiate Users

March 2013

People who use prescription opiates nonmedically are more likely to consider suicide than those who use these medications only appropriately or not at all. A recent NIDA-supported study also disclosed that the risk for suicidal thoughts remains elevated after cessation of use.

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Adolescent Cigarette, Alcohol Use Declines as Marijuana Use Rises

February 2013

Fewer teens are using cigarettes, alcohol, and most illicit drugs, according to NIDA’s latest Monitoring the Future study. Troubling  trends persist in marijuana use, however, and nonmedical prescription drug use remains a concern.


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