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Health News Results - 140

Talk therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) doesn't appear to increase addiction treatment patients' risk of relapse, a small new study says.

Roughly a quarter of people with drug or alcohol use disorders also have PTSD, typically caused by a traumatic or stressful life event such as combat or rape.

Cognitive behavioral therapy is the leading PTSD treatment, but s...

Safe injection sites for users of illicit drugs such as heroin: They've been tried and legalized in countries such as Canada and the Netherlands, and a new study suggests they might save American lives, too.

In the study, published online July 8 in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers analyzed five years of data (2014 to 2019) from an unsanctioned safe drug consumpt...

The COVID-19 pandemic is shaking up America's approach to addiction treatment, but the fallout hasn't been all bad, experts say.

In-person support meetings either aren't happening or have been severely curtailed, and addiction centers are facing financial ruin because folks are too afraid of the coronavirus to seek treatment.

But paradoxically, people might have better acces...

Alcohol and drug use is more common among older adults who identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual than among their straight counterparts, a new study finds.

For the study, New York University (NYU) researchers analyzed 25,880 responses from adults aged 50 and older who participated in a nationwide survey on alcohol and drug use between 2015 and 2017. Of the participants, 2.5% identi...

Mental health problems and substance abuse are common among cops, and more needs to be done to address those issues, researchers say.

Previous studies have suggested that first responders have a higher risk of mental health issues than the general public, but it wasn't clear how police officers were affected.

To learn more, researchers reviewed 67 studies that included more ...

COVID-19 has directly claimed tens of thousands of U.S. lives, but conditions stemming from the novel coronavirus -- rampant unemployment, isolation and an uncertain future -- could lead to 75,000 deaths from drug or alcohol abuse and suicide, new research suggests.

Deaths from these causes are known as "deaths of despair." And the COVID-19 pandemic may be accelerating conditions that...

Lesbian, gay and bisexual members in the U.S. military are at higher risk for sexual harassment, sexual assault and stalking, a new study reports.

And that sexual victimization can trigger mental health problems such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, substance use and suicidal behavior, researchers say.

They surveyed 544 active-duty U.S. service members, includi...

Marijuana dependence goes hand in hand with poor mental health, and problems may persist long after stopping the drug, according to Canadian researchers.

Nearly half of people who have been or are now dependent on pot have some form of mental illness or dependence on another substance, according to a report this month in the journal Advances in Preventative Medicine. That compare...

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% ...

The social distancing and isolation of the coronavirus pandemic may put people struggling with addiction at risk for relapse, an expert says.

Feeling stressed, isolated and scared may drive them back to substance abuse, said Dr. Lawrence Brown Jr., CEO of the nonprofit START Treatment & Recovery Centers, New York's largest independent drug treatment agency.

"Whatever str...

Most legal medical marijuana -- more than 90% -- is stronger than what doctors recommend for chronic pain relief, a new study finds.

"We know that high-potency products should not have a place in the medical realm because of the high risk of developing cannabis-use disorders, which are related to exposure to high THC-content products," said lead author Dr. Alfonso Edgar Romero-Sa...

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...

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...

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%.

Teens who are bullied about their weight are at increased risk for alcohol or marijuana use -- and this is especially true for girls, a new study suggests.

Researchers surveyed more than 1,300 students at five public middle schools in Connecticut. The students were asked if siblings, parents or peers had teased them about their weight, body shape or eating during the past six months.<...

Of the medications that have been studied to treat problem marijuana use, none have proved effective, a new analysis shows.

The review, of 26 trials, found that no tested drugs -- including antidepressants, anxiety medication and synthetic cannabinoids -- showed clear benefits for people with cannabis use disorder (CUD).

CUD may be diagnosed when a marijuana habit becomes a ...

Overcoming addiction can be difficult, with powerful cravings often causing relapse. But a psychiatrist offers some tips for success.

Know your triggers, said Dr. Nahla Mahgoub, of Gracie Square Hospital in New York City.

People in recovery are vulnerable to various environmental and emotional triggers, said Mahgoub.

That helps explain why an estimated 40% to ...

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...

In another sign of just how bad the U.S. opioid abuse epidemic has become, a new study finds family members often steal painkillers from dying relatives in hospice care.

In a survey of 371 hospices, 31% reported at least one case in which drugs were taken from a patient in the past 90 days. The thieves were most often relatives.

Lead researcher John Cagle said it's not c...

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...

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 ass...

After four years of declines, life expectancy in the United States increased in 2018, health officials reported Thursday.

The jump in longevity comes as deaths from opioid overdoses dropped for the first time in 28 years, as did deaths from six of the 10 leading causes.

The new data could be a glimmer of good news for Americans' health, with recent declines in average lifesp...

Nearly half of all opioid doses and more than a quarter of all opioid prescriptions in the United States come from 1% of health care providers, a new study says.

The authors said this suggests that efforts to reduce overuse of prescription opioid painkillers should not focus on strict limits for all doctors but on a small percentage.

"Most p...

As the United States grapples with an opioid abuse crisis, Americans are being urged to learn how to recognize and respond to overdoses from these and other drugs.

A populace better prepared to spot and respond to opioid ODs could help reduce the nearly 200 U.S. deaths per day linked to drugs and alcohol, the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) said.

Every day in the...

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 ...

Naloxone can prevent opioid overdose deaths, but only a tiny percentage of Americans at risk are prescribed the lifesaving drug.

That's the key finding from an analysis of nationwide data on adults with private health insurance.

The researchers found that while naloxone (Evzio, Narcan) prescriptions in this group rose between January 2014 and mid-2017, only 1.6% of thos...

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...

A study of over 1 million urine drug tests from across the United States shows soaring rates of use of methamphetamines and fentanyl, often used together in potentially lethal ways.

The drug test results came primarily from clinics dealing with primary care, pain management or substance abuse disorders.

The results showed that between 2013 and 2019, urine samples testing pos...

It's a connection that health officials might miss, but an alarming new study shows that when factories close, deaths from opioid overdoses soar.

"There's this sense of increasing despair among people -- especially people who are working-class who have seen in the last several decades a lot of their economic opportunities wither away," said lead researcher Dr. Atheendar Venkataraman...

People who regularly drink to excess are also likely to use benzodiazepines, a new study finds.

These drugs -- like Valium (diazepam), Xanax (alprazolam), Klonopin (clonazepam), Ativan (lorazepam), and Restoril (temazepam) -- are used to treat depression and anxiety.

But when heavy drinkers use them, benzodiazepines (sometimes referred to as "benzos") may increase the risk...

The number of kids overdosing on commonly prescribed anxiety medications such as Xanax, Valium or Ativan has risen dramatically during the past decade, a new study shows.

Child and teenage ODs caused by these benzodiazepine drugs increased by 54% between 2000 and 2015, according to data logged by U.S. poison control centers.

The increase in benzodiazepine overdoses among...

An alarming number of young people are showing up in America's emergency rooms after overdosing on opioid painkillers, a new study finds.

In a study of more than 200,000 cases of kids misusing and abusing opioid painkillers, researchers found that, although the number of such incidents has dropped since 2005, life-threatening cases have increased.

"Parents and pediatrician...

U.S. teens and young adults are as likely as older people to overdose on prescription opioid painkillers and have the same risk factors, researchers say.

They analyzed data on 2.8 million privately insured patients from 12 to 21 years of age who received opioid prescriptions between 2009 and 2017.

One in 10,000 had an opioid overdose, the same rate as among adult patients wi...

Despair, as evidenced in rising rates of drug abuse and suicide, may be eroding the average life expectancy of Americans, a new study finds.

Deaths among working-age adults, especially, have been increasing in the United States for decades, particularly in economically struggling parts of the nation such as the "Rust Belt" and Appalachia, the researchers reported.

These earl...

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.

Even years after a gunshot wound heals, shooting survivors may be at greater risk of alcohol abuse, drug abuse and unemployment, new research finds.

The study of more than 180 gunshot victims also found that nearly half appeared to have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) years after the incident.

"The effects of gunshot injuries go beyond mortality statistics and function...

States that legalized recreational marijuana have seen an increase in problematic pot use among teens and adults aged 26 and older, a new study finds.

The researchers compared marijuana use in Colorado, Washington, Alaska and Oregon -- the first four states to legalize recreational marijuana -- before and after legalization. The investigators also compared trends in those states with ...

The popular herbal supplement kratom may cause liver damage, researchers warn.

Kratom is widely available in smoke shops and online. It's a botanical product made from Mitragyna speciosa, a tropical evergreen tree found in Southeast Asia. At low doses, it's a stimulant. At high doses, it has an opioid-like effect.

Use of kratom has risen sharply since the start of...

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...

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...

Taking opioids after a vasectomy doesn't improve pain control and is associated with increased risk of persistent use of the addictive painkillers months later, a new study says.

It included 228 men who had vasectomies performed by eight different urologists. Two of the urologists routinely prescribed opioids for pain after the surgery. The other six used other methods to control pain...

Methadone is often used in the fight against opioid addiction, but long travel times in rural areas may be hampering efforts to get more people treated, a new study finds.

If methadone for opioid addiction was available in primary care clinics, more people would have better access to treatment, researchers suggest.

In the United States, methadone is only available at clinic...

A constant barrage of news on America's opioid epidemic stokes feelings of hopelessness, and with good reason: Every day, more than 130 people are dying from overdoses, according to government statistics.

But amid the harrowing stories, there's some good news: It is possible to recover from an opioid addiction.

That's the primary message from a study published recently in th...

Addiction and overdose deaths aren't the only consequence of America's opioid epidemic. Cases of a potentially deadly heart infection have risen alarmingly, too, a new study finds.

This bacterial infection, called infective endocarditis, often affects young, poor white men who share needles. Many also have HIV, hepatitis C and alcohol abuse, the researchers said.

Looking at ...

The epidemic of opioid addiction and abuse ravaging the United States is also affecting teenagers.

Now, research confirms that anti-addiction medications that help adult abusers can also help teen patients.

"Adolescents with severe opioid use disorder may benefit from a medication as part of a larger comprehensive treatment plan," said study lead author Dr. Deepa Camenga, fr...

Amid an epidemic of opioid painkiller addiction, Americans are still being overprescribed narcotic painkillers compared to many other countries, researchers report.

A case in point is Sweden, where patients are less likely to be prescribed opioids after surgery than American patients. In fact, in the United States and Canada combined, surgical patients are seven times more likely to g...

The good news is overdose deaths from opioids in the United States have dropped slightly in 25 states, but here's the bad news: Deaths from fentanyl are still increasing, federal health officials reported Thursday.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), overdose deaths from fentanyl increased, especially when mixed with other opioids, benzodiazepines, ...

Pot. Alcohol. Depression.

This trio of factors is on the increase in former smokers and ups the risk of relapse, undermining decades of gains made in the effort to help Americans kick the habit, a new study suggests.

"Because previous research has demonstrated that these factors put former smokers at greater risk of relapsing with tobacco … our study should signal an ...

Purdue Pharma, the drug giant many have blamed for the ongoing U.S. opioid abuse crisis, has offered $10 billion to $12 billion to settle more than 2,000 lawsuits lodged against it, NBC News is reporting.

The news comes a day after the first of many pending state-driven opioid lawsuits -- this one lodged by Oklahoma -- ended in a judge ruling that the Johnson & Johnson comp...

Amid an ongoing epidemic of opioid addiction and misuse, a national panel on Tuesday advised that doctors routinely screen all adults for illicit drug use.

That includes the misuse of prescribed medications, noted the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF).

"For the first time, there is enough evidence for the Task Force to recommend that primary care clinicians screen...