painkiller abuse

Teens abusing painkillers are more likely to later use heroin

A USC study in the July 8 issue of JAMA Pediatrics shows that teens who use prescription opioids to get high are more likely to start using heroin by high school graduation. “Prescription opioids and heroin activate the brain’s pleasure circuit in similar ways,” said senior author Adam Leventhal, a professor of…

Growing opioid epidemic forcing more children into foster care

The opioid epidemic has become so severe it’s considered a national public health emergency. Addiction to prescription painkillers, such as oxycodone and morphine, has contributed to a dramatic rise in overdose deaths and health care costs. What many don’t realize, it’s also associated with an alarming number of children placed…

Pre-clinical study suggests path toward non-addictive painkillers

A pre-clinical study led by Indiana University scientists reports a promising step forward in the search for pain relief methods without the addictive side effects behind the country’s current opioid addiction crisis. The research, which appears in the journal Biological Psychiatry, finds that the use of compounds called positive allosteric modulators,…

Number of Children and Teens Hospitalized for Opioid Overdoses Almost Tripled

A new study finds the number of young children and teens hospitalized for opioid painkiller overdoses has almost tripled in recent years. Opioid overdoses increased 205 percent from 1997 to 2012 among children ages 1 to 4, HealthDay reports. Among teens ages 15 to 19, overdoses increased 176 percent. Full story…

In Many Countries, Difficulty in Accessing Opioid Painkillers Causes Suffering

As the United States tackles the challenge of opioid painkiller addiction, people in many parts of the world are suffering from pain because doctors are reluctant to prescribe opioids. Opioids are restricted, and often unavailable, in most poor and middle-incomes countries, even for patients with AIDS, terminal cancer or serious…