painkillers

Heroin’s Low Cost and Easy Access Attract People Addicted to Painkillers: Study

A study of people addicted to painkillers who began using heroin confirms that many of them were drawn to heroin’s low cost and wide availability. Researchers surveyed 15,000 people being treated for drug addiction, and conducted in-depth interviews with 267 of them. They found almost half of those interviewed were…

Oregon Will Fund Alternative Pain Treatments for Patients with Medicaid

Oregon will fund many alternative pain treatments for patients covered by the state’s version of Medicaid starting in January, NPR reports. The state hopes to reduce the number of people who become addicted to opioids or abuse them. Medicaid traditionally has dealt with back pain through bed rest and prescription…

“Pharmacy Shopping” Involved in Many Deaths From Painkiller Overdoses

A new study links “pharmacy shopping” with many painkiller overdose deaths among patients on Medicaid. The study found patients who used four pharmacies within 90 days had the highest odds of overdosing, HealthDay reports. Medicaid programs in many states keep track of the number of pharmacies that patients visit, in…

Drug Companies Race to Find Painkillers That Don’t Make People High

A number of drug companies are trying to develop strong painkillers that don’t make people high, according to The Wall Street Journal. Such drugs would be less likely to be abused. Companies seeking new painkillers include biotech startups, as well as large drug manufacturers such as Pfizer and Biogen. Experts…

Fast-Spreading HIV Outbreak in Indiana Linked to Injection of Painkiller

Health officials in Indiana say a fast-spreading outbreak of HIV in Indiana is largely due to injection drug abuse of the prescription painkiller Opana. The powerful drug is more potent, per milligram, than OxyContin. State health officials said Wednesday they have confirmed 26 cases, and have four additional suspected cases.…