The FDA’s Latest Black Box Warning: Don’t Mix Opioids, Benzos

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration yesterday mandated updated labels for nearly 400 opioids and benzodiazepines, following a review of scientific evidence and a citizen...

Researchers Find Bias in Industry-Funded Continuing Medical Education

Industry-funded continuing medical education (CME) influences physicians to prescribe more opioids, focus less on the consequences.

How the News Frames the Opioid Epidemic

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US news coverage has primarily framed the opioid drug abuse epidemic as a criminal justice issue rather than a public health problem, according to new research published ahead of print in the Journal of Psychiatric Services. The media’s framing of the epidemic may increase stigma against those who develop a dependency on prescription drugs and distract political attention from public-health oriented solutions, such as increased access to substance abuse recovery treatments.

The Inaugural “Shkreli Awards!”

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This piece for the Lown Institute lists 10 of the most egregious examples of profit-mongering and lack of empathy in healthcare in 2017. These examples include...

Individuals With Low Incomes More Likely to Have Chronic Pain

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Findings show that participants with lower levels of education and SES suffer from more chronic pain.

“FDA to Require Much Stronger Warnings on Opioid Painkillers”

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NBC News reports that the FDA is taking action in an attempt to make opioid drugs, cousins to opium and heroin, a last-ditch option...

America’s Opioid Crisis Proves the Limits of Capitalism

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In this piece for RT, Slavoj Žižek discusses the impact of capitalism on America's opioid crisis, exploring the factors that have driven people to use drugs...

Abilify: The Drug That Could Gamble Your Life Away

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On this episode of America's Lawyer, Mike Papantonio discusses the numerous lawsuits pending involving the anti-psychotic drug Abilify, which has caused plaintiffs to develop serious...

Psychologist Rethinks Psychotropic Medications, Calls for Renewed Dialogue

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Psychologist and Professor Amber Gum has published the story of her personal journey of rethinking psychotropic medication in a special issue on "The Politics of Mental Health" in The Journal of Medicine and the Person. Influenced by Mad in America and the work of Robert Whitaker, Gum became aware of evidence that “suggests that psychotropic medications are less effective and more harmful than most believe” and now hopes to encourage other mental health professionals and researchers to engage in open-minded, critical self-assessment of standard practices.

Opioid Use in Pregnancy Dangerous and Understudied

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Nora Volkow, the director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), authored an editorial for BMJ this month warning that the opioid abuse epidemic could have dangerous consequences for pregnant women. While the effects of opioid exposure on the developing brain are yet unknown, research suggests that infants may suffer from withdrawal syndrome, nervous system defects, and impaired attachment with the mother.

Can Education Level Predict Prescription Drug Misuse in Young Adults?

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A new study examines the extent to which patterns in prescription drug misuse and substance use disorder symptoms can be predicted by education level

CBT and Educational Intervention Reduce Chronic Pain, Study Finds

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Research examines the effects of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) on experiences of chronic pain among low-income patients.

Are Pharmaceutical Companies to Blame for the Opioid Epidemic?

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From The Atlantic: As opioid abuse rises, some attorneys general and advocates are filing lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies for misleading doctors and the public about...

Experts Warn of an Emerging ‘Stimulant Epidemic’

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From Medscape: While policymakers and members of the general public are justifiably focused on addressing the opioid epidemic, there is another epidemic that may be...

The Opioid Diaries

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From TIME: Over the past year, photographer James Nachtwey set out to document the opioid crisis, the worst addiction epidemic in American history. Here, Nachtwey's...

Report Calls For Policy Changes In Response To Dependence and Withdrawal From Prescribed Drugs

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Statistics from the UK reveal that prescriptions for painkillers and antidepressants continue to rise despite concerns over dependence and debilitating withdrawal effects. The British Medical Association (BMA) Board of Science has released a report that acknowledges changes to medical practice, research and policy necessary for addressing the dependence and withdrawal effects of benzodiazepines, opioids, and antidepressants.

Opioid Bill Includes Involuntary Commitment

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From EDS and Chronic Pain News & Info: Recent legislation has proposed measures that permit people to be involuntarily committed on the basis of perceived...

The Drug Industry’s Triumph Over the DEA

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In this piece for The Washington Post, Scott Higham and Lenny Bernstein investigate how a handful of members of Congress, allied with some of the nation's...

Opioids May Cause Depression and Worsen Chronic Pain

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“Converging lines of evidence now suggest that depression—a common comorbidity in the setting of chronic pain—may in some patients represent an unrecognized yet potentially reversible harm of opioid therapy.”

Importance of Physical Symptoms in Mental Health Evals

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Researchers at Harvard Medical School highlight the need for mental health clinicians to explore the meaning of physical symptoms and pain
opioid epidemic

Companies That Fueled the Opioid Epidemic Should Fund Efforts to End It

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The quickest way to restore safe use of opioid prescription is to insist that the drug companies that promoted the overuse of opioids now create a pot of money to develop powerful TV, radio, and print ads, free continuing education offerings, and drug rehabilitation research.

Rates of Opioid Use Remain High Among US Adolescents

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Researchers investigate trends in opioid use, prescriptions, misuse, and access reported by adolescents and young adults.

British Medical Association Takes On Prescription Drug Dependence

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Last year the British Medical Association (BMA) released a report on dependence and withdrawal from prescription drugs including benzodiazepines, z-drugs, opioids, and antidepressants. Now,...

Should Our Tax Dollars Be Spent on Promoting Drugs?

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As part of the Affordable Care Act, the federal government has made a commitment to integrate behavioral health with physical medicine. Physicians have saddled America with addiction to antidepressants, antipsychotics, and benzodiazpines. If the federal government decides that opiate addiction is ok, as they seem to have conceded, shouldn’t the question be “what is the cheapest and the safest opiate?” In Europe, heroin is an option right along with buprenorphine and methadone. It seems to me that the “back-door” legalization of opiates under the guise of “treatment” ought to at least be debated out in the open.

Powerful Opioid Suspected in 10-year-old Miami Boy’s Death

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From STAT: A 10-year-old boy from Miami recently died from a fentanyl overdose, becoming one of the youngest victims of the opioid crisis. Article →­