Is Medical Cannabis the Answer to the Opioid Crisis?

Medical cannabis may be an important alternative to opioids for pain management, new research suggests. In a large survey, patients with a variety of ailments, including pain and mental health problems, reported less pain and better functioning, after using medical cannabis — and most were able to stop or cut back on their opioid use. … Read more

First Known Opiate Biomarker Shows Fentanyl’s Effect on Brain

Fentanyl depresses breathing about 4 minutes before symptoms of distress are evident at a dose that is 1700 times lower than that needed for sedation, new research shows. This new information comes after researchers identified a unique EEG signature produced by fentanyl, the first known biomarker of an opiate’s effect on the brain. By monitoring … Read more

Doctors Rush to Use Supreme Court Ruling to Escape Opioid Charges

Dr. Nelson Onaro conceded last summer that he’d written prescription illegals, although he said he was thinking only of his patients. From a tiny, brick clinic in Oklahoma, he doled out hundreds of opioid pills and dozens of fentanyl patches with no legitimate medical purpose. “Those medications were prescribed to help my patients, from my … Read more

Stable, Long-term Opioid Therapy Safer Than Tapering?

Discontinuing Stable, Long-TERM OPIOIID Therapy May Not BE NECESAY FOR PATIENTS who show no Signs of Misuse ― and IT COUL Even Be Safer Than Tapering Or Aburt Discontinism, New Research Suggests. Investigators Analyzed Data for Almost 200,000 Patients who did not have signs of OPIOOID USE DISEORDER (Oud) and Were Receiving Opioid Treatment. The … Read more

They Call It ‘Tranq,’ and It’s Making Street Drugs More Dangerous

Approaching a van that distributes supplies for safer drug use in Greenfield, Massachusetts, a man named Kyle noticed an alert about xylazine. “Xylazine?” he asked, sounding out the unfamiliar word. “Tell me more.” Tapestry Health Systems nurse Katy Robbins hands bottles of water to Kyle as he visits the harm reduction mobile unit in Greenfield, … Read more

Does Ketamine Live Up to the Hype in Depression?

This transcript has been edited for clarity. Stephen M. Strakowski, MD: Hello. Thank you so much for joining us today. I’m very excited to have two very illustrious and intelligent guests talk us through an interesting topic, the use of ketamine for depression. I’m Dr Stephen Strakowski, a professor of psychiatry at both Indiana University … Read more

‘Shocking’ and Persistent Gap in Treatment for Opioid Addiction

The vast majority of Americans with opioid use disorder (OUD) do not potentially receive lifesaving medications. Drugs such as methadone, buprenorphine, and extended-release naltrexone have been shown to reduce opioid overdoses by more than 50%. Yet a new analysis shows that only about 1 in 10 people living with OUD receive these medications. Dr Noa … Read more

Postsurgical Opioid Refills Risky for Entire Household

Postsurgical opioid refills are associated with an increased risk for opioid misuse among family members — and the more refills, the higher the risk, new research suggests. Further results showed that if a surgical patient became a chronic opioid user, the likelihood of a family member misusing these drugs increased 2.5 times. “Patients requiring ongoing … Read more

First US Sanctioned Safe Injection Sites Curb Overdose Risk

Overdose prevention centers (OPCs) decrease overdose risk and curb public use of illicit drugs, according to early data from the first two federally sanctioned centers in the United States — both in New York City (NYC). In 2020, 2062 people died of a drug overdose in NYC — the deadliest year on record for the … Read more

Antidepressants May Curb Opioid Overdose

Patients with a history of depression who are also being treated with opioid analgesics have a lower risk for overdose and self-harm after taking antidepressants, new research suggests. Investigators analyzed insurance claims for more than 200,000 adults with a history of depression. Of these, 8200 experienced adverse events (AEs) during the year after initiation of … Read more