No Spike in Overdose Deaths From Relaxed Buprenorphine Regs

Measures enacted in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic to increase access to buprenorphine did not lead to an increase in the proportion of overdose deaths involving the drug, new research suggests. Researchers say the data add weight to the argument for permanently adopting the pandemic-era prescribing regulations for buprenorphine, a treatment for opioid … Read more

US Ketamine Poisonings Up 81%

Ketamine poisonings in the United States increased 81% between 2019 and 2021, according to a new analysis of calls to poison control centers. Although the overall ketamine exposures were low, researchers say the findings add to a growing body of research that suggests recreational ketamine use may be on the rise. “Ketamine is by no … Read more

ADHD Exacts Higher Mental Health Toll vs Autism in Adults

Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is more predictive of poor mental health in adults than autism spectrum disorder (ASD), new research suggests. In a trait-based analysis of more than 500 adults, researchers found that ADHD traits trumped ASD traits in predicting internalizing problems. “Further research is now needed to delve deeper into understanding exactly why ADHD … Read more

Two Short-Term Exposure Therapies Linked to PTSD Reductions

Two forms of short-term exposure therapy may help reduce symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), new research suggests. In a randomized clinical trial comparing an abbreviated form of prolonged exposure (PE) therapy against an intensive outpatient program (IOP) form of PE, military veterans with combat-related PTSD in both groups experienced significant improvements in PTSD symptoms. … Read more

Cancer Exacts a High Emotional Toll on Spouses

A cancer diagnosis can take a heavy emotional toll on a patient’s spouse, even years after the diagnosis, as new research shows. In a study of more than 3 million Danes and Swedes, spouses of patients with cancer faced an increased risk of developing a psychiatric disorder, including substance abuse, depression, anxiety, and stress-related conditions, … Read more

Primary Care Moves Patients With Addiction to Self-Advocacy

Samuel Werner, DO, a family medicine physician in West Hartford, Connecticut, vividly remembers one patient who was struggling with a drug addiction. The man was having trouble holding down a steady job because of his dependence, but with Werner’s guidance, he started on buprenorphine. Werner also connected him with a social worker to address housing … Read more

SUD History Tied to Increased Risk of Death From Other Illnesses

Patients hospitalized for substance use disorder (SUD) are significantly more likely to die from other medical conditions later in life, a new study suggests. Researchers looked at mortality following a diagnosis of 28 different medical conditions, including heart failure, cancer, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and stroke, and found patients with a history of alcohol or drug … Read more

Four Commonly Abused Drugs Linked With Atrial Fibrillation

Cocaine, methamphetamine, opioids, and cannabis may independently increase the risk of atrial fibrillation (AFib), based on data from almost 24 million people. While more work is needed to uncover causal links, physicians should be aware that these commonly abused substances could be driving new cases of AFib, reported investigators from the University of California, San … Read more

Taking Prescribed Opioids Tied to Low Rates of Illicit Drug Use

Less than 5% of people whose opioid therapy is managed in a pain management setting test positive for illicit drugs, a new study found. An analysis of urine drug tests (UDTs) from 600,000 pain clinic patients also shows that those who test positive for their prescribed opioids are significantly less likely to test positive for … Read more

‘U-Shaped’ Relationship Between Bipolar Risk and Parental Age

VIENNA — Individuals born to younger or older parents are at increased risk of developing bipolar disorder, new research suggests. Results from a meta-analysis of more than 210,000 patients with bipolar disorder and over 13 million healthy individuals showed that children of mothers younger than 20 years had a 23% increased risk for bipolar disorder … Read more