Mixing of Opioids and Alcohol Make for a Dangerous Cocktail

Mixing of Opioids and Alcohol Make for a Dangerous Cocktail
A new study warns that drinking alcohol while taking powerful opioid painkillers can trigger a potentially deadly respiratory problem, particularly in seniors. In the study, report on by HeathDay, the researchers assessed how mixing the opioid painkiller oxycodone and alcohol affected 12 younger volunteers, aged 21 to 28, and 12 older volunteers, aged 66 to 77. None of the p The study authors reported that taking just one oxycodone tablet with a modest amount of alcohol increased the risk of respiratory depression. The older volunteers were more likely than the younger ones to have repeated episodes where they temporarily stopped breathing. The study was published online Feb. 7 in the journal Anesthesiology.
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Survey Finds Increase in Number of Pregnant Women Using Marijuana

Survey Finds Increase in Number of Pregnant Women Using Marijuana
A recent federal survey finds almost 4 percent of pregnant women said they had used marijuana in the past month in 2014, up from 2.4 percent in 2002. Pregnant women who use marijuana often assume the drug has no effect on developing infants, The New York Times reports. But preliminary research suggests the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, THC, can cross the placenta and reach the fetus, experts tell the newspaper. This has the potential to harm brain development, cognition and birth weight. THC can also appear in breast milk, the article notes. “There is an increased perception of the safety of cannabis use, even in pregnancy, without data to say it’s actually safe,” said Dr. Torri Metz, an obstetrician at Denver Health Medical Center who specializes in high-risk pregnancies. She says 10 percent of her patients admit they recently used marijuana.
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California Reports More Young Adults Ending Up in ER Because of Heroin

California Reports More Young Adults Ending Up in ER Because of Heroin
A growing number of Californians in their 20s are ending up in the emergency room because of heroin, according to the Los Angeles Daily News. In the first three months of last year, 412 adults ages 20 to 29 went to the emergency room in California because of heroin—double the number for the same period in 2012. While heroin-related emergency room visits increased among all ages, the largest increase was among young adults. According to Dr. Crescenzo Pisano, an internist who specializes in addiction and addiction medicine at Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center in San Pedro, young people start misusing prescription opioids and then turn to heroin. “People price themselves out of range,” he said. “Relatively affluent, well-to-do kids start stealing and find heroin is cheaper to use.”
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NJ to Require Physicians to Discuss Addictive Qualities of Opiates Prior to Prescribing

NJ to Require Physicians to Discuss Addictive Qualities of Opiates Prior to Prescribing
According to the The Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey, Garden State residents will now be informed of the addictive qualities of the medicines their children are prescribed thanks to a new law, the first of its kind in the nation, which passed recently in the State. The new law (A3424/S2156) signed by Governor Chris Christie requires prescribers, both physicians and dentists, to speak to the parents of their patients under the age of 18 before prescribing an opioid, according to Angelo M. Valente, Executive Director of The Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey (PDFNJ). The law also requires prescribers to discuss non-opiate alternatives and make note of the conversation. “The passage of today’s law will guarantee that families are equipped with the knowledge they need to prevent opiate abuse in their children. This groundbreaking law will serve as a model for the rest of the nation in their efforts to...
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New Method for E-Cigarette Use Called “Dripping” Becoming Popular Among Teens

New Method for E-Cigarette Use Called “Dripping” Becoming Popular Among Teens
A new method for using e-cigarettes called “dripping” is becoming popular among teens. A report published in Pediatrics finds one-quarter of U.S. teens who use e-cigarettes have experimented with dripping. This method creates denser clouds of vapor, HealthDay reports. The health effects of dripping are unknown, according to the report’s authors from Yale University School of Medicine. Regular e-cigarettes produces inhalable vapor by slowly drawing liquid into a heating coil through an automatic wick. Dripping involves placing drops of e-liquid directly onto the heating coil, and inhaling the cloud of vapor that is produced. Among teens who tried dripping, 64 percent said they liked the thicker clouds of vapor it produced. Almost 40 percent said they thought it produced a better flavor, while 22 percent were simply curious to try it.
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