Prescription Painkillers Containing Hydrocodone May Become More Tightly Regulated

vicodin1Advisers to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will meet this fall to discuss whether prescription painkillers containing hydrocodone should be more tightly regulated, Bloomberg reports. They will evaluate the risks and benefits of hydrocodone preparations that are used to treat pain and coughs.

Emergency room visits related to hydrocodone, the key ingredient in Vicodin and other painkillers, have soared since 2000.

Vicodin, which also contains acetaminophen, is subject to fewer regulations than pure hydrocodone, the article notes.

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Addiction is a Disease, Not a Moral Failure : Kerlikowske

KerlikowskeAddiction is a disease, not a moral failure, according to Gil Kerlikowske, Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. He is scheduled to speak about addiction and drug control policy Monday at the Betty Ford Center in California.

He will call for more alternatives to current drug policy, including early intervention through health care, better access to treatment, more support during recovery, and effective public education, The Desert Sun reports.

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More High School Students Using ADHD Drugs to Get Better Grades

High-school-studentsA growing number of high school students are using attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) drugs, such as Adderall and Ritalin, to help them get better grades, The New York Times reports. Teens get them from friends, buy them from student dealers, or pretend to have ADHD in order to get prescriptions.

Gary Boggs, a special agent for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), told the newspaper it is a nationwide problem.

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Workplace Insurers Spend More Than $1 Billion on Narcotic Painkillers

Amphetamines2Costs related to narcotic painkillers are growing for workplace insurers, which are currently spending an estimated $1.4 billion on the drugs, The New York Times reports. The companies are facing payouts to workers with injuries who are being treated with opioids, including many who do not return to work for months—or who don't return at all.

Opioids can increase disability payouts and medical expenses by delaying employees' return to work, if the drugs are used too often, too early in treatment, or for too long. A study by the California Workers Compensation Institute conducted in 2008 found workers taking high doses of opioids to treat injuries, such as back strain, were out of work three times longer, compared to those with similar injuries who took lower doses of medication.

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Treating Teens for Depression Can Reduce Odds of Future Drug Abuse

Depressed-teenTreating teenagers for major depression can reduce the odds they will develop a drug use disorder, a new study suggests.

The five-year study included 192 teenagers across the country who were treated for depression for 12 weeks. The teens had no preexisting problems with alcohol or drug abuse. They had major depression before treatment began.

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New York Emergency Room Visits Related to Drinking on the Rise

Emergency roomThe number of visits to New York public hospital emergency rooms that are related to drinking shot up from almost 8,000 to 15,620 in five years, the New York Daily News reports.

Drinking is now the fifth-leading cause of emergency room visits at public hospitals, according to the newspaper. Teenage binge drinking is one of the main drivers behind the increase.

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Fake Adderall Being Sold Online, FDA Warns

Fake-AdderallA counterfeit form of the drug Adderall is being sold online, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned.

Adderall, prescribed for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and narcolepsy, also is used illicitly to increase attention and get high, the Los Angeles Times reports. The drug is in short supply because of manufacturing problems, the article notes. Distributors of the fake medication are taking advantage of the shortage.

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U.S. Says Drug Abuse Needs Treatment, Not Just Jail

JailThe United States sees drug abuse as a public health problem as much as a crime issue and is seeking to learn from countries in Europe and elsewhere about how to treat addiction as a disease, Barack Obama's drugs policy chief said recently.

Gil Kerlikowske, the U.S. president's director of national drug control policy, said the United States is taking a more balanced approach to substance abusers rather than fighting a "war on drugs" centered mainly on law enforcement.

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Reducing Alcohol to Half a Unit a Day Saves Lives

BeerAbout 4,600 lives in England could be saved by reducing alcohol intake to just half a unit a day, say experts. The Oxford University report warned that alcohol consumption is a risk factor for many chronic diseases.

The government recommends that men drink no more than three to four units per day and women no more than two to three.

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7-Eleven Makes Moves to Fight Underage Addiction

Ethnic 27- Eleven recently announced new and aggressive approaches against illegal underage sales of age-restricted products including alcohol, tobacco, potential inhalants and lottery tickets. The technology will verify the birth date stored on the card but will not store any other information about the customer.

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Facing Addiction and The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) are proud to announce the merger of our organizations – creating a national leader in turning the tide on the addiction epidemic.
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