Untreated depression may be an underlying cause of the US spike in opioid misuse. Researchers have found that depressed individuals are twice as likely as others to misuse painkillers. They also have doubled the risk of continuing to use opioids long term.  

Medical professionals and technology experts are using virtual reality (VR) to treat chronic pain and reduce opioid consumption, reports Mosaic’s Jo Marchant. VR offers the opportunity for those suffering from chronic pain to engage their brain and senses while…

An online course on opioid abuse treatment and prevention, offered by Harvard Medical School, has gained thousands of enrollees from over 100 countries in less than a month.

When Portugal faced one of the world’s worst drug epidemics in the 1990s, its government responded by treating drug use and possession as a medical issue, not a crime.   While the 2001 law that decriminalized drug use still sends dealers to prison, anyone caught with less…

In a new approach to addiction treatment, Connecticut-based Aware Recovery is pioneering a year-long, home-based model of care that aims to reduce notoriously high relapse rates in recovery.   While typical month-long inpatient programs send patients home to settings where…

LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas—Reducing stigma and recognizing addiction as a disease are key to combatting the opioid epidemic sweeping the US, participants said at yesterday’s Clinton Foundation Health Matters Annual Activation Summit.   As participant Nate Keller, MD, noted, it’s…

In response to congressional leaders’ questions about the opioid fentanyl, the US Office of National Drug Control Policy recently laid out what it knows about the deadly substance. Among the takeaways:

The US Drug Enforcement Agency targeted a company responsible for 66% of the highly addictive painkiller oxycodone sold in Florida. It alleged Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals violated laws preventing diversion of legal drugs to the black market.   500 million of its pills went…

Doctors face an ethical dilemma when they replace the heart valves of opioid users with a recurring heart-valve infection called endocarditis. The expensive procedure cannot address the underlying problem of addiction—which may send patients back for another round of…

Patients in rural Guatemala who need opioids for their chronic pain face unnecessary red tape that deprives them of access to treatment, writes Harvard Medical School student Jillian Moore.   She says patients must find a physician willing to prescribe opioids, purchase…