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Opioid Deaths in Young Americans Often Involve Other Drugs

Opioid overdose deaths involving more than one substance are more common among American teens and young adults than deaths caused by opioids alone, researchers report.

They also found that stimulants such as cocaine and crystal methamphetamine are the non-opioid substances most commonly involved in opioid overdose deaths in young people. Moreover, opioid overdose deaths involving stimula...

Reduced Drinking May Improve Veterans' Chronic Pain

Cutting back on booze may reduce chronic pain and use of other substances among U.S. veterans who are heavy drinkers, according to a new report.

The study included about 1,500 veterans who completed annual surveys between 2003 and 2015, and reported heavy drinking in at least one of those surveys.

"We found some evidence for improvement of pain interference symptoms and subs...

Overdose Deaths From Cocaine Rising Dramatically

While opioids were grabbing the headlines, cocaine overdose deaths in the United States have marched upward, nearly tripling over five years, a new government report shows.

After a period of stability, cocaine-induced deaths rose by about 27% per year, on average, from 2013 through 2018, researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

"While mu...

Construction Workers at Very High Odds for Opioid and Drug Abuse

Hard-hat jobs are tough and demanding, often entailing intense physical labor performed in dangerous situations.

But a new study finds construction work also comes with another danger: An increased risk of drug abuse.

Construction workers and miners are much more likely than people in other professions to misuse opioids, cocaine and marijuana, the research showed

C...

Lethal Deception: Deaths From Cocaine Laced With Fentanyl on the Rise

Across the United States and Canada, people are buying cocaine only to discover too late that it contains potentially deadly fentanyl, a new report warns.

In one cluster of cases occurring in Fresno, Calif., in January of this year, four people were brought to local emergency rooms.

Two of the incapacitated cocaine users died from their inadvertent fentanyl overdose, local d...

Fentanyl Becoming a Deadly Accomplice in Cocaine, Meth Abuse

As if using cocaine or methamphetamines isn't risky enough, new research shows a sharp spike in urine drug tests that are positive for those drugs and the powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl.

The findings could provide insight into steeply rising rates of cocaine- and methamphetamine-related overdoses in the United States.

For the study, researchers analyzed data on on...

Cocaine Cut With Anti-Worming Drug May Cause Brain Damage

Cocaine is often cut with the anti-worming drug levamisole -- and the combination is linked to brain damage, Swiss researchers report.

"We can assume from our findings that it is not just cocaine that changes the brain, but that the adulterant levamisole has an additional harmful effect," said research leader Boris Quednow, from the University of Zurich.

"The sorts of cognit...

Test Strips for Fentanyl May Help Prevent ODs

Fast-acting test strips for fentanyl could reduce drug overdose deaths, a new study suggests.

"Test strips could be a lifesaving intervention for many young adults who use drugs," said study leader Brandon Marshall, of Brown University in Rhode Island.

Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid often used to lace other drugs, including heroin or cocaine. It's hard to detect and...

Opioid Overdose Crisis May Have Begun Decades Ago

The opioid epidemic has been front-page news for a few years now, with rising overdose deaths driving an overall decrease in Americans' average life expectancy.

But a new study suggests that the opioid epidemic is, in fact, nothing new.

Death rates from drug overdoses in the United States have been on an exponential growth curve that dates back at least to the early 1980s, r...