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Health News Results - 182

Methamphetamine use is soaring again, with nearly one million Americans hooked on it, according to federal health officials.

Between 2015 and 2018, about 53% of the 1.6 million meth users were addicted to it and slightly more than 22% said they injected the drug, according to a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC noted that mental illn...

Having opioid withdrawal symptoms increases the odds that injection drug users will share needles or have a non-fatal overdose, new research suggests.

For the study, the researchers questioned more than 800 injection drug users in San Francisco and Los Angeles. Eighty-five percent said they had had at least one withdrawal episode in the previous six months. More than one-third reporte...

For people who want to stop drinking, the world's oldest alcohol support group is still the best way, a new review concludes.

In an analysis of 27 studies, researchers found that Alcoholics Anonymous was typically more effective than behavioral therapies when it came to helping people remain abstinent. AA also appeared as good as those therapies in reducing excessive drinking, and the...

Of the medications that have been studied to treat problem marijuana use, none have proved effective, a new analysis shows.

The review, of 26 trials, found that no tested drugs -- including antidepressants, anxiety medication and synthetic cannabinoids -- showed clear benefits for people with cannabis use disorder (CUD).

CUD may be diagnosed when a marijuana habit becomes a ...

Overcoming addiction can be difficult, with powerful cravings often causing relapse. But a psychiatrist offers some tips for success.

Know your triggers, said Dr. Nahla Mahgoub, of Gracie Square Hospital in New York City.

People in recovery are vulnerable to various environmental and emotional triggers, said Mahgoub.

That helps explain why an estimated 40% to ...

People treated for an opioid addiction stand a much better chance of breaking their dependency if they take opioid-blocking medications, a new study finds.

In fact, addicts who took methadone or buprenorphine had an 80% lower risk of dying from an overdose than those in treatment who are not using these drugs. Yet, many treatment programs don't offer these drugs as part of their ...

Going solo when trying to quit smoking isn't enough, one lung health expert says.

"Smokers develop a physiological dependence on nicotine, and they need more than willpower to quit," said Dr. Danish Ahmad, a pulmonologist with Penn State Health's Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.

The American Cancer Society says that smokers typically try quitting eight to 10 times before s...

While fewer Americans are smoking these days, the habit has remained stubbornly persistent among stroke survivors, new research shows.

The researchers found that the prevalence of smoking among U.S. stroke survivors has not improved since 1999 and, as of 2016, stood at 26%.

That's in contrast to the trend among Americans in general, who are gradually leaving cigarettes b...

In another sign of just how bad the U.S. opioid abuse epidemic has become, a new study finds family members often steal painkillers from dying relatives in hospice care.

In a survey of 371 hospices, 31% reported at least one case in which drugs were taken from a patient in the past 90 days. The thieves were most often relatives.

Lead researcher John Cagle said it's not c...

Nearly twice as many people in the United States used heroin in 2018 as did in 2002, a new government study shows.

"I think the rise in heroin use is probably precipitated by prescription opioid abuse. People tend to move from prescription opioids to heroin because it's cheaper and easier to obtain," said Dr. Lawrence Brown Jr., an addiction treatment specialist. He's CEO of START Tr...

In the midst of a U.S. epidemic of opioid abuse, knowing how to quickly administer the anti-overdose drug naloxone could save a life.

Now, research finds that delivering naloxone via nasal spray could be the quickest and easiest of three methods of administration.

"Our goal was to see if there was a method that was the most intuitive," said William Eggleston, a clinical ass...

Virtual assistants like Alexa and Siri are little help for people seeking information about how to quit drinking, smoking, vaping or taking opioids, a new study finds.

"Alexa can already fart on demand, why can't it and other intelligent virtual assistants also provide lifesaving substance use treatment referrals for those desperately seeking help? Many of these same people likely hav...

People with an eating disorder are much more likely to have exercise addiction than those with normal eating habits, British researchers say.

They analyzed data from more than 2,100 people who took part in nine studies in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia and Italy.

People with an eating disorder were 3.7 times more likely to have an exercise addiction than those ...

"Dabbing" cannabis concentrate is the type of marijuana experimentation most likely to lead teens into frequent and heavy use of the drug, researchers say.

"We really wanted to understand whether the type of cannabis that youth experiment with influences the likelihood that they will continue to use cannabis and use more heavily," said Jessica Barrington-Trimis, an assistant professor...

Allowing pharmacists to provide the opioid overdose drug naloxone without a prescription led to a huge increase in dispensing of the lifesaving drug in Ohio.

Ohio state lawmakers gave that permission in 2015. Since then, there's been a 2,328% increase in naloxone dispensing, according to University of Cincinnati researchers.

The study also found that counties with low-em...

Nearly half of all opioid doses and more than a quarter of all opioid prescriptions in the United States come from 1% of health care providers, a new study says.

The authors said this suggests that efforts to reduce overuse of prescription opioid painkillers should not focus on strict limits for all doctors but on a small percentage.

"Most p...

Treatment with the opioid addiction drug buprenorphine is on the rise among most age groups in the United States, but falling among 15- to 24-year-olds, a new study finds.

"While it's encouraging to see an overall increase in prescription rates for buprenorphine, the data suggest that the youngest group is having difficulty accessing this potentially lifesaving treatment," said study ...

The epidemic of addictive vaping among youth continues, with e-cigarette devices by Juul continuing to surge in popularity among teens and young adults, new research shows.

The number of Americans aged 15 to 34 who said they had at least tried one of the small, convenient Juul devices more than doubled between 2018 and 2019, researchers report.

And the number of current Juul...

Drugs may kill twice as many Americans as government records suggest, a new study claims.

In 2016, the reported rate of drug-related deaths among 15- to 64-year-olds was 9% -- compared with about 4% several years earlier -- with 63,000 deaths classified as drug-related.

However, the new study concluded that the actual number of drug-related deaths could have been abo...

The Medicaid expansion brought in by Obamacare may have prevented thousands of deaths from opioid overdoses, a new study suggests.

Researchers found that in U.S. states that expanded their Medicaid programs under the Affordable Care Act, fatal opioid overdoses dipped by 6%, compared to states that opted out. That included an 11% lower death rate from heroin overdoses, and a 10...

The number of Americans dying from alcohol abuse each year has doubled since 1999, a new study reveals.

Between 1999 and 2017, alcohol-related deaths jumped from nearly 36,000 a year to almost 73,000. That's about 1 million deaths lost to booze over less than two decades, with white women experiencing the greatest annual increases.

"Those deaths are associated with despair...

Even after surviving an opioid overdose, few U.S. teenagers receive the recommended treatment for their addiction, a new study shows.

Researchers found that of nearly 3,800 teenagers and young adults who'd suffered an opioid overdose, less than one-third went into addiction treatment within a month. And only one in 54 received the medication recommended for tackling opioid dependence....

The crisis of opioid abuse continues in the United States. However, a new study finds there still aren't enough doctors authorized to prescribe the leading drug treatment for opioid addiction.

This shortfall occurs even though the number of physicians approved for the drug, called buprenorphine, has risen dramatically over the past decade, researchers say.

Right now, fewer ...

A study of over 1 million urine drug tests from across the United States shows soaring rates of use of methamphetamines and fentanyl, often used together in potentially lethal ways.

The drug test results came primarily from clinics dealing with primary care, pain management or substance abuse disorders.

The results showed that between 2013 and 2019, urine samples testing pos...

Opioid addiction is tough enough to beat, but new research shows that having an accompanying methamphetamine habit may make quitting far more difficult.

For the study, researchers looked at 799 people receiving opioid addiction treatment at three sites in Washington State. They found that methamphetamine use was associated with a more than twofold higher risk of dropping out of treatm...

The scourge of addiction among Americans young and old made big headlines in 2019, as did one big change in heart health guidelines.

Here are the top health stories of the past year, as compiled by editors at HealthDay.

Vaping takes hold, and new dangers emerge

Perhaps no health issue dominated headlines this past year as m...

It's a connection that health officials might miss, but an alarming new study shows that when factories close, deaths from opioid overdoses soar.

"There's this sense of increasing despair among people -- especially people who are working-class who have seen in the last several decades a lot of their economic opportunities wither away," said lead researcher Dr. Atheendar Venkataraman...

The holidays are peak buying time, and perhaps the worst time of the year for people who simply can't control their urge to shop.

Now, research shows that the ease of online purchasing could be making things worse for people with so-called "buying-shopping disorder" (BSD).

BSD is still debated as a stand-alone diagnosis, and hasn't yet been included in the psychologists' bib...

People suffering from depression are often desperate for anything to break them out of their debilitating mood disorder.

But in their misery, many might be turning to a risky solution that's likely to make their condition even worse -- marijuana.

People with depression are twice as likely to be using pot as those who aren't depressed, researchers reported in the current issu...

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday approved the sale of two reduced nicotine cigarettes.

Moonlight and Moonlight Menthol cigarettes were given the green light because they contain much less nicotine than traditional cigarettes and they could help adult smokers kick the habit, the FDA said.

"Today's authorization represents the first product to successfully dem...

Young adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are at increased risk for nicotine addiction, new research shows.

For the study, a Duke University team used a nasal spray to determine how nicotine affected 136 nonsmoking volunteers, aged 18 to 25.

About half had been diagnosed with ADHD. The others had no diagnosed mental health conditions.

In the...

Babies born addicted to opioids cost the U.S. health care system more than half a billion dollars a year, a new study finds.

The rate of infants born with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) was 6.7 per 1,000 hospital births in 2016, four times the rate of 1.5 per 1,000 in 2004 but down from the 8 per 1,000 rate in 2014, researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevent...

An epidemic of vaping by American teenagers shows no signs of stopping, with 2019 data finding more than a quarter (27.5%) of high school students using e-cigarettes.

The rate was somewhat lower, but still troubling, among middle school kids -- about 1 in every 10 vaped, according to new research from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

And just as happ...

States that legalized recreational marijuana have seen an increase in problematic pot use among teens and adults aged 26 and older, a new study finds.

The researchers compared marijuana use in Colorado, Washington, Alaska and Oregon -- the first four states to legalize recreational marijuana -- before and after legalization. The investigators also compared trends in those states with ...

Needle exchange programs in two large U.S. cities prevented thousands of new HIV infections and saved hundreds of millions of dollars, researchers say.

Needle, or syringe, exchange programs prevented nearly 10,600 new cases of HIV in Philadelphia and almost 1,900 new cases of HIV in Baltimore over 10 years, leading to significant savings for the cities, the new study found.

...

More than one in every four U.S. high school students (27.5%) currently vape, a new study shows.

About one-third of these teen vapers do so on a nearly daily basis, and nearly three-quarters favor flavored varieties of the addictive, nicotine-laden products.

And nearly 60% of high school students who currently vape use the popular Juul brand, according to researchers...

Despite repeated calls from public health groups to cut smoking scenes on the silver screen, the number of "tobacco incidents" in PG-13 movies has risen by 120% over the past decade, a new report finds.

Much of the rise has occurred within a certain genre of film: biographical dramas. But even in these "biopics," characters aren't necessarily smoking because they represent a histo...

Smoking is a notoriously tough habit to quit, but a new study suggests it is far harder for women to stop than it is for men.

Why? The researchers point to a higher prevalence of anxiety and depression in women, which might interfere with even the best intentions to kick the habit. And one expert noted that prior evidence has shown that women's brains react differently to nicotine.

More people die from drug overdoses in the northeastern U.S. than other regions, making it a major hotbed of the nation's opioid epidemic, a new federal report says.

Fueled mainly by fentanyl and heroin, overdose (OD) deaths are soaring in an area that runs east from Minnesota and Illinois and north from West Virginia and Virginia, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and...

Tasty flavors entice young people to try e-cigarettes, getting them hooked on what can become a lifetime habit, a new study shows.

"Children and youth prefer sweet flavors. We know that flavors increase appeal to young or inexperienced users," said lead researcher Andrea Villanti, an associate professor with the University of Vermont's Center on Behavior and Health. "Something that ta...

Taking opioids after a vasectomy doesn't improve pain control and is associated with increased risk of persistent use of the addictive painkillers months later, a new study says.

It included 228 men who had vasectomies performed by eight different urologists. Two of the urologists routinely prescribed opioids for pain after the surgery. The other six used other methods to control pain...

Methadone is often used in the fight against opioid addiction, but long travel times in rural areas may be hampering efforts to get more people treated, a new study finds.

If methadone for opioid addiction was available in primary care clinics, more people would have better access to treatment, researchers suggest.

In the United States, methadone is only available at clinic...

Despite an outbreak of severe lung illnesses and deaths linked to vaping, many young Americans consider e-cigarettes harmless, a new poll shows.

More than 20% of 18- to 38-year-olds called vaping harmless and nonaddictive; nearly 30% said flavored e-cigarettes do less damage to the lungs than unflavored ones.

The nationwide poll of more than 4,000 adults, commissione...

A constant barrage of news on America's opioid epidemic stokes feelings of hopelessness, and with good reason: Every day, more than 130 people are dying from overdoses, according to government statistics.

But amid the harrowing stories, there's some good news: It is possible to recover from an opioid addiction.

That's the primary message from a study published recently in th...

Addiction and overdose deaths aren't the only consequence of America's opioid epidemic. Cases of a potentially deadly heart infection have risen alarmingly, too, a new study finds.

This bacterial infection, called infective endocarditis, often affects young, poor white men who share needles. Many also have HIV, hepatitis C and alcohol abuse, the researchers said.

Looking at ...

OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, touching off what could be a fierce battle by dozens of states hoping to recoup billions spent fighting the opioid crisis.

As reported by The New York Times, there are over 2,600 pending federal and state lawsuits lodged against Purdue, and the pharmaceutical giant has proposed a resolution to most of them as pa...

Variations in brain activity when a person is idle may affect their decisions about risky behavior, according to a new study.

The findings may help explain why people are inconsistent -- and sometimes irrational -- and could lead to new treatments for gambling addiction, the researchers said.

"Experts have long struggled to explain why people are so erratic, making one decis...

OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma has reached a tentative settlement with a coalition of states and local governments that sued the company over its role in America's ongoing opioid crisis, press reports say.

The settlement requires the dissolution of Purdue Pharma and the formation of a new company that would continue to sell OxyContin, the firm's blockbuster opioid, the New York Times<...

The epidemic of opioid addiction and abuse ravaging the United States is also affecting teenagers.

Now, research confirms that anti-addiction medications that help adult abusers can also help teen patients.

"Adolescents with severe opioid use disorder may benefit from a medication as part of a larger comprehensive treatment plan," said study lead author Dr. Deepa Camenga, fr...

Hookahs may be more dangerous than other types of smoking due to high levels of toxic chemicals, carbon monoxide and ultrafine particles, researchers warn.

Water pipes used to smoke specially made flavored tobacco have become increasingly popular, and 1 in 5 college students in the United States and Europe has tried them.

Researchers at the University of California, Irvine, ...