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Addiction Medicine

The nation’s most popular opioid will be more difficult to get starting Oct. 6, 2014. As part of federal efforts to curb prescription drug abuse, the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) is reclassifying hydrocodone-combination drugs (Vicodin/AbbVie) as a schedule 2 controlled substance. But even if the tighter controls mean some doctors will switch appropriate patients to schedule 3 drugs, like acetaminophen with codeine, alternative painkillers have a long way to go to topple the market leader, according to data from IMS Health.
Deaths from heroin overdoses doubled from 2010 to 2012, according to research published in the Oct. 3 issue of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
Prescription medications for mental health diagnoses (e.g. antidepressants, antipsychotics, and mood stabilizers) consume approximately 25% of commercial health insurers’ pharmacy budgets and almost 35% of public payers’ pharmacy spending. In 2011, an estimated 26.8 million US adults—more than 11%—took prescription medications for mental illness.
Citing a “public health epidemic” of death and addiction related to use of prescription opioids, the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) calls for a multi-pronged approach to curbing prescriptions. But the group stresses that finding ways to help patients in chronic pain is worthwhile and difficult.
Cannabis users who acknowledge their problem and report withdrawal symptoms are likely to increase abstinence over a 12-month period, according to research published in the Journal of Addiction Medicine.
Omega-3 supplementation can help reduce behavioral issues in adolescents who may be particularly prone to oxytocin receptor gene methylation.
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