A couple of months ago, a patient well known to the emergency room where I work came in requesting his usual cocktail of narcotic pain medications. It was early Saturday morning, before the usual bustle of patients had begun, and I had some time

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Swaddled in soft hospital blankets, Lexi is 2 weeks old and weighs 6 pounds. She’s been at Women and Infants Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island since she was born, and is experiencing symptoms of opioid withdrawal

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A bustling economy. Record-low unemployment. A ballooning heroin problem. That’s how Mayor Svante Myrick describes Ithaca, New York, where he hopes to open the nation’s first safe injection facility

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It’s well known that the U.S. is in the midst of a prescription opioid overdose and abuse epidemic. Adverse outcomes from prescription opioid abuse have dramatically escalated over the past decade and a half, with fatal prescription opioid overdoses roughly quadrupling and emergency department visits involving prescription drugs (mostly opioids) more than doubling

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Deaths from anti-anxiety drugs are on the rise too

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Fifteen years ago, heroin use and abuse of prescription opioids led to 7,000 overdose deaths annually. In the years since, such deaths have surged — quadrupling to 28,648 in 2014, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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A panel of medical experts recommended Tuesday that the Food and Drug Administration approve a new way of treating opioid addicts, using a slender rod implanted into the arm that delivers medicine for months at a time. Some doctors say it could help ease the national epidemic of drug overdoses

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There’s a prescription drug abuse problem sweeping the United States, but fixing it will require a systematic change focused on how most health professionals prescribe drugs, rather than changing the practices of a few bad apples

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