From a scientific standpoint, addiction is a disease. And, as researchers who study opioid addiction, we’re hopeful about where epigenetics, the science of how DNA code is regulated, can lead us.
Just as genetics can affect a person’s risk for heart disease, cancer or diabetes, it can also make them more or less susceptible to addiction.
A great deal of research in the last decade has focused on tiny differences in a person’s DNA – termed single-nucleotide polymorphisms, or SNPs. These SNPs can indicate whether you have a higher or lower rick for addiction. Continue reading
Teen Xanax Abuse Is Surging | The Pew Charitable Trusts – August 24, 2018 – By: Christine Vestal
Here we go again, yet another drug, yet another “crisis”. This exposes the foolishness of the current deliberately misguided (by anti-opioid activists) focus on opioid medications.
If we think of it as a crisis of opioids and make opioids hard to get, then people who are trying to escape their painful lives through drugs will simply move on to another one.
The real problem is and has always been addiction,
not a particular drug. Continue reading
How Common Is Opioid Addiction? — Pain News Network – August 06, 2018 – By Roger Chriss, PNN Columnist
Cochrane found in a major review of studies of long term opioid therapy for non-cancer pain that only 0.27% of participants were at risk of opioid addiction, abuse or other serious side effects.
In another large study, The BMJ reported that only about 3% of previously opioid naïve patients (new to opioids) continued to use them more than 90 days after major elective surgery.
Other addiction rates include numbers as low as 1% and as high as 40%. Continue reading
The Opioid Information Thread – Inspire.com – Aug 2018
In case you were wondering how many Americans are considered (by our government) to be addicted to opioids, an Inspire.com member, “Seshet”, sifted through the various claims and data to find reliable numbers and created this summary:
The Stanford research paper that uses a mathematical model to forecast the opioid crisis claims there are 3.5 million opioid addicts in the U.S. in 2015.
And Andrew Kolodny, MD, says the number is between 5 and 10 million.
So here are the standard numbers from major public health agencies and medical societies: Continue reading
The House is touting passage of dozens of bills that could help combat the national opioid crisis — but a small handful of companies that have spent millions lobbying Congress could reap a windfall if any of the bills become law.
In a two-week legislative blitz, the House cleared several narrowly tailored measures that would spur sales for companies that have ramped up their influence game in Washington, according to a review of the more than five dozen bills up for votes.
Those poised to benefit include: Continue reading
After Jillian Bauer-Reese created an online collection of opioid recovery stories, she began to get calls for help from reporters. But she was dismayed by the narrowness of the requests, which sought only one type of interviewee.
“They were looking for people who had started on a prescription from a doctor or a dentist,” says Bauer-Reese, an assistant professor of journalism at Temple University in Philadelphia. “They had essentially identified a story that they wanted to tell and were looking for a character who could tell that story.”
Can a genetic test predict risk of opioid addiction? – by Roger Chriss | Genetic Literacy Project | July 31, 2018
Genetic tests are still in their infancy and reveal only the broadest strokes of our individual makeup. Merely knowing which genes we carry is only the beginning of decoding our DNA. Each gene can also be “activated” or “deactivated” by our own bodies in response to the environment, internal or external.
Additionally, almost all traits are governed by a multitude of genes and how they interact; genetic codes are a little like recipes in that ingredients aren’t the only concern, but how they are combined and processed/cooked.
This makes general genetic tests extremely imprecise when they are looking to establish a cause and effect relationship between specific genes and specific traits, like a propensity toward becoming addicted. Continue reading
Prescription OxyContin Abuse Among Patients Entering Addiction Treatment – Am J Psychiatry. 2007 Nov – free full-text /PMC2785002/
This study shows how people who abused OxyContin also abuse other drugs, either multiple opioids like heroin and counterfeit pain pills, or cocaine, methamphetamine, and/or alcohol.
OxyContin and other pharmaceutical opioids have been given special attention in the media, who frequently describe problematic users of the drug as previously drug-naive individuals who become addicted following legitimate prescriptions for medical reasons.
The purpose of this study was to characterize the nature and origins of pharmaceutical opioid addiction among patients presenting at substance abuse treatment programs. Continue reading
Understanding the difference between addiction and physical dependence, as well as their risks and implications, is crucial for anyone managing chronic pain with prescribed opioids.
- Before 2013, the medical label for an addiction to opioids was “opiate dependence.”
- Since 2013, the term used for addiction to opioids has been called “opioid use disorder,” or OUD.
These terminology changes, and the former use of the word “dependence” – which conflicted with the actual prospect of being physically dependent on opioids (defined below), continue to contribute to common misunderstandings around addiction and physical dependence. Continue reading
Chronic Pain Patients Did Not Cause Opioid Epidemic – by Roger Chriss – May 2017
By carefully cross-checking the numbers, Roger proves it impossible to find patients responsible for the “illicit opioid crisis”.
Contrary to common belief, chronic pain patients are not all opioid addicts and did not cause the opioid crisis. The vast majority of patients who are prescribed opioids rarely misuse or abuse them.
Opioid addiction is real and should not be ignored or downplayed, but we need to identify its true causes. Despite the growing number of restrictions on prescription opioids, overdoses and related deaths continue to rise, which strongly indicates that pain patients have very little to do with the so-called epidemic. Continue reading