How Pain Led to an Opioid Epidemic: Learning from the past to better treat pain in the future

by Beatrice Awasthifigures by Tal Scully      Opioid use was a crisis in the United States long before the COVID-19 pandemic—among the 76,000 deaths due to drug overdoses in the United States between April 2019 and April 2020, at least 54,000 were caused by opioids (Figure 1). This represented a 12% increase in drug-attributed overdoses over the previous year. But the situation has grown even worse … Continue reading How Pain Led to an Opioid Epidemic: Learning from the past to better treat pain in the future

Smartphone app may help detect opioid overdose

Opioid abuse is a national epidemic that continues to claim lives and cause significant economic burden. Opioids were introduced for the treatment of chronic pain and initially prescribed liberally, even though there was limited scientific evidence that these medications would not be addictive. Opioid overdose rates quickly increased and, in 2016 more than 40,000 people died from overdose. Computer scientists at the University of Washington in … Continue reading Smartphone app may help detect opioid overdose

Fighting the Opioid Addiction Crisis: Can scientists cure it?

by Mary May figures by Neal Akatsuka An estimated 59,000 to 65,000 Americans died due to drug overdoses last year, which is more than the number of deaths from HIV/AIDS at the peak of the epidemic in 1995 and more than the total number of American deaths in the Vietnam War. The over-prescription of pain-relieving opioid drugs like morphine and oxycodone has created another epidemic … Continue reading Fighting the Opioid Addiction Crisis: Can scientists cure it?