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Seizures of illicit ketamine by drug enforcement agents have surged throughout the United States, growing 349% from 2017 through 2022, a new study finds.

Rising use of ketamine could increase the likelihood that people who use the drug recreationally may instead get a potentially harmful version of the substance, researchers say.

“This dramatic rise in ketamine seizures by l...

The U.S. federal government has committed $5 million to study three existing and planned safe drug injection sites to see if they help prevent overdoses and whether they may offer savings in the health and criminal justice systems.

At these overdose prevention centers (OPCs), people can use heroin or other illegal drugs under supervision so they can potentially be revived if they overdose...

U.S. regulators are urging Americans to avoid Apetamin, an illegal drug used for weight gain and figure enhancement.

The substance, typically sold as a syrup, is manufactured overseas, illegally imported and isn't approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

It contains a potent antihistamine called cyproheptadine, which requires a physician's prescription in the United State...

U.S. officials are intensifying efforts to crack down on illicit use of the veterinary tranquilizer xylazine, which can cause painful and deadly side effects in humans.

The drug, when mixed with the opioid fentanyl, has been designated an “emerging threat,” the Office of National Drug Control Policy announced Wednesday.

“As a physician, I am deeply troubled about the devastat...

Congressional leaders introduced a bill on Tuesday that would further restrict access to the veterinary drug xylazine, which is now being added to fentanyl powder.

Also known as tranq, the drug is meant to be a sedative and muscle relaxer for horses and other large animals and is not approved for human use. But the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has

  • Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter
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  • March 29, 2023
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  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday that it has taken action to restrict imports of the veterinary tranquilizer xylazine to prevent illicit use of the drug.

    While veterinarians use products containing xylazine to sedate large animals such as horses and deer, the drug is not safe for people. It is sold on the street under the names tranq, Philly dope and zombie drug.

    F...

    Researchers have uncovered groundbreaking evidence that pharmacies in tourist areas of Northern Mexico are selling counterfeit pills containing fentanyl, heroin and methamphetamines.

    The pills, mainly sold to U.S. tourists without a prescription, were passed off as controlled substances, including oxycodone, percocet and Adderall,

  • Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter
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  • February 6, 2023
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  • Colorado voters have voted narrowly to approve the medical use of “magic mushrooms” in Colorado.

    “I'm in awe of what we were able to accomplish,” said Veronica Lightning Horse Perez, a lead proponent for legalizing psilocybin, the main psychoactive compound...

    The U.S. opioid epidemic has been heartbreaking — literally.

    Young adults' risk of dying from a devastating infection of the heart has doubled to tripled in the United States during the past two decades, a new study reports.

    Researchers ascribe the increase in fatal heart infections to the growing number of people between 15 and 44 who are injecting opioid drugs.

    “We found...

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday warned health care workers to look out for patients who may have been exposed to a potentially deadly animal sedative, possibly through illicit drug use.

    The veterinary medication xylazine is sometimes added to fentanyl, heroin or other drugs, after either being diverted from the legal animal supply or illicitly produced, the FDA said.

    ...

    Smoking is an incredibly hard habit to break. Anne Levine of Baltimore can attest to that.

    But Levine, 58, is getting help from a potential new tool: psychedelics.

    The four-decade smoker has tried to quit a dozen times. But once she became part of a res...

    Pregnant women addicted to opioids have both a compelling reason to change and a harder time getting medications to battle their substance use disorder.

    Now, a new plan from the Biden administration would expand the use of medications to treat addiction in pregnant women through federal court and h...

    A new study is sounding the alarm about the addition of antihistamines to street forms of opioids — and how they might make a fatal overdose more likely.

    The prime drug in question is diphenhydramine, found commonly in over-the-counter allergy meds such as Benadryl.

    Because

    Nitazenes: You've probably never heard of these highly toxic drugs, and neither have many Americans who abuse opioid street drugs.

    That lack of awareness could prove deadly, experts warn, because nitazenes are increasingly being added into heroin and ...

    The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is warning the public that colorfully dyed fentanyl — dubbed "rainbow fentanyl" — is readily available across the United States.

    “Rainbow fentanyl — fentanyl pills and powder that come in a variety of bright colors, shapes, and sizes — is a deliberat...

    If you think hallucinogens like LSD are a thing of the past, think again.

    New research estimates that the use of mind-altering LSD rose from less than 1% in 2002 to 4% in 2019 among people aged 18 to 25. And, overall, 5.5 million Americans used some kind of hallucinogen in 2019.

    "According to our results, hallucin...

    People appear less likely to turn to dangerous synthetic pot products in U.S. states where marijuana has been legalized, a new Washington State University study finds.

    Researchers discovered a 37% drop in poisoning reports for

  • By Dennis Thompson HealthDay Reporter
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  • August 4, 2022
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  • Dovetailing with a surge in overdose deaths, the United States has seen a sharp rise in seizures of illicit fentanyl, according to a new report.

    Law enforcement seizures of pills containing illicit fen...

    The U.S. drug epidemic continues its death march, with new research showing American teens and young adults have lost nearly 1.5 million years of life due to drug overdose deaths in recent years.

    For the study, the researchers examined years of life lost -- the difference between a person's e...

    No magic bullet exists for ending the U.S. opioid crisis, but there's hopeful news for one high-risk population: Providing addiction medication in jails reduces the odds of addicts being re-arrested after their release, new research shows.

    "Studies like this provide much-needed evidence and momentum for jails and prisons to better enable the treatment, education and support systems that i...

    At least 59 overdoses were prevented in the first three weeks that two overdose prevention centers have been open in New York City, the city's health department said Tuesday.

    During that time, there were more than 2,000 visits to the centers that are operated by OnPoint NYC and are the first publicly recognized overdose prevention sites to open in the United States. The city first

    There may be a silver lining to the COVID-19 pandemic, with U.S. health officials reporting an "unprecedented" decline in teens' use of alcohol, marijuana, other illegal drugs and vaping.

    "We have never seen such dramatic decreases in drug use among teens in just a one-year period," said Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse.

    "These data are unpreced...

    A wearable device that could inject a lifesaving antidote for an opioid overdose might be on the horizon.

    A new study shows that the device, worn on the stomach like an insulin pump, can detect when someone stops breathing from an overdose and inject the drug naloxone to restore breathing.

    "Fatal drug overdoses in the United States are at an all-time high, and opioid overdoses accou...

    Teenagers have followed the vaping trend into marijuana use, with recent studies chronicling a boom in pot vaping among adolescents in the United States and Canada, researchers report.

    The percentage of teens who've experimented with vaped pot has more than doubled in recent years, and vaping among frequent marijuana users has quadrupled, according to the study.

    Currently about 1 in...

    Researchers may be one step closer to developing the equivalent of a Breathalyzer for detecting marijuana use.

    In an early study, scientists found that their rapid test was able to reliably detect THC in people's saliva in under 5 minutes. THC, short for tetrahydrocannabinol, is the active ingredient in marijuana.

    Right now, the "gold standard" for detecting marijuana use is to meas...

    Drug overdose deaths in the United States hit a new record for the 12-month period ending March 2021, new government data shows.

    A record high 96,779 drug overdose deaths occurred between March 2020 and March 2021, representing a 29.6% rise, new statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics found. The numbers are provisional, ...

    Use of stimulants among college students was once thought to be a problem among high achievers seeking energy and focus to study.

    Not so, according to new research that links misuse of these so-called "study drugs" to binge drinking and marijuana use. The stereotype of students bumming a prescription medication like Adderall or Ritalin to study is off the mark, it suggests.

    "Stimula...

    The COVID-19 pandemic has shaken up the U.S. opioid crisis in ways bad and good, increasing the risk of use and overdose but also spurring innovative approaches to treatment.

    The pandemic has definitely been linked to an increase in opioid use and overdose deaths, Tufts University's Thomas Stopka said during a HealthDay Now video interview.

    "We've been seeing increases in o...

    For those who smoke or drink, it's only a small step to marijuana, researchers report.

    "Legal consumption of alcohol and tobacco may directly increase the level of illicit drug use. However, the relationships are complex," said researcher Dr. Zoe Reed. She is a senior research associate in the Tobacco and Alcohol Research Group at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom.

    The...

    People buying pills that look like prescription opioid painkillers or stimulants who are not buying them from a licensed pharmacy may be buying a lethal drug, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration warned this week.

    This was the first public safety alert the DEA has issued in six years, CNN reported.

    Many of these counterfeit pills are laced with fentanyl and methamphetam...

    Deaths from methamphetamine overdoses in the United States nearly tripled between 2015 and 2019, health officials report in a new study.

    While the number of methamphetamine users did not increase as steeply, researchers said frequent use of methamphetamine, and using other drugs at the same time, may have contributed to the increase in overdose deaths. Meth users have also become more div...

    An animal tranquilizer, xylazine, is increasingly linked to drug overdose deaths across the United States, health officials say.

    According to a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, xylazine has turned up in overdose deaths in 25 of 38 states examined. In 2019, xylazine contributed to death in 64% of cases and almost always also involved fentanyl.

    The ...

    Hospitalized opioid addicts die at a rate similar to people who have a heart attack after leaving the hospital.

    Nearly 8% of patients addicted to opioids died within 12 months of hospital discharge, according to researchers from Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU).

    "We need systems that can address comprehensive needs of people with substance use disorder and serious medical i...

    Fully half of all young adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may also battle alcohol or drug abuse.

    And folks with ADHD who have a history of depression or anxiety are particularly vulnerable to substance abuse problems, a new study showed.

    "People with ADHD may be self-medicating with drugs or alcohol to keep their depression under control, and of course, th...

    Overdose deaths linked to illicit "designer" benzodiazepines have surged in the United States, as underground labs crank out new synthetic variations on prescription tranquilizers like Valium, Xanax and Ativan.

    Overdose deaths involving illicit benzos increased more than sixfold (520%) between 2019 and 2020, rising from 51 to 316, according to data from 32 states and the District of Colum...

    There's been a sharp rise in opioid-related cardiac arrests in the United States and they now equal those associated with other prime causes, a new study finds.

    Of more than 1.4 million cardiac arrest hospitalizations nationwide between 2012 and 2018, more than 43,000 (3.1%) occurred in opioid users, and there was a significant increase in opioid-associated cardiac arrest over the seven-y...

    In a finding that could mean more patients desperate for a heart transplant get a new lease on life, two new studies show that hearts from donors who abused drugs can be safely donated.

    In the past two decades, the U.S. opioid crisis has taken the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans -- often young, otherwise healthy people. One result is that a rising percentage of potential donor...

    As America went into lockdown and treatment centers closed their doors, drug overdose deaths in the United States jumped by nearly a third last year, new data show.

    The estimated 93,331 drug overdose deaths recorded during 2020 are a sharp increase -- a 29.4% rise -- over the 72,151 deaths estimated in 2019, according to preliminary data from the National Center for Health Statistics (NC...

    President Joe Biden plans to nominate Dr. Rahul Gupta as the head of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.

    Gupta led the Biden transition team for that office, was the former health commissioner of West Virginia, and is chief medical and health officer for the March of Dimes, CNN reported.

    If confirmed as the so-called drug czar, Gupta would be the first p...

    In a finding that demonstrates methamphetamine's power to destroy the human heart, new research shows hospitalizations for heart failure related to the illicit drug have soared by 585% in California.

    "Our study results should bring urgent attention to this insidious, yet rapidly growing, form of severe heart failure -- methamphetamine-related heart failure [MethHF], which is taking the li...

    Teens and adults with autism may be less likely than others to use drugs and alcohol, but new research finds those who do are nearly nine times more likely to use these substances to mask symptoms, including those related to autism.

    This is known as camouflaging, and it has been linked to mental health issues and increased risk for suicide among people with autism.

    "Seeing such star...

    Methamphetamine users are at increased risk for physical and mental health problems as well as other substance use disorders, new research shows.

    Meth is an illegal and highly addictive stimulant drug that can harm organs such as the heart, lungs, liver and neurological system, and injecting it can increase the risk of infectious diseases, the researchers noted.

    Their analysis of da...

    Overdose deaths resulting from a dangerous combination of cocaine and opioids are outpacing fatalities linked to cocaine abuse alone, a new U.S. government report warns.

    "Much of the increase in the rate of drug overdose deaths involving cocaine in recent years is due to the co-occurrence of opioids," said study author Dr. Holly Hedegaard.

    A similar trend has started taking hold bec...

    Illegal drug sales on the dark web are common, hard to detect and are fueling America's opioid epidemic, a University of Texas study reveals.

    Opioids include prescription painkillers (such as oxycodone) and illegal drugs (such as heroin and fentanyl).

    "People are struggling from the effects of addiction," said Tiffany Champagne-Langabeer, senior author of a new investigation of ille...

    Teens who try marijuana or other drugs are at greater risk of developing a drug addiction than those who wait a few years before experimenting with drugs, a new study finds.

    "Though not everyone who uses a drug will develop addiction, adolescents may develop addiction to substances faster than young adults," said study co-lead author Dr. Nora Volkow. She is director of the U.S. National I...

    One Ohio medical center has seen a sharp rise in heart infections and strokes related to IV drug abuse -- pointing to one more consequence of the U.S. opioid epidemic, researchers say.

    In a preliminary study, the researchers found that between 2014 and 2018, their hospital saw a 630% increase in infectious endocarditis related to IV drug use.

    Infectious endocarditis arises when bact...

    Men who use anabolic steroids may be doing serious damage to their testicular function, new research warns.

    And the damage may last long after they stop.

    Illegal use of the drugs is not uncommon among athletes seeking to increase muscle size and strength and look more muscular, according to study lead author Dr. Jon Rasmussen, a postdoctoral scientist at the University Hospital of C...

    Combining drugs with driving is a potentially deadly but all too common combination in the United States, according to a new report.

    University of Cincinnati (UC) researchers found that almost 9% of adults reported driving under the influence of alcohol. Marijuana use among drivers was more than 4%, while many adults also use both pot and other drugs in combination with alcohol.

    T...

    Philadelphia is seeing a surge in overdose fatalities involving heroin and/or fentanyl plus an animal tranquilizer not approved for human use, according to a new study.

    The tranquilizer -- called xylazine -- is a non-opioid sedative and painkiller approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration solely as a veterinary drug. In Philadelphia, it goes by the street name "tranq."

    Tranq...

    Cannabidiol (CBD) products are seemingly everywhere these days, but they won't help cure a cocaine addiction, a Canadian study finds.

    CBD, a chemical in the cannabis plant, has long been touted as a treatment for cocaine addiction. But researchers at the University of Montreal Hospital Research Center found that it doesn't lessen addicts' craving for cocaine or reduce their risk of relaps...