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The Latest Jaw-Dropping Numbers From the Opioid Crisis – Mother Jones
About 64,000 Americans died from drug overdoses last year —a staggering 21 percent increase from the 52,404 in 2015—according to the first government estimate of drug deaths in 2016. Overdoses now kill more Americans than HIV did at its peak in 1995, and far more than guns or cars do today.The numbers, released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, are provisional and will be updated monthly, according to the agency.Fueling the rise in deaths is fentanyl, a synthetic opioid up to 100 times more potent than morphine, and fentanyl analogs, or slight tweaks on the fentanyl molecule. This has not alway...
Source: Psychology of Pain - September 26, 2017 Category: Anesthesiology Source Type: blogs

Giving Migraine Treatments the Best Chance - The New York Times
If you've never had a migraine, I have two things to say to you:1) You're damn lucky.2) You can't begin to imagine how awful they are.I had migraines – three times a month, each lasting three days — starting from age 11 and finally ending at menopause.Although my migraines were not nearly as bad as those that afflict many other people, they took a toll on my work, family life and recreation. Atypically, they were not accompanied by nausea or neck pain, nor did I always have to retreat to a dark, soundless room and lie motionless until they abated. But they were not just"bad headaches" &mda...
Source: Psychology of Pain - September 25, 2017 Category: Anesthesiology Source Type: blogs

The Cost of the Opioid Crisis | The New Yorker
In September, 2016, Donald Trump delivered a speech at the Economic Club of New York."Today, I'm going to outline a plan for American economic revival," he said."It is a bold, ambitious, forward-looking plan to massively increase jobs, wages, incomes, and opportunities for the people of our country." He went on to talk about lowering taxes and removing regulations, renegotiating trade deals and building a border wall. But he overlooked one of the most pressing issues facing the American economy today: the opioid crisis.Politicians tend to talk about the crisis in moral terms, focussing on the ways i...
Source: Psychology of Pain - September 24, 2017 Category: Anesthesiology Source Type: blogs

To treat back pain, look to the brain not the spine | Aeon Essays
For patient after patient seeking to cure chronic back pain, the experience is years of frustration. Whether they strive to treat their aching muscles, bones and ligaments through physical therapy, massage or rounds of surgery, relief is often elusive – if the pain has not been made even worse. Now a new working hypothesis explains why: persistent back pain with no obvious mechanical source does not always result from tissue damage. Instead, that pain is generated by the central nervous system (CNS) and lives within the brain itself.I caught my first whiff of this news about eight years ago, when I was starting the r...
Source: Psychology of Pain - September 24, 2017 Category: Anesthesiology Source Type: blogs

The First Count of Fentanyl Deaths in 2016: Up 540% in Three Years - The New York Times
Drug overdoses killed roughly 64,000 people in the United States last year, according to the first governmental account of nationwide drug deaths to cover all of 2016. It's a staggering rise of more than 22 percent over the 52,404 drug deaths recorded the previous year — and even higher than The New York Times's estimatein June, which was based on earlier preliminary data.Drug overdoses are expected to remain the leading cause of death for Americans under 50, as synthetic opioids — primarily fentanyl and its analogues — continue to push the death count higher. Drug deaths involving fentanyl more t...
Source: Psychology of Pain - September 5, 2017 Category: Anesthesiology Source Type: blogs

Pain News - Medical Xpress
https://medicalxpress.com/search/sort/date/3d/?search=pain (Source: Psychology of Pain)
Source: Psychology of Pain - September 5, 2017 Category: Anesthesiology Source Type: blogs

Opioids Aren ’t the Only Pain Drugs to Fear - The New York Times
Last month, a White House panel declared the nation's epidemic of opioid abuse and deaths"a national public health emergency," a designation usually assigned to natural disasters.A disaster is indeed what it is, with 142 Americans dying daily from drug overdoses, a fourfold increase since 1999, more than the number of people killed by gun homicides and vehicular crashes combined. A 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health estimated that 3.8 million Americans use opioids for nonmedical reasons every month.Lest you think that people seeking chemically induced highs are solely responsible for the problem, phy...
Source: Psychology of Pain - September 4, 2017 Category: Anesthesiology Source Type: blogs

Cutting down on opioids has made life miserable for chronic pain patients - Slate
On July 26, Todd Graham, 56, a well-respected rehabilitation specialist in Mishawaka, Indiana, lost his life. Earlier that day, a woman complaining of chronic pain had come to Graham's office in hope of receiving an opioid such as Percocet, Vicodin, or long-acting OxyContin. He reportedly told her that opioids were not an appropriate first-line treatment for long-term pain —a view now shared by professionals—and she, reportedly, accepted his opinion. Her husband, however, became irate. Later, he tracked down the doctor and shot him twice in the head.This horrific story has been showcased to confirm that phy...
Source: Psychology of Pain - August 30, 2017 Category: Anesthesiology Source Type: blogs

The Conversation Placebo - The New York Times
In my daily work as a primary care internist, I see no letup from pain. Every single patient, it seems, has an aching shoulder or a bum knee or a painful back."Our bodies evolved to live about 40 years," I always explain,"and then be finished off by a mammoth or a microbe." Thanks to a century of staggering medical progress, we now live past 80, but evolution hasn't caught up; the cartilage in our joints still wears down in our 40s, and we are more obese and more sedentary than we used to be, which doesn't help.So it's no surprise that chronic arthritis and back pain are the second and third...
Source: Psychology of Pain - August 29, 2017 Category: Anesthesiology Source Type: blogs

A New Brain Measure of Nociception in Infants | Pain Research Forum
Unlike adults, infants can't tell you if they're in pain. Instead, clinicians must interpret behaviors such as crying and physiological measures such as heart rate to determine what a newborn is experiencing. Since these can occur for reasons unrelated to nociception, the pain field has long sought more objective ways to measure pain in this nonverbal population. Now, in a new study, investigators have identified pain-related brain activity in infants that could be measured with a simple electroencephalogram (EEG) recording and used the activity to create an EEG template that allowed them to test the efficacy of an...
Source: Psychology of Pain - August 24, 2017 Category: Anesthesiology Source Type: blogs

Women are flocking to wellness because modern medicine still doesn ’t take them seriously - Quartz
The wellness movement is having a moment. The more luxurious aspects of it were on full display last weekend at the inaugural summitof Gwyneth Paltrow's lifestyle brand Goop, from crystal therapy to $66 jade eggs meant to be worn in the vagina. Meanwhile, juice cleanses,"clean eating," and hand-carved lamps made of pink Himalayan salthave all gone decidedly mainstream. I myself will cop to having participated in a sound bath —basically meditating for 90 minutes in a dark room while listening to gongs and singing bowls. (I felt amazingly weird afterward, in the best possible way.)It seems that privileged...
Source: Psychology of Pain - August 20, 2017 Category: Anesthesiology Source Type: blogs

A comprehensive guide to the new science of treating lower back pain - Vox
Cathryn Jakobson Ramin's back pain started when she was 16, on the day she flew off her horse and landed on her right hip.For the next four decades, Ramin says her back pain was like a small rodent nibbling at the base of her spine. The aching left her bedridden on some days and made it difficult to work, run a household, and raise her two boys.By 2008, after Ramin had exhausted what seemed like all her options, she elected to have a"minimally invasive" nerve decompression procedure. But the $8,000 operation didn't fix her back, either. The same pain remained, along with new neck aches.More ...https://www...
Source: Psychology of Pain - August 13, 2017 Category: Anesthesiology Source Type: blogs

Surgery Is One Hell Of A Placebo | FiveThirtyEight
The guy's desperate. The pain in his knee has made it impossible to play basketball or walk down stairs. In search of a cure, he makes a journey to a healing place, where he'll undergo a fasting rite, don ceremonial garb, ingest mind-altering substances and be anointed with liquids before a masked healer takes him through a physical ritual intended to vanquish his pain.Seen through different eyes, the process of modern surgery may look more more spiritual than scientific, said orthopedic surgeon Stuart Green, a professor at the University of California, Irvine. Our hypothetical patient is undergoing arthroscopic kn...
Source: Psychology of Pain - August 13, 2017 Category: Anesthesiology Source Type: blogs

Almost half of all opioid misuse starts with a friend or family member's prescription | PBS NewsHour
More than half of adults who misused opioids did not have a prescription, and many obtained drugs for free from friends or relatives, according to a national survey of more than 50,000 adults.Although many people need medical narcotics for legitimate reasons, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported Monday that regular access to prescription opioids can facilitate misuse. The results, outlined in the Annals of Internal Medicine, indicate when the medical community overprescribes opioids, unused drugs are then available for abuse.More ...http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/opioid-misuse-starts-friend-family-membe...
Source: Psychology of Pain - August 2, 2017 Category: Anesthesiology Source Type: blogs

‘Extreme’ Use of Painkillers and Doctor Shopping Plague Medicare, New Report Says - ProPublica
In Washington, D.C., a Medicare beneficiary filled prescriptions for 2,330 pills of oxycodone, hydromorphone and morphine in a single month last year — written by just one of the 42 health providers who prescribed the person such drugs.In Illinois, a different Medicare enrollee received 73 prescriptions for opioid drugs from 11 prescribers and filled them at 20 different pharmacies. He sometimes filled prescriptions at multiple pharmacies on the same day.These are among the examples cited in a sobering new report released today by the inspector general of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Th...
Source: Psychology of Pain - July 14, 2017 Category: Anesthesiology Source Type: blogs

The weird power of the placebo effect, explained - Vox
Over the last several years, doctors noticed a mystifying trend: Fewer and fewer new pain drugs were getting through double-blind placebo control trials, the gold standard for testing a drug's effectiveness.In these trials, neither doctors nor patients know who is on the active drug and who is taking an inert pill. At the end of the trial, the two groups are compared. If those who actually took the drug report significantly greater improvement than those on placebo, then it's worth prescribing.When researchers started looking closely at pain-drug clinical trials, they found that an average of 27 percent of patients in 1996...
Source: Psychology of Pain - July 14, 2017 Category: Anesthesiology Source Type: blogs

Bring On the Exercise, Hold the Painkillers - The New York Times
Taking ibuprofen and related over-the-counter painkillers could have unintended and worrisome consequences for people who vigorously exercise. These popular medicines, known as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, work by suppressing inflammation. But according to two new studies, in the process they potentially may also overtax the kidneys during prolonged exercise and reduce muscles' ability to recover afterward.Anyone who spends time around people who exercise knows that painkiller use is common among them. Some athletes joke about taking"vitamin I," or ibuprofen, to blunt the pain of strenuous...
Source: Psychology of Pain - July 6, 2017 Category: Anesthesiology Source Type: blogs

The opioid crisis changed how doctors think about pain - Vox
WILLIAMSON, West Virginia — This town on the eastern border of Kentucky has 3,150 residents, one hotel, one gas station, one fire station — and about 50 opiate overdoses each month.On the first weekend of each month, when public benefits like disability get paid out, the local fire chief estimates the city sees about half a million dollars in drug sales. The area is poor — 29 percent of county residents live in poverty, and, amid the retreat of the coal industry, the unemployment rate was 12.2 percent when I visited last August— and those selling pills are not always who you'd expect."Elder...
Source: Psychology of Pain - June 22, 2017 Category: Anesthesiology Source Type: blogs

Neurobiology of Pain - Journal - Elsevier
Neurobiology of Pain is an international journal for the publication of basic and translational research on the mechanisms of acute and chronic pain. It focuses on experimental studies of pain mechanisms at every level from molecular and cellular to brain imaging and behavioural. The journal primarily publishes original basic and translational studies, but will consider clinical studies which address mechanistic aspects of pain based on experimental approaches in human subjects.The scope of the journal addresses all areas of pain neurobiology, including:Molecular substrates and cell signalingGenetics and epigeneticsSp...
Source: Psychology of Pain - June 13, 2017 Category: Anesthesiology Source Type: blogs

Your mind can be trained to control chronic pain. But it will cost you - STAT
There was plenty to blame: the car wreck that broke his back. The job pouring concrete that shattered his spine a second time. The way he tore up his insides with cigarettes, booze, cocaine, and opioids.It all amounted to this: Carl White was in pain. All the time. And nothing helped — not the multiple surgeries, nor the self-medication, not the wife and daughter who supported him and relied on him.Then White enrolled in a pain management clinic that taught him some of his physical torment was in his head — and he could train his brain to control it. It's a philosophy that dates back decades, to the 1970s o...
Source: Psychology of Pain - June 8, 2017 Category: Anesthesiology Source Type: blogs

NIH Releases Federal Pain Research Strategy Draft Research Priorities - American Society of Anesthesiologists
On May 25, the Interagency Pain Research Coordinating Committee (IPRCC) and the Office of Pain Policy of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) released draft Federal Pain Research Priorities, which were presented and discussed at a forum and public comment period on June 1. The forum immediately followed the Annual NIH Pain Consortium Symposium, where presentations highlighted multidisciplinary strategies for the management of pain. Following the open public comment period, written comments will be accepted until June 6.The Federal Pain Research Strategy (FPRS) is an effort to oversee development...
Source: Psychology of Pain - June 7, 2017 Category: Anesthesiology Source Type: blogs

The opioid epidemic could be cured with virtual-reality worlds that let patients escape their pain — Quartz
"It's like a crawly feeling inside," says Judy*."You get hot, then chilled, and you feel like you want to run away." The 57-year-old has short dark-grey hair and a haunted expression. She's breathless and sits with her right leg balanced up on her walking stick, rocking it back and forth as she speaks.Judy explains that she suffers from constant, debilitating pain: arthritis, back problems, fibromyalgia and daily migraines. She was a manager at a major electronics company until 2008, but can no longer work. She often hurts too much even to make it out of bed.She's taking around 20 different ...
Source: Psychology of Pain - May 30, 2017 Category: Anesthesiology Source Type: blogs

The Federal Pain Research Strategy - NIH
The Federal Pain Research Strategy is an effort of the Interagency Pain Research Coordinating Committee and the Office of Pain Policy of the National Institutes of Health to oversee development of a long-term strategic plan for those federal agencies and departments that support pain research. A diverse and balanced group of scientific experts, patient advocates, and federal representatives identified and prioritized research recommendations as a basis for this long-term strategic plan to coordinate and advance the federal pain research agenda. The key areas of prevention of acute and chronic pain, acute pain and acute pai...
Source: Psychology of Pain - May 26, 2017 Category: Anesthesiology Source Type: blogs

Even short-term opioid use can set people up for addiction risks | Science News
Even though a sprained ankle rarely needs an opioid, a new study of emergency room patients found that about 7 percent of patients got sent home with a prescription for the potentially addictive painkiller anyway. And the more pills prescribed, the greater the chance the prescription would be refilled, raising concerns about continued use.The research adds to evidence that it's hard for some people to stop taking the pills even after a brief use. State officials in New Jersey recently enacted a law limiting first-time prescriptions to a five-day supply, and other states should consider similar restrictions, says Kit De...
Source: Psychology of Pain - May 20, 2017 Category: Anesthesiology Source Type: blogs

Pain in Animals Workshop 2017 – Creating a Research Roadmap for measuring chronic pain in dogs and cats
Despite recent advances, chronic pain is one of the most poorly understood, under diagnosed, and under treated medical problems facing veterinary medicine today. One of the most frustrating parts of chronic pain therapeutic development in veterinary medicine is the lack of validated methods to measure chronic pain in different species and diseases.In parallel, translational success has come under the spotlight. Numerous reviews have highlighted a lack of translation of basic research into new approved therapeutics for treatment of persistent pain in humans. The use of spontaneous painful disease in companion animals has be...
Source: Psychology of Pain - May 13, 2017 Category: Anesthesiology Source Type: blogs

The ACTTION –APS–AAPM Pain Taxonomy (AAAPT) Multidimensional Approach to Classifying Acute Pain Conditions - The Journal of Pain
As a complement to a taxonomy recently developed for chronic pain, the ACTTION public-private partnership with the US Food and Drug Administration, the APS, and the AAPM convened a consensus meeting of experts to develop an acute pain taxonomy using prevailing evidence. Key issues pertaining to the distinct nature of acute pain are presented followed by the agreed-upon taxonomy. The ACTTION-APS-AAPM Acute Pain Taxonomy will include the following dimensions: 1) core criteria, 2) common features, 3) modulating factors, 4) impact/functional consequences, and 5) putative pathophysiologic pain mechanisms. Future efforts will co...
Source: Psychology of Pain - May 10, 2017 Category: Anesthesiology Source Type: blogs

The opioid epidemic could be cured with virtual-reality worlds that let patients escape their pain — Quartz
"It's like a crawly feeling inside," says Judy*."You get hot, then chilled, and you feel like you want to run away." The 57-year-old has short dark-grey hair and a haunted expression. She's breathless and sits with her right leg balanced up on her walking stick, rocking it back and forth as she speaks.Judy explains that she suffers from constant, debilitating pain: arthritis, back problems, fibromyalgia and daily migraines. She was a manager at a major electronics company until 2008, but can no longer work. She often hurts too much even to make it out of bed.She's taking around 20 different ...
Source: Psychology of Pain - May 3, 2017 Category: Anesthesiology Source Type: blogs

How a Single Gene Could Become a Volume Knob for Pain —and End America's Opioid Epidemic | WIRED
On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate your pain? Would you say it aches, or would you say it stabs? Does it burn, or does it pinch? How long would you say you've been hurting? And are you taking anything for it?Steven Pete has no idea how you feel. Sitting in Cassava, a café in Longview, Washington, next to a bulletin board crammed with flyers and promises —your pain-free tomorrow starts today; remember: you're not alone in your battle against peripheral neuropathy! —he tells me he cannot fathom aches or pinches or the searing scourge of peripheral neuropathy that keep millions of people awak...
Source: Psychology of Pain - April 22, 2017 Category: Anesthesiology Source Type: blogs

In pain? Many doctors say opioids are not the answer - Salon.com
Those of you who have experienced pain, especially gnawing, chronic pain, know that it affects your happiness, outlook and ability to function.In the past couple of years, the treatment of chronic pain has undergone an earthshaking transformation as opioid addiction continues to claim — and ruin — lives.Many primary care doctors no longer liberally prescribe opioid painkillers such as oxycodone, fentanyl and hydrocodone for back pain, migraines and other chronic conditions. Instead, they are increasingly turning to alternative medications and non-drug options such as acupuncture and physical therapy."Most ...
Source: Psychology of Pain - April 16, 2017 Category: Anesthesiology Source Type: blogs

How the opioid epidemic became America ’s worst drug crisis ever, in 15 maps and charts - Vox
With all the other news going on, it can be easy to lose track of this fact. But it's true: In 2015, more than 52,000 people died of drug overdoses, nearly two-thirds of which were linked to opioids like Percocet, OxyContin, heroin, and fentanyl. That's more drug overdose deaths than any other period in US history — even more than past heroin epidemics, the crack epidemic, or the recent meth epidemic. And the preliminary data we have from 2016 suggests that the epidemic may have gotten worse since 2015.This situation did not develop overnight, but it has quickly become one of the biggest public health crises ...
Source: Psychology of Pain - March 30, 2017 Category: Anesthesiology Source Type: blogs

Chronic pain and depression are linked by brain gene changes | New Scientist
People who have chronic pain are more likely to experience mood disorders, but it's not clear how this happens. Now a study in mice has found that chronic pain can induce genetic changes in brain regions that are linked to depression and anxiety, a finding that may lead to new treatments for pain."At least 40 per cent of patients who suffer from severe forms of chronic pain also develop depression at some point, along with other cognitive problems," says Venetia Zachariou of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York.To see if there might be a genetic link between these conditions, Zachariou and ...
Source: Psychology of Pain - March 27, 2017 Category: Anesthesiology Source Type: blogs

Rapid Shift to Long-term Opioid Use After Initial Prescription - Medscape
Discussions with patients about the long-term use of opioids to manage pain should occur early in the opioid prescribing process," they advise in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report of March 17.More ...http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/877354 (Source: Psychology of Pain)
Source: Psychology of Pain - March 19, 2017 Category: Anesthesiology Source Type: blogs

NYTimes: How to Block Out Pain
Pain is a personal experience, and success comes from self-management, " says David Tauben, clinical professor in the department of pain medicine at the University of Washington. Respond to pain calmly — worry and fear activate the neural pathways through which pain travels and can amplify the sensations that cause it in the first place. Because pain has both mental and physical components, some researchers who study it combine psychology with the physical effects. " Be careful of negative thoughts and worrying, " Tauben says. " If it's difficult to control them, find a professional to help you, l...
Source: Psychology of Pain - March 4, 2017 Category: Anesthesiology Source Type: blogs

Is a new class of painkillers on the horizon? | Science | AAAS
Scientists are chasing a new lead on a class of drugs that may one day fight both pain and opioid addiction. It's still early days, but researchers report that they've discovered a new small molecule that binds selectively to a long-targeted enzyme, halting its role in pain and addiction while not interfering with enzymes critical to healthy cell function. The newly discovered compound isn't likely to become a medicine any time soon. But it could jumpstart the search for other binders that could do the job.Pain and addiction have many biochemical roots, which makes it difficult to treat them without affecting other critica...
Source: Psychology of Pain - February 28, 2017 Category: Anesthesiology Source Type: blogs

NYTimes: Lower Back Ache? Be Active and Wait It Out, New Guidelines Say
Dr. James Weinstein, a back pain specialist and chief executive of Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health System, has some advice for most people with lower back pain: Take two aspirin and don't call me in the morning.On Monday, the American College of Physicians published updated guidelines that say much the same. In making the new recommendations for the treatment of most people with lower back pain, the group is bucking what many doctors do and changing its previous guidelines, which called for medication as first-line therapy.Dr. Nitin Damle, president of the group's board of regents and a practicing internist, said pills,...
Source: Psychology of Pain - February 14, 2017 Category: Anesthesiology Source Type: blogs

Welcome to Pain Researcher
, a community forum for anyone involved or interested in the study of pain. The major purpose of this forum is to facilitate discussion around any and all topics related to the pain research. One important gap that this forum aims to fill involves the sharing of knowledge needed to properly execute pain studies such as detailed protocols, technical tips, tool development, methodological considerations, etc. It is these crucial details that determine the quality and validity of the findings of pain studies, and so we hope that giving a space to discuss such details will improve pain research globally.More ...http://for...
Source: Psychology of Pain - February 5, 2017 Category: Anesthesiology Source Type: blogs

A Bright Future for Brain Imaging of Pain | Pain Research Forum
Irene Tracey, University of Oxford, UK, summarized the contributions of neuroimaging to pain research, and directions for future investigations, during"Translating Neuroimaging Discovery Science for Patient Benefit," a plenary lecture held at the IASP 16th World Congress on Pain, which took place September 26-30, 2016, in Yokohama, Japan. Her take-home message was that findings from neuroimaging will lead to a brighter outlook for patients suffering from chronic pain."The aim, ultimately, is to use metrics [discovered by imaging studies] to guide diagnosis and therapies," she said. Tracey called for neu...
Source: Psychology of Pain - January 24, 2017 Category: Anesthesiology Source Type: blogs

I ’ve seen the opioid epidemic as a cop. Living it as a patient has been even worse. - The Washington Post
A year ago, I woke in the night with pain so severe I was crying before I was fully aware what was going on. A 50-year-old cop sobbed like a child in the dark.It was a ruptured disc and related nerve damage. Within a couple of months, it became so severe that I could no longer walk or stand. An MRI later, my surgeon soothingly told me it would all be okay. He would take care of me; the pain would end.After surgery, I never saw that surgeon again. A nurse practitioner handed me a prescription for painkillers — 180 tablets, 90 each of oxycodone and hydrocodone.I was lucky: I already knew how easily opioid addiction cou...
Source: Psychology of Pain - January 11, 2017 Category: Anesthesiology Source Type: blogs

How much does it hurt? | Mosaic
One night in May, my wife sat up in bed and said, " I've got this awful pain just here. " She prodded her abdomen and made a face. " It feels like something's really wrong. " Woozily noting that it was 2am, I asked what kind of pain it was. " Like something's biting into me and won't stop, " she said." Hold on, " I said blearily, " help is at hand. " I brought her a couple of ibuprofen with some water, which she downed, clutching my hand and waiting for the ache to subside.An hour later, she was sitting up in bed again, in real distress. " It's worse now, " she sa...
Source: Psychology of Pain - January 11, 2017 Category: Anesthesiology Source Type: blogs

Snapshots of an Epidemic: A Look at the Opioid Crisis Across the Country - The New York Times
Opioid addiction is America's 50-state epidemic. It courses along Interstate highways in the form of cheap smuggled heroin, and flows out of"pill mill" clinics where pain medicine is handed out like candy. It has ripped through New England towns, where people overdose in the aisles of dollar stores, and it has ravaged coal country, where addicts speed-dial the sole doctor in town licensed to prescribe a medication.Public health officials have called the current opioid epidemic the worst drug crisis in American history, killing more than 33,000 people in 2015. Overdose deaths were nearly equal to the number of...
Source: Psychology of Pain - January 6, 2017 Category: Anesthesiology Source Type: blogs

How scientists are hunting for a safer opioid painkiller | Science News
An opioid epidemic is upon us. Prescription painkillers such as fentanyl and morphine can ease terrible pain, but they can also cause addiction and death. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that nearly 2 million Americans are abusing or addicted to prescription opiates. Politicians are attempting to stem the tide at state and national levels, with bills to change and monitor how physicians prescribe painkillers and to increase access to addiction treatment programs.Those efforts may make access to painkillers more difficult for some. But pain comes to everyone eventu...
Source: Psychology of Pain - December 27, 2016 Category: Anesthesiology Source Type: blogs

Pain News Network
is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, independent online news source for information and commentary about chronic pain and pain management. Our mission is to raise awareness about chronic pain, and to connect and educate pain sufferers, caregivers, healthcare providers and the public about the pain experience. We reach over 100,000 people (unique readers) each month.https://www.painnewsnetwork.org/ (Source: Psychology of Pain)
Source: Psychology of Pain - December 25, 2016 Category: Anesthesiology Source Type: blogs

An opioid epidemic is what happens when pain is treated only with pills - The Washington Post
Too many opioids. Not enough opioids. Behold the opioid paradox.The United States is in the midst of a massive opioid epidemic, as The Washington Post and other news organizations have documented extensively. In 2015, more than 33,000 people died from overdoses of opioids, meaning prescription painkillers, heroin, fentanyl or any combination. That easily keeps pace here with fatal motor vehicle accidents and gun-related deaths.Certain states have been particularly affected. The Charleston Gazette just reported that opioid wholesalers shipped 780 million oxycodone and hydrocodone pills into West Virginia over a six-year per...
Source: Psychology of Pain - December 25, 2016 Category: Anesthesiology Source Type: blogs

Brain's Support Cells Could Explain Mysterious " Spreading Pain " - Scientific American
In people who suffer from pain disorders, painful feelings can severely worsen and spread to other regions of the body. Patients who develop chronic pain after surgery, for example, will often feel it coming from the area surrounding the initial injury and even in some parts of the body far from where it originates. New evidence suggests glia, non-neuronal cells in the brain, may be the culprits behind this effect.Glia were once thought to simply be passive, supporting cells for neurons. But scientists now know they are involved in everything from metabolism to neurodegeneration. A growing body of evidence points to their ...
Source: Psychology of Pain - November 13, 2016 Category: Anesthesiology Source Type: blogs

A New Study Tests Marijuana's Potential to Replace Opioid Painkillers - The Atlantic
Emily Lindley's stash of marijuana is going to be very, very secure.Lindley, a neurobiologist, is about to begin the first study ever to directly compare cannabis with an opioid painkiller (in this case, oxycodone) for treating people with chronic pain. She got a grant for this research two years ago, but it has taken that much time to meet all the requirements for working with a drug the federal government still considers highly dangerous.Before it's given to patients, the marijuana will be kept inside steel narcotics lockers bolted to the wall in a room with surveillance cameras and a combination keypad on the do...
Source: Psychology of Pain - November 12, 2016 Category: Anesthesiology Source Type: blogs

Why painkillers sometimes make the pain worse | Science | AAAS
Mark Hutchinson could read the anguish on the participants' faces in seconds. As a graduate student at the University of Adelaide in Australia in the late 1990s, he helped with studies in which people taking methadone to treat opioid addiction tested their pain tolerance by dunking a forearm in ice water. Healthy controls typically managed to stand the cold for roughly a minute. Hutchinson himself,"the young, cocky, Aussie bloke chucking my arm in the water," lasted more than 2 minutes. But the methadone patients averaged only about 15 seconds."These aren't wimps. These people are injecting all sorts...
Source: Psychology of Pain - November 6, 2016 Category: Anesthesiology Source Type: blogs

Placebos Can Work Even If You Know It's A Placebo : Shots - Health News : NPR
Placebos can't cure diseases, but research suggests that they seem to bring some people relief from subjective symptoms, such as pain, nausea, anxiety and fatigue.But there's a reason your doctor isn't giving you a sugar pill and telling you it's a new wonder drug. The thinking has been that you need to actually believe that you're taking a real drug in order to see any benefits. And a doctor intentionally deceiving a patient is an ethical no-no.So placebos have pretty much been tossed in the"garbage pail" of clinical practice, says Ted Kaptchuk, director of the Program for Placebo Studies and...
Source: Psychology of Pain - October 27, 2016 Category: Anesthesiology Source Type: blogs

Opioids: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)
https://youtu.be/5pdPrQFjo2o (Source: Psychology of Pain)
Source: Psychology of Pain - October 27, 2016 Category: Anesthesiology Source Type: blogs

Mice smell, share each other's pain | Science News
Pain is contagious, at least for mice. After encountering bedding where mice in pain had slept, other mice became more sensitive to pain themselves. The experiment, described online October 19 in Science Advances, shows that pain can move from one animal to another — no injury or illness required.The results"add to a growing body of research showing that animals communicate distress and are affected by the distress of others," says neuroscientist Inbal Ben-Ami Bartal of the University of California, Berkeley.Neuroscientist Andrey Ryabinin and colleagues didn't set out to study pain transfer. But the res...
Source: Psychology of Pain - October 26, 2016 Category: Anesthesiology Source Type: blogs

How drugs intended for patients ended up in the hands of illegal users: ‘No one was doing their job’ - The Washington Post
For 10 years, the government waged a behind-the-scenes war against pharmaceutical companies that hardly anyone knows: wholesale distributors of prescription narcotics that ship drugs from manufacturers to consumers.The Drug Enforcement Administration targeted these middlemen for a simple reason. If the agency could force the companies to police their own drug shipments, it could keep millions of pills out of the hands of abusers and dealers. That would be much more effective than fighting"diversion" of legal painkillers at each drugstore and pain clinic.Many companies held back drugs and alerted the DEA to signs ...
Source: Psychology of Pain - October 24, 2016 Category: Anesthesiology Source Type: blogs