drug overdose

Dr. Cox: Did you actually just page me to find out how much Tylenol to give to Mrs. Lendsner?

J.D.: I was worried that it could exacerbate the patient's... 

Dr. Cox: It's regular strength Tylenol. Here's what-chya do: Get her to open her mouth, take a handful, and throw it at her. Whatever sticks, that's the correct dosage.

Of Dr. Cox's many rants on the comedy show Scrubs, this is definitely one of the funnier and more memorable1. However, it isn't quite accurate.

Tylenol (a.k.a. acetaminophen or paracetamol2), unbeknownst to many, is actually a fairly toxic drug. Its ubiquity has lulled us into a false sense of security about its safety. But as our resident chemist Dr. Josh Bloom...

There are many good reasons not to take drugs. Other than addiction and the possibility of overdose, the next best reason is that, Walter White notwithstanding, neighborhood chemists aren't terribly trustworthy. It is common for drugs to be mixed with other chemicals, some of which are far more dangerous than the drug itself. 

The heroin epidemic sweeping the nation -- which has quadrupled heroin overdose deaths among people aged 25 to 34 and contributed to an increase in the overall mortality rate of young, white Americans -- serves as...

Young adulthood is supposed to be an exciting time. Getting a job, buying a home, and starting a family are on the agendas of many people in this age group. Unfortunately, this facet of the American dream has been snatched away prematurely from an increasing number of young people.

A new and disturbing report in The Lancet, based on data collected from the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics, shows an increase in the death rates from 1999 to 2014 for young Americans, driven substantially by a shocking increase in the mortality of white women aged 25 to 35.

The graph (on left) depicts the average annual change in death rate by age and sex for men (...

The overdose epidemic sweeping the nation is hitting some demographics harder than others. New data released by the CDC breaks down heroin overdose deaths by age.

As shown below, heroin overdose deaths began to skyrocket in 2010. Of all groups, older Millennials (i.e., individuals aged 25-34) are the likeliest to die from a heroin overdose. In 2015, the mortality rate from a heroin overdose was 9.7 per 100,000 for this group, which is more than quadruple the rate in 2010 (which was 2.2 per 100,000). 

 

This is a very shocking development. The overall mortality rate for Americans aged 25-34 is 108.4 per 100,000. That means more than one out of...

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It is hardly news that there is a catastrophic opioid addiction crisis in this country. In the last fifteen years, the rate of death from prescription drug abuse and overdose has tripled. Who is to blame? There is no simple answer.

This is a very complex issue involving multiple factors. Some that are commonly heard are: changes in...

Screen Shot 2014-09-30 at 1.05.33 PMThere is no doubt that the use and abuse of opioids narcotics related to morphine, oxycodone, hydrocodone, etc. is on the rise. There is also no doubt that the rate of addiction and overdose deaths are also headed upward.

So, what do you do about it? And, does what you re doing make sense?

The American Academy of Neurology (AAN) thinks that it has a solution stringent restrictions in the legal use of narcotic painkiller.

In a new policy statement, the group said The risks of opioids far outweigh their benefits in chronic pain conditions such as headache,...

Screen Shot 2014-04-04 at 1.55.11 PMIt is no secret that addiction to narcotics (heroin, oxycodone, hydrocodone) has become a growing problem in the US. Of these drugs, heroin is by far the most potent and thus has the highest potential for a fatal overdose especially since no user can ever know exactly how much heroin (and other drugs) are in a particular batch, or with what it has been adulterated.

There is a very effective drug called Narcan (naloxone)...

Screen Shot 2014-01-10 at 2.30.15 PMA current article in the Journal of Adolescent Health reports that adolescents between the ages of 13 and 17 are often prescribed opioid drugs to treat headaches. The authors of the paper, led by Dr. Andrea DeVries of HealthCare, Inc. in Wilmington DE, collected information from commercial and pharmacy claims submitted between January 2007 and December 2008 on prescription of opioid drugs for newly diagnosed headaches, and for teens with two...

1160103_98450957The recent tragic death of Philip Seymour Hoffman is far from the only such story, although his was the only OD death making big news of late. In fact, the sad truth is that the number of fatal overdoses from prescription painkillers and illicit street heroin has skyrocketed over the last few years. Deaths related to prescription painkillers have increased 233 percent from 2000 to 2012 and deaths related to heroin have increased 84 percent from...

Drug paraphenaliaThe Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has released the Opioid Overdose Prevention Toolkit. It s the first federal resource promoting safety and prevention information for persons at risk for overdose. Its contents include signs to help responders and friends or family recognize and respond to opioid/opiate narcotic ODs. The kit also highlights the role of naloxone (Narcan) in preventing...