Recent Blog Articles

Addiction Archive

Articles

Physicians and opioids: Part of the solution, but challenges ahead

Published April 13, 2017

As doctors acknowledge the role that they have played in the current opioid crisis, they, along with hospitals, medical schools, and other members of the medical community have worked to address the issue on several fronts, including instituting prescribing guidelines and offering continuing education to prescribers.

Treating pain after opioid addiction: A personal story

Published April 7, 2017

What happens when a person who was addicted to opiates is injured and needs pain medication? A doctor who is in recovery has firsthand experience.

Long-term use of opioids may depend on the doctor who prescribes them

Published March 27, 2017

With opioid addiction such a serious problem, new research indicates that some doctors are more likely to prescribe opioids to their patients than others, and those patients are more likely to end up taking these medications long term. That means it is crucial for consumers to educate themselves about the risks of taking opiates, and to consider alternative medications and treatments if possible.

Teen drug use is down: Better parenting, or more smartphones?

Published March 21, 2017

Data from an annual survey show that use of illicit drugs among teenagers is in decline, and has been for some time. It’s possible that this can be partially attributed to the popularity of smartphones.

Parents: As more states legalize marijuana, here’s what you need to know and do

Published February 28, 2017

As marijuana becomes legal or is decriminalized in more states, teens are less likely to view its use as risky, so parents need to talk with their children about safety, especially if they use it themselves.

A primary care doctor delves into the opioid epidemic

Published February 20, 2017

A new approach to treating the large numbers of people with opioid use disorder involves using medications to prevent withdrawal symptoms, and has been shown to be safer and more effective than traditional detox treatment, but some question the replacement of one drug with others.

The downside of taking pills to treat chronic pain

Updated February 14, 2017

When the risks of medication outweigh the benefits.


 Image: © iStock

Taking over-the-counter or prescription painkillers may seem like a simple solution for chronic pain. It's actually a bit more complicated, yet many older adults aren't aware of potential problems. "They think that if it doesn't require a prescription, it's safe. But there are some long-term health risks," says Dr. Edgar Ross, director of the Pain Management Center at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women's Hospital.

Here's what you should know about some commonly used pain relievers.

Keep tabs on your drinking

Updated November 8, 2016

When it comes to alcohol, moderation is still the mantra. But even one drink a day may pose a risk to the heart.

Wine, champagne, and cocktails are standard fare at many holiday gatherings. But before you raise your glass, make sure you're aware of just how much alcohol you're actually consuming—and how it may affect your heart.

As part of a standard health history, most physicians will ask about your drinking habits. In general, moderate drinking—defined as one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men—is considered safe. But there are some caveats.

Saving lives by prescribing naloxone with opioid painkillers

Published August 26, 2016

Unintentional opioid overdose is now the leading cause of accidental death in the United States. These drugs are prescribed to patients to help relieve pain, but overdoses happen because opioids can also depress breathing, sometimes stopping it altogether. But naloxone, also called Narcan, can help reverse the effects of an overdose. If doctors prescribe naloxone at the same time as opioids, overdose deaths may decrease.

Words matter: The language of addiction and life-saving treatments

Published August 15, 2016

The challenges of drug addiction are compounded by stigmatizing language and incorrect perceptions about the medications used in addiction treatment. Viewing addiction as a disease and likening it to other chronic diseases can help remove the negative connotations from the illness.

Free Healthbeat Signup

Get the latest in health news delivered to your inbox!

Harvard Health Publishing Logo

Thanks for visiting. Don't miss your FREE gift.

The Best Diets for Cognitive Fitness, is yours absolutely FREE when you sign up to receive Health Alerts from Harvard Medical School

Sign up to get tips for living a healthy lifestyle, with ways to fight inflammation and improve cognitive health, plus the latest advances in preventative medicine, diet and exercise, pain relief, blood pressure and cholesterol management, and more.

Harvard Health Publishing Logo

Health Alerts from Harvard Medical School

Get helpful tips and guidance for everything from fighting inflammation to finding the best diets for weight loss...from exercises to build a stronger core to advice on treating cataracts. PLUS, the latest news on medical advances and breakthroughs from Harvard Medical School experts.

BONUS! Sign up now and
get a FREE copy of the
Best Diets for Cognitive Fitness

Harvard Health Publishing Logo

Stay on top of latest health news from Harvard Medical School.

Plus, get a FREE copy of the Best Diets for Cognitive Fitness.