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CDC to Doctors: Cool It With the Painkiller Prescriptions

New recommendations aim to curb opioid abuse

(Newser) - Prescription painkillers should not be a first-choice for treating common ailments like back pain and arthritis, according to new federal guidelines designed to reshape how doctors prescribe drugs like OxyContin and Vicodin. Amid an epidemic of addiction and abuse tied to these powerful opioids drugs, the Centers for Disease Control... More »

How Slim Shady Got Slim Again

The rapper takes to exercise like he did drugs

(Newser) - In 2007, when Eminem overdosed on prescription pills, he wound up in rehab and clocked in at 230 pounds. (He's 5-foot-8.) "I'm not sure how I got so big, but I have ideas," the 42-year-old Detroit native tells Men's Journal in an exclusive interview... More »

Robin Thicke Confesses to Rampant Drug Abuse: Deposition

Pharrell also put on the spot in lawsuit with Marvin Gaye's family

(Newser) - The past year or so could've been better for Robin Thicke: The family of legend Marvin Gaye sued Thicke for ripping off Gaye in creating his hit song "Blurred Lines" (Thicke has a countersuit against them); Thicke's wife, Paula Patton, dumped him ; and he made his situation... More »

Number of Seniors on Pain Pills Surges, Alarmingly

'USA Today' analysis reveals jump over 5 years

(Newser) - More seniors are getting powerful pain meds for longer periods through Medicare, USA Today reports—and the increases are drastic. One in five seniors now gets prescribed pain drugs like Vicodin and Percocet. The number getting opioid pain medication prescriptions jumped 30% between 2007 and 2012, passing 8.5 million... More »

California Sues: Big Pharma Created Addicts With Lies

Lawsuit alleges slick marketing got people hooked on opioid painkillers

(Newser) - The makers of strong painkillers like OxyContin have created a "population of addicts" with a "campaign of deception" about the risks the drugs carry, two California counties charge in a lawsuit filed on behalf of the whole state. Orange and Santa Clara counties are suing five large makers... More »

You'll Soon Be Able to Buy Heroin Overdose Antidote

Gets FDA's OK

(Newser) - Friends and family will be now able to take the first step to save a loved one from an overdose of heroin or powerful painkillers called opioids, including OxyContin and Vicodin. The Food and Drug Administration has approved an easy-to-use device that automatically injects the right dose of an overdose... More »

FDA Wants Tougher Rules for Painkillers Like Vicodin

It recommends tighter restrictions for painkillers with hydrocodone

(Newser) - It will likely be tougher for people to get their hands on Vicodin and similar painkillers next year. The FDA today recommended tougher restrictions for drugs made with hydrocodone, reports Reuters . Assuming the guidelines are approved by the department of Health and Human Services, patients would get fewer refills, and... More »

World's Most Popular Drug: Pot

But painkillers behind most deaths

(Newser) - Researchers have, for the first time, conducted a worldwide survey on illegal drug use, and they learned that the most popular one on the planet is marijuana. But the drugs that are killing the most people are strong painkillers, Vicodin, OxyContin, and codeine among them, the AP reports, as per... More »

Painkiller Deaths Rise Again in US

Increase defies push to curb abuse of drugs such as Vicodin, OxyContin

(Newser) - The number of deaths attributed to abuse of prescription drugs such as Vicodin and OxyContin rose again in the latest federal stats, reports the Los Angeles Times . Those types of drugs are largely responsible for a 3% increase in overall drug fatalities in 2010, say CDC researchers, and preliminary numbers... More »

Fatal Drug ODs Rise 11th Straight Year

Prescription medications at core of problem

(Newser) - Fatal drug overdoses rose for the 11th straight year, federal data show, and most of them were accidents involving addictive painkillers despite growing attention to their risks. "The big picture is that this is a big problem that has gotten much worse quickly," said Dr. Thomas Frieden, head... More »

Welcome to 'Ground Zero' for America's Pill Poppers

Kermit, West Virginia, home to die-hard addicts

(Newser) - A tiny coal-mining town of barely 300 people and no supermarket is home to one booming business: pharmacies. In Kermit, West Virginia, two Sav-Rites alone moved 3.2 million doses of hydrocodone in 2006—a tad more than the 97,000 doses the average pharmacy sells in a year, reports... More »

Painkiller Sales Exploding in New Parts of US

Pharmacies sold equivalent of 69 tons of pure oxycodone in 2010

(Newser) - Prescription painkiller addiction is a problem that's only getting uglier, reports the AP after analyzing a slew of DEA and pharmaceutical figures. The report focuses on sales of America's leading two prescription painkillers: oxycodone (the key ingredient in OxyContin, Percocet, and Percodan) and hydrocodone (Vicodin, Norco, and Lortab).... More »

Drug Deaths Soar Past Traffic Fatalities

Blame prescription drugs for drug-related deaths doubling over decade

(Newser) - For the first time since the government started tracking drug-related deaths in 1979, narcotics have topped traffic fatalities—37,485 for drugs vs. 36,284 for accidents in 2009 (the most recent year available), reports the LA Times . But the big culprit isn't street drugs: it's prescription pills... More »

Cops Crack $1 Million Craigslist Drug Ring

Bought in California, sold in Brooklyn

(Newser) - The list of Craigslist crimes keeps growing. Police have now busted a $1million dollar drug ring operating through the site. The group allegedly shipped drugs like Vicodin and Adderall from California to Brooklyn where web-savvy wholesalers pawned the pharm off to neighborhood yuppies, reports the New York Daily News . The... More »

TMZ: Woods Was Admitted to Hospital as OD

OD, breathing trouble noted on hospital charts after SUV crash

(Newser) - Tiger Woods was admitted to the hospital listed as an overdose after his SUV crash, according to sources at Florida's Health Central Hospital. Woods—whose wife handed paramedics bottles of Ambien and Vicodin—was having trouble breathing and doctors used a respiration tube to help him, the sources tell TMZ.... More »

Elin to Cops: Tiger Was Drinking Before Crash

Woods had been prescribed Ambien, Vicodin

(Newser) - Tiger Woods was drinking before his SUV crash, a newly released police report shows. Elin Nordegren Woods told the officers at the scene her husband had consumed alcohol and had prescriptions for Ambien and Vicodin the day of the crash. The new details come from a police report leaked to... More »

Cocaine Contributed to Billy Mays' Death: Autopsy

Painkillers, Valium, Xanax also found

(Newser) - Cocaine figured into Billy Mays’ death, TMZ reports. An autopsy found traces of the drug in Mays' system, suggesting that the TV pitchman used it a few days before his death. The report lists “cocaine use” as a contributing cause of death, along with heart disease. The autopsy also... More »

Easy on the Tylenol: FDA Panel

(Newser) - An outside panel reporting to the Food and Drug Administration recommended today that the maximum daily dosage of Tylenol be reduced and the Extra Strength variety of the painkiller be available only by prescription, Bloomberg reports. The panel of advisers, whose suggestions are nonbinding, noted acetaminophen’s effect on the... More »

Jackson Drug Cocktail: 3 Painkillers, 2 Anti-Depressants

Star was on powerful mix of narcotics, painkillers

(Newser) - The Sun gets the details on the potentially lethal cocktail of prescription drugs Michael Jackson was on in the months before his death. Jackson took addictive narcotic painkillers Demerol and Diluadid daily, the Sun's sources say, and had recently added Vicodin to the mix. He also took a muscle relaxant... More »

Feds Close Ledger Case

Mary-Kate Olsen will not have to testify

(Newser) - Federal prosecutors have closed their investigation into the death of Heath Ledger without filing charges, meaning Mary-Kate Olsen will not have to testify, People reports. The US attorney's office in Manhattan had been trying to determine whether the painkillers Ledger took were obtained illegally. More »

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