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The rate of misuse of prescription pain medications jumped 40 percent in New York City from 2002 to 2009, according to the city’s Health Department.

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Florida’s House and Senate have unanimously passed a bill designed to shut down “pill mills,” pain clinics that cater to people shopping for opioid medications. Florida Governor Rick Scott, who has long opposed the drug monitoring database that is part of the legislation, said he will sign the bill into law.

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An increase in heroin use in Ohio in the past six months is due partly to the rise in addiction to opioid medication, according to a new report by the Ohio Department of Drug and Alcohol Addiction Services. The report says that people who become addicted to opioids may turn to heroin when they can no longer afford the pills.

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An Oklahoma doctor who treats patients with opiate addiction by prescribing buprenorphine says federal restrictions on the number of prescriptions he can write for the drug are hurting patients.

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Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown has introduced a bill designed to cut down on the abuse of prescription opioids. The bill would limit the number of doctors from which “high-risk” Medicaid beneficiaries could receive prescriptions, as well as pharmacies from which they could obtain opioids.

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Prescriptions for the painkiller hydrocodone/acetaminophen have increased dramatically, from 121 million doses in 2006 to 131 million today, a new national survey shows.

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Researchers at companies that make opioid painkillers are trying to make a “safe” drug that is resistant to abuse, in an effort to combat what the government has called an epidemic of prescription painkiller abuse.

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An estimated 27,500 people died in 2007 from unintentional drug overdoses, many of them involving prescription opioids, according to a report that recommends doctors try other pain control options before prescribing opioid medications.

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As part of the new government plan to reduce prescription drug abuse, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is asking manufacturers of prescription painkillers to create materials for consumers about how to safely use and dispose of opioids.

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The majority of people with substance dependence issues say they have poor oral health, according to a study from Boston University.

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