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A new animal study suggests a missing brain enzyme increases concentrations of a protein related to opioid addiction, Science Daily reports.

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Heroin use is on the rise in Washington state, particularly among young people, according to a new report. The increase can be traced to laws that have made it more difficult to obtain prescriptions for opioids such as oxycodone, the researchers say.

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Walgreens on Tuesday agreed to pay $80 million in civil penalties, in order to resolve allegations by the Drug Enforcement Administration that the company violated federal rules regarding the distribution of prescription painkillers such as oxycodone.

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A team of scientists at the University of Michigan say they have identified a new approach to pain therapy that could lead to lower-dose painkillers, which may reduce the risk of dependence.

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Two-thirds of pharmacists and 90 percent of doctors in Florida are not using the state’s prescription drug database, according to federal officials. A bill that would have required both professions to use the database failed to pass during this year’s session.

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A growing number of children and teenagers are being accidentally poisoned by opioids and medications for adult chronic diseases such as high blood pressure and diabetes, according to a new study.

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Health experts gathered this week in Kentucky to discuss how to deal with the problem of babies born to drug-dependent mothers, according to The Courier-Journal. Hospitalizations for newborns in the state with neonatal abstinence syndrome climbed from 29 in 2000, to 730 in 2011.

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The number of babies born to mothers addicted to opioids or anti-anxiety medication in Tennessee is soaring, according to the Associated Press.

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The Food and Drug Administration on Friday denied a request from the maker of the painkiller Opana ER to block generic forms of the drug. The decision came as a surprise, Reuters reports.

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More than a dozen drug companies are working on abuse-resistant painkillers, in the wake of the Food and Drug Administration’s decision last month not to approve any generic versions of the original form of OxyContin.

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