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People who misuse prescription painkillers are much more likely to get the drugs from family and friends than from a doctor, a new study suggests.

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Now that OxyContin has been reformulated to make the opioid harder to snort, inject or chew, The New York Times reports that demand for other narcotics has increased.

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An Ohio doctor was convicted in federal court on Tuesday of illegal distribution of a controlled substance that resulted in the death of four people. Dr. Paul H. Volkman was described by federal authorities as one of the largest dispensers of oxycodone in the nation. He could face life in prison.

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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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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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As the problem of prescription drug abuse grows, an increasing number of babies are being born dependent on painkillers, The New York Times reports.

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More comprehensive education is needed for opioid prescribers, two experts write this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). They also call for adoption of guidelines on opioid prescribing from the American Academy of Pain Medicine.

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A new study finds higher doses of opioids are associated with increased risk of death by accidental overdose from these powerful painkillers.

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