Tox Tuesday: Despite controversy, FDA approves powerful new opioid painkiller

A highly potent opioid drug has gained U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval, despite critics’ fears that another powerful opioid on the market will pose a public health threat.

The drug, going under the brand name Dsuvia, is an under-the-tongue tablet version of an already existing opioid, sufentanil, which is usually administered intravenously. Traditionally, […]

Tox Tuesday: Overdose deaths may have ‘plateaued’ says U.S. health chief, but are still high

According to a major U.S. health chief, drug overdose deaths in the country have begun to plateau, after years of rapidly increasing death statistics.

Health secretary Alex Azar said last week that although there is still a long way to go in ending the opioid crisis, it’s possible that the recent numbers will mark a […]

Tox Tuesday: How were Seattle’s mussels contaminated with opioids?

Earlier this year, mussels fished from Puget Sound — the beautiful ocean inlet in the northeast corner of the U.S. state of Washington — tested positive for opioids.

No, the shellfish weren’t doing drugs. Rather, unprecedented levels of opioid prescriptions and opioid abuse have caused even the environment to be affected.

Opioid usage, both legitimate […]

Tox Tuesday: Scotland records highest-ever number of annual drug deaths

Sadly, a record has been broken again in Scotland: the country has yet again recorded a new high for yearly drug deaths, at 934 in 2017. This is an 8% increase from the previous year, and more than double the figure from 2007.

Roughly 40% of the figure involves people aged 35–44, and just under […]

Tox Tuesday: Kratom linked to opioids, Salmonella poisoning

Photo by Ahman Fuad Morad

Kratom, a plant-based drug commonly taken in an attempt to treat pain and addiction withdrawal, has been in the news a lot lately as authorities try to outline the health risks of the loosely regulated substance.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued two separate warnings about […]

Tox Tuesday: Acetaminophen and other non-opioid painkillers may be as effective as opioids

With more and more people becoming addicted to opioids each year — there are an estimated 91 opioid overdose deaths in the U.S. every day — researching non-addictive painkillers has become a top priority for scientists. If existing drugs, like ibuprofen and acetaminophen, could be used to treat pain, fewer addictive opioid prescriptions may be […]

Tox Tuesday: The latest in the fight against opioids

An increase in the abuse of opioids — which includes prescription painkillers as well as illegal drugs like heroin — is an issue in many parts of the world. Although the problem is most pronounced in the U.S., the United Kingdom is also seeing increased opioid statistics. Here’s the latest news on the crisis.

Public […]

Tox Tuesday: 2016 U.S. drug death statistics released

U.S. drug overdose statistics for 2016 are now available. Approximately 64,000 lives were lost to overdoses throughout the year, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It’s an increase of 23% from 2015, when roughly 52,000 people died of overdoses.

The New York Times reports that this is the first […]

Monday links

What’s the latest in the fields of agriculture, food safety, animal science and toxicology? Check it out here.

Animal Science:

Researchers discover new cattle disease and prevent it from spreading — University of Copenhagen Following genetic studies of deformed calves, recent research in Copenhagen uncovered a hitherto unknown disease found among Holstein cattle. The breeding […]

Tox Tuesday: Manufacturers struggle to find employees who pass drug tests

Since coming into common practice, drug tests have become essential for employers looking to keep their workplaces free of illegal substances. There’s just one problem. In some industries, companies are struggling to find applicants who can pass these tests, leading to serious manpower shortages.

The New York Times reported on the economic effects of the […]