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05/20 10:00 PM ET; 05/24 5:00 AM ET; 05/25 2:00 PM ET

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The first thing I did after I won my belt against Cody Garbrandt was eat sweets. I was never that guy before. In the past, if I could choose to eat sweets or another dinner, I would choose to eat another dinner. Now, since I’ve been sugar-free for so long, I destroyed some sweets when I got the chance. Even pancakes! I’ll eat breakfast at all times of the day—French toast, waffles and pancakes—all the things I’ve been depriving myself of. I miss sourdough bread, too. Having some nice sourdough bread with your breakfast? That’s something I’ve been craving.

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The researchers explained that to relieve pain, hospital patients are typically given opioid drugs in one of three forms: pill, injection or IV. The risk of side effects is higher with IV because the opioids rapidly penetrate the central nervous system, the researchers said.

Previous research has shown that even one IV dose of opioids can cause brain changes associated with addiction.

The three-month pilot study tested the new approach to opioid prescribing in a few hundred hospital patients. The results: The patients' IV opioid dosing was reduced by 84 percent, they had less overall exposure to opioids, and their pain control was as good or better than a control group of patients who received typical opioid prescribing.

"The data shows that the non-IV use of opioids can reduce overall opioid use in adult inpatients with no change in pain control, and potentially an improvement," said study co-author Dr. Robert Fogerty, an associate professor of medicine at Yale.

"It's an example of less is more," he added.

Changing how opioids are given to hospital patients could be one way to fight the opioid addiction and overdose epidemic in the United States, according to the study authors.

Study co-author Dr. Patrick O'Connor, chief of general internal medicine at Yale, said the study "represents an important piece of the puzzle in terms of how opioids can be used more safely and effectively in clinical practice.

"It also represents a critical strategy for reducing the potential risk of opioid-related complications, including overdose and death," he added.

The study was published May 14 in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.

More information

The U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse has more about prescription opioids.

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Minnesota doctors call attention to Puerto Rican children's hidden scars

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