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Friday, April 18, 2014

ATOD & Advocacy Recap - Week ending April 18, 2014

Rutgers responds to NJ heroin problem

“In 2012, there were more than 8,300 admissions to state-licensed or certified substance abuse treatment programs due to prescription drug abuse. Please click here to continue reading.

Senate tackles prescription drug abuse

The US Senate Health Committee is forming a working group to tackle the rising rates of prescription drug abuse, in the face of complaints about a recently approved painkiller that many say is highly addictive and easily abused. Please click here to continue reading.

Medical marijuana laws linked to lower murder, assault rates

The US based study, published in the online journal PloS One, looked at state panel data to analyze the association between state medical marijuana laws and 'type one' offences collected by the FBI. Type one offences are the following: criminal homicide, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft and arson. Please click here to continue reading.

U.S. Drug Courts Favor Treatment Over Jail Time - Video link

Drug courts allow those whose crimes are rooted in addiction to avoid prison and seek treatment. For some heroin addicts, this program was a life-saver.  Please click here to continue.

The Tobacco Ties That Bind

I DON’T smoke, but if during the day I wanted to buy cigarettes, I could walk into the CVS pharmacy across the street from my office, or the Walgreens two blocks away, and get them. They’re kept right behind the cash register. But beginning this fall, that is going to change. CVS pharmacies will stop sales of all tobacco products. Walgreens, well, won’t. So, here’s a quiz. Which chain do you think is more heavily celebrated on the website of the American Cancer Society? Well, it’s not CVS. Instead, testimonials and profiles hailing Walgreens abound. There is a glowing profile of the Walgreens chief executive that focuses on his tireless efforts to promote healthy living in his workplace and stores. There is no mention of the tobacco sales at the front of those stores. Please click here to continue reading.

For Heroin Treatment, Testing a New Drug and ‘Peddling Hope’

About a year ago, Jacob Daus found himself standing before a judge in drug court, again. The 25-year-old had just finished his fourth drug-related sentence in seven years at the Barnstable County Correctional Facility. Was there anything, the judge wanted to know, that might help Daus stay away from heroin and out of jail? Please click here to continue reading.

Google faces new pressure from states to crack down on illegal online drug sales

Several state attorneys general are pressing Google to make it harder for its users to find counter­feit prescription medicine and illegal drugs online, marking the second time in the past three years that the firm has drawn government scrutiny for its policies on rogue Internet pharmacies. Please click here to continue reading.

Study Links Casual Marijuana Use to Changes in Brain

Young people who occasionally smoke marijuana may be rewiring their brains, with their pot use causing structural changes to brain regions related to motivation, emotion and reward, a small study says. Please click here to continue reading.

Risks of Popular Anxiety Drugs Often Overshadowed

When actor Philip Seymour Hoffman died of an overdose in February, the New York City medical examiner ruled that his death was the result of "acute mixed drug intoxication." Heroin, cocaine and a widely prescribed class of drugs known as benzodiazepines, or benzos, were found in his system. The drugs first burst onto the scene in the 1950s and '60s and quickly became known as "," the mild tranquilizer that could soothe frazzled housewives' nerves. More than four decades later, benzos — including Valium, Xanax, Klonopin and Ativan — are used to treat anxiety, mood disorders and insomnia. Please click here to continue reading.

Medicine OR Menace? What we know about medical marijuana (Minnesota Medicine) – Click here to download this report.

My Mother’s Surgery and One Doctor’s Substance Abuse

USA Today reports more than 100,000 doctors, nurses, technicians and other health professionals struggle with abuse or addiction. This wasn’t news to my family. Some 20 years ago, my mother was mauled by a dog. She was on vacation in Florida and went over to a friend’s house for dinner. To understand what happened next, you need to know a few crucial facts about her: She is afraid of dogs and barely five feet tall. When her friend opened the front door, her daughter’s dog — an Akita- tore out of the house and lunged . My mother turned away quickly. The dog lunged again. Because of her short stature, his teeth sunk into her calf. He all but ripped it off. Click here to download this report.

Reports of e-cigarette injury jump amid rising popularity

Complaints of injury linked to e-cigarettes, from burns and nicotine toxicity to respiratory and cardiovascular problems, have jumped over the past year as the devices become more popular, the most recent U.S. data show. Between March 2013 and March 2014, more than 50 complaints about e-cigarettes were filed with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, according to data obtained through a public records request. That is on par with the combined number reported over the previous five years. Click here to download this report.

Alcohol Use Lowers RA Risk in Women

Long-term moderate alcohol drinking was associated with a reduced risk of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), researchers found. The association appeared to be stronger in seropositive RA cases. Women who consumed alcohol moderately over the long term had a decreased risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis (RA), analysis of data from two prospective cohorts found. Click here to download this report.

Medical Professionals Addicted to Prescription Drugs a Growing Problem

A recent USA Today investigation found that more than 100,000 doctors, nurses, medical technicians or aids are dependent on prescription drugs, putting patients at serious risk.  While the problem of prescription drug addiction has received increased attention over the past few years as the problem has grown, less attention has been given to the same problem within the medical community. Click here to download this report.

Friday, April 11, 2014

ATOD & Advocacy Recap - Week ending April 11, 2014

RIA study proposes new treatment method for alcohol problems
A study published by the University at Buffalo Research Institute on Addictions (RIA) suggests a new approach to help certain people stop drinking. “For people who report problem drinking in negative emotional situations, such as depression, anxiety or stress, we have developed a promising treatment approach that shows greater reductions in alcohol use when compared to standard treatment,” says study director Paul Stasiewicz, senior research scientist at RIA. Please click here for more of this story.

Despite Obamacare, a gaping hole in addiction treatment
Despite Obamacare mandate, a dated federal law limits the number of beds available for drug and alcohol treatment via Medicaid
The Affordable Care Act, which promises sweeping changes to help millions of people with drug or alcohol addiction, requires that treatment be offered to those who are newly insured through the insurance exchanges or Medicaid, the government health plan for the poor and disabled. Please click here for more of this story.

Despite Support in Party, Democratic Governors Resist Legalizing Marijuana
California voters strongly favor legalizing marijuana. The state Democratic Party adopted a platform last month urging California to follow Colorado and Washington in ending marijuana prohibition. The state’s lieutenant governor, Gavin Newsom, has called for legalizing the drug. But not Gov. Jerry Brown. “I think we ought to kind of watch and see how things go in Colorado,” Mr. Brown, a Democrat, said curtly when asked the question as he was presenting his state budget this year. Please click here for more of this story.

Alcohol issues can be addressed during treatment
April is National Alcohol Awareness Month, and according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, roughly 18 million people across the U.S. are addicted to alcohol.
In addition to the unhealthy factors that come with addiction, alcohol abuse often strains relationships with families, friends and co-workers. It can also lead to cardiovascular disease, liver disease and certain forms of cancer. Please click here for more of this story.

Legal pot becomes a touchy workplace issue
Last month, Colorado diner owner Mark Rose posted an unusual job description: "Looking for part time experienced breakfast cook. Pays well, must be friendly and a team player, could turn into a full time gig by summer. 420 friendly a must." With that public declaration, Rose put himself squarely in the camp of employers acknowledging that marijuana use is perfectly legal in Colorado. Perhaps more significant, it also puts him in the camp of employers who officially don't care if their employees use pot off-duty. The phrase "420" is shorthand for someone who uses marijuana. Please click here for more of this story.

Medical-Marijuana Advocates Descend on Capitol Hill
More than 100 marijuana-legalization advocates went to Washington to lobby lawmakers on a subject that has seen little action in Congress despite a rising tide of Americans supporting legalization for medical purposes. Medical-marijuana supporters flocked to Capitol Hill on Monday to push for legislation that would prohibit the federal government from restricting state medical-marijuana laws. Please click here for more of this story.

Twice as many men get substance abuse treatment as women
Twice as many men age 18 and older -- 1.2 million -- entered substance abuse treatment facilities in 2011, compared to about 609,000 females. A report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, using data from 2011 National Survey on Drug Use and Health found among teens ages 12 to 17, the rate of substance dependence for both genders was the same at about 7 percent. Please click here for more of this story.

Why is underage drinking targeted when studies suggest it is in decline?
The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) also selects a different theme each year for their campaign to focus on. As such, this year, Alcohol Awareness Month is tackling the issue of underage drinking. Alcohol Awareness Month is supported by the alcohol industry, whose brewers regularly announce new policies and programs aimed at diminishing harms associated with drinking. Recently, these have included working with taxi firms to provide discounted cab fares for drinkers in an effort to reduce drunk driving. However, when it comes to underage drinking, statistics can be wielded to present very different perspectives on the issue. Please click here for more of this story.

Colorado's landmark marijuana experiment
“No thank you,” I said to the professional assistant who asked if I needed anything as I waited for the accountant to arrive in the conference room. The office was that of a typical CPA firm of about 20 accountants and a dozen support staff. One would not have known that one-third of the lucrative firm’s client base was the marijuana business. Nor would one know that the founding partner, who joined me for a conversation on the state of the marijuana business, was anything other than a successful business adviser. He in fact was the marijuana industry’s leading business consultant, and himself a regular marijuana user. Please click here for more of this story.