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Friday, November 14, 2014

Weekly ATOD & Advocacy Recap week ending November 14, 2014



The content of this email does not represent the official views or policies of NCADD of Middlesex County, Inc. The content has been collected from a variety of sources and is provided for informational purposes only. The appearance of external hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by NCADD of the linked web sites, or the information, products or services contained therein. 

Medicare’s Rising Costs for Drug Tests
A Wall Street Journal analysis of Medicare billing data shows payments for high-tech drug tests to some doctors and laboratories have soared in recent years. The surge is a reaction to fears that pain specialists have overprescribed “opioid” painkillers. It is also a lucrative side business for some doctors that costs Medicare millions—and some experts say not all the tests are necessary. Here’s what you need to know about urine drug testing. Please click here to continue.

Doctors Cash In on Drug Tests for Seniors, and Medicare Pays the Bill
Pain specialists order costly tests for illegal drugs such as cocaine and angel dust, which few seniors ever use. Please click here to continue.

Medicare to Cover Lung Cancer Screening for Long-Time Smokers
Annual lung cancer screenings for long-term smokers may soon be covered by Medicare, the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced Monday. The reimbursement proposal would cover annual CT scans for people aged 55 to 74 with a smoking history of 30 pack-years who still smoke or who quit within the last 15 years. Pack years are determined by multiplying the number of packs smoked daily by the number of years a person has smoked. Please click here to continue.

The Life of a Pot Critic: Clean, With Citrus Notes
Jake Browne was seated in a yellow suede chair, carefully rotating a marijuana bud between his fingers. “I’m looking for bugs, mildew, things I wouldn’t want to ingest,” he said, leaning forward to hold the nickel-size flower up to the light. He paused, then took a sip of water from a cup with a Miley Cyrus hologram down its side. “This looks clean,” he concluded. Please click here to continue.

Treating Depression in Primary Care: Are Biomarkers the Key?
Depression is one of the world's most common chronic illnesses, and it remains undertreated despite large-scale efforts to change physicians' practices. Part of the difficulty in treating depression is due to confusion over which antidepressant to prescribe to an individual patient. Please click here to continue.

Work to Join Public Health, Primary Care Moves Ahead: Breaking Down Silos
Public health workers and primary care physicians may work toward the same goal — healthier people — but bringing the two fields together is not a simple task. Just ask Catherine McLaughlin. Please click here to continue.

iPhone app empowers patients to independently manage alcohol addiction
One of the lesser areas covered by the digital health movement is mental health, yet mental health and substance use play important roles in physical health. Medical treatment costs for those with both chronic medical and comorbid mental health and substance use disorders can be two to three times as high as those without such comorbid conditions, according to the 2014 American Psychiatric Association’s Milliman Report. Alcoholism, in particular, afflicts 17 million adults, and is the third leading preventable cause of death in the United States. Please click here to continue.

How Will Legalization Affect the Language Around Marijuana?
With Alaska, Oregon, and the District of Columbia passing measures on Nov. 4 to legalize recreational marijuana, joining Colorado and Washington as U.S. regions where the sale of the drug is (or will be) legal, I thought it might be worth taking a look at the language surrounding the contested cannabis plant. Please click here to continue.

Bad News for People Who Think Alcohol Is 'Healthy'
We’ve all seen these headlines, pithily summing up research on why a modest amount of alcohol every day won’t harm, and in fact may help, our cardiac health. Please click here to continue.

Non-Addictive Narcotic Painkillers May Be Close
Opioid painkillers have long been the gold standard for severe pain but come with a terrible dark side: They are the main culprits in a prescription drug abuse crisis that has killed thousands and spawned a resurgence of heroin in Kentucky and across the nation. Please click here to continue.

NIDA's Role in Providing Marijuana for Research
NIDA supports a drug supply program, which provides controlled substances (including research-grade marijuana) to researchers for scientific purposes. The marijuana supply program operates pursuant to the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs which requires each Nation to designate a single official source of marijuana for medicinal research. In the United States, NIDA has been designated the responsible agency. Please click here to continue.

Pot-Friendly States Teaming up on Capitol Hill
Members of Congress from states with legal pot are banding together to tell their colleagues on Capitol Hill not to interfere with state drug laws. Please click here to continue.

Marijuana Patient Sues after Firm Won't Hire Her
A graduate student has sued a textile company for refusing to hire her for a two-month internship because she uses medical marijuana to treat frequent and debilitating migraine headaches, a decision her lawyer calls discrimination. Please click here to continue.

Mental health: Depression needs large human-genetics studies
Five decades of work on antidepressant drugs have not made them more likely to lift people out of depression. Medications and psychotherapies help some people with the disease, but fail many others. In a study conducted in real clinical settings, a common antidepressant produced a response in just under half of the participants, and achieved full remission in only 28%. Please click here to continue.

Technology's Latest Quest: Tracking Mental Health
You can now count your steps, measure your glucose levels, monitor your blood pressure and track your caloric intake from your phone or high-tech wristband. But for those dealing with depression rather than diabetes, or trying to keep tabs on their bipolar disorder rather than their weight, the pickings are slimmer. Please click here to continue.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Weekly ATOD & Advocacy Recap week ending November 7, 2014

The content of this email does not represent the official views or policies of NCADD of Middlesex County, Inc. The content has been collected from a variety of sources and is provided for informational purposes only. The appearance of external hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by NCADD of the linked web sites, or the information, products or services contained therein. If you do not wish to receive this email in the future, simply respond to it and stating “DELETE ME” in the subject line.

A Family’s Truth about Marijuana Depends on the Family
What is the truth about marijuana? As long as I’ve been an adult I’ve known people who smoke marijuana, and they certainly don’t fit the stereotype of skater dude or hippie holdover. Please click here to read more.

FDA Hearing Yields Little Consensus on Abuse-Deterrent Opioids
After 2 days of public hearings addressing ways to make it more difficult to abuse opioids, no clear consensus emerged. Please click here to read more.

Almost 1 in 5 Americans Plagued by Constant Pain, Survey Suggests
Older people, women more likely to struggle on daily basis, researchers note
Almost one-fifth of Americans do daily battle with crippling, chronic pain, a large new survey reveals, with the elderly and women struggling the most. Please click here to read more.

A new way to help meth addicts stay clean: antibodies
Designing medications and immune therapies that blunt a drug addict's high and help him kick his habit is a promising idea. And someday soon it is expected to yield actual medications for addiction. But there's a fundamental problem with prescribing an addict a daily medication that makes it impossible to get high: when the urge to use overwhelms the urge to quit — as it so often does — the struggling addict can easily discontinue the medication and go back to his illicit habit. Please click here to read more.

Not all Fun and Games: Drinking and Drug Abuse in College
College is often students’ first real taste of independence. They are living on their own, in charge of their own schedule, and making new friends. At the same time, they are focused on building a strong academic foundation that will help them to secure a career upon graduating. The pressure to succeed coupled with the desire to be social can be immense. Finding a balance is necessary for maintaining good health. Please click here to read more.

High rate of insomnia during early recovery from addiction
Insomnia is a "prevalent and persistent" problem for patients in the early phases of recovery from the disease of addiction—and may lead to an increased risk of relapse, according to a report in the November/December Journal of Addiction Medicine, the official journal of the American Society of Addiction Medicine. Please click here to read more.

Marijuana-Legalization Supporters See Next Battleground in California
Victories in Oregon, Alaska, and Washington, D.C., Bolster Legalization Movement. Please click here to read more.

DEA Agent Explains What It's Like To Infiltrate Mexican And Colombian Drug Cartels
Anti-drug agents are usually extremely cautious about spilling the beans on their secret world, which lies somewhere between espionage, police work and battlefield. Please click here to read more.

‘Uber for Pot’ Eaze Raises $1.5 Million to Deliver Medical Marijuana
Mobile apps enable nearly anything to be delivered directly to your door. Now you can add marijuana to the list. Please click here to read more.


Friday, October 31, 2014

Weekly ATOD & Advocacy Recap for week ending October 31, 2014



The content of this email does not represent the official views or policies of NCADD of Middlesex County, Inc. The content has been collected from a variety of sources and is provided for informational purposes only. The appearance of external hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by NCADD of the linked web sites, or the information, products or services contained therein. If you do not wish to receive this email in the future, simply respond to it and stating “DELETE ME” in the subject line.

Why some doctors are in favour of medical cannabis
The politics of medical cannabis may be complicated. But for some people it makes a world of difference in relieving pain, nausea, seizures, and other symptoms. The rest of this article can be found here.

Why College Kids Drink Like They’re Getting Extra Credit for It
College binge-drinking is a perennial public-health concern, and most recently the concern has been allocated for college women. “Binge drinking is an under recognized problem among women and girls,” the CDC reported last year, amid a spate of nonfiction books about women catching up to men's drinking habits, which some have argued contributes to campus sexual assault. The effects of binge-drinking on men and women are well-known; less-discussed is what causes binge drinking in the first place. The rest of this article can be found here.

Want people to drink less? Make their cigarettes more expensive
Excessive drinking leads to about 88,000 deaths each year in the United States. Cigarette smoking adds another 440,000 deaths to the tally, most due to long-term health problems like cancer. A new study from the Washington University School of Medicine suggests you could take a bite out of both figures with one simple policy change. The rest of this article can be found here.

Addiction Treatment with a Dark Side
In Demand in Clinics and on the Street, ‘Bupe’ Can Be a Savior or a Menace.
For Shawn Schneider, a carpenter and rock musician, the descent into addiction began one Wisconsin winter with a fall from a rooftop construction site onto the frozen ground below. As the potent pain pills prescribed for his injuries became his obsessive focus, he lost everything: his band, his job, his wife, his will to live. The rest of this article can be found here.

Could This Be The Next Medicinal Marijuana?
Imagine discovering a plant that has the potential to help alleviate post-traumatic stress disorder, suicidal thoughts and paralyzing anxiety. That's what some believe ayahuasca can do, and this psychedelic drink is attracting more and more tourists to the Amazon. The rest of this article can be found here.

We Can Do Better. And We Must.
I have spent my life as a teacher, coach, and educational leader trying to help young men and women grow up free from the negative influences of drugs and alcohol. In this regard, I am not unlike so many teachers and educators across our nation who try every day, year-round, to help kids grow into happy, healthy, constructive adults. My working theory, underscored by research, is that the teenage body organizes itself around its activities, healthy or not, and that the adult body is far less susceptible to intoxicants if it grows up free from them. The goal is to push the age of experimentation as far down the road as possible. The rest of this article can be found here.

Strict Social Hosts Help Curb Underage Drinking
Teenagers are less likely to drink at parties when they live in communities with particularly strong social host laws, finds a US-based study. The rest of this article can be found here.

6 Facts about Marijuana
Attitudes about marijuana have undergone a rapid shift in public opinion, paralleled by few other trends in the U.S. Our recent data, along with historical figures from Gallup and the General Social Survey, reveal how views have shifted about the drug over time. Earlier this year, our survey found that many more Americans now favor shifting the focus of the nation’s overall drug policy. Here are six key facts about public opinion and marijuana: The rest of this article can be found here.

Adolescent Binge Drinking Reduces Brain Myelin, Impairs Cognitive and Behavioral Control
UMass Amherst study suggests teen binge drinking effects may last a lifetime
Binge drinking can have lasting effects on brain pathways that are still developing during adolescence, say neuroscience researcher Heather N. Richardson and her colleagues at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Louisiana State University. Results of their study using a rodent model of adolescent drinking appear in the October 29 issue of The Journal of Neuroscience. The rest of this article can be found here.

Under Obamacare, Mental Health Lacking
Loopholes in private health insurance plans, Medicaid and states are barring behavioral health patients from seeking care. The rest of this article can be found here.

Legally High at a Colorado Campus
In an apartment complex just outside the western edge of the University of Colorado’s flagship campus, a 22-year-old psychology major named Zach has just leaned over an expensive oil rig — a twisting glass tube that he will use to smoke shatter, a hash oil concentrate. Once he lights up, his high will be rapid and intense. The rest of this article can be found here.

This Is Your Brain on Drugs
The gray matter of the nucleus accumbens, the walnut-shaped pleasure center of the brain, was glowing like a flame, showing a notable increase in density. “It could mean that there’s some sort of drug learning taking place,” speculated Jodi Gilman, at her computer screen at the Massachusetts General Hospital-Harvard Center for Addiction Medicine. Was the brain adapting to marijuana exposure, rewiring the reward system to demand the drug? The rest of this article can be found here.