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Friday, July 25, 2014

Weekly ATOD & Advocacy Recap for week-ending July 25, 2014



Helping the 'long-timers'
What happens when a sober patient comes in and says, “I’m not certain if I need treatment or not”? This is a seldom seen phase of addiction care, when a sober “long-timer” comes to therapy in order to work on issues. It is not about denial. The clinical focus here may not even be about “BUDD” (Building Up to a Drink or Drug). Looking more deeply to Terence Gorski's relapse work(1) or to a 2000 study cited by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) about chronic disease relapse rates(2) might be helpful in order to rule out those concerns, because this is not always about relapse. And while this might sound very similar to what “high-functioning alcoholics”(3) would wonder about, those individuals are so new in their sobriety efforts that the difference is obvious. Click here to read more.

Center's YouTube videos seek to ease addicts' fears, despair
The Cumberland Heights addiction treatment facility in Nashville has taken to YouTube as part of a community education and soft marketing effort to help demystify the experience of treatment. The initial subject in a planned series of short videos that will be posted through next year focuses on medical detox, arguably the most feared component along the treatment continuum. Click here to read more.

Intervention today......is it still the Wild West or have we learned from the errors of the past?
Intervention is something that is clearly misunderstood. A lot of people have the impression that the family sets up an ambush on their loved one, where a stranger comes into a family setting and grabs the loved one, bundles him in a car and delivers him to an unsuspecting treatment center. The loved one then spends the next 30 days planning retribution on his family and what would be better than to relapse just to show you! All of this time and energy having gone into a process which was doomed to failure from the outset. Click here to read more.

Drunk-Resistant Worms Become a Reality
Apparently, humans are not the only creatures that can get drunk. Worms can too. But in a recent study, scientists at the University of Texas at Austin said they have found a way to alter the genetic makeup of Caenorhabditis elegans worms to make them drunk-resistent, according to The Verge. Click here to read more.

Decline in Prescription Drug Misuse More than Twice as High in States with Broad Drug Abuse Prevention Programs
Three-year analysis of more than 1.4 million test results also shows majority of Americans continue to put health at risk through dangerous drug combinations and skipping doses. Click here to read more.

Gene variant linked to schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and alcoholism
A rare gene variant discovered by UCL (University College London) scientists is associated with an increased risk of developing schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and alcoholism, confirms new research. Click here to read more.

Raising a Glass to Chemistry
One of the great things about “Breaking Bad” was that it emphasized just how much the magic of intoxication depends on science. Walter White may have been a meth dealer and a criminal mastermind, but he was, above all, a really good chemist. Click here to read more.

National Study: Teens Report Higher Use of Performance Enhancing Substances
New, nationally projectable survey results released today by the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids confirmed a significant increase – a doubling – in the reported lifetime use of synthetic human growth hormone (hGH) among teens. According to the latest Partnership Attitude Tracking Study (PATS), sponsored by MetLife Foundation, 11 percent of teens in grades 9-12 reported “ever having used” synthetic human growth hormone without a prescription, up dramatically from just 5 percent in 2012. Click here to read more.

FDA approves new opioid pain reliever designed to be hard to abuse
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a new form of the powerful and controversial pain reliever OxyContin that is designed to be more resistant to abuse, but experts warned the drug could wind up having the opposite effect. Click here to read more.

Americans Still Oppose Lowering the Drinking Age
Thirty years after federal legislation established 21 as a uniform minimum age to drink alcohol in all states, Americans are widely opposed to lowering the legal drinking age to 18. Seventy-four percent say they would oppose such legislation, while 25% would favor it. The level of opposition is similar to what Gallup has measured in the past. Click here to read more.

World Health Organization Calls for Decriminalizing Personal Drug Use
The World Health Organization came out publicly, if quietly, in support of the decriminalization of personal drug use in a report released last week. Click here to read more.

Children Who Experience Family Members’ Trauma at Twice the Risk for Substance Abuse as Adults
We know the effects of childhood traumas like abuse and neglect on later substance abuse. But what impact does second hand trauma have? A study published in the August issue of the journal Addiction shows that when a child under age 15 is exposed to a family member’s trauma (e.g. a parent or sibling being the victim of violent assault or a parent’s cancer diagnosis), that child has approximately twice the risk of struggling with drug and alcohol problems 6 years later. Click here to read more.

Opinion: It's urgent that physicians screen and intervene in opiate abuse By Daniel J. Meara
Great loss sometimes offers the solace of bestowing clarity. Such hard-won understanding seems to be found in the wake of the many opiate deaths in New Jersey and across the country. From the unsettling number of lives lost to overdose and the sharp rise of addiction has emerged widening recognition that drug addiction is, at its core, a public health matter — as two responses to the crisis, issued by the American Medical Society (AMA) and the Centers of Disease Control (CDC), attest. Click here to read more.

Where does the medical marijuana debate stand now?
Currently, 23 US states and DC have legalized the use of marijuana as a medical treatment. Maryland, Minnesota and New York are the most recent to join in 2014, and legislation to legalize medical marijuana in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania is pending. With policy changing rapidly on the medical applications of the drug on a state-by-state basis, we take a look at where the debate stands concerning the available evidence on medical marijuana and its implementation as a therapy. Click here to read more.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Weekly ATOD & Advocacy Recap for week-ending July 18, 2014



Obscure Rule Restricts Health Law’s Expansion of Care for Addicts


On its surface, the Affordable Care Act seems like a boon for addiction treatment centers like the South Suburban Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, housed in a no-frills former hotel outside Chicago. The law allowed states to expand Medicaid to many more low-income people, meaning that drug addicts and alcoholics who were previously ineligible could now receive coverage for substance abuse treatment, which the law has deemed an “essential health benefit.” To continue reading please click here.



Alcohol Test: Does Eating Yeast Keep You From Getting Drunk?

Sometimes we drink with the sole purpose of relaxing, or drowning the week's worries. But other times we just want to savor a special craft beer or vintage wine, or make that good meal taste even better. And as we get older, we're warier of that third or fourth glass. The consequences of too much alcohol — the drowsiness, the confusion and the wobbling — are a bigger hindrance. And let's face it: A hangover at 36 isn't the same as one at 22. So when we came across a tip in for staving off intoxication, we perked up. You mean I might be able to have another glass of pinot noir or a third IPA without getting as loopy? Tell me more. To continue reading please click here.



Colorado pot use soars above experts’ early predictions: study

A new study by Colorado’s department of revenue’s Marijuana Enforcement Division and the state’s Marijuana Policy Group concludes that only about nine percent of Colorado’s population uses the drug, but will go through 121.4 metric tons of it every year. To continue reading please click here.



Rand Paul: Give kids a second chance after drug crime

A friend of mine's brother was convicted of a felony for growing marijuana plants in his college dorm. Thirty years later he still can't vote and his felony record prevents him from getting a good job. Because of his story and others like it, I introduced bipartisan legislation to restore federal voting rights for non-violent offenders upon release from prison. To continue reading please click here.



Commentary: Parity and the Path to Change the Treatment of Substance Use Disorders

The Treatment Research Institute recently welcomed The Honorable Patrick J. Kennedy, one of the major architects of parity legislation, and a tireless advocate for improving substance abuse care through better policy, to our hometown of Philadelphia. His important insight about how the Parity Law will transform substance abuse and mental healthcare is certainly worth talking about some more. To continue reading please click here.



Study: Counseling Via Telephone Could Cut Prescription Painkiller Use

A new study finds people with chronic pain who received counseling from a nurse over the phone were able to reduce their dose of pain medication. The researchers say the findings suggest “telecare” could reduce the risk of prescription drug abuse and accidental overdoses. To continue reading please click here.



Young adults reduce binge drinking after receiving text messages following visit to ER

Young adults who screened positive for a history of hazardous or binge drinking reduced their binge drinking by more than 50 percent after receiving mobile phone text messages following a visit to the emergency department, according to a study published online yesterday in Annals of Emergency Medicine ("A Text Message Alcohol Intervention for Young Adult Emergency Department Patients: A Randomized Clinical Trial"). To continue reading please click here.



21: Science's limit when it comes to the drinking age

On July 17, 1984, President Ronald Reagan signed into law the National Minimum Drinking Age Act, which withheld a percentage of highway funds from any state that didn't raise the minimum drinking age to 21. To continue reading please click here.



Grieving the Loss of Addiction

An addict who has tried to kick their habit for years finally makes their way into recovery. What could they possibly have to grieve about? Actually, recovering addicts have a lot to grieve. The activity that has been the central focus of their lives is now something they can never do again. The only comfort they have known is gone, and their life requires a complete overhaul. That’s a lot to take in, especially at a time when they are least prepared in terms of ego strength and coping skills. To continue reading please click here.



Is drinking with your kids at home a good idea?

I probably think about the dangers of drinking more than the average person because there is alcoholism in my family. As a parent, I am slightly obsessed with figuring out what I can do to make sure my children, 6 and 8, don't have problems with alcohol when they get older. So, on this the 30th anniversary of the national drinking age being raised to 21, I'm asking myself the following question: Am I better off never letting my girls drink around me, at home or at family celebrations, until they reach the legal drinking age or does it make drinking less taboo and alluring if I let them start drinking at home, maybe with sips of wine and beer, during their teenage years? To continue reading please click here.



You Can’t Make Me – Or Can You? Mandated AA Attendance and the Law

Consider a woman court-ordered to a 90-day residential rehab stay which, upon completion, would take the place of her jail sentence for driving while under the influence and criminal damage to property. Although her religious practices were unconventional and she so informed the rehab, she did her best to follow the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), which encourages its members to use “whatever works” as their “higher power” to foster recovery. To continue reading please click here.



Decline in Prescription Drug Misuse More than Twice as High in States with Broad Drug Abuse Prevention Programs

Five states that have implemented multi-faceted prescription drug abuse prevention programs in recent years showed the highest rate of decline in prescription drug misuse rates nationwide, according to a new study issued today by Quest Diagnostics, the world's leading provider of diagnostic information services. The findings suggest that broad, collaborative measures that include prescription drug databases and physician and patient education may be effective at curbing the nation's epidemic of prescription drug abuse. To continue reading please click here.