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Friday, April 25, 2014

ATOD & Advocacy Recap - Week ending April 25, 2014

Making sense of reefer madness in Colorado - Part II
The lines no longer extend outside marijuana shop doors in Colorado as they did in the first few days of January, and the numerous marijuana medical and retail shops throughout the Denver metro area now sit relatively modest and inconspicuous. Except, that is, for their typical green signage and amusing names such as The Grove, Premium Weed, Kindman Dispensary, Denver Relief, Natural Remedies, Kind Love, The Releaf Center, The Kind Room, Pink House Mile High, Herb’s Nest, Sacred Seed, Good Chemistry, Colorado Denver Kush Club, and, my personal favorite name, Starbuds. Please click here to continue reading.

Solving a challenge to 'one day at a time'
“One day at a time” is a slogan of recovery synonymous with the 12-Step path. Those who enter 12-Step treatment or meeting culture are likely to hear it at their first exposure, and even people outside the 12-Step sphere are familiar with the term. Movies such as “28 Days,” where Sandra Bullock’s recovering character Gwen protests, “What, like two or three days at a time is an option!”, and other pop culture references have made “one day at a time” more than just a 12-Step phenomenon. As a counselor and a recovering woman, I do not challenge the relevance of now-centered living and staying in today. My concern involves the irresponsibility of throwing this slogan at newly recovering people as an instant solution without helping them learn how to live one day at a time. Please click here to continue reading.

If We Build It, Will They Come? Drug Treatment and the Affordable Care Act
With the passage of the Affordable Care Act, Congress has provided us with a historic opportunity to reduce the demand for illegal drugs. The law requires health insurance companies, Medicaid and Medicare, to cover treatment for substance abuse disorders. It will make drug treatment more available than ever before. The U.S. government estimates that illicit drug use costs more than $193 billion annually in crime, health care and loss of income. More effective treatment will likely save money as well as lives. The question is, will greater availability of drug treatment bring more problematic drug users into treatment? If we build it, will they come? Please click here to continue reading.

Powdered Alcohol Is Real, Dumb, and Coming To a Liquor Store Near You
Well, this sure is a terrible idea. The U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau has reportedly approved a forthcoming product called Palcohol, an alcoholic powder that comes in flavors including Cosmopolitan and Kamikaze. We can practically hear the chorus of stomach pumps now. Please click here to continue reading.

The follow-up: Powdered alcohol approval was an error
Don't expect powdered alcohol to hit store shelves anytime soon. A product called "Palcohol" gained widespread attention online in recent days after it was reported that the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau approved the powdered alcohol, including vodka and rum varieties. But a representative for the federal bureau, Tom Hogue, said in an email to The Associated Press late Monday that the approvals were issued in error. Please click here to continue reading.

Muscle weakness seen in alcoholism linked to mitochondrial repair issues
Muscle weakness from long-term alcoholism may stem from an inability of mitochondria, the powerhouses of cells, to self-repair, according to a study funded by the National Institutes of Health. Please click here to continue reading.

A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
The recommended daily allowance for alcohol consumption in Britain may well be around the size of a medium to large glass of wine depending on your gender, but a leading scientist in the field has claimed drinking just over a bottle a day would do no harm to your health. Former World Health Organization alcohol expert Dr. Kari Poikolainen has analyzed decades of research into the effects of alcohol on the human body, The Daily Mail reports. Please click here to continue reading.

Inside a Christian Pot Shop - This Sacramento pot shop sells weed-infused lollipops while spreading the gospel
God told Moses to go down the mountain. He told Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, his only son. And, according to Bryan Davies, he made another commandment to a California couple circa 2005: “Open up a pot shop.” Please click here to continue reading.

ER trips for kids' pain and coughs often end with codeine
Despite recommendations against the use of codeine in children, a new study found many emergency room doctors still give the potentially dangerous opioid to kids, such as for pain and coughs. Please click here to continue reading.

Justice Dept. Broadening Criteria for Clemency
The Justice Department is broadening the criteria it will use in evaluating clemency petitions from certain federal prisoners and expects the changes to result in thousands of new applications, Attorney General Eric Holder said Monday. The new criteria, which will be detailed later this week and are aimed at inmates serving time for nonviolent drug offenses, are intended to lead to a reduction in the nation's federal prison population and also to "ensure that those who have paid their debts have a chance to become productive citizens," Holder said in a video message. Please click here to continue reading.

Here Are All the Drugs Americans Want To Legalize
A majority of Americans support legalizing marijuana, polls now show. But that's where support for drug legalization ends. A series of HuffPost/YouGov surveys conducted over the past several months found that few Americans want to repeal the laws against any other illegal drug. Please click here to continue reading.

Drink, drank, drunk: Dangers and prevention concerning the nectar of the gods
If Jesus turned water into wine, I say drink it, along with the holy spirits, and hell, beer too. Your drink says a lot about you, and it affects your health obviously, so there are a few things to consider before you make a liquor store run or take out cash for the bar. The first — are you 21 years old? Please click here to continue reading.

FDA Advisers Vote Against Approving New Opioid Painkiller
A key government panel Tuesday voted unanimously against approval of a powerful opioid prescription painkiller intended to provide faster relief with fewer side effects. At the conclusion of a hearing, the Food and Drug Administration advisory committee voted 14-0 against recommending that the agency approve Moxduo, the first drug to combine morphine and oxycodone into one capsule. The committee also voted unanimously that the drug's developer had not proved that Moxduo is less likely to cause potentially life-threatening respiratory suppression than taking morphine or oxycodone alone. Please click here to continue reading.

The Drinking Age Is Past Its Prime
The age-21 rule sets the U.S. apart from all advanced Western nations, and it has pushed kids toward pills and other antisocial behavior
The National Minimum Drinking Age Act, passed by Congress 30 years ago this July, is a gross violation of civil liberties and must be repealed. It is absurd and unjust that young Americans can vote, marry, enter contracts and serve in the military at 18 but cannot buy an alcoholic drink in a bar or restaurant. The age-21 rule sets the U.S. apart from all advanced Western nations and lumps it with small or repressive countries like Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Indonesia, Qatar, Oman and the United Arab Emirates. Please click here to continue reading.

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.