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Friday, June 27, 2014

Weekly ATOD Recap & Advocacy for week-ending June 27, 2014

New US Medical Marijuana News Website Launches

A new era known as "The Green Rush" has arrived in the United States as prohibition has ended for marijuana (also know as weed, cannabis or pot). With the booming multi-million dollar marijuana industry in the United States, countless information sources are releasing marijuana-related news stories, opinions and features on a daily basis. The newest source is which aims to be a reliable source of medical marijuana news and information for people all over the US and around the world. To continue reading please click here.

Heroin use rising sharply since 2007, U.S. mayors told

Heroin use increased more than 80 percent nationwide from 2007 to 2012, driven by ample supply and a crackdown on prescription narcotics, mayors and policy leaders from across the country were told Sunday. The leaders attending the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Dallas were also told that physicians in the U.S. prescribe enough painkillers to medicate everyone in the country 24 hours a day for a month. To continue reading please click here.

Chris Christie has very complicated views on drugs

Gov. Chris Christie made his name as the tough-on-crime top federal prosecutor in New Jersey, a place where peculiar illegal shenanigans are practically a way of life. Case in point: Christie's biggest case as U.S. attorney resulted in the arrest of 44 people for corruption -- including mayors, state representatives, a group of rabbis and a guy who prosecutors said sold human kidneys on the black market. To continue reading please click here.

GUEST COMMENTARY: Filling mental health services gap is necessary

It appears that on a regular basis we now hear news accounts of individuals, in the midst of a psychiatric crisis, who severely wound or kill others, often before taking their own lives. These types of incidents have served to put a spotlight on the nation’s mental health system. Yes, people who commit these atrocities are most likely mentally ill. How else could they do what they do? But let’s face it. Mental illness gets a bad rap! To continue reading please click here.

Americans Weigh Addiction Risk When Taking Painkillers

Prescriptions for narcotic painkillers have surged in recent years. Fatal overdoses and abuse of the drugs have risen, too. Doctors and patients are grappling with how to balance the need for pain relief with the potential for trouble. To continue reading please click here.

Study: Prescription Drugs Clouding Drivers

Drivers who test positive for drugs are more likely to use prescription drugs and to take multiple drugs at once.

Drivers who test positive for drugs are more likely than in the past to use prescription drugs and multiple drugs at once, according to a study released by the Public Health Reports on Monday. To continue reading please click here.

Gambling Addiction Runs In the Family; Coincides With PTSD and Social Anxiety Disorder

Hit me, it turns out, is contagious. A new study conducted by University of Iowa researchers has found that pathological gambling and the gambling addiction that often follows tends to run in people’s families. To continue reading please click here.

'Technology addiction' - how should it be treated?

To what extent technology addiction or Internet addiction can be considered a genuine medical disorder is contentious. The term has been in popular use since the mid-1990s but is still not fully recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Now, as technology addiction clinics open across many countries in an attempt to wean citizens off their smartphones and computers, we look at some of the arguments surrounding this most modern of addictions. To continue reading please click here.

The myths of smoking pot

From her perch as head of the National Institute on Drug Abuse in Bethesda, Nora Volkow watches anxiously as the country embarks on what she sees as a risky social experiment in legalizing marijuana. For those who argue that marijuana is no more dangerous than tobacco and alcohol, Volkow has two main answers: We don’t entirely know, and, simultaneously, that is precisely the point. To continue reading please click here.

The 'accidental' addict: soccer moms, painkillers and addiction

Meet Peggy (not her real name). She is a 45-year-old mother of three kids ages 14 to 19. She is married to her college sweetheart who now runs an investment firm. Peggy has a master’s degree in education, has been active in the PTA, has traveled around the world with her family, goes to the gym three times a week and volunteers at her local church. She is also a drug addict. To continue reading please click here.

Prior Drug Use is the Greatest Predictor of Ecstasy Use Among U.S. High School Seniors

 Ecstasy, also known by its chemical abbreviation MDMA, is an illicit drug that is commonly taken at nightclubs and dance parties. Ecstasy’s street names include: “Molly” (U.S.), “Mandy” (U.K.), “E,” and “X.” Although not limited to nightlife scenes, ecstasy is popular at dance parties, as it tends to enhance the party experience (e.g., perceptions of lights and music, nightlife socialization). To continue reading please click here.

Alcohol Abuse Across Generations: Moms Can't Hold A Candle — Or Tequila Sunrise — To Daughters' Drinking Habits

Today’s youth is smothered by marketing messages every day, whether it’s through Facebook, on the subway, or on TV. Music is rife with lyrics glorifying alcohol and parties — drinking Patron and Cristal, for example. Meanwhile, new alcoholic drinks are being branded and covered in labels that appeal to the college and pre-college crowd. These are just some of the reasons why alcohol consumption is on the rise among our youth, particularly young women, a new Australian study finds. To continue reading please click here.

Dangerous Drugs in Need of a Smart Fix

Paramedics wheel a listless teen on a stretcher through the doors of a busy emergency room where doctors and nurses are already assembled, gloved hands outstretched in an all-too common ritual to perform another miracle of resuscitation. The tragedy repeats itself on most nights across America as people turn to the dangerous world of synthetic drugs in search of new elixirs. Not long ago, the realm of synthetic "designer drugs" was dominated by well-known staples such as PCP, LSD, and ecstasy (MDMA). Now the market is crowded with candy-sounding labels -- K2, Spice, Bliss, Bombay Blue -- that mimic the effects of illicit narcotics like opium, cannabis and MDMA. Hazardous to your health? You bet. Illegal? Not necessarily. To continue reading please click here.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Weekly ATOD Recap & Advocacy for week-ending June 20, 2014

Increased demand will follow increased access to addiction services
In Ohio—one of the most populated states in the country—the prevalence of opioid addiction and abuse might be turning a corner, according to Orman Hall, director of the Ohio governor’s  Opiate Action Team, who spoke at the groundbreaking for the Gelbman House in Youngstown, Ohio yesterday. As more individuals gain access to healthcare coverage through Affordable Care Act provisions, they are more likely to seek treatment for their substance abuse issues. “We’re seeing significant demand, especially around the issue of opiate and heroin addiction,” Hall says. “The Affordable Care Act is really important, but the other piece is Medicaid expansion.” Ohio joins 25 other states that have expanded Medicaid to include new populations that typically have not been eligible for Medicaid before, such as adults who do not have children. To continue reading, please click here.

Thoughts on the future of peer-run services: Part 3
This three-part series started when Ron Manderscheid, executive director of the National Association of County Behavioral Health and Developmental Disability Directors, wrote an article on the future of peers in our workforce in a Behavioral Healthcare blog last December. Manderscheid described the roles peers could play in integrated care under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). He is often able to see a vision of the future that gives the rest of us a glimpse of how things could be if we were courageous and behave ourselves. The vision he imparts in that article does just that. For example, he said an opportunity will exist for a peer to serve persons who have no behavioral health conditions. To continue reading, please click here.
Note: Part One is available here. Part Two is available here.

Binge drinking among youth concentrated among a small number of alcohol brands; vodka often binge drink of choice
Youth who binge drink are often choosing spirits (“hard alcohol”), particularly vodka, and their binge drinking is concentrated among a relatively small number of brands, according to a new study. This is the first study to document alcohol brands used for binge drinking (five or more drinks in a row for males; four or more drinks in a row for females) by underage youth (ages 13-20). To continue reading, please click here.

Study reveals molecular mechanism behind alcohol-related brain damage
It has been well documented that heavy alcohol use can cause damage to the brain. But for the first time, researchers from the University of the Basque Country in Spain and the University of Nottingham in the UK reveal the structural brain damage alcohol abuse can cause at a molecular level. To continue reading, please click here.

Twelve Step Recovery and Medication Assisted Therapies
"You're not clean and sober if you keep taking that medication from your doctor!"
"You're just substituting one drug for another."
"You are depressed because you are not grateful enough."
These and other statements are often made to 12-step members who are legitimately prescribed and taking FDA approved medications to treat their addictions and other co-occurring illnesses. Unfortunately, this so- called “advice” from well-intended but misinformed members is not founded in scientific or 12-step philosophy and violates a long held 12- step policy of “AA members should not give medical advice to each other." To continue reading, please click here.

To Beat Heroin Addiction, A Turn To Coaches
Two young men sit in a car outside a church or union hall where they just attended a Narcotics Anonymous meeting. Both men are addicted to heroin. But they haven’t used the drug since they finished a residential treatment program a week or so earlier. To continue reading, please click here.

A Heroin User's Story: Naloxone Gives a Mother Back Her Son, But Can't Cure Addiction
Peter Ruhry got what many other drug abusers never get: a second chance. Mr. Ruhry grew up in Nassau County, in a home without drugs. He started using drugs in April 2007; two years later, in May 2009, he overdosed on heroin, said his mother, Angie Ruhry. He was 21 years old, taking summer classes at Mansfield University in Pennsylvania. At some point between his home and the hospital, first responders gave Mr. Ruhry a shot of naloxone, a medication that is an antidote to opioids found in heroin and some prescription drugs, his mother said. To continue reading, please click here.

Is your doctor stoned? Physicians with substance abuse problems continue to work
We trust doctors with our lives. They’re supposed to take care of us. But physicians are only human. Government studies indicate at least 100,000 doctors — or about one in 10 currently working — is addicted to drugs or alcohol. Some are performing surgeries while stoned, injuring and even killing unsuspecting patients, according to TODAY national investigative correspondent Jeff Rossen, who found numerous cases of doctors busted for substance abuse. To continue reading, please click here.

Young adult men not forthright about their behaviors
A survey conducted for the Caron Texas treatment facility found a disturbing discrepancy between young adult males' assessment of their own substance-using behavior and their reporting of what their friends are doing. Authorities suspect that this means these individuals in the 18-to-25 age range are under-reporting their own daily use. To continue reading, please click here.

Shire to test its ADHD drug in 4 to 5-year olds in U.S.
Shire Plc has agreed to a U.S. Food and Drug Administration request to study its stimulant Vyvanse in preschool children as concern rises over the diagnosis and treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, the drugmaker said on Thursday. To continue reading, please click here.

Psychotropic Drugs Affect Men and Women Differently
Prescription painkillers, antidepressants and other brain drugs have gender-specific effects. To continue reading, please click here.

A Chinese Chemical Company and A 'Bath Salts' Epidemic
There were times a few years back when the emergency room at SUNY Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse looked like a scene from a zombie movie. Dr. Ross Sullivan, a physician there, recalls one afternoon when staff wheeled in a man with dilated pupils who was covered in sweat. To continue reading, please click here.

Children use more drugs when their parents are strict
Want to stop your children from smoking pot? Don't be a tyrant, and pay attention. A recent study looked at how different parenting styles affect different behaviors. By analyzing survey results, Spanish researchers concluded that the strictest and most neglectful parenting styles correlated with a lot more illicit drug use than balanced and indulgent styles. In other words, the key to preventing drug use could be a kind and affectionate approach to parenting. To continue reading, please click here.

Feds Seek Ways to Expand Use of Addiction Drug
The government's top drug abuse experts are struggling to find ways to expand use of a medicine that is considered the best therapy for treating heroin and painkiller addiction. Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan on Wednesday pressed officials from the White House, the National Institute of Drug Abuse and other agencies to increase access to buprenorphine, a medication which helps control drug cravings and withdrawal symptoms. It remains underused a decade after its launch. To continue reading, please click here.

6 Common Fears in Addiction Recovery – and How to Face Them
Fear is normal at every stage of recovery. Everyone enters rehab with some trepidation, even if they’ve been in and out of treatment for years. Likewise, most people leave rehab full of worry. What will happen when they leave the one place they know they can stay sober? How will they cope when the feelings they’ve been medicating come flooding back? To continue reading, please click here.

3 Surprising (and Dangerous) Truths about Opiate Addiction
It’s been almost a month since the U.S. Centers for Disease Control hosted the National Rx Drug Abuse Summit in Atlanta, GA. There, some surprising truths about opiate addiction were unveiled. To continue reading, please click here.