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Friday, August 22, 2014

Weekly ATOD & Advocacy Recap week ending August 22, 2014

The Fine Line Between a Casual College Drinker and an Alcoholic
Fall semester is quickly approaching and we all know what that means -- time to hunker down and perfect that beer pong curve in less than a month. For those of us who spend quite a bit of time flipping cups and shot gunning brewskis on our well-renowned campuses, it is important to acknowledge one of the most serious and misunderstood nicknames of our crowd: alcoholics. Rest of this article is here.

In halls of academia, medical marijuana an unwelcome guest
Colleges, mindful of federal rules, draw ire by keeping stiff bans.
Although medical marijuana has been legal in Massachusetts for nearly two years, many local colleges are putting out the message to students as the fall semester nears: You still can’t use it on campus, even if a doctor says it’s medicinal. Rest of this article is here.

Has Health Law Helped Young People Get Mental Health Treatment? Maybe
Mental health issues like depression, anxiety and substance abuse often start in adolescence, then peak in young adulthood. But for young people who don't have steady jobs or stable paychecks, getting help can be tough. A popular provision of the Affordable Care Act that took effect in 2010 aimed to make it easier for young adults to get access to health care, by allowing them to stay on their until they turn 26. So, are more young adults getting help with mental health issues because of the provision? Maybe, suggests a published in the September issue of Health Affairs. Rest of this article is here.

Who Has a Right to Pain Relief?
The legal, medical, and pharmaceutical industries have all struggled to locate the line between analgesia and drug abuse. Rest of this article is here.

Alcohol tax urged to fund abstinence-based rehab
Drink and drug addicts should be treated in abstinence-based treatment centres paid for with a new tax on alcohol, a think tank has urged. Rest of this article is here.

Alcohol is still the deadliest drug in the United States, and it’s not even close
Which intoxicating substance is associated with the most lethal violence? Devotees of the Wire might presume that cocaine or maybe heroin would top the list, especially if you asked the worst causes of violence in poor, minority communities. Rest of this article is here.

Does Motivated Counseling For Youths About Alcohol Work?
One form of drug counseling to help young people with drinking problems makes people in a 'we must do something' culture feel better may be of limited benefit, a new systematic review suggests. Rest of this article is here.

Marijuana Demystified: 5 Health Myths Debunked
Like it or not, marijuana use has increased exponentially since President Nixon declared a war no drugs in 1971. Rest of this article is here.

Peers, But Not Peer Pressure, Key to Prescription Drug Abuse among Young Adults
Current efforts to prevent prescription drug misuse among young adults need to consider peers — but not peer pressure — according to a Purdue University study. Rest of this article is here.

Breakthrough Treatments Offer Hope, But Bring Sticker Shock
Specialty drugs can literally change lives, but their price tags can make them out of reach for many patients. Rest of this article is here.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Weekly ATOD & Advocacy Recap week ending August 15, 2014

In the experience of AA, a member's age matters
The Baby Boomers are now into their 60s. As the first generation of Americans to experiment widely with illegal drugs, elderly Baby Boomers are thought to experience substance use problems more commonly than previous generations of senior citizens. The most prevalent substance of abuse among the elderly of all generations is alcohol, due to the ease of obtaining it and its relative social acceptance. With more Baby Boomers reaching their golden years, a growing number of seniors are needing recovery programs, and many are entering Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) to address their substance abuse issues. Please click here to continue.

Less spending allocated to behavioral health through 2020
An anticipated slowdown in spending on psychiatric medications is being cited among the reasons for a projection that spending on substance use and mental health disorders as a share of total health spending will decrease through 2020. Please click here to continue.

The U.S. Addiction Rehab Industry
Drug, alcohol and other addiction rehab in the United States is big business - $35 billion this year. There are now 14,000+ treatment facilities and growing. A total of 2.5 million persons received treatment, but many more need it and facilities are filled to capacity. Please click here to continue.

Marijuana Should Be Legal, but …
We must treat drug use for what it is: a health, not a criminal, issue.  Please click here to continue.

How Big Pot Is Wooing Women
Think of your stereotypical marijuana user—it's probably a man. What you've imagined isn't wrong. While roughly half of men admit to having tried marijuana, only a third of women say the same. But the disparity highlights a problem for the marijuana industry: They're leaving half the population's money on the table. Please click here to continue.

Regular Marijuana Use Bad for Teens' Brains
Frequent marijuana use can have a significant negative effect on the brains of teenagers and young adults, including cognitive decline, poor attention and memory, and decreased IQ, according to psychologists discussing public health implications of marijuana legalization at the American Psychological Association’s 122nd Annual Convention. Please click here to continue.

Big Tobacco Tries to Don A New Look: Are You Buying?
Big Tobacco wants to reclaim the hearts and wallets of most adult Americans by rebranding its tarred image — pitching “smokeless” e-cigarettes, embracing the mantra “harm reduction,” and funding science that could turn tobacco plants into life-saving medicine. Please click here to continue.

Drugs and the Evolution of Bodybuilding
Elite weightlifters are bigger than ever before, largely thanks to steroids and growth hormones. Please click here to continue.

Medical Marijuana Research Hits Wall of U.S. Law
Nearly four years ago, Dr. Sue Sisley, a psychiatrist at the University of Arizona, sought federal approval to study marijuana’s effectiveness in treating military veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder. She had no idea how difficult it would be. Please click here to continue.

How revealing is Colo. decline in youth marijuana use?
Backers and opponents of Colorado's landmark marijuana legalization initiative are disputing the significance behind state data showing a decline in past-month and lifetime marijuana use rates among youth in the year following the measure's passage. Please click here to continue.

Banks are slowly welcoming legal marijuana dealers
A top federal official on Tuesday said that 105 banks and credit unions are doing business with legal marijuana sellers, suggesting that federal rules giving financial institutions the go-ahead to provide services to dealers are starting to work. Please click here to continue.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Weekly ATOD & Advocacy Recap week ending August 8, 2014

Don’t Blame Legal Medical Marijuana for Increasing Teen Use
Legalizing medical marijuana doesn’t lead to a rise in use among teens, according to a new study. Contrary to a widespread assumption that legalizing medical marijuana will increase substance use among teenagers, a recent study conducted by D. Mark Anderson, Benjamin Hansen and Daniel I. Rees and published by National Bureau of Economic Research found that the rising use of marijuana by high school students can be explained by other factors. Click here to continue reading.

Researchers look at prescription opioid abuse among young adults in NYC
The prevalence of heroin use has been rising steadily in the U.S in recent years. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, the number of individuals reporting past year heroin use almost doubled between 2007 (373,000) and 2012 (669,000). Emerging evidence suggests the increase may be linked to prescription opioid (PO) users who transition from oral and/or intranasal PO use to heroin use, with POs providing the entryway to regular opioid use, and ultimately, heroin injection. This drug-use trajectory appears to have become increasingly common over the past ten years; in one study, 77.4% of participants in a 2008-2010 cohort reported using POs nonmedically prior to initiating heroin use, as compared to 66.8% in the 2002-2004 cohort. Click here to continue reading.

Obamacare Leads to Surge in Mental-Health Treatment
A provision in the health care reform law allowing parents to keep their adult children on their health-insurance plans has led to millions more young people with mental-health and substance-abuse problems getting treatment, according to a new study. Click here to continue reading.

California Asks: Should Doctors Face Drug Tests?
At a time when random drug testing is part of the job for pilots, train operators, police officers and firefighters — to name a few — one high-profile line of work has managed to remain exempt: doctors. Click here to continue reading.

Dealing With Opioid Abuse Would Pay for Itself
Once championed as the answer to chronic pain, opioid medications and painkillers have become a large and costly problem in the United States. Fatal overdoses have quadrupled in the last 15 years, and opioids now cause more deaths than any other drug, over 16,000 in 2010. Prescription opioid abuse is also costly, sapping productivity and increasing health care and criminal justice costs to the tune of $55.7 billion in 2007, for example. Click here to continue reading.

Your liver walks into a bar: The science of alcohol
How does alcohol affect your liver and heart?
Alcohol, the presumed panacea of low confidence, bad days in the office, and social cohesion, has built-up quite the reputation. The social drinkers, binge drinkers, occasional drinkers, and abstainers, after-all, all share an opinion on this 21 Century drug. Yet I am going to actively side-step these psycho-social issues and take you on a journey of a different kind. It begins with that infamous phrase, “Fancy a drink?” Click here to continue reading.

“New Paradigm” Addiction Recovery Model Takes Long-Term View
People in recovery from substance use disorders who have had repeated relapses can benefit from being monitored for at least five years after treatment, according to a former head of the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Click here to continue reading.

Drug overdose rate among women skyrockets
The rate of Ohio women dying from a drug overdose has skyrocketed by more than 440 percent in the past 14 years.
State and federal lawmakers, as well as regional hospitals and treatment facilities, continue to move more resources toward not only the treatment of drug addiction, but also developing an approach to treat the whole person and the root causes of their addictions. Click here to continue reading.

Where Americans smoke marijuana the most
Forget Colorado or Washington — tiny Rhode Island is the marijuana capital of the United States, at least as measured by the percent of state residents who regularly use marijuana. Click here to continue reading.

What's The Harm? On Having a Drink Then, And Now
Not much has changed in the world of booze and young people over the centuries. In the fall that I helped my daughter move into her room at college, I noticed a young man in the driveway of the house next door wrestling an empty beer keg onto the back seat of his car. As so often happens whenever I visit a college campus, I recalled my own youthful struggles with alcohol. Click here to continue reading.

Marijuana Legalization: Pharmaceuticals, Alcohol Industry Among Biggest Opponents Of Legal Weed
Opponents of marijuana legalization argue that decriminalizing pot increases crime, creates juvenile delinquents and can even lead to more marijuana-related deaths. But there is another reason for the crusade against marijuana that involves some people losing lots of money as the country becomes increasingly pot friendly, according to a recent report from The Nation and a study by the Center for Responsive Politics. Click here to continue reading.

Brief Counseling May Not Help With Most Drug Problems
Beating a drug habit is usually a long process that includes talk therapy and, sometimes, medicine. Checking into a rehab facility can help many people, too. But it can be hard to persuade someone to commit to that long-term treatment. So public health officials lately have been cutting to the chase — urging doctors in primary care and in hospital emergency rooms to question all patients regarding drug use, then offer those with a drug problem a 10- or 15-minute counseling session, right then and there. Click here to continue reading.

Rules for the Marijuana Market
As voters and lawmakers in more states decide to legalize marijuana, policy makers will have to answer a fresh and difficult question: How should governments regulate the production and sale of the drug? Click here to continue reading.