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Monday, December 22, 2014

NCADD's Weekly Addiction News & Policy Update - Week ending December 19, 2014

Please note!

NCADD's Weekly Addiction News & Policy Update will not publish for the holiday season beginning Friday, December 19 through Monday, January 5. We will resume sending our updates on Friday, January 9th. Thank you for your loyal support and Happy Holidays!  

To Stop Teen Drinking Parties, Fine The Parents

When it comes to teenage drinking, the typical venue is a party - where some teens play drinking games and binge. It may surprise you to learn that the majority of parents are aware that alcohol is flowing at these events. Please click here to continue reading.  

Why Colleges Haven't Stopped Binge Drinking

Despite decades of research, hundreds of campus task forces and millions invested in bold experiments, college drinking in the United States remains as much of a problem as ever.

'60 Minutes' Shows Insurers Deny Mental Health Treatment Despite ACA Rules

Despite more comprehensive health insurance under the Affordable Care Act that includes mandatory coverage for mental health services, the noted TV newsmagazine 60 Minutes Sunday shined a light on the issue of patients denied treatment by doctors who never even saw them.

Depression In Teens Looks Almost Nothing Like Depression In Adults

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, a depressed teen will experience the same symptoms of depression as adults (profound feelings of unhappiness, loss of interest in pleasurable activities, relentless fatigue, etc.), but those symptoms manifest themselves in ways that can be difficult to distinguish from normal teenage behavior.

Survey: Teen marijuana use declines even as states legalize

 Marijuana use among teens declined this year even as two states, Colorado and Washington, legalized the drug for recreational use, a national survey released Tuesday found.   Click here to read more.

Powdered Alcohol? Not So Fast, Lawmakers Say

Powdered alcohol hasn't even arrived in stores yet, but states already are moving to ban the product touted by its inventor as an easy way to mix a drink on the go.
  Click here to read more.

Congress Ends Medical Marijuana Prohibition With Spending Bill Provision

Congress passed a federal spending measure over the weekend that includes a provision that will end the federal government's medical marijuana ban. The measure precludes the Department of Justice and the DEA from preventing states from passing laws that authorize medical marijuana use, distribution, possession or cultivation. The L.A. Times reports that the prospective law would prohibit federal drug agents from raiding retail outlets in the 32 states and District of Columbia where the drug is legal for medicinal use. President Obama is expected to sign the spending bill this week, making it a law.Click here to read the rest of this story.

Nearly 50% Of Physicians Say They're Less Likely To Prescribe Opioids Compared To A Year Ago

New research from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that 90% of primary care physicians consider prescription drug abuse a moderate or big problem in their respective communities. Nearly 50% of these physicians say they're less likely now to prescribe patients opioids to treat pain compared to a year ago.
 Please click here to read more.

5 things to know: Alcohol calorie labels on menus

Want to know how many calories are in that alcoholic drink you're about to order? You might be able to find out just by reading the menu.
Five things to know about the Food and Drug Administration's new menu labeling rules, which will require chain restaurants with 20 or more outlets to list the amount of calories in alcoholic drinks, along with other foods and beverages, on menus by next November.  

Health Officials Raise Concerns Over "Palcohol"

Though it is still not on store shelves, powdered alcohol continues to make headlines.
 Please click here to read the rest of this story.

Colorado Funds Medical Marijuana Research, a First

Colorado will spend more than $8 million researching marijuana's medical potential - a new frontier because government-funded marijuana research traditionally focuses on the drug's negative health effects. Click here to continue reading.

Federal Agency Efforts to Advance
Media Literacy in Substance Abuse Prevention

This article describes and reflects upon efforts to generate greater support for media literacy and critical thinking within the strategies
and programs of the Federal government in the early1990s to about 2005 primarily among agencies with an interest in youth substance
abuse prevention. Beginning with their personal reflections on discovering media literacy, the authors describe the wide range of
initiatives that occurred under their leadership in bringing media literacy into the 1996 National Drug Control Strategy. Additionally, some of the inherent challenges and obstacles that impacted the ability to expand these efforts are described. The authors each served as Associate Director of the White House Drug Policy Office and Director of the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign.
Click here to DOWNLOAD a PDF of the article.

College Students Say 'Curiosity' Leads Them to Fake Pot

Curiosity is the main reason why college students try synthetic marijuana, a new survey finds.
Of more than 330 students in undergraduate and graduate health programs at a public university, 17 percent said they used fake pot at least once in their lifetime, and 3 percent reported recent use, University of Cincinnati researchers found. Click here to continue reading. 

Monday, December 15, 2014

NCADD's Weekly Addiction News & Policy Update - Week ending December 12, 2014

Scientists reveal the ancient origins of drinking alcohol

There's an emerging branch of research called Paleogenetics that tries to answer the questions of the present by scrutinizing the genetic material of the past. And when it comes to figuring out when drinking alcohol began - igniting both merriment and alcoholism - you need to go pretty far back: 10 million years. That was when some curious primate stumbled across a rotting piece of fruit and thought, "Why not?" And boom, drinking was born. Please click here to continue reading. 

The Campus Alcohol Problem That Nobody Talks About - Worried about binge drinkers? Start at the faculty club.

This week the Chronicle of Higher Education is running a series of long-form investigations about drinking culture on American campuses. I'm as concerned about the overdoses, assaults, and general idiocy of liquored-up undergrads as anyone-perhaps even more so, given the time one of my old Ohio State students, a 90-pound junior, proudly declared her intention to down 21 shots on the upcoming birthday that made it legal to do so. When I mentioned that this could result in her actual death, she just rolled her eyes like I was a neurotic off-duty German shepherd police dog: Oh, isn't that cute; the Old thinks it's people and it knows something.
Please click here to continue reading. 

Alcohol - The Biology behind the Buzz

Our relationship with alcohol is complicated - to say the least. Not everyone can hold their drink, some hold one way too often, and some don't even get a buzz. Truth be told, we're only just starting to get the gist of how alcohol "works".

'Designer strains' of cannabis could cure more ills

An Israeli crop developer aims at maximizing marijuana's medical benefits while reducing its high. Click here to continue reading.

Doctors: Painkillers Overprescribed, But Not by Me

Doctors agree that prescription drugs are overused to treat pain, saying it is a significant problem.  Click here to read more.

Heroin treatment Suboxone exposes divide between medical community, policy makers

 There is a quiet barrier between the medical community and much of the state when it comes to medication-based substance abuse treatment, one that underscores the difficulties in addressing the state's ever-growing battle with heroin and prescription opioid addiction. Click here to read more.

Does educational attainment affect risk of opioid and stimulant abuse?

Young adults who do not attend college are at high risk for non-medical prescription opioid use, while college-educated young adults are more at risk of prescription stimulant abuse. These are the findings of a new study published in the journal Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology. Click here to read the rest of this story.

Nursing Homes Rarely Penalized For Oversedating Patients

 Antipsychotic drugs have helped many people with serious mental illnesses like schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. But for older people with Alzheimer's or other forms of dementia, they can be deadly. The Food and Drug Administration has given these drugs a black box warning, saying they can increase the risk of heart failure, infections and death. Yet almost 300,000 nursing home residents still get them. Please click here to read more.

The marijuana industry is following the trail blazed by Big Tobacco

Last month, people voted to legalize recreational use of marijuana in Oregon, Alaska and the District. As the movement toward marijuana legalization continues, lawmakers and policy experts are looking to the experiments in Colorado and Washington for guidance. We should not overlook, however, valuable lessons from our experience with another legal drug: tobacco. Click here to read the rest of this story.

Painkiller Abuse More Likely for Those Who Skip College

Young adults who skip college are more likely to abuse prescription painkillers than their degree-bound peers, a new study finds. Please click here to read the rest of this story.

Less mental illness among southerners, less access to treatment, too

 You'd expect the socially progressive states of the Northeast and Midwest to score well in a new state-by-state ranking of mental health services, and indeed, by some measures they do. When the advocacy group Mental Health America released the first-ever such rankings Wednesday, Massachusetts, Vermont, Maine, North Dakota, and Delaware received the highest overall scores when prevalence of mental illness is compared to access to care. Arizona, Mississippi, Nevada, Washington, and Louisiana received the lowest marks. Click here to continue reading.