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Friday, January 30, 2015

NCADD's Weekly Addiction News & Policy Update - Week ending January 30, 2015

Pediatricians' Group Opposes Legal Marijuana

Marijuana shouldn't be legalized because of the potential harm it can cause children and teens, the American Academy of Pediatrics says.
Why You Might Not Want To Mix Alcohol and Energy Drinks

For years, research has suggested that mixing alcohol and heavily-caffeinated energy drinks could have negative health effects. Combining the two seems to make you want to drink more and mask signs of inebriation.  Please click here to continue reading.  

A day in the life of a Vivitrol doctor
 Dr. Robert Friedman, of Hyannis Family Medical Care treats about 300 patients with medications to keep them off heroin, painkillers, and sometimes alcohol.  Click here to read more.

Treating Pain, Combating Abuse

The U.S. is faced with two coexisting, endemic problems: about five  million people currently use pain medicines for nonmedical reasons, and about 100 million of us deal with chronic pain - with well over 10 million taking prescribed pain medicines. Click here to read more.

Raising a glass to alcohol-induced ingenuity
A Danish beer company is toasting creativity.
It's part of a marketing campaign inspired by a study that found that drinking increases creativity - at least, at first. The effect exists only until the drinker's blood alcohol level reaches 0.075 percent; after that, things start going downhill fast.
Please click here to read more.

Prescription Painkiller Addiction Leads to Hard Drugs

According to a recent CDC report cited on WebMD, three out of four  new heroin users reported having a prescription painkiller addiction to opioids prior to using heroin. With federal law now limiting access to painkiller refills, researchers at the CDC fear that opiate-dependent patients will graduate to heroin. Perhaps counter-intuitively, black-market heroin is far cheaper - and more accessible - than gray-market prescription painkillers. Click here to continue reading.

Mental Health Advocates Rally Behind New Bill

 Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Pa., said Tuesday that he has not stepped onto the House floor without a member of Congress asking him what will happen to mental health legislation - raising the hopes of many that 2015 might be the year for substantial change in the field.  Please click here to continue reading.

No hard alcohol, no pledging: Dartmouth plans major cultural reforms

 Dartmouth College will prohibit all students, regardless of age, from drinking or possessing hard alcohol on campus and will create a new network of residential communities for student social life in a effort to rid the school of what its president calls "extreme behaviors."  Please click here to continue reading.

As smokers spark up e-cigs to quit, traditional aids suffer
 When Marty Weinstein decided to quit smoking, he took a friend's advice and tried electronic cigarettes rather than government-approved nicotine replacement products.Weinstein, 58, has gone from a pack a day nine months ago to the equivalent in nicotine of four or five cigarettes. The e-cigs have a familiar look and feel, and quench his desire to hold on to a cigarette and puff." Click here to continue reading.

Friday, January 16, 2015

NCADD's Weekly Addiction News & Policy Update - Week ending January 16, 2015

The often-repeated claim that 1,800 college students die from 'alcohol-related causes'
The Fact Checker recently explored the suspect math behind the often-cited statistic that one in five college women are sexually assaulted. A reader wrote asking for an inquiry into another statistic that often alarms the parents of college students - that 1,800 college students die every year from "alcohol-related causes." Click here to continue reading.

Addiction, Drunk Driving, and Suicide: The Struggles of Audrey Conn, Founder of 'Moderation Management' 
A few days before Christmas, in a Portland suburb, Audrey Conn committed suicide in her mother's house. Her death, like her life, was immediately seen as something larger in a vituperative debate over whether all problem drinkers need to entirely abstain. Conn, 56, was a founder of Moderation Management, a behavioral program for non-dependent drinkers who seek to change their habits.

Why You've Never Heard of the Vaccine for Heroin Addiction

Every week, the chemist Kim Janda at the Scripps Research Institute gets at least one email-from an heroin addict or a person who loves a heroin addict-that goes something like this:"I know you have no idea who I am, but I, as any true mother, want to save my son's life-as does he! The problem is he can't beat the craving and we are out of money. I will do whatever it takes to help him...Is there any way that he can become a part of a study for this vaccine?"

Why the government pays researchers to drug mice, birds and even spiders
Zebra finches, mice and spiders. They've all been drugged to benefit humankind. For many years, researchers have intoxicated animals in the name of science, often funding the work through federal grants from agencies such as the National Institutes of Health. The practice is controversial, but it can lead to important discoveries. Click here to read more.

 Should scientists work with industry on alcohol policy?
It's undeniable that there's an irreconcilable conflict of interest in the alcohol industry being involved in developing health policy. And by participating in meetings involving industry representatives, scientists risk giving credibility to a fundamentally flawed process that's unlikely to produce sound policy. Click here to read more.

A 'check up from the neck up'-mental health screening kiosks
During their time in college, most students learn the importance of
looking out for their own health. However, some miss the connection that their mental well-being is just as important as keeping a regular exercise regimen or eating the right diet.  Please click here to read more.

The War on Drugs Is Burning Out
The conservative wave of 2014 featured an unlikely, progressive
undercurrent: In two states, plus the nation's capital, Americans voted convincingly to pull the plug on marijuana prohibition. Even more striking were the results in California, where voters overwhelmingly passed one of the broadest sentencing reforms in the nation, de-felonizing possession of hard drugs. One week later, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and the NYPD announced an end to arrests for marijuana possession. It's all part of the most significant story in American drug policy since the passage of the 21st Amendment legalized alcohol in 1933: The people of this country are leading a dramatic de-escalation in the War on Drugs.  Click here to continue reading.

Binge Drinking Isn't Just for College Kids Anymore
The typical picture of a binge drinker may look as much like a middle-age man working long hours as it does a college fraternity boy partying late at night.

Long working hours are linked to risky alcohol consumption
In a linked paper, Virtanen and colleagues present a meta-analysis combining published studies with unpublished data to explore associations between long working hours and use of alcohol. They found that exposure to long working hours was associated with higher odds of alcohol use in cross sectional studies. Please click here to continue reading.

Losing marijuana business, Mexican cartels push heroin and methMexican traffickers are sending a flood of cheap heroin and methamphetamine across the U.S. border, the latest drug seizure statistics show, in a new sign that America's marijuana decriminalization trend is upending the North American narcotics trade.  Please click here to continue reading.

Hand holding pillsHave Prescription Drug Abuse Regulations Gone Too Far?
Many health care professionals are concerned with the growing usage of opioids among the general public, but does this mean the answer to the problem is tightening regulations on physicians prescribing controlled substances? Click here to continue reading.

The History of Poisoned Alcohol Includes an Unlikely Culprit: The U.S. Government
This week, two strange spates of death-by-drinking made news, when dozens of people died from drinking possibly-poisoned beer in Mozambique and another large group was struck down by bad liquor in India. The idea of "poisoned" or contaminated unlicensed alcohol may strike American readers as a problem for people elsewhere in the world to worry about, but the U.S. actually has an extensive history with deaths from poisoned alcohol - and that's not to mention the thousands of deaths a year that, even today, can be traced to alcohol poisoning from supposedly safe, legal drinks. Click here to continue reading.

Friday, January 9, 2015

NCADD's Weekly Addiction News & Policy Update - Week ending January 9, 2015

Booze apps slammed for targeting young people

JCU's professor Lynn Eagle and her team of researchers conducted a study involving alcohol use and discovered almost 80% promote heavy drinking.
She explained many of the apps are aimed at young people and likely to work well. In addition, she noted there are no age restrictions on any of the apps.

Pot Pie, Redefined? Chefs Start to Experiment With Cannabis

Recreational marijuana is both illegal and controversial in most of the country, and its relationship to food does not rise much above a joke about brownies or a stoner chef's late-night pork belly poutine.But cooking with cannabis is emerging as a legitimate and very lucrative culinary pursuit.

Resolutions can harm mental health

During the next few weeks, prepare to be barraged by admonitions to make New Year's resolutions. These messages connect with us because we aspire to be better people. Research indicates that the most popular resolutions in 2014 focused on losing weight, getting organized, spending less/saving more, enjoying life to the fullest and staying fit and healthy.
About 50 percent of us make such resolutions every year. What a great opportunity to reflect upon our lives and make a commitment to change the way we think, act and feel. Who wouldn't want to be healthier, happier and more engaged with our work, family and friends?
However, be warned. New Year's resolutions can be dangerous to your mental health. Please click here to continue reading.   

Scientists show that drunk birds 'slur' their songs

Sometimes science means getting a bunch of finches sloshed. Or at least giving them blood alcohol levels of around .08 percent, which is pretty crazy by bird standards. In a study published last week in PLOS ONE, researchers from the Oregon Health and Science University tempted zebra finches with spiked juice -- but not because they wanted to help the lab animals ring in the new year in style.

Facilities targeting specialized needs of opioid-dependent and pain patients

Some addiction treatment facilities treating opioid addiction, sometimes complicated by concurrent severe pain, are finding that service quality can be improved in small-group treatment settings with a narrower focus on the opioid patient alone. Click here to read more.

Lawsuit seeks to make drugmaker pay for OxyContin abuse

Prescription drug abuse has killed more than 20,000 Americans a year, filled jails and treatment centers and spawned a resurgence in heroin use. And nowhere is the pill problem more prevalent than in Kentucky's Appalachians, where officials trace its roots to the aggressive marketing of one potent drug: OxyContin. Click here to read more.

'Cannabis is a mental health issue': the ex-offenders using rap as therapy

When researchers from University College London met ex-offenders from the charity MAC-UK, they produced an award-winning film and drugs education tool Click here to read the rest of this story.

Myanmar Returns to What Sells: Heroin

A decade ago, Myanmar seemed on course to wipe out the opium fields and heroin jungle labs along its eastern border, the notorious Golden Triangle. A decade ago, Myanmar seemed on course to wipe out the opium fields and heroin jungle labs along its eastern border, the notorious Golden Triangle.Today, valley after valley in these mist-shrouded mountains is covered with resplendent opium poppies, tended by farmers who perch on steep hillsides to harvest the plant's sticky, intoxicating sap. Please click here to read more.

The real cost of hangovers

Considering how much hangovers cost countries and companies, not to mention the pain people suffer, you would think someone would have come up with a cure by now. But so far, no luck, though it's not for want of trying. Numerous age-old remedies and commercial products are available - everything from herbal potions to IV drips - and they are all put to good use during the holiday season. But, do they work? And what is the cost to employers of all that recovery downtime?

4 Things To Understand About Youth, Mental Health & Juvenile Justice In The US

Almost 2 million youth - those under the age of 18 - are arrested each year in the US, which is more than 5,000 delinquency cases per day. Of those, approximately 95% are not accused of violent crimes (murder, rape or aggravated assault). Yet, these youth are often incarcerated in the juvenile justice system, causing more harm than good to the academic, social and personal growth of our youth, despite best efforts from experts to reduce incarceration. According to University of Chicago professor and Co-Director of the University's Crime Lab Harold Pollack, PhD, rightly notes, "There is good reason to believe that economical, evidence-based interventions are helpful. We need to develop and deploy-at-scale-good interventions outside the criminal justice system that prevent youth violence."
 Please click here to read the rest of this story.

What Heroin Addiction Tells Us About Changing Bad Habits

It's a tradition as old as New Year's: making resolutions. We will not smoke, or sojourn with the bucket of mint chocolate chip. In fact, we will resist sweets generally, including the bowl of M&M's that our co-worker has helpfully positioned on the aisle corner of his desk. There will be exercise, and the learning of a new language.  Click here to continue reading.

Top Five Drug Stories of 2014

Look at any list of the top news stories of 2014, and you'll be left wondering how we made it through. From ebola outbreaks to Ferguson protests, the ice bucket challenge and tragic celebrity deaths, it's been quite a year in news and pop culture. It's also been an eventful year for those of us who care about our nation's drug policy-and the millions of men, women, teens, and families who are affected by it every day. That's why we've created our own list. A lot has happened on the drug front in the past 12 months; here are the highlights.

How to Curb Binge Drinking: Raise Taxes on Booze

As the government learned during Prohibition, an outright ban on alcohol isn't an effective way to stop Americans from boozing. But a new study suggests that more subtle changes to the law could help curb binge drinking.

Study finds conditions of retirement can lead to substance abuse disorders among older adults

 Close to three million Americans aged 55 and older suffer from alcohol abuse-and this figure is expected to reach nearly 6 million by 2020. While alcohol abuse remains prevalent among them, the rate of illicit drug abuse in adults over 50 more than doubled between 2002 and 2013. Many of the older Americans suffering from substance abuse are retired. But according to Tel Aviv University research, it is not retirement alone that leads to drug and alcohol abuse, but rather a host of circumstances surrounding leaving the work force, which often coincides with painful later-life events such as the death of spouses and friends.Click here to continue reading.

A Dangerous Trend: The Move Away from Abstinence Based Addiction Treatment

The face of addiction treatment is changing, and not for the better.
Betty Ford and Hazelden have long been beacons of hope in the addiction treatment community, two well-known and respected centers that used 12-step treatment and abstinence based recovery to help thousands of people recover from addiction for decades. Please click here to continue reading. 

Overdose Deaths due to Prescription Painkillers May Peak Soon: Study

 Will the number of overdose deaths attributed to prescription drugs peak in a few years? A new analysis suggests this may be possible when viewing the problem as an epidemic. After applying a theory known as Farr's Law, a group of Columbia University professors calculate that the number of prescription drug overdoses each year in the U.S. will peak in 2017 at 16.1 deaths per 100,000 people, and by 2034 will fall back to much lower rates last seen in the early 1980's. Please click here to continue reading.

Should treatment centers consider retiring the graduation ceremony?

 As the addiction field's perspective on treatment shifts away from episodic care and becomes more about ongoing recovery management, does this make the traditional "graduation ceremony" for patients an outdated concept? Please click here to continue reading. 

The content of this email does not represent the official views or policies of NCADD of Middlesex County, Inc. The content has been collected from a variety of sources and is provided for informational purposes only. The appearance of external hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by NCADD of the linked web sites, or the information, products or services contained therein.