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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.

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