Seems to be a very humane law, even though it is controversial.
Oklahoma House Bill 1782 allows a medical provider to prescribe naloxone to a family member of someone who has a chance of overdosing. The drug helps restart breathing of someone who has overdosed.
Gail Box said she knows it can be difficult for parents to have conversations with their children about drug use.
But parents should consider talking to their children and also carrying naloxone if they think it could help save their children’s lives, she said.
“I wish, if I could go back, I would try to act on those feelings that I had at that time,” she said. “You can tell me anything you want, but I will always shoulder a great deal of guilt as a result of what happened to my son because as a parent, as a mother, it’s my job to protect him, and I didn’t.”
“There are people who have complete unintentional overdose who think they’re taking the right amount of pain medication, or they legitimately have a prescription but it’s not working so they take a little bit more,” White said. “This can also be critical in saving lives of people who are trying to use their pain medication appropriately.”
The law comes at a time when Oklahoma continues to see high rates of prescription drug abuse and overdose deaths.
Oklahoma ranks among the top five states with the highest rate of prescription overdose deaths. And prescription drug abuse is one of the fastest growing types of drug abuse in the state.
Prescription drug overdoses kill more people in Oklahoma than car accidents.
Oklahoma leaders plan to release the state’s strategy for combating prescription drugs in the next few months.
“It’s really good that we’re addressing this now as opposed to 10 years from now,” White said.
Before House Bill 1782 passed, naloxone was carried on many, if not all, paramedic ambulances and fire engines across Oklahoma, said Dr. Jeffrey Goodloe, the medical director for the emergency medical services system for Oklahoma City and Tulsa metros.
However, the law expands who can administer the drug. That’s where Goodloe’s concern comes in. Goodloe said he’s concerned about whether people who aren’t trained in medicine, such as law enforcement officers, will be able to deliver the drug appropriately.
“The first tenet of medicine … is do no harm, so in the process of helping people, we take an oath not to purposely harm them, and my concern with this bill is that, while its intent is nothing but admirable, the end result is I truly believe we will harm some people in fully executing its authority in the commission of trying to help people,” Goodloe said.
Goodloe said when people are given naloxone, they can wake up into a life-threatening withdrawal situation, suffering from horrific vomiting, extreme sweating and dangerously high heart rate and blood pressure.
Not every person given naloxone will go into this type of withdrawal, he said. However, it does occur.
- [Press Release] Prescription Drug Abuse: Strategies to Stop the Epidemic (jflahiff.wordpress.com)
- Oklahoma ranks 5th in drug overdose, expert explains how to lower that rank (kfor.com)
- Report says states are failing to curb prescription drug abuse (wqad.com)
- NM senator takes on prescription drug abuse (kansascity.com)
- Five more laws to help stop Maine’s prescription drug epidemic (bangordailynews.com)
- Prescription drug legislation unveiled (krqe.com)
- Report: W.Va. has highest rate of fatal overdoses (kansascity.com)
Cocaine addicts may become trapped in drug binges — not because of the euphoric highs they are chasing but rather the unbearable emotional lows they desperately want to avoid.
In a study published today online inPsychopharmacology, Rutgers University Behavioral and Systems Neuroscience Professor Mark West, and doctoral student David Barker in the Department of Psychology, in the School of Arts and Sciences, challenge the commonly held view that drug addiction occurs because users are always going after the high. Based on new animal studies, they discovered that the initial positive feelings of intoxication are short lived — quickly replaced by negative emotional responses whenever drug levels begin to fall.
If these animal models are a mirror into human addiction, Rutgers researchers say that addicts who learned to use drugs to either achieve a positive emotional state or to relieve a negative one are vulnerable to situations that trigger either behavior.
“Our results suggest that once the animals started a binge, they may have felt trapped and didn’t like it,” said West. “This showed us that negative emotions play an equal, if not more important role in regulating cocaine abuse.”
- Sticks & Stones: Removing the Stigma of Addiction (aspireindianablog.wordpress.com)
- Addiction and Medication Treatment: Managing Recovery Through Medications (aspireindianablog.wordpress.com)
- Western University make discover that could end opiate addiction (lfpress.com)
- Brain’s ‘Dark Side’ May Be Key To Cocaine Addiction (medicalnewstoday.com)
Behavioral Health United States 2012
SAMHSA’s newly-released publication, Behavioral Health, United States, 2012, the latest in a series of publications issued by SAMHSA biannually since 1980, provides in-depth information regarding the current status of the mental health and substance abuse field. It includes behavioral health statistics at the national and State levels from 40 different data sources. The report includes three analytic chapters:
- Behavioral Health Disorders across the Life Span
- Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders: Impairment in Functioning
- Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders: Treatment Landscape
The volume also includes 172 tables, which are organized into four sections:
- Behavioral Health of the Population: the mental health status of the U.S. population and prevalence of mental illness;
- Behavioral Health Service Utilization: providers and settings for behavioral health services; types of behavioral health services provided; and rates of utilization;
- Behavioral Health Treatment Capacity: number of facilities providing mental health and substance abuse services; numbers of qualified specialty mental health and substance abuse providers; and
- Payer and Payment Mechanisms: expenditures and sources of funding for behavioral health services.
No other HHS publication provides this type of comprehensive information regarding behavioral health services delivery in the U.S. This publication is the only available comprehensive source of national-level statistical information on trends in both private and public sector behavioral health services, costs, and clients. Drawing on 40 different data sources, this publication also includes State-level data, and information on behavioral health treatment for special populations such as children, military personnel, nursing home residents, and incarcerated individuals.
- Two behavioral health nonprofits agree to repay $4.2 million (abqjournal.com)
- Mental health providers to pay NM for overbilling (kansascity.com)
- Innovation in behavioral health (whyy.org)
- A public health approach for mental health (jsonline.com)
- Judges and Psychiatrists Discuss Mental Health Treatment in the Judicial System (namisouthbay.com)
- Reports possible soon on some mental health fraud (miamiherald.com)
- NH schools awarded behavioral health grants (mysanantonio.com)
Pregnant women who abuse drugs, alcohol need compassion, not stigma from doctors and society: experts
My sentiments exactly, real humans do not shame!
Seeing a pregnant women smoking a cigarette, imbibing a glass of wine or using drugs is sure to raise a societal eyebrow.
But a new report says women with substance abuse problems should be treated with compassion by health providers and society at large, especially during pregnancy, because addiction is a brain disorder and not a personal failing.
“It’s harmful for us to look upon pregnant women with addiction issues and assume it’s as simple as saying: ’For the sake of the baby, stop using,”’ said Colleen Dell, research chair in substance abuse at the University of Saskatchewan.
The report says pregnancy offers an opportunity for doctors to help women seek treatment for addiction, while providing comprehensive care aimed at maximizing the health of both mother and baby.
That treatment should involve a wide range of care providers and programs, including addiction counselling, medication-assisted therapy and community resources for parents, the report says.
“When this continuum of care is provided, we see healthier babies and fewer premature births, and overall maternal and infant mortality rates go down,” said Finnegan.
But many women are hesitant to seek treatment because of the stigma around using a substance that’s known to be harmful to their developing fetus, she said.
It’s important to look at the antecedents to drug addiction, said Finnegan, noting that about 98% of the women in her clinic had been sexually or physically abused as children or as adults.
Often women also won’t seek medical help because they’re afraid of losing their children
“This is very much like PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). They have had trauma and taking a drug permits them to forget these terrible feelings that they have had. When they take the psychoactive drugs … they become addicted.
“So the first step is that we get them into treatment and help them feel welcome.”
Often women also won’t seek medical help because they’re afraid of losing their children to protective services if they admit to an addiction, she said, suggesting the judicial system has to change.
Dealing with stigma is the greatest challenge in trying to help pregnant women with an addiction, said Franco Vaccarino, a professor of psychiatry and psychology at the University of Toronto and chairman of the CCSA’s scientific advisory council.
“Addiction is a disorder of the brain,” he stressed.
‘Simply put, your brain is different after prolonged substance abuse than it was before’
“Simply put, your brain is different after prolonged substance abuse than it was before. Addiction fundamentally changes neurological functioning and it makes it next to impossible to just quit for the sake of the baby without significant supports.
“The challenge is anchoring the narrative of this discussion in health terms,” Vaccarino said. “If you anchor it in health terms and move it away from justice and moral and will-related issues, you focus the narrative around addiction, which is where it should be.”
- Pregnant women abusing drugs need compassion (cbc.ca)
- Drug use during pregnancy affects baby: report (metronews.ca)
- Case Explores Rights of Fetus Versus Mother (nytimes.com)
- Legal moves to further protect foetuses threaten rights of US mothers (irishtimes.com)
- Fetus ‘Personhood’ Law Results In Arrest And Shackling Of Pregnant Wisconsin Mom (addictinginfo.org)
- Fetus Sues Mother — Case Explores Rights of Fetus (articles.mercola.com)
- Task force targets pregnant drug abusers (kokomotribune.com)
- As Fetuses Gain Personhood, Women Lose It (abortion.ws)
- Sticks & Stones: Removing the Stigma of Addiction (aspireindianablog.wordpress.com)
- Substance abuse linked to troubled children (fijitimes.com)
From the 7 October 2013 press release at Trust for America’s Health – Preventing Epidemics. Protecting People.
Prescription Drug Abuse: More than Half of States Score 6 or Less out of 10 on New Policy Report Card, While Drug Overdose Deaths Doubled in 29 States in the Last Decade
Washington, D.C. October 7, 2013 - A new report, Prescription Drug Abuse: Strategies to Stop the Epidemic, finds that 28 states and Washington, D.C. scored six or less out of 10 possible indicators of promising strategies to help curb prescription drug abuse. Two states, New Mexico and Vermont, received the highest score receiving all 10 possible indicators, while South Dakota scored the lowest with two out of 10.
According to the report by the Trust for America’s Health (TFAH), prescription drug abuse has quickly become a top public health concern, as the number of drug overdose deaths – a majority of which are from prescription drugs – doubled in 29 states since 1999. The rates quadrupled in four of these states and tripled in 10 more of these states.
Prescription drug related deaths now outnumber those from heroin and cocaine combined, and drug overdose deaths exceed motor vehicle-related deaths in 29 states and Washington, D.C. Misuse and abuse of prescription painkillers alone costs the country an estimated $53.4 billion each year in lost productivity, medical costs and criminal justice costs. Currently only one in 10 Americans with a substance abuse disorder receives treatment.
“Prescription drugs can be a miracle for many, but misuse can have dire consequences. The rapid rise of abuse requires nothing short of a full-scale response – starting with prevention and education all the way through to expanding and modernizing treatment,” said Jeffrey Levi, PhD, executive director of TFAH. “There are many promising signs that we can turn this around – but it requires urgent action.”
In the Prescription Drug Abuse report, TFAH – in consultation with a number of public health, clinical, injury prevention, law enforcement and community organization experts – reviewed a range of national recommendations and examined a set of 10 indicators of strategies being used in states to help curb the epidemic. There are indications that some of these efforts and strategies may be having a positive impact — the number of Americans abusing prescription drugs decreased from 7 million in 2010 to 6.1 in 2011, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
Some key findings from the report include:
- Appalachia and Southwest Have the Highest Overdose Death Rates: West Virginia had the highest number of drug overdose deaths, at 28.9 per every 100,000 people – a 605 percent increase from 1999, when the rate was only 4.1 per every 100,000. North Dakota had the lowest rate at 3.4 per every 100,000 people. Rates are lowest in the Midwestern states.
- Rescue Drug Laws: Just over one-third of states (17 and Washington, D.C.) have a law in place to expand access to, and use of naloxone – a prescription drug that can be effective in counteracting an overdose – by lay administrators.
- Good Samaritan Laws: Just over one-third of states (17 and Washington, D.C.) have laws in place to provide a degree of immunity from criminal charges or mitigation of sentencing for individuals seeking to help themselves or others experiencing an overdose.
- Medical Provider Education Laws: Fewer than half of states (22) have laws that require or recommend education for doctors and other healthcare providers who prescribe prescription pain medication.
- Support for Substance Abuse Treatment: Nearly half of states (24 and Washington, D.C.) are participating in Medicaid Expansion – which helps expand coverage of substance abuse services and treatment.
- ID Requirement: 32 states have a law requiring or permitting a pharmacist to require an ID prior to dispensing a controlled substance.
- Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs: While nearly every state (49) has a Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) to help identify “doctor shoppers,” problem prescribers and individuals in need of treatment, these programs vary dramatically in funding, use and capabilities. For instance, only 16 states require medical providers to use PMDPs.
“Fifty Americans die a day from prescription drug overdoses, and more than 6 million suffer from prescription drug abuse disorders. This is a very real epidemic – and warrants a strong public health response,” said Andrea Gielen, ScD, Director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy. “We must use the best lessons we know from other public health and injury prevention success stories to work in partnership with clinical care, law enforcement, the business community, community-based organizations, and other partners to work together to curb this crisis.”
Key recommendations from the report include:
- Educate the public to understand the risks of prescription drug use to avoid misuse in the first place;
- Ensure responsible prescribing practices, including increasing education of healthcare providers and prescribers to better understand how medications can be misused and to identify patients in need of treatment;
- Increase understanding about safe storage of medication and proper disposal of unused medications, such as through “take back” programs;
- Make sure patients do receive the pain and other medications they need, and that patients have access to safe and effective drugs;
- Improve, modernize and fully-fund Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs, so they are real-time, interstate and incorporated into Electronic Health Records, to quickly identify patients in need of treatment and connect them with appropriate care and identify doctor shoppers and problem prescribers;
- Make rescue medications more widely available by increasing access for at-risk individuals to naloxone and provide immunity for individuals and others seeking help; and
- Expand access to and availability of effective treatment options as a key component of any strategy to combat prescription drug abuse.
According to the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC), nationally, sales of prescription painkillers per capita have quadrupled since 1999 – and the number of fatal poisonings due to prescription painkillers has also quadrupled. Enough prescription painkillers were prescribed in 2010 to medicate every American adult continually for a month.
“The release of the prescription drug abuse report by the Trust for America’s Health represents a significant step forward in elevating public awareness of the state of prescription drug abuse in the US”, according to Ginny Ehrlich, CEO of Clinton Health Matters Initiative (CHMI). “We are proud that the Trust has completed this important research as part of its CHMI Commitment to Action and congratulate the Trust on continuing to advocate for innovation and action towards addressing this public epidemic.”
The report was supported by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Score Summary: A full list of all of the indicators and scores, listed below, is available along with the full report on TFAH’s web site at www.healthyamericans.org and RWJF’s web site athttp://www.rwjf.org/RxReport. For the state-by-state scoring, states received one point for achieving an indicator or zero points if they did not achieve the indicator. Zero is the lowest possible overall score, 10 is the highest. Data for the indicators were drawn from a number of sources, including the National Alliance for Model State Drug Laws, NCIPC, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Alliance of States with Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs, the National Conference of State Legislators, the Network for Public Health Law, the Kaiser Family Foundation and a review of current state legislation and regulations by TFAH. In August 2013, state health departments were provided with opportunity to review and revise their information.
10 out of 10: New Mexico and Vermont
9 out of 10: Kentucky, Massachusetts, New York and Washington
8 out of 10: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island and West Virginia
7 out of 10: Florida, Nevada, New Jersey, Tennessee and Virginia
6 out of 10: Arkansas, District of Columbia, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, North Dakota, Ohio, Texas and Utah
5 out of 10: Alaska, Idaho, Indiana, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire and South Carolina
4 out of 10: Alabama, Arizona, Kansas, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Wyoming
3 out of 10: Missouri and Nebraska
2 out of 10: South Dakota
STATE-BY-STATE DRUG OVERDOSE MORTALITY RANKINGS
Note: Rates include total drug overdose mortality rates, the majority of which are from prescription drugs. 1 = Highest rate of drug overdose fatalities, 51 = lowest rate of drug overdose fatalities. Rankings are based on data from CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics, WONDER Online Database, 2010. The numbers are based on the number of people per 100,000.
1. West Virginia**** (28.9); 2. New Mexico (23.8); 3. Kentucky**** (23.6); 4. Nevada (20.7); 5. Oklahoma*** (19.4); 6. Arizona (17.5); 7. Missouri*** (17); 8. (tie) Tennessee** and Utah (16.9); 10. Delaware** (16.6); 11. Florida** (16.4); 12. Ohio*** (16.1); 13. Rhode Island** (15.5); 14. Pennsylvania (15.3); 15. Wyoming*** (15); 16. South Carolina*** (14.6); 17. Indiana**** (14.4); 18. Michigan*** (13.9); 19. Louisiana*** (13.2); 20. Washington (13.1); 21. (tie) District of Columbia and Montana** and Oregon** (12.9); 24. Colorado (12.7); 25. Arkansas** (12.5); 26. (tie) Alabama*** and Idaho** and New Hampshire** (11.8); 29. Alaska (11.6); 30. (tie) Mississippi***and North Carolina** (11.4); 32. (tie) Maryland and Massachusetts (11); 34. (tie) Hawaii and Wisconsin** (10.9); 36. Georgia*** (10.7); 37. California (10.6); 38. Maine (10.4); 39. Connecticut (10.1); 40. Illinois (10); 41. New Jersey (9.8); 42. Vermont** (9.7); 43. (tie) Kansas** and Texas (9.6); 45. Iowa**** (8.6); 46. New York (7.8); 47. Minnesota** (7.3); 48. Virginia (6.8); 49. Nebraska** (6.7); 50. South Dakota (6.3); 51. North Dakota (3.4).
** Drug Overdose Mortality Rates doubled from 1999 to 2010
*** Drug Overdose Mortality Rates tripled from 1999 to 2010
**** Drug Overdose Mortality Rates quadrupled from 1999 to 2010
Trust for America’s Health is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to saving lives by protecting the health of every community and working to make diseaseprevention a national priority. For more information, visit www.healthyamericans.org.
- Five more laws to help stop Maine’s prescription drug epidemic (bangordailynews.com)
- Report says states are failing to curb prescription drug abuse (wqad.com)
- Oklahoma ranks 5th in drug overdose, expert explains how to lower that rank (kfor.com)
- Prescription drug abuse in Pennsylvania (fox43.com)
- NSC report: only three states adequately addressing prescription drug abuse (sacbee.com)
High school seniors who frown upon the use of drugs are most likely to be female, nonsmokers or hold strong religious beliefs, according to a study¹ by Joseph Palamar of New York University. Palamar examines how teenagers’ attitudes toward marijuana influenced their thoughts on the further use of other illicit drugs. The work appears online in the journal Prevention Science², published by Springer.
The study was conducted as marijuana use continues to be on the upswing in the United States, along with more lenient legislation and diminishing public disapproval toward its use. Although previous research has shown that people who disapprove of a particular drug will in all likelihood not use it, little is known about how the use of one drug affects people’s attitudes toward using other drugs.
Palamar therefore examined how demographics and a lifetime use of various drugs — marijuana use in particular — can predict if a person will become partial to using “harder” and more dangerous drugs, such as powder cocaine, crack, LSD, heroin, amphetamine and ecstasy, also known as “Molly.” Data was obtained from 29,054 high school seniors who took part in the Monitoring the Future annual cross-sectional survey of approximately 130 public and private schools in 48 states between 2007 and 2011.
Palamar found that youths who smoked cigarettes or used more than one “hard” drug were consistently less critical of other drug use. The lifetime use of alcohol had no impact on people’s attitudes. Those who used only marijuana tended to be less judgmental of further using such so-called “socially acceptable” drugs as LSD, amphetamine and ecstasy. They did not approve of cocaine, crack or heroin, however, most likely because of their perceived dangers and addictive qualities.
Unsurprisingly, female high school seniors consistently disapproved of using cocaine, crack, LSD and ecstasy. Compared to their male counterparts, females are generally less likely to use most drugs. Palamar was also not surprised by the finding that religiosity robustly increased attitudes against drug use, as it is a major force in societal values.
Youths from more advantaged socio-economic backgrounds with highly educated parents as well as those living in urban areas were much less disapproving of the use of the so-called “less dangerous” drugs. Palamar believes that the higher prevalence of illicit drug use in urban areas may be helping to normalize drug use in cities.
The finding that Black students are less disapproving of powder cocaine, crack and ecstasy is somewhat paradoxical as members of this group generally use such drugs less than White students do. This could, in part, be explained by their strong religious beliefs and the higher rates of arrests and incarceration among Blacks that may serve as a deterrent. The normalization of ecstasy, specifically in rap and hip-hop music, may explain why Black youths are less disapproving of it.
“Public health and policy experts need to ensure that the use of other drugs does not increase in light of the growing prevalence of marijuana use and more lenient policies surrounding it,” Palamar explains. “Although it may be difficult to prevent an adolescent or a young adult from using alcohol, tobacco or marijuana, we need to prevent individuals from becoming users of multiple drugs.”
- Attitudes toward drug use among high school seniors (medicalnewstoday.com)
- A ‘yes’ to one drug could become ‘yes’ for other drugs (medicalxpress.com)
- Here’s Why Vermont Has the Highest Rate of Illicit Drug Use in America (newageoftruth.wordpress.com)
- Illicit drugs now at cheapest for 20 years (radionz.co.nz)
- Special Report: Decriminalisation of drugs in the UK (voiceofrussia.com)
I am all for decriminalizing illegal drug use. However, I am very concerned about substance abuse, especially among folks whose brains are still developing (and this goes on until age 25 or so).
On an average day, 881,684 teenagers aged 12 to 17 smoked cigarettes, according to a report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The report also says that on average day 646,707 adolescents smoked marijuana and 457,672 drank alcohol.To provide some perspective, the number of adolescents using marijuana on an average day could almost fill the Indianapolis Speedway (seating capacity 250,000 seats) two and a half times.“This data about adolescents sheds new light on how deeply substance use pervades the lives of many young people and their families,” said SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde. “While other studies indicate that significant progress has been made in lowering the levels of some forms of substance use among adolescents in the past decade, this report shows that far too many young people are still at risk.”The report, which highlights the substance abuse behavior and addiction treatment activities that occur among adolescents on an average day, draws on a variety of SAMHSA data sets.The report also sheds light on how many adolescents aged 12 to 17 used illegal substances for the first time. On an average day:
- 7,639 drank alcohol for the first time;
- 4,594 used an illicit drug for the first time;
- 4,000 adolescents used marijuana for the first time;
- 3,701 smoked cigarettes for the first time; and
- 2,151 misused prescription pain relievers for the first time.
Using data from SAMHSA Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS), the report also analyzes how many adolescents aged 12 to 17 were receiving treatment for a substance abuse problem during an average day. These numbers included:
- Over 71,000 in outpatient treatment,
- More than 9,302 in non-hospital residential treatment, and
- Over 1,258 in hospital inpatient treatment.
In terms of hospital emergency department visits involving adolescents aged 12 to 17, on an average day marijuana is involved in 165 visits, alcohol is involved in 187 visits and misuse of prescription or nonprescription pain relievers is implicated in 74 visits.
SAMHSA’s National Helpline is a confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service that people – including adolescents and their family members — can contact when facing substance abuse and mental health issues. This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations. Callers can also order free publications and other information in print on substance abuse and mental health issues. Call 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or visit the online treatment locators at http://findtreatment.samhsa.gov/.
The complete report contains many other facts about the scope and nature of adolescent substance abuse, treatment and treatment admissions patterns and is available at: http://www.samhsa.gov/data/2K13/CBHSQ128/sr128-typical-day-adolescents-2013.pdf. It was drawn from analyses of SAMHSA’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health, Treatment Episode Data Set, and National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services, and Drug Abuse Warning Network.
- Substance Use by Adolescents On an Average Day Is Alarming (abbeyswalk.wordpress.com)
- Stimulant-Related Emergency Department Visits Rise 300 Percent among Younger Adults (samhsa.gov)
- Hundreds of Thousands of Teens Use Pot, Alcohol Each Day: Report (news.health.com)
- Marijuana use by kids probs (medfield02052.wordpress.com)
- Drug Abuse Warning Network, 2011: National Estimates of Drug – Related Emergency Department Visits (jflahiff.wordpress.com)
- Bump Seen in Substance Abuse Treatment During Pregnancy (nlm.nih.gov)
- Does Adolescent Drug Use Affect You As An Adult (narcononarrowheadreviews.wordpress.com)
- Nonmedical Use of Prescription Pain Relievers May Raise the Risk of Turning to Heroin Use (samhsa.gov)
- Fact: Teen Pot Use Dropped Amid Rise of Medical Marijuana (sfgate.com)
- Shocking! (addictionandrecoverynews.wordpress.com)
DURHAM, N.C. – Children who grow up in poverty are more likely than wealthier children to smoke cigarettes, but they are less likely to binge drink and are no more prone to use marijuana, according to researchers at Duke Medicine.
The researchers also found that economic strains in early life – including family worries about paying bills or needing to sell possessions for cash – independently erode a child’s self-control, regardless of strong parenting in adolescence. Lack of self-control often leads to substance use.
The findings, appearing July 30, 2013, in the Journal of Pediatric Psychology, debunk common assumptions about who abuses substances, and provide a basis for better approaches to prevent young people from falling into drug and alcohol addiction.
“Poverty during childhood not only appears to affect child development, but can have lasting effects on the types of health choices made during adolescence and early adulthood, especially as it relates to cigarette smoking,” said senior author Bernard Fuemmeler, Ph.D., MPH, MS, associate professor in Community and Family Medicine at Duke University School of Medicine. “Economic strains may shape an individual’s capacity for self-control by diminishing opportunities for self-regulation, or affecting important brain structures.”
Fuemmeler and colleagues at Duke set out to examine the direct effect of childhood economic strains on smoking, binge drinking, and marijuana use in young adults. They also sought to determine how financial difficulties impact self-control, and how positive parenting might mitigate the tendency to use drugs and alcohol.
The group analyzed data from 1,285 children and caregivers included in a representative sample of U.S. families studied from 1986-2009. Economic status was measured by annual family income, plus a survey with questions about economic problems such as difficulty paying bills or postponing medical care. Additional information was gathered to gauge childhood self-control and parental interactions.
Among the study participants who were transitioning to adulthood, young people who lived in poverty as children were far more likely to become regular cigarette smokers than children who grew up in wealthier households. The impoverished children also scored low on self-control measures.
“Poor self-control may be a product of limited learning resources and opportunities for developing appropriate behaviors,” Fuemmeler said.
Binge drinking, however, was much more common among the wealthier young people. And surprisingly, those who had good self-control as children were more likely to engage in heavy episodic drinking as young adults.
Neither wealth nor poverty appeared to influence marijuana use, although positive parenting did reduce the use of this drug. Parents who were nurturing and accepting, in fact, diminished the likelihood of young people using any of the substances.
The researchers also found no correlation between economic hardship and poor parenting – a contradiction to some other studies.
“We suspected we’d find a relationship between parenting and economic problems – the idea that economic strains may cause parents to have less capacity to deal with their children, but that relationship wasn’t there,” Fuemmeler said. “That means it’s not necessarily poverty that affects the parenting strategy, but poverty that affects the children’s self-control.”
Fuemmeler said the findings are important given the increase in U.S. children living in poverty. The U.S. Census Bureau reported 22 percent of children lived in poverty in 2010, compared to 18 percent in 2000.
“Continued work is needed to better understand how economic strains may influence the development of self-control, as well as to identify other potential mediators between economic strains and substance use outcomes,” Fuemmeler said.
In addition to Fuemmeler, study authors include Chien-Ti Lee, Joseph McClernon, Scott H. Kollins and Kevin Prybol.
The National Institutes of Health (RO1 DA030487), the National Cancer Institute (K07CA124905) and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (K24DA023464) funded the study.
- Could personality in childhood predict how teens will respond to drinking? (globalnews.ca)
- Aussie expert: Legalize marijuana to protect teens from binge drinking (rawstory.com)
- The Persistent Geography of Disadvantage (theatlanticcities.com)
While I believe the so called War on Drugs has largely been a failure, I am concerned about young folks indulging in substances that can have permanent health effects.
Regular marijuana use in adolescence, but not adulthood, may permanently impair brain function and cognition, and may increase the risk of developing serious psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, according to a recent study from the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Researchers hope that the study, published in Neuropsychopharmacology – a publication of the journal Nature – will help to shed light on the potential long-term effects of marijuana use, particularly as lawmakers in Maryland and elsewhere contemplate legalizing the drug.
“Over the past 20 years, there has been a major controversy about the long-term effects of marijuana, with some evidence that use in adolescence could be damaging,” says the study’s senior author Asaf Keller, Ph.D., Professor of Anatomy and Neurobiology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. “Previous research has shown that children who started using marijuana before the age of 16 are at greater risk of permanent cognitive deficits, and have a significantly higher incidence of psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia. There likely is a genetic susceptibility, and then you add marijuana during adolescence and it becomes the trigger.”
“Adolescence is the critical period during which marijuana use can be damaging,” says the study’s lead author, Sylvina Mullins Raver, a Ph.D. candidate in the Program in Neuroscience in the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. “We wanted to identify the biological underpinnings and determine whether there is a real, permanent health risk to marijuana use.”
- Marijuana use in adolescence may cause permanent brain abnormalities, study finds (medicalxpress.com)
- Marijuana Use in Adolescence, But Not Adulthood, Linked to Permanent Brain Damage (counselheal.com)
- Univ. of MD finds that marijuana use in adolescence may cause permanent brain abnormalities (eurekalert.org)
- Marijuana Use During Adolescence, Not Adulthood, May Cause Permanent Mental Illness (medicaldaily.com)
- Is Marijuana Really ‘Harmless’? (stopmyaddiction.wordpress.com)
- Cannabis May Have Less Negative Effects On Brain Tissue Than Alcohol, But Is The Trend To Legalize Marijuana Healthy For Teens? (medicaldaily.com)
2013 World Drug Report: stability in use of traditional drugs, alarming rise in new psychoactive substances
2013 World Drug Report: stability in use of traditional drugs, alarming rise in new psychoactive substances
Source: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
The 2013 World Drug Report released today in Vienna shows that, while the use of traditional drugs such as heroin and cocaine seems to be declining in some parts of the world, prescription drug abuse and new psychoactive substance [NPS]
abuse is growing. In a special high-level event of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov urged concerted action to prevent the manufacture, trafficking and abuse of these substances.
Marketed as ‘legal highs’ and ‘designer drugs’, NPS are proliferating at an unprecedented rate and posing unforeseen public health challenges. The report shows that the number of NPS reported to UNODC rose from 166 at the end of 2009 to 251 by mid-2012, an increase of more than 50 per cent. For the first time, the number of NPS exceeded the total number of substances under international control (234). Since new harmful substances have been emerging with unfailing regularity on the drug scene, the international drug control system is now challenged by the speed and creativity of the NPS phenomenon.
This is an alarming drug problem – but the drugs are legal. Sold openly, including via the internet, NPS, which have not been tested for safety, can be far more dangerous than traditional drugs. Street names, such as “spice”, “meow-meow” and “bath salts” mislead young people into believing that they are indulging in low-risk fun. Given the almost infinite scope to alter the chemical structure of NPS, new formulations are outpacing efforts to impose international control. While law enforcement lags behind, criminals have been quick to tap into this lucrative market. The adverse effects and addictive potential of most of these uncontrolled substances are at best poorly understood.
The global picture for the use of traditional drugs such as heroin and cocaine shows some stability. In Europe, heroin use seems to be declining. Meanwhile, the cocaine market seems to be expanding in South America and in the emerging economies in Asia. Use of opiates (heroin and opium), on the other hand, remains stable (around 16 million people, or 0.4 per cent of the population aged 15-64), although a high prevalence of opiate use has been reported from South-West and Central Asia, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe and North America.
- 2013 World Drug Report notes stability in use of traditional drugs and points to alarming rise in new psychoactive substances (jflahiff.wordpress.com)
- UK legal high market is EU’s largest (bbc.co.uk)
- UN says Africa consuming more cocaine (ghanabusinessnews.com)
- UN World Drug Report 2013 – Alarming rise in NPS (drughealth.blogspot.com)
- Warwickshire’s Drug & Alcohol Action team work to tackle global increase in ‘legal highs’ (safeinwarwickshire.wordpress.com)
- Prohibitionists Say the Drugs They Banned Are Safer Than the Ones They Didn’t (reason.com)
- New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) 2013 (dailyaltreport.wordpress.com)
- Lure, Variety of Designer Drugs is Alarming, U.N. Agency Says (nlm.nih.gov)
Drug Abuse Warning Network, 2011: National Estimates of Drug – Related Emergency Department Visits (PDF)
Source: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
This publication presents national estimates of drug – related visits to hospital emergency departments (EDs) for the calendar year 2011 , based on data from the Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN). Also presented are comparisons of 20 11 estimates with those for 2004, 200 9, and 2010 . DAWN is a public health surveillance system that monitors drug – related ED visits for the Nation and for selected metropolitan areas. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), is the agency responsible for DAWN. SAMHSA is required to collect data on drug – related ED visits under S ection 505 of the Public Health Service Act.
DAWN relies on a nationally representative sample of general, non – Federal hospitals operating 24 – hour EDs , with oversampling of hospitals in selected metropolitan areas. In each participating hospital, ED medical records are reviewed retrospectively to find the ED visits that involved recent drug use. All types of drugs — illegal drugs, prescription drugs, over – the – counter pharmaceuticals (e.g., dietary supplements, cough medicine), and substances inhaled for their psychoact ive effects — are included. Alcohol is considered an illicit drug when consumed by patients aged 20 or younger. For patients aged 21 or older, though, alcohol is reported only when it is used in conjunction with other drugs.
Marked findings of this report a re (a) a 29 percent increase in the number of drug – related ED visits involving illicit drugs in the short term between 2009 and 2011 ; (b) simultaneous, short – term increases in the involvement of b oth illicit and licit stimulant – like drugs ; and (c) some ind ications that the pace of increases in pharmaceutical involvement is slowing down.
- Parents Underestimate Influence over Teens’ Substance Abuse (nlm.nih.gov)
- Illegal drug trafficking obstacle to development – UN (ghanabusinessnews.com)
- Giving Maine babies a chance at a drug-free life (bangordailynews.com)
- Environments That Can Lead To A Higher Chance Of Drug Abuse (beckycorshia.wordpress.com)
- Family Conflict Leads to Aggression and Drug Abuse for Boys (counselheal.com)
2013 World Drug Report notes stability in use of traditional drugs and points to alarming rise in new psychoactive substances
At a special high-level event of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) today launched in Vienna the 2013 World Drug Report. The special high-level event marks the first step on the road to the 2014 high-level review by the Commission on Narcotic Drugs of the Political Declaration and Plan of Action which will be followed, in 2016, by the UN General Assembly Special Session on the issue.
- Prohibitionists Say the Drugs They Banned Are Safer Than the Ones They Didn't (reason.com)
- UN says Africa consuming more cocaine (ghanabusinessnews.com)
- New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) 2013 (dailyaltreport.wordpress.com)
- UK legal high market is EU's largest (bbc.co.uk)
- 2013 UN World Drug Report: Alarming Rise in New Drugs (kawther.info)
- Lure, Variety of Designer Drugs is Alarming, U.N. Agency Says (nlm.nih.gov)
- Mushrooming legal highs leave drug control system floundering, UN warns (guardian.co.uk)
- The Motherboard Guide to New Psychoactive Substances (motherboard.vice.com)
- Rise of designer drugs "alarming" from public health standpoint (medcitynews.com)
Excerpts from the 17 July 2013 article at Stateline Daily
To Mark Publicker, a doctor in Portland, Maine, who practices addiction medicine, it’s a clear case of discrimination. You wouldn’t deprive a diabetic of insulin. You wouldn’t stop giving hypertension drugs to a patient with high blood pressure after successful treatment. You wouldn’t hold back a statin from a patient with high cholesterol…
Many private insurance companies and state Medicaid agencies across the country impose sharp limitations on access to medications used in the treatment of the addiction to prescription painkillers known as opioids.
A report commissioned by the American Society of Addiction Medicine found that Medicaid agencies in just 28 states cover all three of medications that the Food and Drug Administration has approved for opioid addiction treatment: methadone, buprenorphine and naltrexone. The study also found that most state Medicaid agencies, even those that cover all three medications, place restrictions on getting them by requiring prior authorization and re-authorization, imposing lifetime limitations and tapering dosage strengths. The study was done by the substance abuse research firm Avisa Group.
“Now that we finally have medications that are shown to be effective and cost-effective it is shameful to throw up roadblocks to their use,” said Mady Chalk, director of the Center for Policy Research and Analysis at the Treatment Research Institute, which researches all aspects of substance abuse.
By any measure, there is an epidemic in the misuse of prescription drugs, most of it involving abuse of opioid painkillers such as OxyContin or Percocet. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 12 million Americans acknowledged using prescription painkillers for nonmedical reasons in 2010.
- Painkiller addicts hit Medicaid limits (usatoday.com)
- Prescription drug overdose deaths skyrocket among women (bangordailynews.com)
- Sharp Rise in Women’s Deaths from Overdose of Painkillers (articles.mercola.com)
- Doctors prescribe narcotics too often for pain, CDC chief says – Los Angeles Times (latimes.com)
- Newly born and withdrawing from drugs: As number of Maine babies exposed to opiates rises, experts explore new options (bangordailynews.com)
- How Long-Term Use of Painkillers Affects the Brain (painkillersaddiction.wordpress.com)
- CDC Chief: Doctors Prescribe Pain Killers Too Often (counselheal.com)
- Many Preventive Services Not Available To Medicaid Beneficiaries (medicalnewstoday.com)
- Accepting or Rejecting the Medicaid expansion provision contained in the ACA will be determined by outcome of the Virginia Governor’s race this November. (coherentramblingsforcoherentminds.wordpress.com)
“You don’t have any idea what you’re dealing with, do you?” asked Mr. Johnson a mere two minutes into my interview. The scene is the Crisis Intervention Unit. The time is 3:00am. I have a feeling my breath is terrible. The hospital pizza I engulfed earlier in the evening has decided to stage a churning acidic protest in my guts. However, far worse than my half-closed eyes, my halitosis or my gastrointestinal distress is the fact that he’s absolutely right. Mr. Johnson is here because he has come to the realization that living sober is about as awful as living as an alcoholic. As a result, he has decided life is simply not worth living.
As a practitioner, patients caught in this double-bind are among the most frustrating to treat. They are living proof that substance dependence treatment can be quite shortsighted. The logic is charmingly simple and irritatingly simplistic: if you’re drinking too much, then you should probably stop. Once you stop, all will be better.
To properly understand the failure of this logic, we need to distinguish the brain from the mind. Although our medications and therapies are effective in removing alcohol from the brain, we are less successful filling the empty space left in the mind. Mr. Johnson’s alcohol use started as a coping strategy and slowly evolved into a way of navigating the world: a drink to take the edge off at a dinner party; a libation or five to take the edge off of a bad day at the office; a quick stop at the corner bar after work to steel himself against a troubled marriage and a wayward teen. Alcohol played prominently in the way his mind functioned for years….
- 5 Ways to Stay Sober After Rehab (24sober.wordpress.com)
- Addiction Recovery – Like Coming Out of a Black Hole (nakunion.wordpress.com)
- What to Do if Your Family Has a History of Addiction (narcononarrowheadreview.wordpress.com)
With the school system failing them, many children are turning to drugs. Heard this one before, right? Well, how about the part where the pusher is your pediatrician, and the fed is subsidizing?
“I don’t have a whole lot of choice,” said Dr. Anderson, a pediatrician for many poor families in Cherokee County, north of Atlanta. “We’ve decided as a society that it’s too expensive to modify the kid’s environment. So we have to modify the kid.”
A recent NYT article spot lighted increasing psych diagnoses in children for the purpose of acquiring “brain boosting” pharma creations to increase academic performance. The purpose is to make a child more competitive on a college application, and increase funding for a school district as test scores rise. Children are being force-fed drugs instead of given the attention they need or the freedom to be creative and learn discipline on their own as pharmaceutical “solutions” are abused as steroids for the brain. Worse yet, the behavior is sanctioned by those in authority, who are supposed to advocate for their well-being–their parents, doctors and the federal government…
Education is a highly competitive arena, whether it’s a student vying for a scholarship or admission to their college of choice, or a district teaching to standardized test scores and praying for funding. The Obama administration’s lauded “Race to the Top” initiative even goes so far as making funding an actual competition–schools submit innovative proposals for education reform in an effort to win federal money.
An anonymous California superintendent pontificated that “diagnosis rates of A.D.H.D. have risen as sharply as school funding has declined.” Poor children are being prescribed stimulants at increasing rates, and Medicare is paying the bill. If we are not directly funding public education in this country, we are indirectly doing so in efforts to respond to the problem….
- Athletes and Drug Abuse (ajochum23.wordpress.com)
- Prescription Drug Misuse and Abuse by Teens Up 33 Percent, According… (prweb.com)
- Prescription Drug Abuse: Top 10 Things CDC Says You Should Know (pbs.org)
Source: National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (Columbia University)
Forty million Americans ages 12 and older have addiction involving nicotine, alcohol or other drugs, a disease affecting more Americans than heart conditions, diabetes or cancer according to a five-year national study released today by The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University (CASA Columbia). Another 80 million people are risky substance users – using tobacco, alcohol and other drugs in ways that threaten health and safety.
The report, Addiction Medicine: Closing the Gap between Science and Practice, reveals that while about 7 in 10 people with diseases like hypertension, major depression and diabetes receive treatment, only about 1 in 10 people who need treatment for addiction involving alcohol or other drugs receive it. Of those who do receive treatment, most do not receive anything that approximates evidence-based care.
The CASA Columbia report finds that addiction treatment is largely disconnected from mainstream medical practice. While a wide range of evidence-based screening, intervention, treatment and disease management tools and practices exist, they rarely are employed. The report exposes the fact that most medical professionals who should be providing treatment are not sufficiently trained to diagnose or treat addiction, and most of those providing addiction treatment are not medical professionals and are not equipped with the knowledge, skills or credentials necessary to provide the full range of evidence-based services.
- Well: Effective Addiction Treatment (well.blogs.nytimes.com)
- Young Adults Want to Recover from Addiction but Need Help to Make It Happen (addictionts.com)
- 8 reasons addiction carries a stigma (salon.com)
- Outpatient Rehab in Delray Beach, Florida Follows New Study that… (prweb.com)
- 15 Myths about Addiction (challengingaddiction.wordpress.com)
Watch your kitchen cupboards this season as thrillseekers look to common holiday baking ingredients for a rise — cinnamon, nutmeg and even marshmallows are the primary ingredient in trendy risky behavior. “The envelope is always being pushed to create something new that will get attention, potentially create a drug-like effect and can pass under the radar of law enforcers,” says Christina Hantsch, MD, toxicologist, Department of Emergency Medicine at Loyola University Health System…
In 2011, poison centers received 51 calls about teen exposure to cinnamon. In the first three months of 2012, poison centers received 139 calls. The American Association of Poison Control Centers reports that of those, 122 were classified as intentional misues or abuse and 30 callers required medial evaluation.
Hantsch is concerned that what was once horseplay by older teenagers is now being copied by young children. “They have easy access to ingredients like cinnamon and marshmallows and think it is cool to do what their older peers are doing,” says Hantsch.
Another challenge that continues to attract followers is called Chubby Bunny. “You stuff as many marshmallows in your mouth as possible and then try to say the words Chubby Bunny,” explained Hantsch. “Two children have actually choked to death attempting this game so it is not to be taken lightly.” Ground nutmeg has been snorted, smoked and eaten in large quantities to produce a marijuana-like high. “Nutmeg contains myristicin which is a hallucinogenic, like LSD,” says the toxicologist. Other common household products that are also being abused are hand sanitizer, aerosol whipped cream, aerosol cooking spray, ink markers and glue.
“There actually is a synthetic marijuana called Spice, or K2, that is very popular right now because it cannot be detected in standard drug tests,” says Hantsch. “Spice is popular right now because it is marketed as a legal high, which it is not, but is dangerous because it has more adverse effects than cannabis.” The poison centers received 4,905 calls about exposure to K2 or Spice between Jan. 1 — Nov. 30, 2012.
Respiratory, cardiac and nerve damage have all been documented in relation to substance abuse by users. “Seemingly silly games can have sinister effects and the holidays are the worst time for this to happen,” says Hantsch. “Kids have more free time, greater access to the Internet and more opportunities to get together during vacations. And at Christmas, the kitchen pantry is loaded for holiday baking. Adults are wise to keep an eye on their children to make sure they are using the ingredients for their proper use.”…
- Growing Number of Kids Getting High off Common Holiday Spices, Toxicologist Warns (medicaldaily.com)
- Legal high calls worry toxicologist (nzherald.co.nz)
- Utah parents unaware of dangerous teen fads (abc4.com)
- Legal high firm pushes ‘Crack’ in dairies (nzherald.co.nz)
Stumbled on this Web site today through Facebook.
While I am still a bit wary of legalizing drugs, I am beginning to see substance abuse as more a public health issue rather than a criminal issue.
At the very least, the current war on drugs needs re-examination.
Count the Costs: 50 Years on the War on Drugs includes related reports in the areas of public health, environment, human rights, crime, and economics.
There is a growing recognition around the world that the prohibition of drugs is a counterproductive failure. However, a major barrier to drug law reform has been a widespread fear of the unknown – just what could a post-prohibition regime look like?
For the first time, ‘After the War on Drugs: Blueprint for Regulation’ answers that question by proposing specific models of regulation for each main type and preparation of prohibited drug, coupled with the principles and rationale for doing so.There is a growing recognition around the world that the prohibition of drugs is a counterproductive failure. However, a major barrier to drug law reform has been a widespread fear of the unknown – just what could a post-prohibition regime look like?
For the first time, ‘After the War on Drugs: Blueprint for Regulation’ answers that question by proposing specific models of regulation for each main type and preparation of prohibited drug, coupled with the principles and rationale for doing so.
- The Mexican Mormon War (Drug Cartels vs. Mormons Full… (geocrises.org)
- War on drugs is an ‘obstacle to black progress’ (current.com)
- Google This: The War On Drugs Has Failed (bigthink.com)
- Eugene Jarecki, Bill Maher Agree: The War On Drugs Is Bullsh*t (VIDEO) (huffingtonpost.com)
- Uruguay takes ‘war on drugs’ in new direction: state monopoly over the production and distribution of marijuana (rawstory.com)
- The War on Drugs was never about Drugs (urbanhorror.wordpress.com)
- U.S.-led “war on drugs” questioned at U.N. (themoderatevoice.com)
- Colombia, Guatemala, and Mexico Beg for an End to the Murderous War on Drugs (alternet.org)
- Grisly War on Drugs fact of the day (aei-ideas.org)
“Good things happen when state prescription drug monitoring programs shift to a proactive strategy,” said Dr. Nathaniel Katz, assistant professor of anesthesia at Tufts University School of Medicine. “Not only can it prevent painkillers from being misused or distributed illegally in the first place, but it can also enable health professionals to identify patients who need help overcoming addiction.”
From the summary at The Nation’s Health [September 2012]
More than 40 million Americans suffer from the disease of addiction, but their treatment needs are largely overlooked by a U.S. medical care system that continues to be influenced by unscientific misperceptions about addiction, a recent report finds.
Released in June by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, the report found that 16 percent of Americans ages 12 and older have addictions involving nicotine, alcohol or other drugs, and another 80 million people are abusing substances in ways that threaten their health and safety. And while more people suffer from the disease of addiction than heart conditions, diabetes or cancer, only about one in 10 addiction sufferers receives treatment. By comparison, seven out of 10 people with diseases such as high blood pressure, major depression and diabetes receive treatment.
The consequences of the medical system’s inattention to the disease of addiction are profound, the report said. As the nation’s largest preventable and most costly health problems, addictions are responsible for more than 20 percent of deaths in the United States. Moreover, addictions cause or contribute to at least 70 other conditions that require medical care, have a wide range of costly social consequences and account for one-third of all hospital in-patient costs.
Contributing to the medical system’s inattention to addiction treatment is a lack of knowledge about the science of addiction, the report said.
“Right now there are no accepted national standards for providers of addiction treatment,” said Susan Foster, CASA Columbia’s Vice President and Director of Policy Research and Analysis, who was the principal investigator for the report. “There simply is no other disease where appropriate medical treatment is not provided by the health care system and where patients instead must turn to a broad range of practitioners largely exempt from medical standards. Neglect by the medical profession has resulted in a separate and unrelated system of care that struggles to treat the disease without the resources or knowledge base to keep pace with science and medicine.”
The full report is available at www.casacolumbia.org/templates/NewsRoom.aspx?articleid=678&zoneid=51.
- Complete video of Russell Brand speaking to the Parliamentary Committee today. Video is from the Parliament ArchiveWhy Addiction Treatment Is a Disaster (talesfromthelou.wordpress.com)
As an ex-addict Russell Brand speaks very convincingly of the need for there to be an abstinence based recovery for addicts, and for us to view addiction as a public health problem rather than a criminal offense.
[He says] we need to welcome people back into the community, as this is where they came from before they became addicts.
- In Focus with Martin Sheen to Examine Addiction Treatment Programs (prweb.com)
- Non-medical treatments are essential (addictionandrecoverynews.wordpress.com)
- Broken Treatment: How the Addiction Industry is Failing its Clients (addiction-dirkh.blogspot.com)
- The Great Addiction Divide (psychologytoday.com)
- Yet Another Way to Misunderstand President Obama’s Record on Addiction Treatment (samefacts.com)
- A Collaboration of Behavioral Health Care Plus Addiction Treatment is a Turning Point for Two New Jersey Organizations (paramuspost.com)
- Addiction-Treatment.com Launches Website to Help Millions Struggling With Drug and Alcohol Addiction (prweb.com)
- Rethinking Everything We Thought About Addiction (psychologytoday.com)
- Doctors and dealers battle for addicts (salon.com)
Heaven knows I post enough somewhat depressing health statistics items…
Here’s some good news for a change..and an example of a public health measure that seems to have worked (as always be careful when inferring cause/effect!)
From the 31 May 2012 Health Canada press release (via an RSS feed I subscribe to…Full Text Reports)
May 31, 2012
For immediate release
OTTAWA - According to the latest results of the Youth Smoking Survey, only three per cent of Canadian students in grades 6-12 said they smoked daily in 2010-2011, down from 4% in 2008-2009.
The school-based survey also found that fewer students have even tried cigarettes once; a decline among those who had ever tried little cigars; and a drop in the percent of students reporting using alcohol, cannabis and other drugs.
“After seeing smoking rates hit historic lows in Canada recently, these new statistics are encouraging,” said the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health. “In particular, the drop in little cigar smoking suggests that the Cracking Down on Tobacco Marketing Aimed at Youth Act is having an impact on consumption of these products by youth.”
The Youth Smoking Survey, funded by Health Canada and conducted by the University of Waterloo’s Propel Centre for Population Health Impact, is a survey of Canadian youth in grades 6-12 that captures information related to tobacco, alcohol and drug use. Among the findings for 2010-2011:
- Nearly three-quarters (74%) of youth in grades 6-12 said they have never tried smoking a cigarette, not even a puff, a significant increase from 67% in 2008-2009.
- Among younger students, just 2% of those in grades 6-9 smoked daily or occasionally, the lowest smoking rate recorded by the survey since it began, in 1994.
- Just 6% of youth in grades 6-9 had ever tried smoking little cigars, a significant decrease from 10% in the previous survey. Similarly, in grades 10-12, 26% of youth reported having ever tried smoking little cigars, also a significant decrease from 35% in 2008-2009.
- Among students in grades 7-12, alcohol use in the past 12 months fell to 45% from 53% in 2008-2009. Although one-third (33%) of students in the past year reported binge drinking (i.e., five or more drinks on one occasion), this is a significant decrease from 39% in 2008-2009.
- Cannabis use was reported by 21% of students in grades 7-12, compared to 27% in 2008-2009. There were also significant decreases in the use of MDMA (ecstasy), hallucinogens and salvia, and in the abuse of psychoactive pharmaceuticals.
These and other results of the survey are available on Health Canada’s website.
In recent years, the Government of Canada has taken steps to reduce smoking among Canadian youth. The Cracking Down on Tobacco Marketing Aimed at Youth Act, in force since 2010, prohibits the sale of little cigars and blunt wraps in packages of fewer than 20 units, and prohibits the sale of little cigars and other tobacco products that contain specified additives, including most flavouring agents.
- Canadian kids still smoking flavoured cigarillos (canada.com)
- Study charts declines in teen smoking, drinking, drug use (ctv.ca)
- Teen cigarette and pot smoking rates fall (cbc.ca)
- Are teens becoming abstainers? Study charts declines in smoking, drinking, drugs (vancouversun.com)
- B.C. youth more likely to toke, smoke and drink – but overall use in Canada dropping (theprovince.com)
- BNB Online Tobacco Shop Caters to Younger Males as Cigar Smoking Becomes More Popular Among the Twentysomethings (prweb.com)
- Who is still smoking in Canada? (cbc.ca)
- Fewer Young Americans Smoking, Survey Finds (nlm.nih.gov)
From the 26 April 2012 edition of StatelineDaily
No one disputes the need for more information about prescription drug abuse. But who should have access to the information is a divisive issue.
Dr. Shawn Jones, an ear, nose and throat surgeon in Paducah, Kentucky, was conducting a routine office appointment when he got a phone call from a worried pharmacist. The pharmacist had just received a prescription from Jones for 90 Percocet pain pills, an unusually large order for a doctor who rarely prescribes more than 20 pills at one time.
Jones asked the pharmacist to fax over the prescription, and he immediately recognized it as a forgery. It was for a female patient he hadn’t seen in five years. She had somehow gotten hold of one of his prescription pads. Jones asked the pharmacist to delay filling the prescription, went back to the exam room and talked with a policeman who happened to be in the office at the time. The policeman called in to the precinct to have the woman arrested.
Under Kentucky’s current prescription drug laws, only a vigilant pharmacist could have stopped these fraudulent prescriptions. The regulations don’t allow physicians to monitor their own prescribing habits to check for fraud, and the Kentucky board of medical licensure can look up a prescribing record only if a formal complaint against a physician is filed.
That will change under new legislation passed last week in a special session. To deal with the growing problem of prescription drug abuse, Kentucky legislators enacted tougher regulations on doctors and pain management clinics. The law mandates that all physicians and pharmacists who prescribe schedule II and III drugs, such as oxycodone (OxyContin) and hydrocodone (Vicodin), check the patient’s prescription record before writing or filling a prescription. They also have to register prescriptions for those drugs in a state database within 24 hours of writing or filling the prescription.
Currently, only about 25 percent of the states’ doctors use the database. Now, all of them will be expected to.
All of this may not sound very controversial. But it is. The database can also be a tool for law enforcement investigations, and these agencies want as much access to it as they can get. This has created a debate about how to balance patient privacy and law enforcement needs in fighting a serious criminal and public health problem….
- States struggle with prescription drug abuse (stateline.org)
- Fighting Prescription Drug Abuse-A National Online Database (forbes.com)
From the 20 January Medical News Today article
A study of a controversial housing project that allows chronically homeless people with severe alcohol problems to drink in their apartments found that during their first two years in the building residents cut their heavy drinking by 35 percent.
For every three months during the study, participants drank an average of 8 percent fewer drinks on their heaviest drinking days.
They also had fewer instances of delirium tremens, a life-threatening form of alcohol withdrawal.
The findings were published in the American Journal of Public Health.
Housing for chronically homeless people usually comes with many conditions, including abstinence from drugs and alcohol and compliance with psychiatric and substance abuse treatment. But such requirements can become barriers to staying in housing.
“These individuals have multiple medical, psychiatric and substance abuse problems, and housing that requires them to give up their belongings, adhere to curfews, stop drinking and commit to treatment all at once is setting them up to fail. The result is that we are relegating some of the most vulnerable people in our community to a life on the streets,”
- Alcohol OK in Housing for Formerly Homeless (nlm.nih.gov)
- Alcohol OK in Housing for Formerly Homeless, Study Says (nlm.nih.gov)
- Study: Housing helps street alcoholics drink less (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- ARTICLE: Non-abstinence Housing for Chronically Homeless ppl with Alcohol Problems (julianbuchanan.wordpress.com)
- Housing the homeless in vacant buildings? (sfgate.com)
- How to Curb Chronic Homelessness? First, a Home! (abcnews.go.com)
Researchers have found clear associations between marijuana use in young males and cyclic vomiting syndrome (CVS), where patients experience episodes of vomiting separated by symptom free intervals.
The study, published in the January issue of Neurogastroenterology and Motility, looked at 226 patients seen at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, New York, USA, over a 13-year period.
These were broken into three groups. Eighty-two patients with CVS were randomly matched with 82 patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) based on age, gender and geographic referral region. Researchers also examined the records of 62 patients with functional vomiting (FV), recurrent vomiting that cannot be attributed to a specific physical or psychiatric cause.
“Our study showed that CVS and FV had very similar clinical features, apart from marijuana use” says Dr G Richard Locke III from the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at the Clinic.
Key findings of the study included:
- Members of the CVS group were younger than members of the FV group (30 versus 36 years) and more likely to be male (53% versus 46%).
- No statistically significant association was detected between membership of the CVS and FV groups and marital status, education level, body mass index, employment status, alcohol use or smoking history.
- 37% of the CVS group had used marijuana (81% male), together with 13% of the FV group (equally split between male and female) and 11% of the IBS group (73% male).
- Association Between Marijuana Use And Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome In Young Males (medicalnewstoday.com)
- Marijuana use associated with cyclic vomiting syndrome in young males (addictionts.com)
- Marijuana and Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome (allbleedingstops.blogspot.com)
- Marijuana: A Missed Medical Opportunity (bigthink.com)
- Smoking marijuana not bad for the lungs (Medical News Today)
- Marijuana in America: A Chronic Issue (gameofroles.wordpress.com)
- Legalizing Medical Marijuana Doesn’t Up Kids’ Pot Use (newser.com)
- Twenty-year study suggests smoking marijuana is healthier than tobacco. (eddieeinbinder.com)
From the 8 January 2012 Addiction and Recovery News blog posting
The new issue of the Lancet focuses on drug policy***. One piece offers key points for formulating policy:
- Drug policy should aim to promote the public good by improving individual and public health, neighbourhood safety, and community and family cohesion, and by reducing crime.
- The effectiveness of most drug supply control policies is unknown because little assessment has been done, and very little evidence exists for the effectiveness of alternative development programmes in source countries.
- Supply controls can result in higher drug prices, which can reduce drug initiation and use but these changes can be difficult to maintain.
- Wide-scale arrests and imprisonments have restricted effectiveness, but drug testing of individuals under criminal justice supervision, accompanied by specific, immediate, and brief sentences (eg, overnight), produce substantial reductions in drug use and offending.
- Prescription regimens minimise but do not eliminate non-medical use of psychoactive prescription drugs. Prescription monitoring systems can reduce inappropriate prescribing.
- Screening and brief intervention programmes have, on average, only small effects, but can be widely applied and are probably cost-effective.
- The collective value of school, family, and community prevention programmes is appraised differently by different stakeholders.
- The provision of opiate substitution therapy for addicted individuals has strong evidence of effectiveness, although poor quality of provision reduces benefit. Peer-based self-help organisations are strongly championed and widely available, but have been poorly researched until the past two decades.
- Health and social services for drug users covering a range of treatments, including needle and syringe exchange programmes, improve drug users’ health and benefit the broader community by reducing transmission of and mortality due to infectious disease.
It’s good stuff. I particularly like its willingness to give credit where credit is due. For example, supply control can help but the benefits are often unstable and have a lot of unintended consequences. I also like the affirmation of the diversity of perspectives on the benefits of policies…..
- An 8 minute video interview featuring one of the authors – Drug policy and the public good: evidence for effective interventions
- An 11 minute MP3 Video where Author Wayne Hall discusses the series with Richard Lane
- Towards a smarter drugs policy | Keith Humphreys and Jonathan Caulkins (guardian.co.uk)
- Overdosing on extremism?? (addictionandrecoverynews.wordpress.com)
- Recent Study Shows Drug Addiction A Hidden Burden for UK Families (uk.prweb.com)
- Interesting global drug use data via new study in The Lancet (sentencing.typepad.com)
- Home Affairs Committee launches new inquiry into Drugs – News from Parliament – UK Parliament (worldwright.wordpress.com)
- Sweden HAS NOT LEGALISED CANNABIS _ Drugs Policy in Sweden (John Yates) (worldwright.wordpress.com)
From the 15 December 2011 press release by US SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration)
Illicit drug related emergency department visits vary by metropolitan area
Major metropolitan areas show significant variation in the rates of emergency department (ED) visits involving illicit drugs. In terms of overall illicit drug-related emergency room visits, Boston has the highest rate (571 per 100,000 population), followed by New York City (555 per 100,000 population), Chicago (507 per 100,000 population), and Detroit (462 per 100,000 population). By comparison the national average was 317 per 100,000 population.
This new report published by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) was drawn from the agency’s Drug Abuse Warning Network – (DAWN), a public health surveillance system that monitors drug-related emergency department visits throughout the nation. This information was collected from eleven metropolitan areas including Boston, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Miami (Dade County and Fort Lauderdale Division), Minneapolis, New York (Five Boroughs Division), Phoenix, San Francisco, and Seattle.
“When friends, family members and health professionals miss the signs and symptoms of substance abuse the results can be devastating,” said SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde. “One consequence is the costly and inefficient use of emergency rooms as a first step to treatment. Substance abuse prevention and early intervention can keep people off drugs in the first place and clear the path to healthier lifestyles.”
The emergency department findings were similar to the overall trend regarding visits related specifically to heroin use. Again Boston had the highest rate (251 per 100,000 population, followed by Chicago (216 per 100,000 population), New York City (153 per 100,000 population), Detroit (150 per 100,000 population) and Seattle (118 per 100,000 population). The national average was 69 per 100,000.
The same differences were also evidenced between these major metropolitan areas and the national average when it came to rates of emergency department visits involving illicit drugs in combination with alcohol. New York City had the highest rate (223 per 100,000 population), followed by Boston (153 per 100,000 population), San Francisco (150 per 100,000 population), Chicago (120 per 100,000 population) and Detroit (112 per 100,000 population). The national average was 60 per 100,000 population.
This survey was developed by SAMHSA as part of its strategic initiative on data, outcomes, and quality – an effort to create integrated data systems that help inform policy makers and providers on behavioral health issues.
This survey is available on the web athttp://www.samhsa.gov/data/2k11/WEB_DAWN_023/DAWN_023_IllicitDrugEDVisits_plain.pdf . For related publications and information, visit http://www.samhsa.gov/ .
- Majority of U.S. Ecstasy-Related Emergency Department Visits Also Involve Other Drugs (addictionts.com)
- Needing But Not Receiving Treatment for Illicit Drug or Alcohol Use: 2009 (addictionts.com)
- New SAMHSA drug use stats show Americans are still hooked on drugs. (myteensavers.wordpress.com)
- What drugs could employees be using? Latest SAMHSA stats are out. (miningsafetytoday.wordpress.com)
- Newest SAMHSA stats shed light on drug use in America. (homedrugtestkit.wordpress.com)
- Patient identity fraud in the emergency department (kevinmd.com)
- Intentional Poisonings in Clubs, Bars May Be on the Rise (webmd.com)
- bad stuff (badgramma.wordpress.com)
New definition of addiction: Addiction is a chronic brain disease, not just bad behavior or bad choices
The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) has released a new definition of addiction highlighting that addiction is a chronic brain disorder and not simply a behavioral problem involving too much alcohol, drugs, gambling or sex. This the first time ASAM has taken an official position that addiction is not solely related to problematic substance use.
When people see compulsive and damaging behaviors in friends or family members — or public figures such as celebrities or politicians — they often focus only on the substance use or behaviors as the problem. However, these outward behaviors are actually manifestations of an underlying disease that involves various areas of the brain, according to the new definition by ASAM, the nation’s largest professional society of physicians dedicated to treating and preventing addiction…..
New Report Shows 85% of Fake Online Drug Outlets Don’t Require Valid Prescription, Fuel Prescription Drug Abuse
From the 28 July 2011 Drug Information Forum article by Marvin C Pankaskie
The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy® (NABP®) today issued a public health alert to warn Americans about the serious dangers associated with medicines purchased through fake online pharmacies. A report NABP released today on Internet drug outlets found that 96% of 8,000 rogue Web sites analyzed continue to operate out of compliance with United States pharmacy laws, fuel prescription drug abuse and misuse, and provide an outlet for counterfeit medicines to enter the US drug supply – all of which significantly endanger the health and safety of Americans.
“The fake online pharmacy crisis has reached an epidemic level – they prey on prescription drug abusers and the most vulnerable members of society who rely on medicine every day for their health,” said NABP President Malcolm J. Broussard, RPh. “They offer easy access to potent medicines without a prescription and indiscriminately push dangerous counterfeit drugs. This problem poses a clear danger to Americans’ health and safety and weakens the essential relationships between pharmacists and patients. By issuing a public health alert, we are calling on pharmacists, physicians, and other health professionals to educate their patients about the growing public health threat posed by these illegal online enterprises.”
- NABP Says Most Online Pharmacies Illegal (forum.thenewalchemist.com)
- Tracking illegal online pharmacies: Evidence of web manipulation (Science Daily)
- New Study Shows Safety of Ordering Prescription Drugs From Online Pharmacies Verified By PharmacyChecker.com (prweb.com)
- Online Pharmacies Certified by PharmacyChecker.com are Guaranteed to Provide Safe and Authentic Prescription Medications (prweb.com)
- 3rd Annual National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day Slated for October 29, 2011 (forum.thenewalchemist.com)
- FDA ‘Bad Ad’ Program Raises Awareness of Provider Role in Ensuring Truthful Prescription Drug Promotion (forum.thenewalchemist.com)
- Protecting Consumers from Rogue Online Pharmacies (eset.com)
- Google Was Warned on Rogue Drug Ads (online.wsj.com)
- PharmacyChecker.com Begins Blog About Americans’ Access to Affordable Medication (prweb.com)