TUNE IN: 3rd Meeting of the Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis

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On September 27, the President’s Commission will convene for its third meeting. This discussion will include statements to the Commission from invited government, nonprofit, and business organizations regarding Innovative Pain Management and Prevention Measures for Diversion, followed by discussion of the issues raised. Join this meeting virtually at www.whitehouse.gov/live on September 27 starting at 12:30pm. Written comments or recommendations can be submitted to the Commission by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . More information about the Commission can be found on the Commission's webpage at https://www.whitehouse.gov/ondcp/presidents-commission
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ACT NOW - Help Stop Efforts to Repeal the Affordable Care Act!

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NCADD is joining with Community Catalyst and several other organizations in trying to stop the latest attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Please see below for specific actions you can take to ensure that access to health care is not taken from the population we serve. We urge you to add a new tactic – emailed personal letters -- as we fight to beat back Graham-Cassidy-Heller, the most harmful GOP health care repeal plan we’ve seen yet. The bill continues to gain momentum and we have less than a week left to stop it! We need to keep up the fight to protect life-saving addiction services and supports for millions of Americans. Graham-Cassidy-Heller will be discussed at a Senate Finance Committee Hearing on Monday, and Democrat committee members want to visibly demonstrate public opposition with a huge stack of letters. We urge you to email letters to the committee...
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Teens Who Try K2 May be Using the Drug Regularly

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Three percent of high school seniors say they use the synthetic drug known as “K2” or “Spice,” a new study finds. Almost half of the teens who report K2 use say they have used it more than three times in the past month, UPI reports. K2 or Spice are also known as synthetic cannabinoids (SCs). “This finding is important because it implies that half of current users are using SCs more than once or twice, which may suggest more than just mere experimentation,” lead researcher Joseph Palamar of NYU Langone Medical Center said in a news release. “In fact, 20 percent of current users reported use on 20 to 30 days in the past month, suggesting daily or almost-daily use.” The study, published in Pediatrics , found eight out of 10 teens who reported current K2 use also said they use marijuana. Synthetic cannabinoids have been found to have a...
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President Asked to Formally Declare Opioid Epidemic a National Emergency

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Ten Democratic senators sent President Trump a letter asking him to formally declare the opioid epidemic a national emergency, USA Today reports. Trump announced in August he was declaring a national emergency, but he has not yet taken formal steps to do so. If he does officially declare the opioid epidemic a national emergency, then FEMA can make money available to states. States could also request aid, and public health workers could be redeployed to fight the epidemic. “Regardless of whether you choose to declare a state of emergency, continued inaction on this issue is deeply concerning,” the senators wrote. “In order to effectively treat this crisis with the urgency it demands, we believe you must take action immediately to expand treatment capacity, increase prevention efforts (including prescriber education initiatives), improve data sharing, and support detection and interdiction efforts to address the supply side of this epidemic – all recommendations...
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Suicide Attempts by Young Adults on the Rise

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Suicide attempts by young adults, particularly those with mental illness and less education, are increasing, a new study concludes. Older adults have the highest overall suicide rates in the United States, the researchers report in JAMA Psychiatry . The findings come from surveys of more than 69,000 adults, according to HealthDay . Between 2004 and 2014, the annual suicide rate increased from 11 percent to 13 percent per 100,000 people. While middle-aged adults (aged 45-64 years) had the highest suicide rate, young adults (aged 21-34 years) had the biggest increase in suicide attempts. Lead researcher Dr. Mark Olfson of Columbia University Medical Center said it is not clear why suicide attempts appear to be increasing among young adults. “It is possible that these trends are partially explained by the effects of the recent Great Recession,” he said. “Younger adults and adults with less education may have been especially hard hit...
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Hurricanes Magnify Addiction Issues

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Authorities planning for natural disasters such as hurricanes must prepare for its effect on people struggling with drugs or alcohol, experts tell the Associated Press . The stress of hurricanes leads to an increased danger of relapse and overdose. Before Hurricane Irma hit Florida, a needle exchange program in Miami distributed extra syringes, while patients at methadone clinics picked up advance medication. Florida, in cooperation with the federal government, allowed methadone clinics to provide up to five days of medication ahead of the hurricane. Scientists found that during Katrina and Superstorm Sandy, people with a drug problem often avoided evacuating in order to stay close to their dealers. Some shared needles with strangers, which put them at risk of becoming infected with HIV and hepatitis. People who were in treatment missed doses of medication, and used street drugs to avoid withdrawal symptoms.
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Fatal Heroin Overdoses Have Risen Fivefold in 15 Years

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Fatal heroin overdoses have risen fivefold from 2002 to 2016, according to a new government report. Last year, an estimated 13,219 Americans died of a heroin overdose. The number of people who used heroin in the United States rose from 404,000 in 2002 to 948,000 in 2016, CNN reports. An estimated 11.8 million Americans misused an opioid last year. Of those, only 8 percent used heroin. The majority misused prescription painkillers, the article notes. According to the findings, from the latest National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 21 percent of Americans 12 and older with an opioid use disorder received treatment for their illicit drug use at a specialty facility in the past year. Receipt of treatment for illicit drug use at a specialty facility was higher among people with a heroin use disorder (37.5 percent) than among those with a prescription pain reliever use disorder (17.5 percent).
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Pennsylvania Congressman Nominated to Lead Drug Policy Office

The White House has announced President Trump will nominate Pennsylvania Congressman Tom Marino to lead the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), according to The Washington Post. In April, CBS News reported that Marino was expected to be named the next head of ONCDP. In May, Marino withdrew from the position, citing a critical illness in his family. Marino has worked to expand access to opioid addiction treatment. He was appointed to serve on the House’s committee combating the opioid epidemic in 2016, after two bills he introduced on drug control were enacted. One of the bills, the Transnational Drug Trafficking Act, aims to curb drug trafficking across borders. The other bill increases collaboration between prescription drug distributors and the Drug Enforcement Administration to combat drug use.
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Older Men Drink More Regularly, but Younger Men Drink More

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Among the 67% of U.S. men who drink alcohol, those aged 50 and older are more likely than those under 50 to say they have imbibed within the last 24 hours, which suggests older men drink more frequently than younger men. However, younger men likely drink more than older men on the occasions when they do consume alcohol. Men in all age groups drink more often than women do. U.S. men aged 50 and older report they consumed an average of 5.3 alcoholic drinks over the past seven days, while men aged 18 to 49 had an average of 6.2 drinks. Both older and younger women report drinking fewer than three alcoholic beverages in the last week. These data come from aggregated results of Gallup's Consumption Habits Survey from 2001-2017, totaling interviews with 11,544 U.S. adults who drink alcohol. The type of drinks that men and women prefer may at...
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Many Drug Dealers Test Strength of Synthetic Opioids on Customers

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Many drug dealers use their customers to test the strength of the synthetic opioids they sell, the Associated Press reports. They want the drugs to be strong enough to keep their customers coming back, but not strong enough to kill them. Local dealers take fentanyl made in Chinese labs and use powders such as baby formula to increase its volume and street value. “It is sick and awful that dealers are treating people this way,” said Bradley Ray, Director of the Center for Criminal Justice Research at Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis, who studies overdose prevention. “It is sad that things have come to this. (Testers’) addictions will push them to take that; they’re not thinking clearly.”
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