More Children and Teens Arriving in Emergency Rooms Dependent on Opioids

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More children and teens are arriving in U.S. emergency rooms dependent on or addicted to opioids, HealthDay reports. Almost 50,000 ER patients ages 21 and younger were diagnosed with opioid dependence or addiction in 2013, up from 32,200 in 2008, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Pediatrics. “It was very concerning to see that by the last year we studied, an average of 135 children each day were testing positive for opioid addiction or dependency in emergency departments,” study co-author Veerajalandhar Allareddy, MD of the University of Iowa said in a news release. “In our opinion, this is a pediatric public health crisis.”
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Alcohol Use and Misuse Up Among Older Adults

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Recent news reports in various media outlets have noted that across the country, alcohol use — and misuse — have gone up among USA older adults. According to NewsWorks , the online home of WHYY , a new study published in JAMA Psychiatry found that between 2001 and 2012, increases in alcohol use, high-risk drinking, and alcohol use disorder among older adults were substantial, said the study's authors. So much so that they call the change "unprecedented." According to George Koob of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), "Almost everybody over 65 is taking a lot of pills and a number of those pills can actually potentiate the action of alcohol." He also noted that the health risks for drinking among this age group are different than for younger people. Taken together, the drugs have a stronger effect — and alcohol can interfere with other prescription drugs....
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Opioid Overdoses Have Shaved 2.5 Months Off Americans’ Life Expectancy

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Opioid overdoses reduced Americans’ life expectancy by 2.5 months between 2000 and 2015, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. During that period, U.S. life expectancy increased overall from almost 77 years to 79 years, as deaths from major killers such as cancer and heart disease decreased, HealthDay reports. But during that period, the death rate from drug overdoses more than doubled, and the death rate from opioid overdoses—including heroin and prescription opioids—more than tripled. By the final year of the study, Americans’ average life expectancy began to decrease again.
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Opioid Crisis Fast Facts

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The United States is in the midst of an opioid crisis, the impact surpassing annual car crashes, and the AIDs epidemic in the 1990s. Over two million people in the U.S. have become dependent on or abused prescription pain pills and/or an illicit drug. At the onset, many users become addicted after a legitimate injury or surgery requires them to take prescription painkillers. Legal painkillers like morphine, oxycodone, or hydrocodone are prescribed by doctors for acute or chronic pain. However, drug overdoses are on the rise, with 52,000 overdose deaths in 2015. In the same year, the International Narcotics Control Board reported that Americans represented about 99.7 percent of the world's hydrocodone consumption.
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October is National Substance Abuse Prevention Month

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  Join Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) in recognizing National Substance Abuse Prevention Month (NSAPM.) NSAPM is an annual observance focused on raising the public awareness and encouraging communities to take action and get involved to prevent substance use. Each year families, communities, and organizations across the country come together to raise awareness about the importance of substance use prevention and the importance of investing in prevention first. This year’s theme is the “Power of Investing in Prevention" . We encourage communities to join together to ensure evidence-based prevention programs, policies, and practices are implemented at the local level. As part of prevention month, we encourage coalitions and providers to host community health events and partner with their local Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) during DEA's Take Back Day on October 28, 2017. Take Back Day is an opportunity...
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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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