More Funding, Stronger Measures Needed to Fight Opioid Addiction, Officials Say

More Funding, Stronger Measures Needed to Fight Opioid Addiction, Officials Say
More funding and stronger measures are needed to fight opioid addiction, officials said recently at a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee. They called for greater access to addiction treatment and more stringent rules for painkiller prescribing. Speakers at the hearing included governors, U.S. senators and law enforcement officials, according to The Wall Street Journal . They said heroin and painkiller addiction is overwhelming health care workers, police and families across the nation. In 2014, more than 47,000 Americans died of drug overdoses in 2014, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “I have never seen anything like this, in terms of the epidemic we are facing,” New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte told the hearing. Senator Jeanne Shaheen, also from New Hampshire, called the problem a pandemic that affects “young and old, urban and rural, rich and poor, whites and minorities.” The hearing was called in part to...
Continue reading
Rate this blog entry:
2215 Hits
0 Comments

Study Links Marijuana Use to Greater Risk for Developing Addiction to Other Drugs

Study Links Marijuana Use to Greater Risk for Developing Addiction to Other Drugs
A new study suggests marijuana smokers may be significantly more likely to develop an addiction to other drugs and alcohol than people who don’t use marijuana. People who used marijuana were not more likely to develop a mood or anxiety disorder, HealthDay reports. “This new finding raises the possibility that the recent rise in marijuana use may be contributing to the coincident rise in serious harms related to narcotics and other drugs of abuse,” said lead researcher Dr. Mark Olfson of Columbia University Medical Center. The study, published in JAMA Psychiatry , included almost 35,000 adults who were interviewed three years apart. At the time of the first interview, almost 1,300 used marijuana. After three years, two-thirds of people who used marijuana had some form of substance use disorder, compared with less than 20 percent of people who did not use marijuana in the previous year. People who used marijuana...
Continue reading
Rate this blog entry:
2593 Hits
0 Comments

Advocates Call for Judgment-Free Language When Speaking of Addiction

Advocates Call for Judgment-Free Language When Speaking of Addiction
A number of researchers and advocates are calling attention to the language of addiction, and the need for using medical terms free of judgment, The Boston Globe reports. These advocates say that commonly used words such as “junkie,” “abuser,” “substance abuse” and “addict” can increase the stigma surrounding addiction. They argue that such language can discourage people from seeking help and lead health professionals to treat patients harshly. “The biggest thing we trade in is hope,” said Dr. Barbara Herbert, Massachusetts Chapter President of the American Society of Addiction Medicine. “Our biggest enemy is hopelessness. That’s why I think language matters a lot.” Advocates do not uniformly agree on which words are most harmful, and which words should be used instead. The terms “substance abuse” and “drug abuse” are part of titles of government agencies, nonprofits and scientific journals. The term “person with a substance use disorder,” preferred by some...
Continue reading
Rate this blog entry:
2030 Hits
0 Comments

Poll Finds Widespread Concern Over Heroin Addiction

Poll Finds Widespread Concern Over Heroin Addiction
A new poll finds 49 percent of Americans say heroin use is a very serious national problem, while an additional 38 percent say it is a somewhat serious problem. The HuffPost/YouGov poll found 46 percent of whites and 59 percent of both blacks and Hispanics say heroin addiction is a very serious problem, The Huffington Post reports. More than one-third of respondents say they know someone who has been addicted to heroin or another opiate, and about half say that heroin use is at least as much of an issue in their community as it is elsewhere. Only 8 percent of respondents said they think heroin abuse is more common among blacks than whites. In contrast, a 2005 poll on heroin found 37 percent of respondents thought heroin abuse was a greater problem for minorities, while 26 percent thought heroin use was more of a problem for whites. When asked...
Continue reading
Rate this blog entry:
2099 Hits
0 Comments

White House Asks for More Than $1 Billion in New Funding for Opioid Addiction Treatment

White House Asks for More Than $1 Billion in New Funding for Opioid Addiction Treatment
President Obama is asking for more than $1 billion in new funding to address the opioid epidemic, USA Today reports. The funding would expand access to treatment for prescription drug abuse and heroin use. Under the proposal, the new funds would be used to help people with an opioid use disorder to seek and successfully complete treatment and sustain recovery. It would expand access to substance use treatment providers and to medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorders. The funds will be included in the fiscal year 2017 budget request, the article notes. They include $920 million to support agreements with states to expand access to medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorders. States can use these funds to expand treatment and lower the cost of services. Fifty million dollars would be used to expand access to 700 substance use treatment providers in areas that need mental health treatment the most, while...
Continue reading
Rate this blog entry:
2055 Hits
0 Comments

College Marijuana Use Linked With Skipped Classes, Lower Grades, Late Graduation

College Marijuana Use Linked With Skipped Classes, Lower Grades, Late Graduation
A new study finds marijuana use in the first year of college can lead to students missing classes. The more frequently a student uses marijuana, the more they tend to skip class, earn lower grades, and graduate later. Researchers at the University of Maryland School of Public Health followed 1,117 college students for eight years to test the direct and indirect effects on marijuana use on GPA and time to graduation. The findings are part of a larger study, called the College Life Study, which began in 2003. “Alcohol and other drug use are also related to skipping class, but when we adjusted for other substance use we still found a relationship between marijuana and skipping class,” said lead researcher Amelia Arria, Associate Professor of Behavioral and Community Health at the University of Maryland School of Public Health. She noted previous studies have found a relationship between marijuana and other...
Continue reading
Rate this blog entry:
4469 Hits
0 Comments

One Billion Fewer Hydrocodone Combination Tablets Dispensed After Drug Rescheduled

One Billion Fewer Hydrocodone Combination Tablets Dispensed After Drug Rescheduled
One billion fewer hydrocodone combination tablets were dispensed and 26.3 million fewer prescriptions were written after the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) enacted tighter controls on prescribing these products, a new study finds. In 2014, the DEA announced it would reclassify hydrocodone combination products such as Vicodin. Under the new rules, patients can receive the drugs for only up to 90 days without receiving a new prescription. The DEA reclassified hydrocodone combination products as Schedule II drugs. Until October 2014, these drugs were classified as Schedule III drugs, meaning they could be refilled up to five times, and prescriptions could cover a 180-day period. In most cases, patients who wish to refill their hydrocodone combination prescription now have to give their pharmacy a prescription from a healthcare provider, instead of having it phoned or faxed in. In the new study, researchers from the Department of Health and Human Services analyzed data...
Continue reading
Tags:
Rate this blog entry:
5101 Hits
0 Comments

Naloxone Offered Free to High Schools Around the Country

Naloxone Offered Free to High Schools Around the Country
The opioid overdose antidote naloxone is being offered free to high schools around the country by the drugmaker Adapt Pharma, according to U.S. News & World Report . Naloxone, sold under the brand name Narcan, quickly reverses overdoses from heroin and prescription painkillers. Naloxone will be offered in nasal spray form to high schools through state departments of education. The Clinton Foundation’s Health Matters Initiative is collaborating on the project. Many states do not have rules that would permit high school staff to administer naloxone in an emergency without facing liability from parents or guardians, the article notes. There are significant variations in state and local rules about whether staff is allowed to administer medication to students. In some school districts, medication can only be administered by school nurses, who often work at more than one school. The National Association of School Nurses (NASN) in June said that “incorporating use...
Continue reading
Rate this blog entry:
5438 Hits
0 Comments

Employers Facing Challenges in Dealing with Prescription Drug Abuse

Employers Facing Challenges in Dealing with Prescription Drug Abuse
Employers face a number of challenges in dealing with workers’ prescription drug abuse. Studies show people with addictions are much more likely to be sick, absent or use workers’ compensation benefits, according to NPR . Opioids are often prescribed in workers’ compensation cases when painkillers are called for, the article notes. “The more professional stature you have, the less likely you are going to be forced into recovery, and the longer your addiction is likely to go on unchecked,” said Patrick Krill, who directs a treatment program at the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation focusing on lawyers and judges. Krill notes the legal profession has twice the addiction rate of the general population. A survey released last month found 80 percent of Indiana employers are impacted by prescription drug misuse and abuse. The National Safety Council (NSC) and Indiana’s Attorney General conducted the survey, which found 64 percent of employers believe...
Continue reading
Rate this blog entry:
3003 Hits
0 Comments

Hookah Use Growing, But Many Questions Remain

Hookah Use Growing, But Many Questions Remain
Hookah smoking is growing increasingly popular among teens and young adults, but there are many questions still unanswered about its safety, according to an expert who is studying the issue. These questions include long-term effects of hookah smoking, the potential health effects for the many users who only smoke hookah a couple of times a month, and whether hookah users are more likely to switch to cigarettes, according to Scott E. Sherman, MD, MPH, Associate Professor in the Department of Population Health at the NYU Langone School of Medicine. He talked about hookah smoking as part of the CASAColumbia Addiction Speaker Series , featuring leading experts in the addiction and substance abuse field. “If hookah smoking leads to regular smoking then we have a really serious problem on our hands,” he said. Dr. Sherman plans to study that question in a long-term study of students at the City University of...
Continue reading
Rate this blog entry:
2985 Hits
0 Comments
×

Facing Addiction and The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) are proud to announce the merger of our organizations – creating a national leader in turning the tide on the addiction epidemic.
The merged organization will be called:

logo v2

Learn More