Young People’s Memories Improved When They Stop Using Marijuana

SCIENCE NEWS (10/30) – Taking a monthlong break from pot helps clear away young people’s memory fog, a small study suggests. The results show that not only does marijuana impair teenagers’ and young adults’ abilities to take in information, but that this memory muddling may be reversible. Read more

Rural Community Treats Its Opioid Problem Like A Natural Disaster

NPR (10/28) – […] Last year, leaders declared the opioid epidemic a life-threatening emergency. The county is now responding to the drug crisis as if it were a natural disaster, the same way it would mobilize to respond to a landslide or flu pandemic. Read more

Studies on Student Alcohol Use Can Inform ways to lower Blackouts

SCIENCE DAILY (11/02) – College students who drink alcohol don’t typically intend to drink to the point that they “black out,” and they also don’t fully grasp what specific drinking behaviors present the greatest risk of blackouts, a new series of studies finds. Read more Further Reading: Alcohol Changes Memories on a Much Deeper Level Than […]

AP Analysis: ‘Obamacare’ Shapes Opioid Grant Spending

AP NEWS (10/22) – With Republicans and Democrats joining forces again in a bipartisan effort to target the U.S. opioid crisis, an Associated Press analysis of the first wave of emergency money from Congress finds that states are taking very different approaches to spending it. Read more Further Reading: Three Deep Red States Vote to […]

Methamphetamine Roils Rural Towns Again Across the U.S.

NPR (10/25) – […] No longer chiefly made by “cooks” in makeshift labs in the U.S., methamphetamine is now the domain of Mexican drug cartels that are mass-producing high-quality quantities of the drug and pushing it into markets where it was previously unknown. Read more

How Technology Fails Us in The Battle Against Opioid Addiction

FORBES (11/06) – […] The proliferation of prescription medication (not to mention synthetic opioids and heroin) on the Internet and particularly the Dark Web has made it relatively easy for addicts, dealers, and children to get their hands on opioid painkillers. Read more

3 States Legalize Marijuana for Recreational Or Medical Use

HUFFINGTON POST (11/07) – […] Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit substance in the United States. And the trend of states bucking prohibition in favor of legal regulation of the plant reflects a broad cultural shift toward greater acceptance of legal marijuana that has continued to grow in recent years. Read more

Despite Warnings, FDA Approves Potent New Opioid Painkiller

NPR (11/02) – The Food and Drug Administration has approved a potent new opioid painkiller, despite warnings from physician critics who say the drug will contribute to the addiction epidemic. Read more

Democrats Took the House. Here’s What It Means for Health…

STAT NEWS (11/06) – Democrats rode a wave of health care messaging into a majority of the House of Representatives, projections showed Tuesday, propelled by vows to protect Americans with pre-existing health conditions and dramatically lower prescription drug costs. Read more

Addiction Treatment Gap Is Driving a Black Market for Suboxone

NPR (10/05) – […] Buprenorphine is one of just three federally approved medications to treat opioid addiction. It’s an opioid itself, so some people misuse it — they snort or inject the medication to get high. And patients who have prescriptions for buprenorphine sometimes sell or give it away, which is known as diversion. Read more

Fentanyl Test Strips Lead to More Caution Among Drug Users

THE WASHINGTON POST (10/03) – Illicit drug users who are certain that fentanyl is mixed into the heroin they consume are much more likely to take precautions that reduce their chances of overdosing, researchers reported Wednesday in a small study. Read more

NIH director: More Treatments for Opioid Addiction, Chronic Pain

USA TODAY (10/03) – The head of the National Institutes of Health said Wednesday that science can help the nation find newer and smarter ways out of an epidemic that resulted in more than 49,000 opioid overdose deaths last year. NIH Director Francis Collins told the USA TODAY Editorial Board that his agency will fund […]

Study Specifies the Neuropsychological Deficits of Alcoholic Abusers

MEDICAL XPRESS (09/27) – A University of Valencia psychology and neuroscience team has defined the specific neuropsychological profile of men with several patterns of alcohol consumption and a history of violence against women in couple relationships. The study, published in Alcohol, seeks to facilitate adherence to treatment, as well as the detection of the chances […]

Congress Targets Misuse of Hospice Drugs

KAISER HEALTH NEWS (10/04) – Hospice workers would be allowed to destroy patients’ unneeded opioids, reducing the risk that families misuse them, according to one little-noticed provision in the bipartisan opioids bill headed to President Donald Trump’s desk for his likely signature. The bill would empower hospice staff to destroy opioid medications that are expired, […]

Employee Mental Health, Substance Abuse Issues Increase

BIZWOMEN (10/11) – Mental health and substance abuse problems among employees have grown. Sixty percent of U.S. and Canadian organizations say they’re seeing more of those issues than two years ago, according to the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans. In addition, 40 percent of organizations report their employees are very or extremely stressed, and […]

How to Help Pain Patients Cut Back on Opioids

SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN (10/2018) – […] Alas, few of the 10 million or so Americans taking opioids long term for chronic pain have access to such a stellar program. Around the country, state and federal authorities and insurance companies are cracking down on opioid prescriptions in the wake of a 345 percent spike in opioid-related deaths […]

Club Drug GHB Associated with Brain and Cognitive Changes

SCIENCE DAILY (10/08) – Scientists have discovered that regular use of the party drug GHB, and especially unconsciousness following GHB use, is associated with brain changes including negative effects on long-term memory, working memory, IQ, and higher levels of stress and anxiety. This work is presented at the ECNP conference in Barcelona, following partial peer-review […]