NCADD-SD News & Blog

News and Information from NCADD-SD

Teens Bring Juul E-Cigarette Device, Which Looks Like USB Flash Drive, to School

Teens Bring Juul E-Cigarette Device, Which Looks Like USB Flash Drive, to School

School officials report a growing number of teens are bringing a new e-cigarette device called a Juul vaporizer to school.

The device looks like a USB flash drive, and charges when plugged into a laptop, USA Today reports.

Juul is small enough to fit inside an enclosed hand. It comes with pods of e-liquid in sweet flavors such as mango, fruit medley and crème brulee. The devices and flavored pods can be ordered online.

U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer of New York wrote a letter to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), asking it to reverse a recent decision to delay the regulation of e-cigarettes popular among teens, such as Juul.

“To know that New York kids are much more likely to be using these new-age e-cig devices, like Juul, is not only concerning, but it could be dangerous,” Schumer said in a statement. “Up until now, the FDA was on track to reign in e-cigs and regulate them like any other tobacco product, but this recent delay, coupled with the new numbers showing a rise in the use of gadgets like Juul, which can fool teachers and be brought to school, demands the FDA smoke out dangerous e-cigs and their mystery chemicals before more New York kids get hooked.”

Original linkOriginal author: Ezra
301 Hits

NIAAA Alcohol Treatment Navigator: Pointing the Way to Quality Care

NIAAA Alcohol Treatment Navigator: Pointing the Way to Quality Care

 

Source: Blog by George F. Koob, PhD. NIAAA Director

Welcome to my first-ever NIAAA Director’s Blog. I look forward to using this space to discuss significant advances in alcohol research and to highlight work supported by NIAAA. In this first installment, I would like to introduce you to an exciting and important new online resource developed by NIAAA – the Alcohol Treatment Navigator. In any given year, more than 15 million adults in the US meet the diagnostic criteria for alcohol use disorder (AUD), but less than 10% of them receive treatment. Meanwhile, many of those in treatment may not receive the care that best fits their needs.

What accounts for this alcohol “treatment gap?”

Often, finding quality AUD care can be complicated, and many people aren’t aware of the full range of available treatment options. It can also be difficult to tell if a provider is offering good quality treatment – what we call “evidence based care” – that is, treatment that is grounded in clinical and health services research that demonstrates positive treatment outcomes.

175 Hits

DEA Collects Record Number Of Unused Pills As Part Of Its 14th Prescription Drug Take Back Day

DEA Collects Record Number Of Unused Pills As Part Of Its 14th Prescription Drug Take Back Day

The public returns record number of potentially dangerous prescription drugs

Americans nationwide did their part to reduce the opioid crisis by bringing the DEA and its more than 4,200 local and tribal law enforcement partners a record-setting 912,305 pounds-456 tons-of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs for disposal at more than 5,300 collection sites. That is almost six tons more than was collected at last spring's event.This brings the total amount of prescription drugs collected by DEA since the fall of 2010 to 9,015,668 pounds, or 4,508 tons.

Now in its 8th year, National Prescription Drug Take Back Day events continue to remove ever-higher amounts of opioids and other medicines from the nation's homes, where they could be stolen and abused by family members and visitors, including children and teens. The DEA action comes just days after President Donald J. Trump announced the mobilization of his entire Administration to address drug addiction and opioid abuse by directing the declaration of a Nationwide Public Health Emergency to address the opioids crisis.

"More people start down the path of addiction through the misuse of opioid prescription drugs than any other substance. The abuse of these prescription drugs has fueled the nation's opioid epidemic, which has led to the highest rate of overdose deaths this country has ever seen," said Acting Administrator Robert W. Patterson. "This is a crisis that must be addressed from multiple angles. Educating the public and removing these medications from households across the Unites States prevents misuse where it often starts."

This year, DEA worked with its tribal law enforcement partners to set up 115 collection sites on tribal lands. Opioid addiction impacts Native American communities just as it does all parts of American society. By partnering with FBI, BIA, and tribal law enforcement, the DEA was able to greatly expand tribal participation in the Take Back program. DEA remains committed to supporting public safety in American Indian and Alaska Native communities.

204 Hits

NIDA Launches Two Adolescent Substance Use Screening Tools

NIDA Launches Two Adolescent Substance Use Screening Tools

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has launched two evidenced-based online screening tools that providers can use to assess substance use disorder risk among adolescents 12-17 years old.

These tools can be self-administered or completed by clinicians in less than two minutes. They are being offered through the NIDAMED Web Portal.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends universal screening in pediatric primary settings, and these tools help providers quickly and easily introduce brief, evidence-based screenings into their clinical practices. Providers can select the tool that best fits their practice.

The screening options are:

For more information on adolescent substance use screening tools, click here.

Original linkOriginal author: Ezra
202 Hits

Patients Treated with Naloxone Continue to be at High Risk of Overdose: Study

Patients Treated with Naloxone Continue to be at High Risk of Overdose: Study

A new study finds 10 percent of people saved by the opioid overdose antidote naloxone die within a year of treatment.

“Patients who survive opioid overdoses are by no means ‘out of the woods,'” lead study author Scott Weiner, MD, Director of the Brigham Comprehensive Opioid Response and Education Program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, said in a news release. “These patients continue to be at high-risk for overdose and should be connected with additional resources such as counseling, treatment and buprenorphine.”

The study, presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Emergency Physicians, found half of patients who died within a year of naloxone treatment died within one month of treatment, HealthDay reports.

Original linkOriginal author: Ezra
252 Hits

New Rule Allows Health Providers to Share Information about Overdose with Family

New Rule Allows Health Providers to Share Information about Overdose with Family

Under a new federal rule, health providers will be allowed to share information about a drug overdose with family members if the patient is in crisis or incapacitated.

The new rule, announced by the Trump Administration, relaxes a federal privacy rule that has prevented health providers from notifying family members about an overdose, The Wall Street Journal reports.

“We know that support from family members and friends is key to helping people struggling with opioid addiction, but their loved ones can’t help if they aren’t informed of the problem,” Roger Severino, Director of the Office for Civil Rights at the Department of Health and Human Services, said in a statement. “Our clarifying guidance will give medical professionals increased confidence in their ability to cooperate with friends and family members to help save lives.”

The rule was created in the 1970s, when soldiers returning from Vietnam with substance use disorders avoided treatment because they feared they could be arrested for drug use.

Original linkOriginal author: Ezra
123 Hits

Addressing the Opioid Crisis Means Confronting Socioeconomic Disparities

Addressing the Opioid Crisis Means Confronting Socioeconomic Disparities

Blog by Dr. Nora Volkow, Director, National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

The brain adapts and responds to the environments and conditions in which a person lives. When we speak of addiction as a chronic disorder of the brain, it thus includes an understanding that some individuals are more susceptible to drug use and addiction than others, not only because of genetic factors but also because of stress and a host of other environmental and social factors in their lives that have made them more vulnerable.

Opioid addiction is often described as an “equal opportunity” problem that can afflict people from all races and walks of life, but while true enough, this obscures the fact that the opioid crisis has particularly affected some of the poorest regions of the country, such as Appalachia, and that people living in poverty are especially at risk for addiction and its consequences like overdose or spread of HIV. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) considers people on Medicaid and other people with low-income to be at high risk for prescription drug overdose.

Some of the reasons have to do with access and quality of health care received by people in economically disadvantaged regions. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, people on Medicaid are more likely to be prescribed opioids, at higher doses, and for longer durations—increasing their risk for addiction and its associated consequences. They are also less likely to have access to evidence-based addiction treatment. But psychological factors also play a role.

Last year, economists Anne Case and Angus Deaton attributed much of the increased mortality among middle-aged white Americans to direct and indirect health effects of substance use especially among those with less education, who have faced increasing economic challenges and increased psychological stress as a result.

209 Hits

Drug Use Disorder vs. Drug Misuse - What is the Difference?

Drug Use Disorder vs. Drug Misuse - What is the Difference?

In 2016, approximately 2.1 million Americans over the age of 11 suffered from addiction to opioids such as the prescription pain medications OxyContin and Vicodin or the illegal drug heroin. Yet, 11.8 million people – nearly six times as many – reported misusing opioids, primarily prescription medications.

Although it does not receive the same media attention as addiction – clinically known as opioid use disorder - this startling figure highlights a serious yet often overlooked problem within our society: the issue of opioid misuse.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN “DRUG USE DISORDER” AND “DRUG MISUSE”?As the clinical term for drug addiction, drug use disorder (DUD) describes a complex disease that affects both the brain and the body. DUD, characterized by the compulsive use of one or more drugs, such as opioids, despite serious health and social consequences, typically develops during an individual’s adolescence and may affect him/her for an extended period of time.

DUD changes an individual’s brain, particularly the parts responsible for reward, motivation, learning, judgment and memory. It also damages various body systems, such as the nervous system, cardiovascular system and immune system. Addiction can also have a negative impact on a person’s mental health, personal relationships, work or school performance, and financial stability.

Drug misuse, on the other hand, is not a diagnosed disease like addiction but a problematic pattern of drug use. When talking about prescription opioids, drug misuse includes the use of controlled drugs, as classified by the federal government, either:

124 Hits

In Ontario, Individuals with Alcoholic Liver Disease Will Not Have to Wait Six Months for Liver Transplants

In Ontario, Individuals with Alcoholic Liver Disease Will Not Have to Wait Six Months for Liver Transplants

Ethical principles stand behind healthcare providers who withhold medical treatments that are “futile or pointless.” But withholding treatment can be controversial. For example, the family of a gravely ill patient might not agree with professionals that an unproven treatment is futile.

Even when scientific evidence in favor of a treatment accumulates, medical practitioners can be slow to embrace it. In Ontario, Canada, Debra Selkirk combined scientific reports with her powerful personal story, seeking to overturn the rule that individuals with advanced alcoholic liver disease must demonstrate six months of abstinence from alcohol to be eligible for a liver transplant.

Debra shares her account of that process below.

Mark Selkirk died on November 24, 2010 from liver failure caused by alcohol use disorder.  He was never assessed for a liver transplant because he had not been alcohol-free for 6 months, a restriction placed on alcoholic liver disease patients (ALD) around the world.

The 6-month wait remains the most controversial policy in liver transplantation. Liver transplant pioneer surgeon Dr. Thomas Starzl began writing about its injustice as early as 1988, saying “…the imposition of an arbitrary period of abstinence before going forward with transplantation would seem medically unsound or even inhumane.”

Subsequent research concluded that the post-transplant rate of return to heavy drinking is extremely low. Organ loss due to drinking is even more rare. In 2008, a comprehensive analysis of international data by a University of Pittsburgh team established the return to heavy drinking at 2.5 percent in any given year. The study concluded, “The average rates of all outcomes we examined suggest that during any given year of observation, most transplant recipients with substance use histories will neither use substances nor become nonadherent to components of the medical regimen.”

Additional studies support similar conclusions, yet most transplant centers continue to deny transplants to ALD patients until they reach the 6-month benchmark. The policy remains intact, based largely on stigma against patients with alcohol use disorder, fueled by a fear that the public will be less likely to donate their organs if they think livers are being wasted by transplanting them into individuals with alcohol use disorder.

226 Hits

NCADD Affiliate Executive Director Featured in NY Times Op Ed

NCADD Affiliate Executive Director Featured in NY Times Op Ed

Fay Zenoff, Executive Director of NCADD’s San Francisco Affiliate, the Center for Open Recovery, was featured in an Op Ed in the November 5 New York Times.

The piece, entitled, “Let’s Open Up About Addiction,” by Laura Hilgers, talks about the new openness toward recovery, including its risks as well as its benefits.

Ms. Hilgers, who has a child in recovery, acknowledges the safety that anonymity provides but also the value of hearing from those, such as Fay, who are leading successful lives in recovery. Click here to read the article.

Original linkOriginal author: Ezra
297 Hits

President’s Commission on Opioid Crisis Calls for Nationwide System of Drug Courts

President’s Commission on Opioid Crisis Calls for Nationwide System of Drug Courts

President Trump’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis released its final report, calling for expanding drug courts into all 94 federal court jurisdictions.

The commission also recommended easier access to alternatives to opioids to treat pain, The Washington Post reports.

Drug courts are specialized court programs that target criminal defendants and offenders, juvenile offenders, and parents with pending child welfare cases who have alcohol and other drug dependency problems.

The commission made more than 50 recommendations, including requiring doctors and others who prescribe opioids to demonstrate they have received training in safely providing the drugs before they can renew their licenses to handle controlled substances with the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Providers should be required to check prescription drug monitoring databases to ensure patients aren’t “doctor shopping” for prescription drugs, the commission said. In some states, use of the databases is voluntary, the article notes.

Original linkOriginal author: Ezra
136 Hits

Fentanyl is Key Factor Driving Opioid Overdose Deaths: CDC

Fentanyl is Key Factor Driving Opioid Overdose Deaths: CDC

Illicitly manufactured fentanyl is a key factor driving opioid overdose deaths, according to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Fentanyl and similar drugs, such as carfentanil, are increasingly contributing to a complex illegal opioid market with significant public health implications, the CDC said.

The CDC analyzed toxicology reports from almost 5,200 fatal opioid overdoses in 10 states between July and December 2016. They found fentanyl and similar drugs were directly responsible for more than half of the opioid overdose deaths, HealthDay reports.

In most cases, fentanyl or similar drugs were mixed into heroin, often without the knowledge of the people who overdosed. In almost half of fatal overdoses involving fentanyl, the drugs were injected. Fatal overdoses also occurred when drugs were swallowed or snorted, the CDC said.

Original linkOriginal author: Ezra
284 Hits

Many Teens Who Take Adderall as “Study Drug” Unaware it is Amphetamine

Many Teens Who Take Adderall as “Study Drug” Unaware it is Amphetamine

Many teens who take the attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder drug Adderall as a “study drug” are unaware it is an amphetamine, a new study finds.

Some high school and college students take Adderall because they think it will improve their mental function and school performance, according to HealthDay.

Nonmedical (not using a drug as directed by a doctor) use of amphetamines, such as Adderall, can lead to abuse and dependency, as well as medical problems such as seizures and heart problems, the article notes.

The new study included 24,000 high school seniors. Although 8 percent reported nonmedical amphetamine use, and 7 percent reported nonmedical Adderall use in the past year, 29 percent of those who used Adderall nonmedically reported no nonmedical amphetamine use.

“Our findings suggest that many young people are unaware that Adderall is an amphetamine,” lead author Joseph Palamar of NYU said in a news release. “In addition, such conflicting reports mean that prescription stimulant misuse may be underestimated.”

281 Hits

Giving Tuesday

Giving Tuesday

November 28 is Giving Tuesday.  That’s a great day to give to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD)!

Occurring this year on November 28, Giving Tuesday is held annually on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday to kick-off the holiday giving season and inspire people to collaborate in improving their local communities and to give back in meaningful ways to the charities and causes they support. 

NCADD has been “A Trusted Voice of Hope, Help and Healing for Over 70 Years!”  We urge our many supporters and friends to show your commitment to fighting the devastating consequences of alcoholism and drug dependence on individuals, families and communities across the country with a donation to NCADD. 

NCADD is the oldest addiction advocacy organization in America, with a national network of Affiliates providing an array of addiction-related services at the local level. For over 70 years, NCADD has been making consistent progress in creating public awareness of alcoholism and drug dependence as treatable and preventable diseases. 

The entire NCADD community – Board of Directors, Affiliates and staff – is active in the critical areas of public policy, prevention, advocacy, treatment, medical and scientific research, communication and education.  Working with the media and other organizations has heightened the public profile of recovery and brought into clearer focus the fact that millions of people are living lives in recovery. 

430 Hits

Drug Overdose Death Rates in Rural Areas Exceed Those in Cities

Drug Overdose Death Rates in Rural Areas Exceed Those in Cities

A new government report finds drug overdose death rates are now higher in rural areas of the United States than in urban areas.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study found drug overdose death rates in 1999 were 6.4 per 100,000 in cities, compared with 4 per 100,000 in rural areas. By 2015, the rate was 17 per 100,000 in rural areas and 16.2 per 100,000 in cities, HealthDay reports.

“The drug overdose death rate in rural areas is higher than in urban areas,” CDC Director Brenda Fitzgerald, MD, said in a news release. “We need to understand why this is happening so that our work with states and communities can help stop illicit drug use and overdose deaths in America.”

Most overdose deaths occurred in homes, where rescue efforts may fall to relatives who have limited knowledge of or access to life-saving treatment and overdose follow-up care, the CDC noted.

Original linkOriginal author: Ezra
302 Hits

FDA Encourages Use of Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioid Addiction

FDA Encourages Use of Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioid Addiction

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will encourage widespread use of medication-assisted treatment for opioid addiction, the agency’s commissioner said recently.

The FDA has approved three medication-assisted treatment drugs: buprenorphine, methadone and naltrexone.

A report issued last year by Pew Charitable Trusts concluded that medication-assisted treatment is the most effective way to deal with opioid use disorder.

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, appearing before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, said, “Unfortunately, far too few people who are addicted to opioids are offered an adequate chance for treatment that uses medications. In part, this is because insurance coverage for treatment with medications is often inadequate.”

In his remarks, Gottlieb noted that some people may need medication-assisted treatment for years, if not for their entire lives. He said the FDA will issue guidance to drug manufacturers to promote the development of new addiction treatments, The Washington Post reports.

Original linkOriginal author: Ezra
278 Hits

DEA releases 2017 National Drug Threat Assessment

DEA releases 2017 National Drug Threat Assessment

DEA Acting Administrator Robert Patterson recently announced results of the 2017 National Drug Threat Assessment (NDTA), which outlines the threats posed to the United States by domestic and international drug trafficking and the abuse of illicit drugs.

“This report underscores the scope and magnitude of the ongoing opioid crisis in the United States,” said Acting Administrator Patterson. “The information in the report represents data gathered over the past year, but of critical importance is the real time information we get every day from our partners. It has never been a more important time to use all the tools at our disposal to fight this epidemic, and we must remain steadfast in our mission to combat all dangerous drugs of abuse.”

Over the past 10 years, the drug landscape in the United States has shifted, with the opioid threat – including controlled prescription drugs (CPDs), fentanyl and other synthetic opioids, and heroin – reaching epidemic levels and impacting significant portions of the United States. While the current opioid crisis has received significant attention, other drugs of abuse remain prevalent. These include methamphetamine, cocaine, new psychoactive substances (NPS), and marijuana. In addition, drug poisoning deaths are the leading cause of injury death in the United States; they are currently at their highest ever recorded level and, every year since 2011, have outnumbered deaths by firearms, motor vehicle crashes, suicide, and homicide.

2017 NDTA findings of note:

CPDs have been linked to the largest number of overdose deaths of any illicit drug class since 2001. Although abuse has lessened in some areas, CPDs are still used by more people than cocaine, heroin, MDMA, methamphetamine, and PCP combined.Heroin poses a serious public health and safety threat to the United States. Overdose deaths, already at high levels, continue to rise. The increased mixing of heroin with analogues of the highly-potent synthetic opioid fentanyl and other synthetic opioids has exacerbated this situation.Fentanyl is increasingly mixed with diluents and sold as heroin, often with no heroin present in the product. Fentanyl also continues to be made more widely available in the form of counterfeit prescription pills marketed for illicit street sales.The methamphetamine threat has remained prevalent. Inbound seizures of methamphetamine from Mexico have increased every year since 2010, but domestic production has declined.The cocaine threat continues to rebound. Cocaine availability and use have increased significantly, partially due to record increases in coca cultivation and cocaine production in Colombia, the primary source for the cocaine market in the United States.NPS, manmade products that mimic the effects of controlled substances, continue to be a challenge. The NPS most commonly abused in the United States include synthetic cannabinoids and cathinones, which are available from China and packaged into a variety of forms domestically. Traffickers continue to modify NPS’ chemical formulas to create new substances to circumvent regulations and expand their market.Marijuana production in the United States has increased and the national discussion surrounding marijuana enforcement efforts continues to evolve. User demand for concentrated forms of marijuana has continued.Mexican cartels remain the greatest criminal drug threat in the United States. The cartels are the principal wholesale drug sources for domestic gangs responsible for street-level distribution. The Sinaloa Cartel maintains the most expansive footprint in the United States while the Jalisco New Generation Cartel has increased its presence across the United States.

The National Drug Threat Assessment provides a yearly assessment of the many challenges local communities face related to drug abuse and drug trafficking. Highlights in the report include usage and trafficking trends for drugs such as prescription drugs, heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine, marijuana, and the hundreds of synthetic drugs.

147 Hits

President’s Opioid Commission Focuses on Insurance Companies’ Role in Crisis

President’s Opioid Commission Focuses on Insurance Companies’ Role in Crisis

President Trump’s opioid commission last week focused on health insurance companies’ role in contributing to the addiction crisis.

The commission is scheduled to deliver its final report on November 1.

Some health insurance companies favor opioids over less addictive but more expensive drugs to treat pain, according to USA Today. Some insurers also cover only one type of addiction treatment, the article notes. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who is leading the commission, said the final report will place new demands on health insurance policies.

Although health insurers are required to treat mental health and substance use disorders the same as any other disease, a government report last year found insurers still place limits on coverage, such as stricter pre-authorization requirements.

Original linkOriginal author: Ezra
152 Hits

National Prevention Week 2018

National Prevention Week 2018

National Prevention Week is an annual health observance dedicated to increasing public awareness of, and action around, mental and/or substance use disorders.

Mark your calendars!

SAMHSA’s next National Prevention Week will be from May 13 to 19, 2018. Each year around this observance, communities and organizations across the country come together to raise awareness about the importance of substance use prevention and positive mental health.

The theme for NPW 2018 is: Action Today. Healthier Tomorrow.

National Prevention Week is an annual health observance dedicated to increasing public awareness of, and action around, substance abuse and mental health issues. Purpose of National Prevention Week

230 Hits

Smoking Marijuana and Driving

Smoking Marijuana and Driving

A new study conducted by Liberty Mutual Insurance and Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) found that a third of all teens surveyed think it is legal to drive under the influence of marijuana in states where it has been legalized for recreational use.In the same study, 27 percent of parents surveyed believe it to be legal as well. The study found that while 93 percent of parents think driving under the influence of alcohol is dangerous, only 76 percent feel that driving under the influence of marijuana is dangerous. The results indicate that teens are receiving mixed messages about the dangers of marijuana use and driving. This thinking puts themselves and fellow drivers at risk, particularly with 22 percent of teens admitting that driving under the influence of marijuana is common around their friends.However, marijuana use has a direct impact on your body, similar to alcohol. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, effects include:

altered senses (for example, seeing brighter colors)altered sense of timechanges in moodimpaired body movementdifficulty with thinking and problem-solvingimpaired memoryhallucinations (when taken in high doses)delusions (when taken in high dosespsychosis (when taken in high doses)

"Driving under the influence of marijuana significantly impairs motor coordination, judgment and reaction time," said Mike Sample, MS, CSP, Lead Driving Safety Expert and Technical Consultant at Liberty Mutual in a news release. "Parents and teens alike must appreciate the importance of not driving under the influence of marijuana to help keep everyone safe on the road."

Original linkOriginal author: Ezra
253 Hits