NCADD-SD News & Blog

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Teens Dependent on Marijuana and Alcohol Struggle with Success Later in Life

Teens Dependent on Marijuana and Alcohol Struggle with Success Later in Life

Teens who are dependent on marijuana and alcohol struggle to achieve hallmarks of adult success, such as graduating from college, getting married, having a full-time job and earning a good salary, a new study finds.

Researchers at the University of Connecticut tracked 1,165 study participants, starting at age 12.

They checked in on them at two-year intervals, until they were between 25 and 34 years old, HealthDay reports. Most of the participants had a grandparent, parent, aunt or uncle with an alcohol problem. Marijuana and alcohol dependence appeared to have a more severe effect on young men.

“Parents should try to delay their children’s onset of use as much as possible,” said researcher Victor Hesselbrock. “If you can push regular use back well into adolescence, the kids do a lot better.”

The study was presented at the annual meeting of the American Public Health Association.

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Millions of Dollars Needed for Trump’s Anti-Opioid Ad Campaign, Advocates Say

Millions of Dollars Needed for Trump’s Anti-Opioid Ad Campaign, Advocates Say

The anti-drug ad campaign advocated by President Trump’s opioid commission will need millions of dollars in funding, advocates tell The Hill.

It is not clear how such a campaign would be funded, the article notes.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who chaired the commission, said the campaign should be paid for by the federal government, with private sector partners. The report, released recently, included 56 recommendations, including an aggressive multimedia campaign to fight the opioid epidemic.

An ad campaign must be part of a more comprehensive approach that includes strengthening treatment and changing opioid prescribing patterns, advocates say.

In order to be effective, a campaign must be based on evaluations of what has been effective in the past, and must frequently test the ad’s message with the target audience, they note. “We’ve learned a lot about how to communicate about these issues in the past three decades or so. There’s a lot of really good science on this right now,” said Marcia Lee Taylor, Chief Policy Officer of the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids.

Original linkOriginal author: Ezra
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Combo of Acetaminophen and Ibuprofen as Effective as Opioids for Acute Pain

Combo of Acetaminophen and Ibuprofen as Effective as Opioids for Acute Pain

A study of patients who went to the emergency room suffering from acute pain found those given a combination of ibuprofen and acetaminophen reported as much pain relief as those who were given opioids.

The 416 patients in the study had acute pain in their shoulders, arms, hips or legs, the Los Angeles Times reports.

About 20 percent of the patients had a bone fracture, the researchers wrote in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Other patients had injuries such as a sprained ankle or dislocated shoulder.

Patients were assigned to one of four groups. One group received a combination ibuprofen/acetaminophen tablet (containing the medications found in Advil and Tylenol. The other groups received a drug containing a prescription opioid, such as Percocet (a combination of oxycodone and acetaminophen), Vicodin (hydrocodone and acetaminophen) or Tylenol No. 3 (codeine and acetaminophen).

Patients were asked to rate their pain when they arrived at the hospital and two hours after they received their medication. Those who took the acetaminophen/ibuprofen tablet reported pain relief similar to those who received an opioid.

Original linkOriginal author: Ezra
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Drug Overdose Deaths Rose More Than 17 Percent Last Year: CDC

Drug Overdose Deaths Rose More Than 17 Percent Last Year: CDC

 Drug overdose deaths increased more than 17 percent between 2015 and 2016, according to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The overdose death rate rose to almost 20 people per 100,000, up from 16.3 per 100,000 the previous year, The New York Times reports.

Drug overdoses are now the leading cause of death for Americans under age 50, the CDC found.

Recently, these deaths have been driven by overdoses of fentanyl and other synthetic opioids, according to Dr. Robert Anderson, Chief of the CDC mortality statistics branch. “The main message is the drug rate went up a lot again, and of course we’re worried about it,” he said.

Original linkOriginal author: Ezra
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Hospitals Overwhelmed With Treating Diseases Resulting From IV Drug Use

Hospitals Overwhelmed With Treating Diseases Resulting From IV Drug Use

Hospitals are struggling to deal with an overwhelming number of cases of diseases that result from intravenous opioid use, including hepatitis C, endocarditis and the antibiotic-resistant infection MRSA.

Hepatitis C is the most common infectious disease that affects people with opioid use disorder, USA Today reports.

Reported cases of the disease almost tripled between 2010 and 2015.

Endocarditis—a condition in which the heart’s inner lining is inflamed—is a side effect of opioid addiction. Hospitalizations for endocarditis rose almost 50 percent from 2002 to 2012, at an average cost of $50,000 per patient.

MRSA is the second most common co-occurring condition with opioid use disorder, the article notes. The cost of treating the infection is about $60,000 per patient.

Original linkOriginal author: Ezra
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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
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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.

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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.

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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
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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
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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
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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.

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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:

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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
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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
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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
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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.”

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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. 

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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
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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
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