Substance Abuse Prevention Headlines
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - A medical marijuana bill unanimously passed both the Alabama House and Senate on Thursday and is headed to the desk of Gov. Robert Bentley, who has said he will sign it into law.
The measure makes it legal to possess only a prescribed medical grade extract known as CBD or cannabidiol, which is non-intoxicating.
The U.S. Congress in 1972 deemed the oil to have no accepted medical use and banned it.
Legislators in Minnesota and Vermont have introduced measures that would ban powdered alcohol, The Washington Post reports. The federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau approved labels for a powdered alcohol product called “Palcohol,” but earlier this month said the approval was a mistake. Lipsmark, the company that makes Palcohol, has resubmitted an application, the article notes.
Lipsmark says it plans to offer powdered alcohol in six varieties, including rum, vodka, Cosmopolitan, Mojito, Powderita and Lemon Drop. According to the company, a package of Palcohol weighs about an ounce and can fit into a pocket. It warns people not to snort the powder.
Ex-players: NFL illegally used drugs
A group of retired NFL players says in a lawsuit filed Tuesday that the league, thirsty for profits, illegally supplied them with risky narcotics and other painkillers that numbed their injuries for games and led to medical complications down the road.
The league obtained and administered the drugs illegally, without prescriptions and without warning players of their potential side effects, to speed the return of injured players to the field and maximize profits, the lawsuit alleges.
Prescription Drug Abuse Takes Enormous Toll on Seniors
Prescription drug abuse is hitting the senior community hard, according to a review of government data conducted by USA Today. The newspaper looked at overdose deaths, emergency room visits and admissions to addiction treatment programs.
“There’s this growing group of seniors, they have pain, they have anxiety…and a lot of (doctors) have one thing in their tool box — a prescription pad,” said Mel Pohl, Medical Director at the Las Vegas Recovery Center, which treats elderly patients for pain and drug dependence. “The doctor wants to make their life better, so they start on the meds.” Patients build up a tolerance over time, or they suffer more pain and request more medication. “And without anyone necessarily realizing, it begins a downward spiral with horrible consequences,” he told the newspaper.
Use of Behavioral Health Services Is Expected to Increase under the Affordable Care Act
The Affordable Care Act will help more people get health care, including treatment for behavioral health problems such as substance abuse or mental health problems. In the next 1-2 years, an estimated additional 2 million previously uninsured people aged 18 to 64 will receive behavioral health services under ACA. Most of those who are expected to receive services under ACA will be Medicaid eligible
(1.2 million), and 0.8 million will be eligible for the new health insurance exchanges.
Teens in Foster Care Are
Less Likely to Talk with
Parent or Guardian about the
Dangers of Substance Use
Nearly 400,000 U.S. children and youths live in foster care. These young people are at heightened risk for substance use.
Youths in foster care often change homes and schools, and this may disrupt their exposure to prevention messages.
The 2002 to 2012 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health show that adolescents aged 12 to 17 in foster care were less likely than those living with biological or adoptive parents to talk with a parent or guardian about the dangers of drug and alcohol use.
Alabama could become the first state in the South to allow the use of a medicine derived from marijuana.
A bill introduced on Jan. 14 in the state legislature would legalize cannabidiol, also known as CBD, a non-psychoactive component of marijuana that is low in weed's principal high-producing compound, THC.
Anecdotal evidence has shown that CBD can relieve suffering from seizure syndromesand cancer. The drug is usually taken orally, in the form of pills or droplets.
15 States with Pending Legislation to Legalize Medical Marijuana (As of March 17, 2014)
9. New York
14. West Virginia
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is scheduled to testify today in favor of changing federal guidelines to reduce the average sentence for drug dealers, The New York Times reports.
Holder will tell the United States Sentencing Commission the Obama Administration supports changing guidelines to reduce the average drug sentence by about one year, from 62 months to 51 months.
The proposed changes would reduce the federal prison population by about 6,550 inmates over the next five years, the article notes.
While alcohol impaired driving rates among youth have declined in the United States, drug impaired driving appears to be on the rise.
Research indicates illicit or prescribed drugs are associated with an increased rate of motor vehicle crashes, making current excessively high rates of drug impaired driving a significant public health concern.
California's highest court is considering a case that could crack a legal shield that has long protected party hosts in the state from most alcohol-related lawsuits, a newspaper reported Monday.
At issue is who is responsible if a young person organizes an underage drinking party and charges for admission, and then a drunken guest is hurt or injures someone else.
Meanwhile, the public health community is warning of a potential safety problem: more people driving while stoned. But health officials and law enforcement don't yet have the data or the tools to address the concern.
Nestled in the hollows and hills of the Appalachia region, southern West Virginia is grounded in strong traditions of faith, sustainable family bonds and an irrepressible work ethic. Unfortunately, all too often, facets of the normative lifestyles are laced with behaviors that lead to detrimental health consequences. Tobacco use is the epitome.
Tobacco has been a keen part of the region’s horticulture since the 16th century. It was ardently called “brown gold,” and was used in tribal rituals, used as currency, and created the need for the first slaves in 1619. The tobacco plant was an immediate success and increased demand mandated continuous growth and development. Today, over 7 million tons of tobacco plants are produced every year.
This year-long investigation into a host of lawsuits involving injury, sexual assault and death reveals that fraternities are not only more powerful than the colleges and universities that host them, but are especially adept at shifting blame, disavowing members and leaving the parents (and often their homeowner insurance policies) holding the bag.
There has been a spike in illegal shipments of marijuana from Colorado to surrounding areas since the state legalized the drug, according to the head of the Drug Enforcement Administration. There has been a 61 percent increase in seizures of marijuana in Kansas that originated in Colorado.
Once recreational marijuana sales start in Washington state, a similar pattern could emerge, said DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart. She spoke Wednesday at a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee.“The trends are what us in law enforcement had expected would happen,” she told the committee.
"There were better options to treat my pain, and those weren't presented to me first," he said. "The priority was treating me the fastest, seemingly least expensive way, and it was the most detrimental."
...We grew up in Buckhead, lived in a nice house, and went to a private school, but none of that mattered when he made the awful decision to try opiates. I am not quite sure when Matthew’s addiction began, but I know it started with prescription pain medications......Six months after being back in Atlanta, he was arrested trying to buy heroin in the bluffs. By the time he got out of jail, he was in full-on withdrawals...
Philip Seymour Hoffman’s tragic death has focused attention on heroin addiction.
Unfortunately, heroin addiction is on the rise from teens to older adults. Heroin addiction doesn’t discriminate. Individuals from every socioeconomic background have access to the drug because it’s cheap and easy to get.
According to SAMHSA, in 2011, 4.2 million people age 12 and older used heroin at least once in their lifetime, and 23 percent became dependent.
After they found Philip Seymour Hoffman dead in Manhattan with a needle in his arm, Stu Walton figured the cops would arrest somebody within 24 hours.
“I was off by a day,” Stu Walton said, sitting at the desk at Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, where he worked for 23 years.
Philip Seymour Hoffman's final Sundance Film Festival wasn't a happy one.
Two weeks before the Oscar winner was found dead at 46 of an apparent drug overdose, Hoffman was shockingly frank about his struggles upon meeting a complete stranger, magazine publisher John Arundel.
"He said, 'I'm a heroin addict,'" Arundel told the New York Post.
CVS Caremark, largest drugstore chain, plans to stop selling cigarettes and other tobacco products at its more than 7,600 retail stores by Oct. 1, a landmark decision that would make it the first national pharmacy company to cease tobacco sales.
The move, which the company announced Wednesday, comes after years of pressure from public health advocates and medical providers, who have urged retailers to make tobacco products and advertising less available, particularly to children and teenagers.
A new program has been created in an effort to deter Walker County’s youth from making destructive decisions.
“We received a new grant from the state department of mental health to reduce underage drinking through prevention,” Aaron said. “We have three goals — to reduce underage drinking and driving, to reduce those who would ride with someone who is driving who had been drinking and to reduce binge drinking, which they classify as having five or more drinks at a time.”
Use This Example to Start a Conversation.
In the wake of Justin Bieber’s recent DUI arrest, reports are now surfacing that the 19-year-old pop star may have been under the influence of marijuana, beer and prescription drugs, and that he could have been given the prescription medicine by his mother.
Parents, schools and some doctors are voicing concern about children’s access to marijuana-laced snacks, which are becoming increasingly popular in states where recreational or medical marijuana is legal.
Five billboards with pro-marijuana messages have appeared along New Jersey highways leading to MetLife Stadium, the venue hosting Sunday’s Super Bowl.
One of the billboards reads: “MARIJUANA: Safer than alcohol…and football.” One billboard says nearly as many people were arrested for marijuana in 2012 (749,824) as have attended the past 10 Super Bowls combined (751,203).
In an appearance on “Good Morning America” today, “20/20″ anchor Elizabeth Vargas acknowledged she was an alcoholic and said hiding her problem had been “exhausting.”
“I am. I am an alcoholic,” Vargas told “GMA” co-anchor George Stephanopoulos in interview that was taped Thursday and aired for the first time today.
“It took me a long time to admit that to myself. It took me a long time to admit it to my family, but I am."
Strategies recommended by the Surgeon General to reduce underage drinking have shown promise when put into practice, according to scientists at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA).
These approaches include nighttime restrictions on young drivers and strict license suspension policies, interventions focused on partnerships between college campuses and the community, and routine screening by physicians to identify and counsel underage drinkers.
New York, Los Angeles and Chicago are considering adding e-cigarettes to their public smoking bans.
Public health officials in those cities say the devices are harmful and can be a gateway to smoking regular cigarettes, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Fifty years after the U.S. surgeon general first linked cigarette smoking to deadly diseasessuch as lung cancer and heart disease, his successors continue to add to the list of health problems associated with tobacco use.
Smoking is a cause of liver cancer and colorectal cancer, the fourth-most-diagnosed form of the disease in the United States, Acting Surgeon General Boris D. Lushniak found in a report released Friday. In addition, he said, smoking is a cause of Type 2 diabetes mellitus, age-related macular degeneration, erectile dysfunction and rheumatoid arthritis. It can impair the immune system, worsen asthma and cause cleft lips and palates in fetuses. And exposure to secondhand smoke can cause strokes.
A new campaign in Colorado, to be unveiled Wednesday, aims to reduce prescription drug abuse among teens, The Denver Post reports.
The campaign, called Rise Above Colorado, includes educational programs and outreach efforts.
It builds on the experience of the Colorado Meth Project, the article notes. Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper and Attorney General John Suthers are supporting the effort.
Tripling taxes on cigarettes around the world would reduce the number of smokers by one-third and prevent 200 million premature deaths from lung cancer and other diseases this century, according to a review published this week in the New England Journal of Medicine.