By

David Patterson
NEW YORK TIMES (05/07) – The benefits and harms of medical marijuana can be debated, but more states are legalizing pot, even for recreational use. A new evaluation of marijuana’s risks is overdue. Last year, the National Academies of Sciences, Medicine and Engineering released a comprehensive report on cannabis use. At almost 400 pages long,...
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HEALTH IT SECURITY (05/09) – Supporters and opponents of a bill that would align privacy protections for substance use disorder (SUD) patients with the HIPAA Privacy Rule faced off during a May 8 hearing of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s health subcommittee. The Overdose Prevention and Patient Safety Act (HR 3545) would amend 42 CFR...
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CHICAGO TRIBUNE (04/16) – We have been here before — a raging epidemic of addiction that destroys lives, families and communities. Who was on the front line in the 1990s, when the drug was crack and the addicts were mostly black? Drug czar William Bennett. His weapons were prosecution and prison. Read more
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SCIENCE DAILY (04/23) – Researchers have developed a vaccine for one of the most dangerous types of synthetic cathinones, or bath salts. The vaccine blunts the illegal stimulant’s effects on the brain, which could help recovering drug users who experience a relapse. Read more
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SCIENCE DAILY (04/16) – Giving opioids to animals to quell pain after surgery prolongs pain for three weeks and primes specialized immune cells in the spinal cord to be more reactive to pain, according to a new study. The authors say the paradoxical findings could add a new wrinkle to the conversation about the national...
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ELSEVIER (04/19) – The study measured brain activity in young adults using recreational stimulants, including cocaine and the prescription amphetamines Adderall and Ritalin, and followed up three years later to determine the participants’ outcome. The findings suggest that an inability to learn from previous risky decisions in some people may predispose them to continue drug...
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UNIVERSITY OF MANCHESTER (4/20) – The less commonly prescribed opioid substitute buprenorphine may be safer than methadone for problem opioid users, especially if used during the first month of treatment, according to a study which includes University of Manchester researchers. Read more
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AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PEDIATRICS (04/21) – Cigarettes have been strongly associated with subsequent marijuana use among adolescents, but electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are now rapidly replacing traditional cigarettes among youth. This study examines associations between youth e-cigarette use and subsequent marijuana use in a national sample. Read more
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CNBC (04/19) – […] The nation’s opioid crisis, which claimed more than 350,000 lives between 1999 and 2016, isn’t solely linked to illicit drugs like heroin and fentanyl. “In too many cases, addiction still starts with a prescriber’s pen,” FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said of the opioid epidemic in a speech this month. “The...
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EUREKALERT (04/23) – Recalling traumatic memories enhances the rewarding effects of morphine in male rats, finds new research published in JNeurosci. These findings may help to explain the co-occurrence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and addiction. More than half of PTSD patients also struggle with substance abuse, yet the underlying neural mechanisms of their addiction...
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