The Latest News from Our Field

We curate a digest of the latest news in our field for advocates, policymakers, community coalitions and all who work toward shaping policies and practices to effectively prevent substance use and treat addiction.

Drug Overdoses Increasing and Accelerating During COVID-19 Pandemic

Drug overdoses have been increasing and accelerating since the COVID-19 pandemic began, according to data obtained by The Washington Post.

Public Health Experts Warn That COVID is Spreading in Bars

Public health experts are warning that COVID-19 is spreading in bars and nightclubs, as young people emerge from months of isolation to drink and socialize, The New York Times reports.

Signs of E-Cigarette Lung Damage Can be Similar to Lung Injuries from COVID

Lung injuries from e-cigarette use can be similar to those caused by COVID-19, according to a new government report.

Opioid Epidemic Has Devastated Native American Communities

The opioid epidemic has been especially devastating for Native American communities, according to an analysis by The Washington Post. From 2006 to 2014, Native Americans were almost 50% more likely than non-natives to die of an opioid overdose, the newspaper found.

SAMHSA Announces First National Family Support Technical Assistance Center

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has announced its first National Family Support Technical Assistance Center.

Addiction Treatment Centers Largely Left Out of Federal COVID-19 Health Funding

Addiction treatment centers have been largely excluded from federal COVID-19 health care funding, USA Today reports.

FBI Expressed Concern About High Potency of Powerful Prescription Opioid Dsuvia

The FBI issued an intelligence bulletin last year expressing concern over the powerful potency of the new prescription opioid Dsuvia, Yahoo News reports. The agency said it “assumes Dsuvia’s high potency will be attractive to criminals seeking to divert and abuse synthetic opioids.”

Some Communities Have Already Shifted Funds From Police to Mental Health Resources

Several communities around the country had already shifted some funding from the police into mental health resources before the current calls to “defund the police” arose in the wake of George Floyd’s death, USA Today reports.

10% of Americans Use Some Type of Prescription Pain Medication

A new government study finds one in 10 U.S. adults used one or more prescription pain medications in the past 30 days, according to HealthDay.

Financial Pressures and Social Justice Movement May Spur Marijuana Legalization

A combination of financial pressures and social justice initiatives may lead more states to legalize marijuana, CNN reports.

During Pandemic, Alcoholics Anonymous Faces Challenges Online

Alcoholics Anonymous, forced by the COVID-19 pandemic to move meetings online, is facing a number of challenges in addressing the needs of members, The Washington Post reports.

Addiction Treatment Centers Face Financial Strains Due to COVID-19

With fewer patients coming in due to social distancing, addiction treatment centers are facing financial strains, according to NPR.

DEA Says Prescription Drugs Stolen by Looters From Pharmacies Could be Sold Illegally

Drug Enforcement Administration officials in southern California say they are concerned that prescription drugs stolen from pharmacies by looters earlier this month could end up being sold on the streets, CBS Los Angeles reports.

Breonna Taylor’s Death May End “No-Knock” Warrants Used in Drug Raids

“No-knock” drug search warrants, which allow officers to enter a residence unannounced, are under increasing scrutiny following the death of Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old woman in Louisville, Kentucky. Taylor was fatally shot in her home by police executing a no-knock warrant.

Young Adults with Mental Health Conditions Struggle to Get Help

Young people with mental health conditions struggle to get help as they transition from the teen years to adulthood, STAT reports.

Deaths from New Synthetic Drug Known as “Iso” on the Rise

Deaths from a new synthetic opioid known as “iso” are increasing, HealthDay reports.

Pandemic Causing Disruption to Treatment and Support Services for Addiction

The COVID-19 pandemic is causing a disruption of treatment and support services for addiction, according to a report by the Addiction Policy Forum.

Group Tells Employers to Prepare for Rise in Workers’ Pandemic-Related Substance Use

Employers should be prepared for an increase in employees needing addiction treatment as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the National Safety Council.

In Some Schools, More Than Half of Teens Use E-Cigarettes

A survey of middle and high school students finds that e-cigarette use in some schools is as high as 60%, according to HealthDay.

Pandemic Leading to Increased Prices of Illegal Drugs

The price of illegal drugs is increasing because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Drug Enforcement Administration agents tell USA Today.

Puff Bar Exploiting Pandemic to Sell Its E-Cigarettes to Teens, Legislators Say

The makers of Puff Bar, a disposable e-cigarette, are exploiting the COVID-19 pandemic to market their product to teens, according to the chairman of the House Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy.

Juul Asks Judge to Pause Lawsuits Alleging Company Fueled Public Health Crisis

Juul Labs has asked a federal judge in San Francisco to dismiss or pause hundreds of lawsuits that allege the company fueled a public health crisis by creating a youth vaping epidemic, Reuters reports.

Frequent Alcohol Use in College Has Greater Impact on Women’s Academics

Frequent alcohol use in college is more likely to affect the academic performance and mental health of female students compared with their male peers, a new study suggests.

COVID-19 Pandemic Leading to Surge in Overdose Deaths in Chicago and Beyond

The COVID-19 pandemic is leading to a surge in overdose deaths in Chicago and other areas around the country, ProPublica Illinois reports.

Almost 90,000 Americans Report Anxiety or Depression as a Result of Pandemic

Almost 90,000 Americans say they have developed anxiety or depression as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new report by the nonprofit group Mental Health America.
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