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.

Research News Roundup: April 22, 2021

View our curated digest of the latest research news, including adolescent risk factors for alcohol, marijuana and cigarette polysubstance use.

More Than 87,000 Americans Died of Overdoses in One Year

A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds more than 87,000 Americans died of overdoses in the 12-month period that ended in September — a 29% increase from the previous year.

Study Finds Menthol Cigarette Ban Leads Many Smokers to Quit

A ban on menthol cigarettes in Canada led to a steep increase in the number of smokers who quit, a new study finds. The researchers said a similar ban in the United States would likely have an even greater impact on smoking quit rates.

Labels of Cannabis Products Often Incorrectly State Levels of CBD or THC

The amounts of THC and CBD in medical cannabis products often are different from what is stated on the label, according to a new study.

Policy News Roundup: April 15, 2021

Find more of our must-reads in policy news, including the continued surge in overdose deaths.

Research News Roundup: April 15, 2021

View our curated digest of the latest research news, including the effects of depression, anxiety and screen use on adolescent substance use.

Drug Overdose Deaths Rose 27% in One Year, Driven by Fentanyl and Synthetic Opioids

Drug overdose deaths rose 27% in the United States in the 12-month period ending in August 2020, according to new government data. The increase was largely driven by illicitly manufactured fentanyl and synthetic opioids.

Length of Children’s Emergency Mental Health Visits Increasing

The length of children’s mental health emergency department visits increased over a 10-year period, a new study finds. The majority of time is spent determining an appropriate discharge or admission plan, the researchers said.

Study Finds Marijuana Use Doesn’t Seem to Decrease Activity Levels

A new study finds marijuana use does not appear to decrease people’s activity levels. The findings suggest people who use marijuana may have higher levels of exercise compared with those who don’t, HealthDay reports.

Policy News Roundup: April 8, 2021

Find more of our must-reads in policy news, including CDC data on rising overdose deaths.

Research News Roundup: April 8, 2021

View our curated digest of the latest research news, including the effects of social learning, social bonding and self-control on adolescent nicotine vaping.

Starting Substance Use at an Earlier Age Linked to Increased Risk of Addiction

A new study finds young people who first try marijuana or misuse prescription drugs when they are teens are more likely to develop a substance use disorder than those who wait until they are young adults before their first substance use or misuse.

More Than 60% of Opioid Painkillers Prescribed to Surgical Patients Are Not Used

More than 60% of opioid painkillers prescribed to surgical patients are not used, according to a new study.The researchers say the findings have implications for curbing the opioid epidemic.

More Than Half of Children with Mental Health Symptoms Not Receiving Treatment

More than half of children and teens with mental health symptoms are not receiving treatment, according to a study of three U.S. national surveys.

FDA Calls for Redesign of Nasal Decongestant Inhalers to Prevent Misuse

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is calling on the manufacturers of inhalers that contain the nasal decongestant propylhexedrine to make design changes to prevent misuse, HealthDay reports.

New York Governor Signs Law Legalizing Recreational Marijuana

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation Wednesday legalizing recreational marijuana, making New York the 15th state to legalize the recreational use of cannabis.

Parents of Students in Hybrid Learning More Likely to Report Increased Substance Use

A survey of parents finds those with children in hybrid learning programs that combine in-person and virtual school are more likely to say they started or increased using substances to help cope with stress or emotions during the COVID-19 pandemic, CNBC reports.

House Democrats Ask FDA to Ban All Flavored E-Cigarettes

A group of House Democrats has asked the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to ban all flavored e-cigarettes, including disposable products, The Hill reports.

Children Who Sip Alcohol More Likely to Think Positively About Drinking: Study

Children whose parents allow them to take sips of alcohol are more likely to have favorable expectations about drinking, a new study finds.

Smoking More Than Doubles the Risk of Heart Disease in Black Adults

Black adults who are current smokers have more than double the risk of heart disease compared with those who have never smoked, according to new research.

Surgeon General Murthy Tells Senators Opioid Epidemic is a Top Concern

Dr. Vivek Murthy, who was confirmed this week as Surgeon General, told senators the opioid overdose crisis will be among his top concerns, the Associated Press reports.

Drug Overdose Death Rates Higher in Urban Areas

Drug overdose death rates were higher in urban counties than in rural counties from 2016 to 2019, a new government report finds.

Young Women Driving Increase in Deaths from Alcoholic Liver Disease

Cases of alcoholic liver disease have risen sharply over the last year. Young women are driving the rise in deaths from the disease, experts tell NPR.

Calls to Smoker Quitlines Plunged During the Pandemic

Calls to smoker quitlines plummeted 27% in 2020, according to the North American Quitline Consortium. Pandemic-related stress and anxiety are likely to blame, the group said.

Almost Half of Parents Say Pandemic Has Affected Their Teen’s Mental Health

A new poll finds 46% of parents say the pandemic has adversely affected their teen’s mental health, CNN reports.