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.

Alcohol Use Rising Faster in People With Anxiety, Depression During COVID-19

People with anxiety and depression are more likely than people without mental health issues to report increased alcohol use during the pandemic, according to a new study.

Biden Administration to Halt Plan to Let More Doctors Prescribe Buprenorphine

The Biden administration intends to stop a plan by the Department of Health and Human Services to allow more doctors to prescribe buprenorphine to treat opioid addiction, The Washington Post reports.

Drug Cartels Changing Tactics During Pandemic: DEA

Mexican drug cartels have adapted to changes in drug distribution caused by the pandemic, according to the New York Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration. They are processing fentanyl into pill form for easier transport, the agency said.

Use Opioid Settlement Money to Prevent and Treat Addiction, Advocacy Groups Urge

A coalition of medical societies and advocacy organizations is calling on local governments to use funds from settlements with opioid makers to prevent and treat addiction, STAT reports.

Study Finds Small Opioid Prescriptions Lead To Less Pain for Surgical Patients

A new study finds patients who receive small “just in case” prescriptions of opioids after surgery report less pain than those who receive the usual amount of post-surgical opioids.

New Guidelines Give Doctors More Flexibility in Prescribing Buprenorphine

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has announced new guidelines that allow doctors more flexibility in prescribing buprenorphine to treat opioid addiction, NPR reports.

Study Finds Surge in Methamphetamine Overdose Deaths

Deaths from methamphetamine overdoses surged across the United States between 2011 and 2018, according to a new study.

Alcohol Accounts for 5% of Cancer Cases in U.S.

A new study finds alcohol consumption accounts for almost 5% of cancer cases and 3% of cancer deaths in the United States. Alcohol-related cancer cases and deaths are higher in New England and Western states.

Study Links Density of Marijuana Retailers and High Rate of Use in Young Adults

The density of licensed marijuana retailers is associated with more use and a greater intensity of use among young adults, according to a study in Los Angeles County.

Integrated Mental Health and Addiction Care Needed for Young Adults: Experts

Young adults with substance use disorder and a co-occurring psychiatric disorder should receive integrated mental health and addiction care across treatment settings, according to new principles of care released by a group of pediatric addiction medicine experts.

Featured News: Teen vaping remains rampant. The Biden administration can change that.

The incoming Biden-Harris administration can end the tobacco industry’s longstanding hold on serious tobacco control efforts, which has largely been tolerated by past administrations.

Fentanyl Overdoses Drive Sharp Rise in Deaths of Homeless People in Los Angeles

Fentanyl overdoses played a large role in the sharp increase in the deaths of homeless people in Los Angeles County last year, according to a new report.

Study Finds Two-Drug Combination May Help Treat Meth Addiction

A two-drug combination may help treat addiction to meth, according to a study published in this week’s New England Journal of Medicine.

Smoking Marijuana May Cause Exposure to Smoke-Related Toxins

Smoking marijuana may cause exposure to several toxins associated with neurological damage and cancer, according to a new study.

Having Hope May Help Prevent Risky Behavior

Having hope may prevent people from engaging in risky behaviors, such as drinking alcohol, taking drugs, over-eating or gambling, a new study finds.

Drug Overdose Deaths Soar During Pandemic

More than 81,000 Americans died from a drug overdose during the 12 months ending in May, the highest number ever recorded during a 12-month period, according to new data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Justice Department Sues Walmart Over Role in Opioid Crisis

The U.S. Justice Department is suing Walmart over its role in the opioid crisis, Reuters reports.

Changes in Buprenorphine Prescribing Rules Due to COVID Led to More Patients

Changes in federal rules that made it easier to prescribe the opioid addiction medicine buprenorphine during the early days of the pandemic led to an increase in the number of patients receiving the medication in Texas, HealthDay reports.

Pandemic Leads to Delay in Opioid Trials

Two federal trials related to the nation’s opioid crisis have been delayed due to the pandemic, The Washington Post reports.

Smoking One to Four Cigarettes Daily Can Lead to Nicotine Addiction

Almost two-thirds of people who smoke four or fewer cigarettes a day are addicted to nicotine, a new study finds. The results indicate that lighter smoking is still risky, the researchers say.

Sackler Family Members to Testify at House Hearing Examining Opioid Epidemic

Two members of the Sackler family, which owns OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma, were scheduled to testify Thursday before a House panel investigating the opioid epidemic, according to Reuters.

Depression in Childhood or Teen Years May Increase Odds of Illness and Early Death

A new study suggests depression in childhood or adolescence may increase the risk of illness and early death.

Opioid Industry Spent $65 Million Funding Advocacy Groups: Senate Report

Nonprofit groups that advocate treating pain with medications have received $65 million since 1997 from opioid manufacturers, according to a bipartisan congressional investigation.

Teen Vaping Rate Stops Climbing, But Levels Stay High

Teens’ rate of vaping nicotine and marijuana leveled off this year, but rates remain high, according to the most recent figures from the annual Monitoring the Future survey.

College Students Who Moved Home Due to Pandemic are Drinking Less

A new survey finds college students who moved home due to the COVID-19 pandemic are drinking less alcohol, HealthDay reports.