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.

Featured News: Groups Sue FDA Over Menthol in Tobacco Products

Three groups have sued the FDA for failing to regulate menthol cigarettes, even though Congress urged the agency to do so in 2009.

OxyContin Maker Purdue Pharma Pleads Guilty to Criminal Charges

Purdue Pharma, maker of the prescription opioid OxyContin, agreed on Wednesday to plead guilty to criminal charges over the company’s role in the nation’s opioid crisis, The New York Times reports. The company faces $8.3 billion in penalties.

Drug Overdose Deaths Increased 10% in First Three Months of 2020

Drug overdose deaths increased 10% during the first three months of this year, preliminary data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates.

One-Third of High School Seniors Who Misused Prescription Opioids Later Used Heroin

A new study finds almost one-third of high school seniors who reported misusing prescription opioids but did not receive a prescription for the drugs ended up using heroin by age 35.

Minimum Pricing for Alcoholic Beverages May Reduce Deaths and Hospitalizations

When governments institute a minimum price for alcoholic beverages, the percentage of deaths and hospitalizations from alcohol use significantly drops, a new study suggests.

New 988 Hotline Will Be Devoted to Mental Health Emergencies

A new 988 hotline devoted to mental health emergencies is expected to be up and running in July 2022, NPR reports.

Hospitals Reduce Beds for Addiction Treatment and Mental Health During Pandemic

Hospitals have reduced the number of beds dedicated to addiction and mental health treatment as the demand for services increases during the COVID-19 pandemic, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Misuse of Fentanyl and Heroin on the Rise During COVID-19 Pandemic

The misuse of fentanyl, heroin and nonprescribed opioids is increasing, potentially due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new study.

More College-Age Americans Choosing Not To Drink

The number of college-age Americans who are choosing not to consume alcohol is increasing, according to a new study.

Stock Prices for Major Marijuana Producers Rise After VP Debate

Stock prices for major marijuana producers rose the day after Kamala Harris said at the vice presidential debate that marijuana would be decriminalized at the federal level under a Biden administration.

Having Acupuncture Before Surgery May Reduce Need for Opioids

A new study suggests using acupuncture before surgery may reduce the need for opioids after the procedure.

Misuse of Prescription Opioids Appears To Be Declining, Study Suggests

Misuse of prescription opioids appears to be on the decline, a new study suggests.

Pandemic Takes Toll on Treatment for Substance Use Disorders, Mental Health: WHO

A new survey by the World Health Organization finds the COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on treatment services for substance use disorders and mental health worldwide, Reuters reports.

Cocaine Overdose Deaths Nearly Tripled in Five Years

Cocaine overdose deaths in the United States nearly tripled from 2013 through 2018, according to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Voters in Four States To Decide on Legalizing and Taxing Marijuana

Marijuana will be on the ballot in Arizona, Montana, New Jersey and South Dakota on November 3, CNBC reports. Voters in those states will decide on legalizing and taxing marijuana.

Attorneys General Call for Less Smoking in Streaming Shows

The National Association of Attorneys General is urging Hollywood talent unions to limit the amount of smoking shown in streaming shows, in an effort to protect young audiences from tobacco use.

Women Increased Heavy Drinking During Pandemic: Study

Women have increased their heavy drinking episodes during the COVID-19 pandemic, a new study suggests.

More Women Trying Marijuana to Manage Menopause Symptoms

More women are trying marijuana to help ease their menopause symptoms, a survey of middle-aged female U.S. veterans finds.

People Who Vape More Likely to Take Up Regular Cigarettes

People who use e-cigarettes are three times more likely than people who don’t vape to take up regular cigarettes, according to a review of 25 studies.

Steep Increase Seen in Deaths Related to Alcohol Use in Rural Areas

Deaths linked to alcohol use rose 43% in rural areas of the U.S. between 2006 and 2018, according to a new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In Wake of “Benadryl Challenge” on TikTok, FDA Issues Warning

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning about serious health problems with high doses of the allergy medicine Benadryl, after reports of teens participating in the so-called “Benadryl Challenge” on the social media platform TikTok.

Most Twitter Users Who Vape Aren’t Trying to Quit Smoking: Study

A study of tweets mentioning Juul or other vaping devices suggests most Twitter users who vape aren’t trying to quit smoking, HealthDay reports.

College Students With Disabilities Have Higher Rate of Illicit Drug Use

College students with physical or cognitive disabilities are more likely than their non-disabled peers to use illicit drugs, and have a higher prevalence of substance use disorder, according to a new study.

Many Teens Don’t Receive Timely Follow-Up Care for Mental Health Conditions

A new study finds many children and teens who receive treatment for a mental health condition don’t receive timely follow-up care, or receive care that appears to fall short of standard guidelines.

Many News Articles on Fentanyl Contain Misinformation on Indirect Exposure

Many news articles on fentanyl contain misinformation on “rumored risks” of indirect exposure to the drugs, the Miami Herald reports.