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.

Flow of Meth and Heroin into U.S. Has Slowed During Coronavirus Pandemic

The flow of meth, heroin and other illegal drugs into the United States has slowed during the coronavirus pandemic, the acting administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration told The Wall Street Journal.

Some Health Insurers Begin Covering Telemedicine Addiction Service

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, several health insurers, including Aetna and Blue Cross Blue Shield companies such as Anthem, have begun covering a telemedicine addiction service called Bright Heart Health, according to NPR.

People Crossing State Lines to Buy Alcohol During Pandemic

Some people living in states where liquor stores are not deemed essential businesses during the pandemic are crossing state lines to purchase beer, wine and spirits, ABC News reports.

Tobacco and Vaping Companies Run Marketing Campaigns Around COVID-19

Tobacco and vaping companies are taking advantage of unique marketing opportunities during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Los Angeles Times reports. They are offering discounts and making donations of money and supplies.

DEA Urges Americans to Secure Medications While They Stay at Home

The Drug Enforcement Administration is launching the Secure Your Meds campaign to urge Americans to keep prescription medications safe and secure while they stay at home during the pandemic.

COVID-19 Pandemic Will Derail Progress Against Opioid Crisis, Officials Warn

Federal officials involved in combating the opioid epidemic say they are concerned the progress made so far will be disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, Politico reports.

More Addiction Treatment Medicine Being Sent Home Amidst Pandemic

People being treated for opioid use disorder with methadone or Suboxone are being sent home with more medication, in an attempt to reduce crowds in treatment centers amidst the coronavirus pandemic, according to The Washington Post.

Experts Predict Isolation Caused by COVID-19 Will Cause Addiction Relapses

Addiction treatment experts tell The Daily Mail they are concerned the COVID-19 pandemic will lead many people in recovery to relapse.

WHO: Alcohol Consumption May Increase Vulnerability to Coronavirus

The World Health Organization warned this week that alcohol consumption may put people at increased risk for coronavirus, USA Today reports.

Withdrawal Symptoms Common When People Who Regularly Use Marijuana Stop

Almost half of people who regularly or heavily use marijuana go through withdrawal when they stop, according to a new study.

Many People Using Alcohol to Cope With Stress of Coronavirus Pandemic: Experts

Many people are coping with the stress of the coronavirus pandemic by increasing their alcohol consumption, experts tell The Washington Post.

Need for In-Person Visits to Start Methadone Concerns Addiction Specialists

Although some rules for opioid addiction treatment have been loosened during the COVID-19 pandemic, an in-person visit is still required to start methadone treatment, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Smokers Should Quit to Reduce Risks From COVID-19, Public Health Group Says

Smokers should quit to reduce their risks from COVID-19, according to the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease.

Marijuana Legalization on Pause During Coronavirus Pandemic

Many states that were expected to legalize marijuana this year are unlikely to do so because of the coronavirus pandemic, according to Politico.

Addiction Experts Worry About Impact of Coronavirus Lockdown on People in Recovery

Addiction experts say they are concerned the social isolation required by the coronavirus pandemic is taking an especially big toll on people in recovery, the Tennessean reports.

Addiction Experts Say Coronavirus Isolation is Trigger for Relapse

Addiction experts say they are worried the isolation required to combat the coronavirus pandemic is a national relapse trigger, The New York Times reports.

States Urged to Ease Access to Medication-Assisted Treatment During Pandemic

Now that the federal government has made it easier for many people being treated for opioid use disorder to receive extended supplies of medication-assisted treatment, states must ensure their own rules do not impede access, according to The Pew Charitable Trusts.

Young People with Family Members Taking Opioids More Likely to Overdose

Teens and young adults who have family members taking prescription opioids are more than twice as likely to overdose on opioids themselves compared to their peers without family members taking the medications, according to new research.

Plaintiffs’ Lawyers Say Drug Companies Try to Use Pandemic to Delay Opioid Trial

Lawyers representing the cities and counties suing drug companies over their role in the opioid crisis are urging a federal judge not to delay the litigation because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Reuters reports.

Report: 1.6 Million Americans Reported Past-Year Meth Use

A new study finds an estimated 1.6 million American adults ages 18 and older reported past-year methamphetamine use between 2015 and 2018.

Telehealth Plays Key Role in Addiction Treatment During Coronavirus Pandemic

Telehealth technology is becoming an important part of addiction treatment during the coronavirus pandemic, PBS News reports.

COVID-19 Could be Especially Serious Threat to Those Who Smoke or Vape

COVID-19 could be an especially serious threat to people who smoke tobacco or marijuana or who vape because the virus attacks the lungs, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Some States Classify Recreational and Medical Marijuana Businesses as Essential

More than a dozen states have classified recreational marijuana shops and medical marijuana dispensaries as “essential” businesses during the coronavirus pandemic, The New York Times reports.

Health Officials Worry People are Drinking to Battle Coronavirus Anxiety

Health officials are concerned that many people are using alcohol to deal with anxiety over the coronavirus pandemic, CBS New York reports.

Buprenorphine and Methadone Reduce Opioid Overdoses But Are Underused

A new study finds methadone and buprenorphine are highly effective in treating opioid use disorder and reducing overdoses, but these treatments are underused by physicians.
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