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.

Addiction Treatment Centers Make Changes in Light of Coronavirus Pandemic

Addiction treatment centers are changing the way they provide services in light of the coronavirus pandemic, the Cincinnati Enquirer reports.

12-Step Programs Use Technology, Social Distancing During COVID-19 Crisis

Many 12-step programs are making changes such as using technology to keep people connected during the COVID-19 crisis, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Federal Government Eases Restrictions on Addiction Treatment in Response to Coronavirus

The federal government is easing restrictions on medication-assisted treatment for opioid addiction in light of the coronavirus, Mother Jones reports.

Patients Who Use Opioids After Tooth Extraction Report Higher Levels of Pain

Dental patients who take opioid painkillers after a tooth extraction report higher levels of pain compared with those who take non-opioid pain medication, a new study finds.

States Try to End Bankruptcy Protections for Family that Owns Opioid Maker Purdue

Twenty-four state attorneys general have filed court papers to try to end bankruptcy protections for the Sackler family, which owns opioid maker Purdue Pharma, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Alcoholics Anonymous May Increase Abstinence Compared With Other Treatments

Alcoholics Anonymous appears to be more effective than other established treatments for alcohol use disorder, a new analysis of research suggests.

Vaping or Smoking Raises Risk of Coronavirus Complications, NYC Mayor Says

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio warned that smoking or vaping increases the risk of complications from coronavirus, Reuters reports.

Family Sues After Woman With Opioid Use Disorder Dies in Police Custody

The family of a woman with opioid use disorder who died in police custody after begging to be taken to the hospital is suing for her wrongful death, NBC News reports.

E-Cigarette Company Juul Tried to Influence State Attorneys General

E-cigarette company Juul Labs tried to influence state attorneys general in an effort to stop them from pursuing legal action, according to an investigation by the Associated Press.

Pro-Vaping Videos Are Widespread on YouTube

Videos promoting the use of e-cigarettes and other tobacco products are widespread on YouTube, a new study finds.

Opioid-Related Deaths May be Undercounted: Study

There may have been almost 100,000 more opioid-related overdoses between 1999 and 2016 than reported due to incomplete death records, a new study suggests.

Average Age When U.S. Teens Try Alcohol, Tobacco and Some Drugs Rises

The age at which U.S. teens are starting to try alcohol, tobacco and some drugs is rising, according to new research.

House Passes Bill to Ban Sale of Flavored Cigarettes and E-Cigarette Liquids

The U.S. House passed a bill to ban the sale of flavored cigarettes and e-cigarette liquids, The New York Times reports.

Fewer Opioid Pills Prescribed After Florida Law Went Into Effect

A Florida law that only allows doctors to prescribe three days’ worth of opioid pills for acute pain appears to have led to decreased opioid use, Reuters reports.

Be a Part of National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week

This year’s National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week will take place Monday, March 30 to Sunday, April 5. This week links students with scientists and other experts to counteract the myths about drugs and alcohol that teens get from the Internet, social media, TV, movies, music, or from friends.

Philadelphia Group Plans to Open Nation’s First Supervised Injection Site Next Week

A nonprofit group in Philadelphia says it plans to open the nation’s first supervised injection site next week, The Associated Press reports.

Most Patients Treated for Opioid Addiction in Residential Centers Don’t Get Medication

Just 15% of patients being treated for opioid use disorder in residential treatment centers receive medication-assisted treatment, a new study finds.

Medication-Assisted Treatment Greatly Reduces Risk of Dying From Opioid Overdose

People with opioid use disorder who receive treatment with medications such as buprenorphine or methadone are 80% less likely to die from an opioid overdose compared with patients treated without these medications, according to a new study.

Dental Patients Often Prescribed Opioids in the Emergency Room

People who go to the emergency room for dental problems are often prescribed opioids and antibiotics, HealthDay reports. The findings show the need to combat overuse of opioids and antibiotics, the researchers said.

OxyContin Maker Launches Ad Campaign About Filing Claims Against Company

Purdue Pharma, the company that makes OxyContin, launched a $23.8 million ad campaign this week to inform people harmed by their drug where they can file claims against the company, The Associated Press reports.

More Than One-Fourth of Opioid Poisonings Involve Children and Teens: Study

More than one-fourth of opioid poisonings involve children and teens, and they have become increasingly severe in recent years, according to new research.

Drug Wholesalers’ $18 Billion Offer to Settle Opioid Lawsuits Rebuffed by 21 States

Attorneys general from 21 states rejected an $18 billion offer from three drug wholesalers to settle lawsuits over their role in the opioid epidemic, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Survey Finds Majority of Americans Strongly Distrust the Tobacco Industry

A survey finds 59% of Americans say they do not believe the tobacco industry is working to “be part of the solution to reduce the health effects of smoking,” STAT reports. The survey found 77% said they have an unfavorable view of the e-cigarette industry.

Some Vape Shop Owners Switch From Flavored E-Liquids to CBD Oil and Kratom

Vape shop owners in New Jersey must decide whether to close or to start selling items such as CBD oil and kratom, in the wake of the state’s new legislation outlawing all nicotine vaping liquids other than those flavored to taste like tobacco.

A Few Hospitals Let Patients With History of Drug Use Take IV Antibiotics at Home

Only a few U.S. hospitals allow patients with a history of drug use to take intravenous antibiotics at home, NPR reports. Most hospitals fear that such patients might be tempted to use the IV tube to inject drugs like heroin, cocaine or meth.
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