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.

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.

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.
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