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.

Rise in Heroin Use May Help Explain Increase in Hepatitis C: Study

A new study finds rates of heroin use, injection and addiction increased steadily between 2008 and 2016, Reuters reports. The increase may help explain the rising rates of hepatitis C, the researchers say.

Lawsuit Claims Juul Purchased Ad Space on Children’s Websites

Massachusetts filed a lawsuit against Juul Labs this week, alleging the company purchased ads on websites aimed at children and teens, such as Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., The Cartoon Network and Seventeen Magazine.

Almost One-Third of Hospices Report Cases of Stolen Patient Painkillers

A new study finds almost one-third of hospices have reported at least one case in which painkillers were taken from a patient in the past three months. The drugs were most often taken by family members, HealthDay reports.

Nasal Spray May be Quickest, Easiest Way to Administer Naloxone

Administering the opioid overdose antidote naloxone via nasal spray may be quicker and easier than an injection or nasal atomizer, a new study concludes.

Trump Administration Proposes Shifting Oversight of Tobacco From FDA

The Trump Administration is proposing shifting oversight of tobacco products from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to a new agency that would be created under the Department of Health and Human Services, CNN reports.

Letting Pharmacists Provide Naloxone Without Prescription Leads to Surge in Access

Allowing pharmacists in Ohio to provide the opioid overdose antidote naloxone without a prescription led to a more than 2,000% increase in dispensing of the drug, a new study finds.

New E-Cigarette Ban Loophole Allows Teens to Switch to Disposable Devices

The new Food and Drug Administration ban on most flavored e-cigarettes contains a loophole that allows teens to use disposable devices, The New York Times reports.

40% of U.S. Counties Have No Providers Approved to Prescribe Buprenorphine

A new government report finds 40% of U.S. counties didn’t have a single healthcare provider approved to prescribe the opioid addiction medication buprenorphine in 2018.

E-Cigarette CEOs Face Questions From House Panel on Youth Marketing

E-cigarette company executives faced questions this week from a congressional committee on their role in the teen vaping epidemic, ABC News reports.

Newly Discovered Cannabis Compound Could be 30 Times More Potent Than THC

Scientists have discovered a cannabis compound that could be 30 times more potent than THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, CNN reports.

U.S. Death Rates Decline, In Part Due to Drop in Fatal Drug Overdoses

Death rates in the United States have declined for the first time since 2014, in part due to the drop in fatal drug overdoses, NPR reports.

House Passes Bill to Temporarily Extend DEA Ban on Variants of Fentanyl

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill this week that would extend the Drug Enforcement Administration’s ban on variants of fentanyl for another 15 months.

Surgeon General Warns Too Many Smokers Not Routinely Advised to Quit

In a new report on smoking cessation, the U.S. Surgeon General says 40% of smokers are not routinely counseled by their physicians to quit.

1% of Health Providers Prescribe Almost Half of All Opioid Doses: Study

Just 1% of health care providers accounted for nearly half of all opioid doses and 27% of all opioid prescriptions in 2017, according to a new study.

Federal Government Failed to Protect Youth From Flavored Tobacco Products: Report

The federal government has repeatedly failed to take action to protect youth from flavored tobacco products, according to a new report by the American Lung Association.

JUUL Use Among Older Teens and Young Adults Soars

Juul use among older teens and young adults soared between 2018 and 2019, according to a new study.

States Can Now Use Federal Opioid Funds to Tackle Meth and Cocaine

A spending bill passed by Congress late last year allows states to use funds earmarked for the opioid crisis to be used instead to tackle the surge in meth and cocaine use, The New York Times reports.

Prescriptions of Benzodiazepines on the Rise, Study Finds

Prescriptions for benzodiazepines—used to relieve anxiety, agitation or sleep problems—are on the rise in the United States, according to a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Few People Taking High Doses of Prescription Opioids Fill Naloxone Prescription

Fewer than 2% of people taking high doses of prescription opioids have filled a prescription for the opioid overdose antidote naloxone, a new study suggests.

Changing Default Computer Settings May Reduce Opioid Prescriptions

A new study suggests that simply changing default computer settings in hospitals may reduce opioid prescriptions, HealthDay reports.

More Than 100 Billion Doses of Opioid Pills Were Shipped Between 2006 and 2014

Data collected by the Drug Enforcement Administration shows more than 100 billion doses of oxycodone and hydrocodone were shipped nationwide between 2006 and 2014, The Washington Post reports.

Expanding Medicaid Linked With 6% Drop in Opioid Overdose Deaths

The expansion of Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act was associated with a 6% drop in total opioid overdose deaths nationally, a new study concludes.

Many Deaths Associated With Drug Use Aren’t Being Counted as Drug-Related: Study

Many deaths associated with drug use are not being counted as drug-related, according to a new study.

Study Explains Link Between Marijuana Use and HPV-Related Head and Neck Cancer

A new study explains how regular marijuana use can fuel tumor growth in people with human papillomavirus-related head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.

Rural Americans Say Drug Addiction as Big a Concern as the Economy

People living in rural communities are as concerned about drug addiction as they are about the economy, according to a new survey.
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