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.

Substance Use After Opioid Prescriptions in Youth Lower Than Previously Thought

A new study suggests the risk of teens and young adults developing a substance use disorder after being prescribed opioids is lower than previously thought.

Some Cardiac Arrest Deaths Could Be Triggered by Drug Overdose

One in every six deaths attributed to sudden cardiac arrest in San Francisco may have been triggered by a drug overdose, according to a new study.

Bystanders Can Use Naloxone and Smartphone App to Reverse Heroin Overdose: Study

A new study finds bystanders equipped with the opioid overdose antidote naloxone, along with a smartphone app, can reverse a heroin overdose.

Woman Faces Murder Charges After Her Stillborn Baby Found to Have Meth in System

A California woman is facing murder charges after giving birth to a stillborn baby found to have toxic levels of meth in his system. The Los Angeles Times reports some medical and civil rights groups say the charges set a dangerous precedent.

Critics Say Judges Have Too Much Leeway in Applying Law to Reduce Crack Sentences

Critics of the First Step Act, designed to reduce federal sentences for nonviolent drug offenses, say judges are being given too much leeway in deciding who can be released early, according to The New York Times.

Justice Department Seeks $13 Billion from Purdue Pharma to Resolve Opioid Claims

The U.S. Justice Department is seeking almost $13 billion from OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma to resolve investigations of the company, Reuters reports.

Many Cigar Smokers Report They are Smoking More During Pandemic

Many cigar smokers say they have increased their tobacco use during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to an online survey.

FDA Advises Doctors to Discuss Naloxone with Patients Taking Opioid Painkillers

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is recommending that health care providers discuss the opioid overdose antidote naloxone with patients taking opioids, the Associated Press reports.

Americans Smoking More During Pandemic, Marlboro Maker Says

Americans are smoking more during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to executives at Altria, which manufactures Marlboro cigarettes.

Talk Therapy for PTSD Does Not Increase Relapse Risk in People with Addiction

A new study finds talk therapy for people with post-traumatic stress disorder does not appear to increase the risk of relapse in people with substance use disorders, HealthDay reports.

Alcohol Abuse May Increase Risk of Death in Patients with Arrhythmia

Alcohol abuse may increase the risk of death in patients with abnormal heart rhythms, known as arrhythmias, according to a new study presented at a meeting of the American Heart Association.

CBD May Be Effective in Treating Cannabis Use Disorder

Cannabidiol, or CBD, may be useful in treating cannabis use disorder, a new study suggests.

Many Doctors Still Prescribe Large Quantities of Opioids

Doctors and dentists are still prescribing large quantities of opioids, despite government guidelines urging doctors to avoid prescribing the drugs or to minimize their use whenever possible, according to an investigation by NPR.

FDA Prohibits Sale of Disposable Fruit-Flavored E-Cigarettes

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has told the makers of Puff Bars and other flavored disposable e-cigarettes and e-liquid products that appeal to youth to remove their products from the market.

Ban of Flavored Cigarettes Resulted in Large Drop in Teen Smoking

The 2009 ban on flavored cigarettes (other than menthol) in the United States led to a large decrease in smoking among teens and young adults, according to a new study.

Study: 29% of Massachusetts Nursing Homes Rejected Patients with History of Drug Use

A new study finds 29% of Massachusetts nursing homes refused to take patients with a history of drug use who needed post-hospital care in 2018.

Illinois City Plans to Pay for Reparations Through Taxes on Marijuana Sales

Evanston, Illinois plans to pay for reparations to its African American residents through tax revenue from newly legalized marijuana sales, ABC News reports.

Drug Overdoses Rise to Record High

The number of drug overdoses increased to record high levels in 2019, according to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The numbers are continuing to climb, The New York Times reports.

Smoking May Play Role in Young Adults’ Vulnerability to COVID-19

A new study finds one-third of young adults are vulnerable to severe COVID-19. Smoking may help explain the risk, CNN reports.

Sales of Marijuana Edibles Increase During Pandemic

Sales of marijuana edibles have increased during the pandemic, cannabis industry experts tell The New York Times.

Study Finds Growth in LSD Use

Use of LSD grew by more than 50% in the United States between 2015 and 2018, according to a new study.

Chicago Opioid Overdoses Affect Black Residents Disproportionately

Opioid overdose deaths are continuing at a high rate in the Chicago area, with Black residents making up a disproportionate number of deaths, ProPublica reports.

COVID-19 Pandemic Hits Addiction Treatment Centers Hard

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a large impact on addiction treatment centers, making it more difficult for people with substance use disorders to find treatment, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Treatment Providers Report Good Results with Telehealth for Opioid Use Disorder

Addiction treatment providers are reporting positive outcomes from using telehealth services to treat opioid use disorder during the pandemic, The Pew Charitable Trusts reports.

Pandemic Worsens Opioid Crisis: NIDA Director

The pandemic has worsened the opioid crisis, according to Nora Volkow, Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
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