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.

More People Using Meth and Fentanyl, Often in Combination

A growing number of people in the United States are using methamphetamine and fentanyl, often together, according to a new analysis of urine drug tests.

Many Teens Who Survive Opioid Overdose Don’t Receive Timely Treatment

A new study finds more than two-thirds of teens and young adults who survive an opioid overdose don’t receive treatment for their addiction within 30 days.

Fewer Than 10% of Primary Care Doctors Can Prescribe Buprenorphine

Fewer than 10% of primary care physicians have received approval from the federal government to prescribe the opioid addiction medication buprenorphine, according to a study published in Annals of Internal Medicine.

Pharmacy Chains Facing Trial Over Opioids Sue Ohio Doctors

Large pharmacy chains involved in a major lawsuit over the opioid epidemic have sued doctors in Ohio, claiming they are to blame for the nation’s drug crisis.

Number of Alcohol-Related Deaths More Than Doubled From 1999 to 2017

The number of alcohol-related deaths in the United States more than doubled between 1999 and 2017, according to new research from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

Sales of Tobacco Products to Anyone Under 21 Now Illegal

The Food and Drug Administration has raised the federal minimum age of sale of tobacco products from 18 to 21 years, USA Today reports.

Study Finds Striking Rise in Number of Teens Overdosing on Anxiety Medication

A new study finds a striking rise in the number of teens overdosing on common anxiety medications including Xanax, Valium and Ativan, according to HealthDay.

FDA to Ban Most E-Cigarette Flavors, but Makes Exception for Menthol

The Food and Drug Administration is expected to announce this week that it will ban most flavors of e-cigarette cartridges, but will exempt menthol and tobacco flavors.

Report: FDA Didn’t Ensure Program to Curb Improper Opioid Prescribing Worked

The Food and Drug Administration did not ensure that a program designed to reduce improper opioid prescribing was effective, according to a report published this week.

Many Pharmacies Don’t Provide Instructions on How to Dispose of Unused Opioids

Many pharmacies don’t provide patients with instructions on how to properly dispose of unused opioids and antibiotics, according to a new study.

National Survey Finds Teens Vaping More Marijuana and Nicotine

The annual Monitoring the Future survey has found U.S. teens are vaping more marijuana and nicotine than a year ago. The survey found 14% of 12th graders said they had vaped marijuana in the last month—almost double the percentage reported last year.

Congress Expected to Pass Measure to Raise Tobacco Purchase Age to 21

Congress is expected to pass a measure this week that would raise the legal age to purchase tobacco products—including e-cigarettes—to 21, The Washington Post reports.

Deaths Linked to Meth Use Climbing in Many States

The number of deaths associated with methamphetamine is on the rise in many states, according to The New York Times.

Treating Babies Exposed to Opioids During Pregnancy Costs $573 Million Annually

The cost of treating babies born with neonatal abstinence syndrome, who experience withdrawal after being exposed to opioids during pregnancy, was $573 million in 2016, according to a new study in JAMA Pediatrics.

Sackler Family Withdrew More Than $10 Billion from OxyContin Maker Purdue Pharma

Members of the Sackler family, who own OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma, withdrew more than $10 billion from the company as scrutiny over its role in the opioid epidemic grew, The New York Times reports.

Rate of Hospitalizations for Lung Injuries From Vaping On the Decline

The rate of hospitalizations for lung illnesses linked to e-cigarettes appears to be on the decline, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

One in Three High School Students Use Tobacco: CDC

About one in three high school students – 4.7 million – and about one in eight middle school students – 1.5 million – currently use tobacco products, according to a new government report.

Kratom Use Increasingly Popular, Addiction Expert Says

Use of kratom, a psychoactive plant, is becoming increasingly popular despite its potential for addiction, according to an expert at the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation.

To Tackle Problem of Drunk Driving, Focus on Repeat Offenders: Report

The most effective way to tackle the problem of drunk driving is to focus on repeat offenders, according to a new report by the Governors Highway Safety Association.

Appeals Court Says FDA Can Regulate E-Cigarettes Like Other Tobacco Products

A federal appeals court said this week that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration can regulate e-cigarettes like it does other tobacco products including conventional cigarettes, The Washington Post reports.

Trump Softens Support for Ban on Sweet, Fruity E-Cigarette Flavors

President Trump appears to be rethinking his support of a ban on sweet and fruity e-cigarette flavors, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Drug Overdoses Contribute to Increase in Deaths Among Young and Middle-Aged Adults

A new report finds drug overdoses are contributing to the increase in deaths among young and middle-aged adults, according to The Washington Post.

Misuse Increases for Gabapentin and Baclofen, Used to Treat Chronic Pain

The drugs gabapentin and baclofen, both of which are sometimes prescribed instead of opioids for chronic pain, are increasingly being misused, according to a new report. The drugs are being used in a growing number of suicide attempts.

Alaska Becomes the 50th State to Report Vaping-Related Lung Injury

Alaska has become the 50th state to report a case of vaping-related lung injury, according to CNN.

Calls to Poison Control Centers Rise for Marijuana and Other Psychoactive Substances

U.S. Poison Control Centers are reporting an increase in calls related to marijuana and other natural psychoactive substances such as jimson weed and hallucinogenic mushrooms, according to HealthDay.
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