CDC data shows rising deaths due to cocaine and stimulants mixed with opioids
New CDC data shows that the rate of overdose deaths involving cocaine and opioids increased faster than the rate without opioids 2009-2019, and in 2019, 76% of overdose deaths involving cocaine also involved an opioid. The rate of overdose deaths involving psychostimulants alone was higher than the rate also involving opioids 2009-2016, but the pattern reversed 2017-2019. In 2019, 54% of psychostimulant overdose deaths involved an opioid. The rates of both cocaine and psychostimulant deaths involving opioids are higher in the Northeast than the West.
Source: Rising U.S. Deaths After Users Mix Cocaine, Meth With an Opioid (U.S. News & World Report)
Biden administration releases drug policy priorities for first year in office
CARA 3.0 introduced in Congress to comprehensively address the addiction crisis
Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) 3.0 will bolster work to prevent substance misuse through funding for research and education, double down on evidence-based treatment methods and expand treatment options for groups particularly vulnerable to addiction, bolster recovery options through funding to support recovery support services, and reform the criminal justice system to ensure that those struggling with addiction are treated with fairness and compassion by the law.
Source: Portman Column: CARA 3.0 Will Help Ohioans Beat Addiction (Senator Rob Portman)
Senator Schumer to push ahead on federal marijuana legalization efforts
State and local news
New York legalized marijuana for recreational use
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation legalizing adult-use, recreational marijuana. New Yorkers 21+ can now legally possess and consume cannabis, though dispensaries are not expected to open until next year. The legalization measure will help address racial injustices (through automatic expungement, fewer drug arrests, funding to communities most hurt by drug war policies, etc.), but concerns remain about legalization’s impact on youth and road safety.
Sources: Cuomo signs bill legalizing adult-use, recreational marijuana in New York (Politico); Can New York’s Marijuana Legalization Light Up a New Path? (New York Times)
State lawmakers increasingly moving toward marijuana legalization
Other news in addiction policy
Younger age of first substance use associated with faster development of substance use disorder
A NIDA study found that in the time after first trying cannabis or intentionally misusing prescription medication, the percentages of young people who develop the corresponding substance use disorder are higher among adolescents than young adults. Thirty percent of young adults develop a heroin use disorder and 25% develop a methamphetamine use disorder a year after first using these substances.
Source: Younger age of first cannabis use or prescription drug misuse is associated with faster development of substance use disorders (National Institute on Drug Abuse)