U.S. lawmakers say they banned clove cigarettes because of their health risks and appeal to young smokers, but the World Trade Organization (WTO) is investigating whether the ban violated international free-trade agreements. The Associated Press reported July 20 that Indonesia — where most clove cigarettes are made — has complained to the WTO about the […]
More than half a million “stop and frisks” by police each year have led to 46,000 annual marijuana arrests in New York City — mostly among blacks and Latinos — writes Drug Policy Alliance director Ethan Nadelmann.
A lack of mandated training for physicians has helped sink a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) proposal intended to curb misuse of prescription drugs, the New York Times reported July 23. The FDA advisory committee voted 25-10 to reject the plan, with most members saying the proposal was not stringent enough to effectively cut […]
A new animal study from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) finds that small molecules called microRNA seem to play a role in regulating cocaine use, a discovery that eventually could lead to the development of novel new addiction treatments. HealthDay News reported July 9 that researcher Paul J. Kenny of Scripps Research Institute […]
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is suing Wal-Mart in Michigan after the company terminated an employee for medical marijuana use, CNN reported June 29. Joseph Casias, a cancer patient and one of Michigan’s 20,000 approved medical-marijuana users, was fired in November 2009 after failing an on-the-job, injury-related drug test. He had been employed by […]
The longtime head of the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime, Antonio Maria Costa, is stepping down in July, and the leading candidate to replace him reportedly is Yuri Fedotov, currently Russia’s ambassador to the U.K.
Two closely aligned groups advocating for addiction and mental-health programs in national healthcare reform have agreed to a merger. The mental-health field’s Whole Health Campaign and the addiction community’s Coalition for Whole Health, which both successfully argued for inclusion of behavioral-healthcare benefits in the healthcare-reform bill passed last year, will join forces under the banner […]
The Missouri legislature has cut over $1 million from its Division of Alcohol and Tobacco Control, leaving just five agents to monitor 12,000 liquor licenses, the Associated Press reported June 14. The burden will now be on local law enforcement to bridge the regulatory gap — checking licenses and monitoring the sale of alcohol to […]
From college campuses across the U.S. to Twitter, Facebook, and blogs, “icing” has become the first viral drinking game of the modern era, the New York Times reported June 8. A modification of “tag” involving alcohol, players “ice” one another by handing off a warm Smirnoff Ice malt beverage, which must then be consumed on […]
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Reclaiming Futures project is beginning to transition from the relatively secure world of foundation funding to the more arduous task of seeking multiple sources of support, but will have to find its way without the stewardship of longtime national program director Laura Nissen.
Nissen announced on June 7 that she plans to step down in May 2011 once a successor is in place, citing a desire to “concentrate on teaching and research in my role as a faculty member at the School of Social Work at Portland State University.”
The Obama administration’s 2011 budget calls for flat funding of the $1.79-billion Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment (SAPT) block grant, but advocates are appealing to Congress to boost funding for the formula grant to states by $210 million.
Ronald J. Hunsicker, the longtime president and CEO of the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers (NAATP), has been fired by the group’s board of directors, Addiction Professional reported May 13. The board named Dennis Gilhousen, former CEO of the Valley Hope Association, as interim director of the organization. The board voted to terminate Hunsicker […]
Genetic markers for smoking initiation, smoking cessation, and heavy smoking have been identified by researchers who hope that the information could someday be used to identify individuals at high risk of nicotine addiction and match them to effective treatment, HealthDay News reported April 25. University of North Carolina researchers found a genetic variant on chromosome […]
One-third of American drinkers over age 60 consume excessive amounts of alcohol, are at risk of dangerous interactions between alcohol and medications, or have illnesses that can be exacerbated by drinking, according to researchers at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. A study of 3,308 clinic patients in California found that 34.7 percent […]
Dissolvable-tobacco products like Camel Orbs, Sticks, and Strips pose a potentially fatal overdose risk to children and should be banned from sale until more safety research is conducted, according to Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.). The Hill reported April 24 that Lautenberg requested that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) take action against the dissolvable […]
New research shows that high levels of substance use among young adults are linked to problematic levels of indoor tanning, perhaps because of a similar addictive process for the two behaviors. Reuters reported April 19 that according to a study conducted by Catherine E. Mosher, Ph.D., of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, and colleagues, 42 percent […]
Moderate alcohol consumption among young adults appears to have similar protective benefits for heart health as those seen in older adults, although it has been difficult to study the effects of moderate drinking on heart disease in younger populations, according to new research. Reuters Health reported April 8 that when Alberto Ascherio, M.D., of the […]
Legislation that would have required first-time drunk driving offenders in Maryland to use an ignition interlock Breathalyzer in their vehicles has died after an influential House committee chairman suggested applying the mandate only to drivers registering a blood alcohol level nearly twice the legal limit, the Washington Post reported April 19. The action by House […]
As memories of Woodstock-era acid trips fade from memory, researchers are revisiting hallucinogenic drugs as possible treatments for addiction and mental illness, the New York Times reported April 12. Researchers at Johns Hopkins, for example, are studying whether psilocybin, the active ingredient in “magic” mushrooms, can be used to treat depression. Others are studying the […]
The state of Virginia’s alcohol regulatory board was within its rights to ban college newspapers from running alcohol-related advertising, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has ruled. Inside Higher Ed reported April 12 that the court ruled 2-1 to reverse a lower-court decision that had favored the student newspapers at Virginia Tech […]
A medical-marijuana bill has been advanced by a committee in the Alabama House of Representatives, but probably too late for a vote to take place in the full legislature, the Montgomery Advertiser reported April 8. The Michael Phillips Compassionate Care Act — named for a man with a brain tumor who used marijuana for pain […]
Sarah Palin delivered the keynote address at the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA) annual meeting in Las Vegas, and now some marijuana legalization advocates are dangling a $25,000 speaking fee to get the former vice-presidential candidate and Alaska governor to speak at a meeting about regulating the drug, the Kansas City Star reported […]
A new slow-release version of the powerful opiate painkiller OxyContin has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The new formulation is designed to prevent the time-released pills from being cut, broken, crushed or dissolved by users looking to get high on the drug. FDA officials described the change to the drug […]
Marlboro Snus, a version of smokeless tobacco developed by Philip Morris USA parent Altria Group, Inc., will soon be sold nationally, the Associated Press reported Feb. 18. Altria has been test marketing the Marlboro-branded tobacco pouches — designed to be wedged between the cheek and gum — since 2007. The tobacco industry has looked to […]