Gardner objected to proposals that would require physicans — including ER docs — to search a database for patients’ drug-use history before prescribing drugs. Requiring that prescription information be recorded to the database also could discourage some patients from getting proper care, Gardner said.
“As an emergency physician, I can assure you that the drug abusers who use the emergency room simply to get a prescription-drug fix represent a micropopulation of the 120-million patients who seek emergency care every year in the USA” …
People who are regularly exposed to secondhand smoke had much higher levels of mental-health problems than those who are not exposed, according to a new study that also found that risk of being admitted to a psychiatric hospital nearly tripled among “passive smokers.” Reuters reported June 8 that the study involving 5,560 non-smoking adults and […]
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.”
People with mental-health problems and addictions seem to be especially sensitive to cigarette tax increases, with a 10-percent price hike translating into an 18-percent reduction in smoking, HealthDay News reported June 6. The price-related reduction in smoking was observed among individuals with a variety of alcohol and other drug disorders, except for those with alcohol […]
The Ohio Senate overwhelmingly passed legislation to allow concealed weapons in establishments that serve alcohol, Vindy.com reported May 29. The new law, if ratified by the House and governor, would allow concealed-carry permit holders to take weapons into bars and restaurants that serve alcohol. Gun-toting patrons would be barred from drinking, however, and businesses could […]
Eric Morris’s always-entertaining Freakonomics blog at the New York Times this week asks what works in getting people to drink less alcohol. As usual, the economist references an impressive array of research as he weighs in on the various interventions available.
Morris’ conclusion: screening and brief intervention has the most promise, and while restrictions on alcohol advertising seems to work, it’s doubtful that serious curbs will ever be enacted.
The Congressman who authored legislation to bar students with past drug convictions from getting federal education aid has resigned after admitting to an extramarital affair with a married staff member. The New York Times reported May 18 that Rep. Mark Souder (R-Ind.), who recently won a tough primary battle, announced that he would resign on […]
The 2008 federal addiction and mental-health parity law is under attack by insurance companies that want the Obama administration to delay implementation of the regulations and change some of the rules designed to ensure that behavioral-health problems are treated on par with other diseases, the New York Times reported May 9. Insurers contend that the […]
Veterinarians, anti-smoking groups, and animal advocacy organizations are teaming up to get people to stop smoking for the sake of their pets, USA Today reported May 10. Studies have shown an increased risk of lung and nasal cancer in dogs and malignant lymphoma in cats from secondhand smoke, and pets with pre-existing respiratory conditions also […]
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 […]
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 […]
Parents who suspect that their kids are using drugs can now rent a retired drug dog from a Chandler, Ariz., woman to help sniff out evidence, the Phoenix New Times reported April 13. Amy Halm and her dog, Dargo — operating as “Desert Drug Dog” — will come into the family home and conduct a […]
A Scottish microbrewery that has received intense criticism for marketing products with an alcohol content far exceeding popular brands is shipping one of its beers to select retailers in California and New York City, Time magazine reported April 10. BrewDog co-founder Jim Watt’s interest in the U.S. market stems from the fact that about half […]
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 […]
Recent reports based on confidential government data indicate that deaths resulting from the Mexican government’s three-year attack against drug cartels far exceed previously cited estimates. The death toll from the soaring violence exceeds 22,000, well more than the figure of approximately 18,000 often used by Mexican media, the Los Angeles Times reported April 14. The […]
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 […]
Citing the hazards of secondhand smoke, the U.S. Navy plans to prohibit smoking aboard submarines, AFP reported April 6. Currently, individual sub commanders have discretion over onboard smoking, and many subs have designated smoking areas. “That atmosphere moves around the submarine,” said Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Gary Roughead. “You don’t smell it but the […]
A new study finds that a marketing campaign for Camel No. 9 cigarettes has a major impact on the brand preference expressed by girls ages 12-16, USA Today reported March 15. Researchers found that twice as many girls (22 percent) cited the Camel ads as their favorite after the female-focused ads ran in publications like […]
Moderate alcohol consumption prior to a traumatic event like a car crash or sexual assault has been linked to higher rates of flashbacks among victims. Researchers from University College London also found, however, that no increase in flashbacks was reported by those who drank heavily before their trauma. The study authors said that contextual memory […]
The Utah House of Representatives has voted 39-35 in favor of a measure that would raise the state tax on cigarettes by $1 per pack, from the current 69.5 cents to about $1.70. The Associated Press reported March 3 that Rep. Paul Ray, the bill sponsor, said the measure would raise revenues for the state, […]