Patients in treatment for substance use disorders have a high prevalence of smoking. Treating nicotine dependence in substance abuse treatment (SAT) settings, however, is uncommon. Researchers conducted a randomized trial to evaluate the effectiveness of a smoking cessation intervention in SAT programs.
Studies of persons with hypertension have demonstrated a reduction in blood pressure if heavy alcohol consumption is reduced or eliminated, but few studies have focused on persons who met criteria for alcohol dependence. This large, multi-center study of alcohol dependence treatment analyzed data over a 16-week treatment period.
New York's Medicaid program has long hindered comprehensive treatment for people with co-occurring addiction and mental-health problems, but now the state is training more counselors to provide services to dually diagnosed patients.
Needle-exchange programs have been credited with saving many lives by preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS among injection-drug users, but some counselors at the harm-reduction programs have been fatally tempted by easy availability of heroin.
The state of New Mexico will issue ID cards to medical-marijuana users, allow qualified patients to grow their own marijuana, and permit nonprofit groups to produce and distribute the drug to medical users under final regulations released last week.
In an effort to encourage soldiers to seek addiction treatment, military officials have proposed to eliminate the requirement that commanding officers be notified if a soldier seeks voluntary counseling, USA Today reported Jan. 11. The hope is that dropping the requirement will “reduce the stigma associated with seeking mental-health care and to encourage more soldiers […]
Half of all prison inmates are dependent on drugs — including many incarcerated on non drug-related offenses — but less than 20 percent get the treatment they need, according to a new report from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). “Addiction is a stigmatized disease that the criminal justice system often fails to view […]
The federal government and most U.S. states have failed to adopt policies that would protect the public from tobacco-related illnesses, according to a new ’report card’ from the American Lung Association. The State of Tobacco Control report gave the federal government “F” grades on three critical measures: regulation of tobacco products, coverage of cessation products, […]
New research from Duke University shows that visual cues — such as images of people smoking — may promote relapse among those trying to quit, MSNBC reported Jan. 6. Scientists looked at scans of smokers’ brains before and 24 hours after participants stopped smoking and were exposed to images of others smoking. Researcher Joseph McClernon […]
A bill to reauthorize a popular children’s health insurance program is expected to be ready for President-elect Obama’s signature soon after the inauguration, the Associated Press reported Jan. 9. Federal funding for the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) is scheduled to expire on March 31, but House Democrats said they are scheduling a vote […]
The U.S. government is prepared to increase Border Patrol and possibly military law enforcement as part of the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) plan to deal with drug-related violence spilling across the border with Mexico.
Mexico’s bloody war with drug traffickers was at the top of the agenda as President-elect Barack Obama met with Mexican President Felipe Calderon on Monday, Reuters reported Jan. 12. It is traditional for incoming U.S. presidents to meet with their Mexican counterparts prior to taking office, but the Obama-Calderon meeting was slated to be more […]
The U.S. government is prepared to increase Border Patrol and possibly military law enforcement as part of the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) plan to deal with drug-related violence spilling across the border with Mexico, the New York Times reported Jan. 8. Michael Chertoff, secretary of DHS, said that the steady increase in violence from […]
A Critical Issue Highlighted at the First NIH Meeting on Substance Abuse Among Military Personnel and Their Families WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health, released a research report, Comorbidity: Addiction and Other Mental Illnesses, summarizing the state of the science regarding the complex relationship between […]
The use of cocaine and amphetamines among high school seniors in the U.S. continues to decrease, according to recently released data from the 2008 Monitoring the Future survey. The percentage of 12th graders reporting past year use of cocaine has decreased slightly in recent years (from 5.7% in 2006 to 4.4% in 2008) and amphetamine use […]
To many immigrants from Africa, the mildly narcotic drug khat is viewed as no more harmful than a cup of coffee, but U.S. law-enforcement officials are concerned that the “flower of paradise” is a growing drug threat, the Los Angeles Times reported Jan. 3. Residents of the Ethiopian, Somali, and Yemeni communities in places like […]
A growing number of U.S. states now require the sale of so-called ’fire-safe’ cigarettes, using local fire codes to get around lax federal cigarette regulations, USA Today reported Jan. 1. In 2009, the number of states with such laws on the books will rise to 39, with 14 new states requiring that only self-extinguishing cigarettes […]
Individuals who have fewer dopamine “auto-receptors” — which control the release of the brain chemical — may be more prone to risk-taking, researchers say. HealthDay News reported Dec. 30 that individuals with a deficiency of dopamine auto-receptors experience higher levels of dopamine release during thrill-seeking activities, which reinforces and rewards risk-taking. “It starts to suggest […]
A legal challenge to the 1998 nationwide tobacco settlement has failed, with a federal judge dismissing a lawsuit filed by a North Carolina based tobacco company that claimed the deal between states and the industry stifled competition. The Legal Newsline reported Jan. 6 that U.S. District Judge Jennifer Coffman said that General Tobacco waived its […]
Draft regulations intended to govern Michigan’s new medical-marijuana law came under attack in a public hearing, the Detroit Free Press reported, Jan. 6. The regulations, drawn up by the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH), gave rise to constitutionality and privacy issues and are a burden for law-enforcement agencies, critics contend. “We are responsible, law-abiding […]