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2018 Annual Surveillance Report of Drug-Related Risks and Outcomes

From the CDC. This report brings together the latest data available on the drug overdose epidemic in America, including opioid prescribing patterns, and various health behaviors and outcomes such as drug use and nonfatal overdoses and deaths. Prescription drug misuse, illicit drug use, substance use disorder, and overdose remain critical issues in the United States, […]


Researchers identify key brain circuits for reward-seeking and avoidance behavior

From NIH. Previously unrecognized pathways in mice have relevance for mental health and addiction research. Researchers have identified connections between neurons in brain systems associated with reward, stress, and emotion. Conducted in mice, the new study may help untangle multiple psychiatric conditions, including alcohol use disorder, anxiety disorders, insomnia, and depression in humans. “Understanding these […]


Notification of patient overdose deaths reduces clinician opioid prescriptions

From NIH. NIH-funded study shows clinicians reduced prescriptions following behavioral “nudge.” Clinicians were more likely to reduce the number and dose of opioid drugs they prescribed after learning that one of their patients had died from an overdose from a controlled substance than those not notified, according to a recent study appearing in the August […]


Effective Treatments for Opioid Use Disorder Are Underutilized

From NIH. NIH research confirms effective treatments for opioid use disorder are underutilized A National Institutes of Health-funded study found that treatment of opioid use disorder with either methadone or buprenorphine following a nonfatal opioid overdose is associated with significant reductions in opioid related mortality. The research, published today in the Annals of Internal Medicine, was […]


Promising therapy’ for alcohol abuse

From Science Daily. Alcohol abuse is among the leading causes of preventable death in the United States, killing more than 88,000 people a year, according to the Centers for Disease Control. That total is higher than the combined death tolls of HIV/AIDS, gun violence and car crashes. Despite this, current medications are not highly effective […]


MMWR: MRSA among persons who inject drugs

From CDC. Invasive Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Infections Among Persons Who Inject Drugs — Six Sites, 2005–2016 June 8, 2018 / 67(22);625-628 In the United States, age-adjusted opioid overdose death rates increased by >200% during 1999–2015, and heroin overdose death rates increased nearly 300% during 2011–2015 (1). During 2011–2013, the rate of heroin use within the past year […]


FDA Approves First Drug Derived from Marijuana

From NIDA. Last week, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Epidiolex® (cannabidiol, or CBD), a medication extracted from marijuana, for the treatment of two severe pediatric seizure disorders, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome. CBD is a compound typically found in very small quantities in the marijuana plant, and it has been of interest to scientists and the […]


Gaming Disorder Classified as Mental Health Condition

From CNN. WHO Classifies ‘Gaming Disorder’ as Mental Health Condition by Susan Scutti, CNN Watching as a video game ensnares their child, many a parent has grumbled about “digital heroin,” likening the flashing images to one of the world’s most addictive substances. Now, they may have backup: The World Health Organization announced “gaming disorder” as […]