From the US Department of Health and Human Services
Use of cigarettes, alcohol, and abuse of prescription pain relievers among teens has declined since 2013 while marijuana use rates were stable, according to the 2014 Monitoring the Future (MTF) survey, released today by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). However, use of e-cigarettes, measured in the report for the first time, is high.
These 2014 results are part of an overall two-decade trend among the nation’s youth. The MTF survey measures drug use and attitudes among eighth, 10th, and 12th graders, is funded by NIDA, and is conducted by researchers at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. NIDA is part of the National Institutes of Health.
“With the rates of many drugs decreasing, and the rates of marijuana use appearing to level off, it is possible that prevention efforts are having an effect,” said NIDA Director Nora D. Volkow, M.D.
Naloxone kits for treating opioid overdoses are now available at a number of pharmacies in Snohomish County.
These kits are available just by asking the pharmacists, there is no need to see a doctor to obtain a prescription.The cost of the kits is around $125.
Pharmacists will provide education to those being given a Naloxone kit on how to use it and when to use it.
In 2013 there were 86 opioid drug overdoses in Snohomish County, and 580 within Washington State.
The availability of naloxone (sold under the brand name Narcan) could potentially cut down on deaths due to heroin and prescription opioid drugs (morphine, oxycodone/OxyContin, methadone, hydrocodone/Vicodin, and codeine). Continue reading →
Got Drugs? – National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day
September 27, 2014
10AM to 2PM
The National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications.
Patients who use drugs containing hydrocodone as a pain reliever or cough suppressant are going to have to jump through more hoops to get them starting next month.
The Drug Enforcement Administration is reclassifying so-called “hydrocodone combination products” (HCP) from Schedule III to Schedule II under the Controlled Substances Act, which will more tightly restrict access. Vicodin, for example, is an HCP because it has hydrocodone and acetaminophen.
The final regulation, which takes effect Oct. 6, will mean that patients generally must present a written prescription to receive the drug, and doctors will no longer be able to call in a prescription to the pharmacy in most instances.
Many patients with painful chronic diseases, including cancer, take hydrocodone combination products
.The regulation is a response to the widespread misuse of prescription pain killers.
In an emergency, doctors will still be able to call in a prescription, according to the new rule. And although prescription refills are prohibited, a doctor can, at his discretion, issue multiple prescriptions that would provide up to a 90-day supply.
These measures don’t satisfy consumer advocates or pharmacists who are opposed to the new rule.Continue reading →
Fred Hutch and SCCA experts weigh in on the good, bad and ugly of the electronic cigarette quandary
By Diane Mapes / Fred Hutch News Service
TV personality Jenny McCarthy is a paid spokesperson for Blu eCigs. Photo by Blu eCigs
Since electronic cigarettes were introduced to the world a decade ago, they have grabbed headlines, frustrated physicians and thoroughly confused consumers.
“Our patients are highly motivated to quit, but they’re confused about the mixed messages of e-cigarettes,” said Donna Manders, a certified tobacco treatment specialist at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. “A lot of them believe the hype that is out there, that these must be safe because they’re being sold everywhere.”
Unfortunately, there are far more advertisements, celebrity spokesmodels (like anti-vaccine advocate Jenny McCarthy) and new brands of e-cigs than strong, evidence-based studies.
“There’s a lot of excitement but very little data,” said Jonathan Bricker, psychologist and smoking cessation researcher in the Public Health Sciences division of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. “The FDA has to regulate the device before a researcher can conduct a trial on its efficacy for smoking cessation and the devices aren’t regulated yet. We’re in a Catch-22.”Continue reading →
Sticking to a general rule of pouring just a half glass of wine limits the likelihood of overconsumption, even for men with a higher body mass index. That’s the finding of a new Iowa State and Cornell University study to be published in a forthcoming issue of the International Journal of Drug Policy.
Even in small amounts, alcohol can have negative effects on a woman’s health. In some ways, heavy drinking is a lot more risky for women than it is for men.
Women who drink more than one drink per day increase their risk for motor vehicle crashes, other injuries, high blood pressure, stroke, violence, suicide, and certain types of cancer.Continue reading →
Studies show that enrollees with mental illness, who also have chronic physical conditions, account for a large share of Medicaid spending.
Seeking to improve care and lower costs, Florida this month became the first state to offer a Medicaid health plan designed exclusively for people with serious mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia, major depression or bipolar conditions.Continue reading →
From the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Excessive alcohol use accounts for one in 10 deaths among working-age adults ages 20-64 years in the United States, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published today in Preventing Chronic Disease.
Excessive alcohol use led to approximately 88,000 deaths per year from 2006 to 2010, and shortened the lives of those who died by about 30 years.
These deaths were due to health effects from drinking too much over time, such as breast cancer, liver disease, and heart disease; and health effects from drinking too much in a short period of time, such as violence, alcohol poisoning, and motor vehicle crashes.
In total, there were 2.5 million years of potential life lost each year due to excessive alcohol use.
Nearly 70 percent of deaths due to excessive drinking involved working-age adults, and about 70 percent of the deaths involved males. About 5 percent of the deaths involved people under age 21.
The highest death rate due to excessive drinking was in New Mexico (51 deaths per 100,000 population), and the lowest was in New Jersey (19.1 per 100,000).
Tobacco smoke contains chemicals that are harmful. Health care providers know that at least 250 of the 4,000 chemicals in tobacco smoke are harmful.
If you smoke, your risk of developing smoking-related diseases, such as lung and other cancers, heart disease, stroke, and respiratory illnesses, increase with each additional year you smoke.Continue reading →