Women Who Drink Alcohol May Have Increased Risk of Persistent HPV Infection

September 16, 2014 Posted by

Women who drink alcohol may have an increased risk of persistent infection with the human papillomavirus (HPV), according to researchers in Korea. Some varieties of the virus have the potential to cause cervical abnormalities that can lead to cancer.

Most cases of HPV disappear on their own, but in some cases the infection persists, Yahoo Health reports. The virus is sexually transmitted.

The Korean researchers tested 9,230 women for HPV and asked them about their alcohol intake. They found women who drank alcohol were almost three times more likely than non-drinkers to test positive for HPV at the beginning of the study, and again after two years.

Full story of alcohol and HPV infection at drugfree.org

Smoke-Free Homes Have Doubled in 20 Years

September 15, 2014 Posted by

The number of smoke-free homes in the United States has nearly doubled in the past 20 years, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The CDC study found 83 percent of homes were smoke-free in 2010-2011, compared with 43 percent in the early 1990s, Reuters reports. More than 90 percent of homes without a smoker and almost half of those with at least one adult smoker did not allow smoking in the home, the study found.

“It’s a shift in social norms,” said lead study author Brian King. “People no longer see smoking around non-smokers as socially acceptable behavior.” Secondhand smoke from cigarettes continues to kill an estimated 41,000 non-smokers each year, he noted. “We know there is no safe level of secondhand smoke. The ultimate goal is to not expose people to a known carcinogen.”

Full story of smoke free homes at drugfree.org

Alcohol Ads That Say ‘Drink Responsibly’ Don’t Explain How to Do So: Study

September 12, 2014 Posted by

Alcohol ads that tell people to ‘drink responsibly’ don’t explain how to do so, a new study concludes. Instead, the ads tend to glamorize the products they are selling, according to researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

The researchers analyzed all alcohol ads appearing in U.S. magazines from 2008 to 2010. They found 87 percent of the ads included a message to drink responsibly, but none defined responsible drinking, or promoted not drinking in certain situations, Medical Xpress reports.

In 88 percent of cases, responsibility messages reinforced promotion of the advertised product. Many of the messages contradicted scenes shown in the ads. One vodka ad featured a photo of an open pour of alcohol, with a tagline suggesting the person in the ad had been drinking all night. In small type, the ad told readers to enjoy the product responsibly.

Full story of alcohol ad study at drugfree.org

Study Comparing Buprenorphine Implants to Suboxone Gets Underway

September 11, 2014 Posted by

After the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) decided last year not to approve implantable buprenorphine to treat opioid abuse, researchers have begun a new study to address the agency’s concerns about the product, called Probuphine.

The study will compare Probuphine to buprenorphine/naloxone which is taken under the tongue. Approximately 190 patients are being enrolled in the study at about 20 sites around the country. They will be randomly assigned to receive either an implant of Probuphine in the upper arm, along with placebo tablets under the tongue; or a placebo arm implant, along with buprenorphine/naloxone tablets. Probuphine implants are designed to be effective for at least six months.

The study participants are people treated for opioid dependence who have been stable while taking buprenorphine/naloxone for several months, without using any illicit opioids, says Frank Vocci, Ph.D., co-principal investigator.

Full story of opioid treatment with buprenorphine at drugfree.org

DEA to Increase Restrictions on Hydrocodone Combination Products

September 10, 2014 Posted by

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has announced it will reclassify hydrocodone combination products such as Vicodin. Under the new rules, patients will be able to receive the drugs for only up to 90 days without receiving a new prescription, The Wall Street Journal reports.

In October 2013, the Food and Drug Administration recommended tighter restrictions for hydrocodone combination products.

The DEA hopes the move will reduce prescription drug abuse, the article notes. Under the new rule, hydrocodone combination products will be classified as Schedule II drugs. Currently these products are Schedule III drugs, meaning they can be refilled up to five times, and prescriptions can cover a 180-day period. In most cases, patients who wish to refill their hydrocodone combination prescription will now have to give their pharmacy a prescription from a healthcare provider, instead of having it phoned or faxed in.

Full story of tighter restrictions on hydrocodone at drugfree.org