People who initially use drugs only on the weekend often start using them during the week, a new study suggests.
Boston University researchers studied 483 primary care patients who admitted to using drugs in the past month. Of these patients, 89 percent said they used drugs on weekdays and weekends. Of the 11 percent who said they only used drugs on Friday night, Saturday or Sunday, more than half of them—54 percent—admitted to using drugs during the week when they were surveyed six months later.
Only 19 percent continued to use drugs only on the weekend, while 27 percent said they stopped using drugs altogether.
Full story of weekend and weekday drug use at drugfree.org
Prescription painkiller abuse is largely to blame for a big increase in the rate of hepatitis C among young people in rural areas of four states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Acute hepatitis C infections more than tripled from 2007 to 2012 among young people in rural areas in Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. About 73 percent of those hepatitis C patients said they injected drugs, USA Today reports. Injecting drugs can spread the hepatitis C virus when people share needles.
“We’re in the midst of a national epidemic of hepatitis C,” said John Ward, Director of Viral Hepatitis Prevention at the CDC. More than 20,000 Americans die from hepatitis C a year, which is more than the number who die from AIDS, Ward said. He added, “The CDC views hepatitis C as an urgent public health problem.”
Full story of prescription drug abuse raises hepatitis C infection at drugfree.org
The new synthetic drug known as “flakka” appears to be as potent and addictive as bath salts, a new rodent study suggests. Flakka and bath salts are chemically similar.
In some cases, Flakka can cause heart palpitations and aggressive, violent behavior. Use of the drug can affect the kidneys, leading to kidney failure or death.
Flakka use has recently been reported in Florida, Ohio and Texas. The drug is sold in other parts of the country as “Gravel.” Flakka, which comes in crystalline rock form, can be snorted, swallowed, injected or vaped in an e-cigarette. While its effects are generally felt for three or four hours, they can continue for days.
Full story of flakka addiction at drugfree.org
Legal marijuana businesses face tremendous tax bills because they cannot take deductions on rent, employee salaries or utility bills, The New York Times reports. The ban on marijuana deductions comes from a federal law aimed at drug dealers.
The law, passed in 1982, was designed to prevent drug dealers from claiming their smuggling costs and couriers as business expenses, the article notes. Congress passed the law after a drug dealer who had been jailed on drug charges went to tax court to argue the money he spent on his business should be considered tax write-offs.
The provision bans all tax credits and deductions from “the illegal trafficking in drugs.” Marijuana business owners argue the provision is preventing them from hiring more workers, and in some cases may even force them to shut down.
Full story of marijuana tax laws on businesses at drugfree.org
Many teens who use e-cigarettes say they enjoy performing tricks with the vapor, such as blowing smoke rings or creating funnels of smoke that look like tornadoes. Performing tricks is one of the top two reasons teens say they enjoy using e-cigarettes, Reuters reports.
The other top reason is the flavoring in nicotine liquid. The wide range of flavors include cappuccino, pomegranate and single-malt scotch.
The findings about vapor tricks come from a study by researchers at Yale School of Medicine. The Yale team asked 5,400 Connecticut teens to explain what they found “cool about e-cigarettes.”
Full story of vaping attraction to teens at drugfree.org