10 Percent of Americans Have Had Drug Use Disorder But Many Go Untreated: Study

November 30, 2015 Posted by

An estimated 10 percent of Americans have had a drug use disorder at some time in their lives, but many have gone untreated, according to a new study by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA).

Only about one-quarter of people who have ever had a drug use disorder received treatment, the study found.

“Based on these findings, more than 23 million adults in the United States have struggled with problematic drug use,” George F. Koob, PhD, NIAAA Director, said in a news release. “Given these numbers, and other recent findings about the prevalence and under-treatment of alcohol use disorder in the U.S., it is vitally important that we continue our efforts to understand the underlying causes of drug and alcohol addiction, their relationship to other psychiatric conditions and the most effective forms of treatment.”

Full story of Americans with drug use disorder at drugfree.org

Nasal Spray Version of Naloxone Approved to Treat Opioid Overdoses

November 25, 2015 Posted by

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Wednesday approved a nasal spray version of the opioid overdose antidote naloxone (Narcan). Until now, the only approved version of naloxone was injectable, The New York Times reports.

The company that makes the spray, Adapt Pharma, said it will offer the spray at a discount to emergency workers, police and firefighters.

Naloxone is used to reverse overdoses of opioids including prescription medications such as oxycodone, hydrocodone and morphine, as well as heroin. The FDA noted in a press release that if naloxone is administered quickly, it can counter the effects of an opioid overdose, usually within two minutes.

Full story of nasal spray version of Naloxone at drugfree.org

AMA Urges End to Direct-to-Consumer Advertising for Prescription Drugs

November 24, 2015 Posted by

The American Medical Association (AMA) this week called for an end to direct-to-consumer advertising for prescription drugs and implantable medical devices, according to CBS News. The ads contribute to increasing costs, and lead to patient demand for inappropriate treatment, the group says.

“Today’s vote in support of an advertising ban reflects concerns among physicians about the negative impact of commercially driven promotions and the role that marketing costs play in fueling escalating drug prices,” AMA Board Member Dr. Patrice Harris said in a news release. “Direct-to-consumer advertising also inflates demand for new and more expensive drugs, even when these drugs may not be appropriate.”

Drug manufacturers spent $4.5 billion for ads in the last two years, a 30 percent increase, according to the AMA. Prices for prescription drugs rose almost 5 percent this year, the article notes.

Full story of AMA on consumer advertising for prescription drugs at drugfree.org

Sales of E-Cigarettes on the Decline

November 23, 2015 Posted by

E-cigarette sales have been declining in recent months, after five years of rapid growth, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Among the reasons for the decline are customer dissatisfaction, backlogs of inventory, state laws and concerns over safety, the article notes.

The rate of e-cigarette growth is expected to be 57 percent in the next six months, down from its compound annual growth of 114 percent over the past five years, the research firm Euromonitor International predicts.

The sharpest decline in sales has been among large tobacco companies’ devices that resemble cigarettes. Sales of those devices decreased 21 percent during the 12-week period that ended October 31. In July, tobacco maker Reynolds American told investors it would miss its goal of making its Vuse e-cigarette brand profitable in the second half of 2015.

Full story of e-cigarette sales declining at drugfree.org

Plan to Prevent Marijuana Edible Overdoses, Colorado Experts Advise Other States

November 20, 2015 Posted by

Unintentional poisonings from marijuana edibles, particularly in children, are an unintended consequence of recreational marijuana legalization in Colorado, two experts say.

States considering legalizing recreational marijuana should carefully consider lessons learned in Colorado when making their own rules regarding edibles packaging and serving sizes, according to Tista Ghosh, MD, Deputy Chief Medical Officer of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

“In the past two years, we have seen an increase in poison control center calls and emergency department visits related to children under age 9 who consumed marijuana edibles,” Dr. Ghosh said. In November 2012, Colorado, along with Washington state, legalized the recreational use of marijuana for adults 21 and older.

Full story of marijuana edible overdose prevention at drugfree.org