Drug Companies Race to Find Painkillers That Don’t Make People High

March 27, 2015 Posted by

A number of drug companies are trying to develop strong painkillers that don’t make people high, according to The Wall Street Journal. Such drugs would be less likely to be abused.

Companies seeking new painkillers include biotech startups, as well as large drug manufacturers such as Pfizer and Biogen. Experts say a safer painkiller could achieve annual sales in the billions of dollars.

Some companies are testing drugs that trigger different opioid receptors in the brain than the ones triggered by traditional opioids, which can cause euphoric effects. The companies hope these different receptors will have similar painkilling properties, without triggering euphoria.

Full story of painkiller research at drugfree.org

Five States May Consider Marijuana Legalization Next Year

March 26, 2015 Posted by

A marijuana legalization measure will be on the ballot in Nevada in 2016, Time reports. California, Massachusetts, Maine and Arizona are the states most likely to join Nevada in putting legalization measures before voters next year, advocates say.

Lawmakers in Nevada adjourned on Friday without voting on a petition to legalize marijuana and regulate it like alcohol, the article notes. This move ensures the measure will be on the ballot in 2016. Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Alaska have already legalized marijuana.

In California, legalization advocates are drafting a ballot initiative. “California was the first state to adopt a medical marijuana law and it inspired states around the country to adopt similar laws,” said Mason Tvert, spokesman for the Marijuana Policy Project.

Full story of five states for marijuana legalization at drugfree.org

Income Level May Influence a Person’s Drinking Habits: Study

March 25, 2015 Posted by

A person’s income level may influence how much they drink, a new study suggests. The study found people with lower incomes had more variation in how much they drank, compared with people with higher incomes.

It appears that the low-income group includes more light drinkers and non-drinkers, as well as more heavy drinkers, than the high-income group. People with higher incomes, in contrast, are more likely to drink overall, but they are also more likely to moderate how much alcohol they consume, according to NPR.

Full story of income level and drinking association at drugfree.org

Nevada Measure Would Allow Medical Marijuana Use for Pets

March 24, 2015 Posted by

Medical marijuana would be permitted for pets under a measure introduced this week in the Nevada legislature. A veterinarian would have to certify that the animal has an illness that might be alleviated by marijuana, the Associated Press reports.

The bill’s sponsor, Senator Tick Segerblom, acknowledged some animals might have adverse reactions to medical marijuana, but added, “you don’t know until you try.” The measure is part of a larger bill that would overhaul Nevada’s medical marijuana law.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, medications do not necessarily work the same in animals as they do people. The association does not have an official position on medical marijuana for pets. “There are possibilities of adverse reactions, including toxicities and failure to treat the clinical condition at hand,” the group says on its website. The group adds, “Veterinarians making treatment decisions must use sound clinical judgment and current medical information, and must be in compliance with federal, state and local laws and regulations.”

Full story of medical marijuana for pets at drugfree.org

Quantum Units Education: New CEU Courses Announced

March 23, 2015 Posted by

New! Antibiotic Resistance Threats

CEU Course Description

This CE course covers bacteria causing severe human infections and the antibiotics used to treat those infections.  Information on current CDC initiatives and what can be done to combat this growing threat are discussed.  Summaries of each of the bacteria are provided in this course, as well as how to manage infections and implications for public health.  Details about what groups such as states, communities, doctors, nurses, patients, and CDC can do to combat antibiotic resistance is also examined.

New! Cultural Strategies to Enhance Participation of Hispanics in Family Strengthening Programs

CEU Course Description

This CE course describes the adaptations and refinements undertaken by grantees to make their services more culturally responsive.  The adaptations include addressing issues of language, diversity, racism, and immigration, and incorporating cultural constructs like familismo, confianza, personalismo, and respeto.  Improvements to recruitment, retention, overall participation, and effectiveness of important interventions comes from making appropriate program adaptations by addressing backgrounds and life circumstances of people of different cultural, racial, ethnic, or socio-economic backgrounds as addressed throughout this course.

New! Family Reunification – What the Evidence Shows

CEU Course Description

This CE course examines family reunification by reviewing the following strategies: family reunification in different States as determined by the Child and Family Services; family reunification as discussed in other literature sources; and examples of successes from the field.

New! Behavioral Health Issues Among Afghanistan and Iraq U.S. War Veterans

CEU Course Description

This CE course introduces some of the problems facing Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom veterans and can help healthcare and social service professionals understand these veterans’ needs.  Topics relating to returning OEF and OIF veterans will look at: behavioral health issues; substance abuse; mental disorders; and the roles of primary care, behavioral health, and social service providers.

New! Borderline Personality Disorder and Substance Use Disorders

CEU Course Description

This CE course presents the signs and symptoms of borderline personality disorder, with or without a co-occurring substance use disorder, alerts professionals to the importance of monitoring clients with borderline personality disorder for self-harm and suicidal behavior, and encourages professionals to refer such clients for appropriate treatment.

New! Opioid Safety Guidelines

CEU Course Description

This CE course discusses the safety guidelines for chronic opioid therapy (COT) for patients with chronic non-cancer pain by examining: prescribing; management of patients with COT; tapering and discontinuation; treatment of withdrawal symptoms; and referral criteria.

For more on these new CEU courses and many more, visit Quantum Units Education