Twenty Democratic senators are asking the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) to do more to combat the opioid epidemic, according to the Associated Press.
In a letter to ONDCP Acting Director Richard Baum, the senators urged the Trump Administration to implement recommendations made by former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy. The senators criticized an administration budget proposal that would cut almost $400 million from drug and mental health programs. They also voiced opposition to the Department of Justice’s increasing insistence on treating drug addiction as a criminal justice issue.
Full story of the Democratic party’s fight on the opioid crisis at drugfree.org
In a recent study, combining moderate alcohol consumption (within legal limits for driving) and moderate sleep restriction led to greater drowsiness and increased deficits in attention, compared with either sleep restriction or alcohol intake alone.
The synergistic effects lasted between 2 and 3 hours. Also, peak impairment occurred not at peak alcohol levels but 30 to 60 minutes after, despite receiving rest intervals in between testing.
Full story of alcohol intake and sleep at Science Daily
Human Trafficking Prevention
The global anti-trafficking movement is now well into its second decade. This CEU course focuses on the positive developments and continued challenges of preventing trafficking, and it considers how governments and the broader anti-trafficking community can effectively ensure that those who are vulnerable to human trafficking have the tools and opportunities to avert the risks of exploitation.
Although breastfeeding is a natural process, many moms need help. This CEU course covers the importance of breastfeeding, along with learning how and common challenges of breastfeeding.
Antimicrobial Guidelines for Prison Populations
Antimicrobial resistance is a growing problem in the healthcare and community setting – leading to increased morbidity, mortality, and healthcare costs. This CEU course provides guidance on the appropriate use of antimicrobials, provides recommendations and standards for the medical management of inmates receiving antimicrobial therapy, and outlines the Federal Bureau of Prisons Antimicrobial Stewardship Program.
Suicide Prevention Protocols for Juvenile Justice Youth
Youth who come into contact with the juvenile justice system, especially those in residential facilities, have higher rates of suicide than their non-system-involved peers. This short CEU course provides guidance on developing and implementing comprehensive suicide prevention policies within juvenile correction facilities.
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A study looking at the cumulative effects of depression in youth, found that young people with chronic or severe forms of depression were at elevated risk for developing a problem with cannabis in later adolescence.
The study led by UW Medicine researchers interviewed 521 students recruited from four Seattle public middle schools. Researchers used data from annual assessments when students were ages 12-15 and then again when they were 18. The results were published in the journal Addiction.
“The findings suggest that if we can prevent or reduce chronic depression during early adolescence, we may reduce the prevalence of cannabis use disorder,” said lead author Isaac Rhew, research assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the University of Washington School of Medicine.
Full story of depression among young teens related to cannabis at Science Daily
Years of sustained and coordinated efforts will be required to contain and reverse the harmful societal effects of the prescription and illicit opioid epidemics, which are intertwined and getting worse, says a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The report, requested by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), says it is possible to stem the still-escalating prevalence of opioid use disorder and other opioid-related harms without foreclosing access to opioids for patients suffering from pain whose providers have prescribed these drugs responsibly. The committee that conducted the study and wrote the report recommended actions the FDA, other federal agencies, state and local governments, and health-related organizations should take — which include promoting more judicious prescribing of opioids, expanding access to treatment for opioid use disorder, preventing more overdose deaths, weighing societal impacts in opioid-related regulatory decisions, and investing in research to better understand the nature of pain and develop non-addictive alternatives.
“The broad reach of the epidemic has blurred the formerly distinct social boundary between prescribed opioids and illegally manufactured ones, such as heroin,” said committee chair Richard J. Bonnie, Harrison Foundation Professor of Medicine and Law and director of the Institute of Law, Psychiatry, and Public Policy at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. “This report provides an action plan directed particularly at the health professions and government agencies responsible for regulating them. This plan aims to help the millions of people who suffer from chronic pain while reducing unnecessary opioid prescribing. We also wanted to convey a clear message about the magnitude of the challenge. This epidemic took nearly two decades to develop, and it will take years to unravel.”
Full story of national strategy to reduce the opioid epidemic at Science Daily