Bill Would Create Tough New Penalties for People Caught With Synthetic Opioids

Two senators on the Judiciary Committee are preparing a bill that would create tough new penalties for people caught with synthetic opioids, NPR reports.

Republican Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, who have supported reducing some drug sentences, are preparing the new bill. Grassley is the Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Feinstein is the committee’s ranking member.

Full story of new penalties for synthetic opioids at drugfree.org

New consensus document for appropriate use of drug testing in clinical addiction medicine

A new Consensus Document from the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) provides practical, evidence-based recommendations on the use of drug testing for identification, diagnosis, treatment, and monitoring of patients with or at risk for substance use disorders (SUDs). The document appears in the May/June issue of the Journal of Addiction Medicine, the official journal of ASAM. The journal is published by Wolters Kluwer.

“Drug testing is a valuable tool for supporting patients in addiction treatment, and this comprehensive set of recommendations should prove useful to providers in a variety of addiction treatment settings,” comments Margaret Jarvis, MD, DFASAM, Chair of ASAM’s Quality Improvement Council. The Consensus Document and supplemental digital content are available on Journal of Addiction Medicine and ASAM websites.

Full story of new drug testing for SUDs at Science Daily

Why pot-smoking declines, but doesn’t end, with parenthood

Adults who smoke marijuana often cut back after becoming parents — but they don’t necessarily quit.

The influence of a significant other and positive attitudes toward the drug overall, in addition to the onset of parenthood, also are factors in whether someone uses marijuana.

It’s a changing landscape for marijuana use, as laws ease and cultural acceptance grows — in Washington state and elsewhere around the country. Against that backdrop, the study by the University of Washington’s Social Development Research Group (SDRG) aims to present information about marijuana use among parents and nonparents alike.

Full story of parenting and marijuana at Science Daily

Families Say Trump’s Budget Cuts Run Counter to His Promises to Battle Addiction

Family members of young people who have struggled with or died from opioid addiction say President Trump’s budget proposal, which would reduce funding for addiction treatment, runs counter to his promises to help solve the problem, the Associated Press reports.

The proposed budget would shrink spending for Medicaid, which covers an estimated three in 10 adults with opioid addiction. The budget is unlikely to be approved as written, the article notes.

Full story of Trump’s budget cuts and addiction promises at drugfree.org

Strokes may cause increased preference for alcohol, research suggests

Brain changes after stroke may lead to increase in alcohol-seeking behavior, at least in animal models, according to research published in the journal Scientific Reports.

Although it is known that excessive alcohol intake (more than two drinks per day) is a risk factor for stroke, there hasn’t been much scientific study about how alcohol-related behavior might change after a stroke has occurred. When researchers at the Texas A&M College of Medicine looked into the issue, they found that strokes in a certain part of the brain increase alcohol-seeking behavior and preference for alcohol.

“It’s important because although stroke is a severe disease, more and more people are surviving and recovering after their first stroke,” said Jun Wang, MD, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Neuroscience and Experimental Therapeutics at the College of Medicine and co-principal investigator of this project. “Therefore, it is important to study behavior change after stroke, and how that behavior can affect the chances of having another one, which is often fatal.”

Full story of preferences in alcohol and strokes at Science Daily