Addiction Experts Object to Price’s Remarks on Medication-Assisted Treatment

Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price’s description of medication-assisted treatment for addiction as “substituting one opioid for another” is inaccurate, according to addiction experts who have asked Price to “set the record straight.”

A letter to Price signed by almost 700 researchers and practitioners notes there is a substantial body of research showing that methadone and buprenorphine, also known as medication-assisted treatment, are effective in treating opioid addiction. These medications, which are opioids, have been the standard of care for addiction treatment for years, they wrote.

Full story of Tom Price’s description of medication-assisted treatment at drugfree.org

Moderate drinking may not ward off heart disease

Many people believe that having a glass of wine with dinner — or moderately drinking any kind of alcohol — will protect them from heart disease. But a hard look at the evidence finds little support for that.

That’s the conclusion of a new research review in the May 2017 issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.

Over the years, studies have found that adults who drink moderately have lower heart disease rates than non-drinkers. That has spurred the widespread belief that alcohol, in moderation, does a heart good.

But the new analysis, of 45 previous cohort studies, reveals the flaws in that assumption: A central issue is that “non-drinkers” may, in fact, be former drinkers who quit or cut down for health reasons.

Full story of drinking warding off heart disease at Science Daily

Jeff Sessions Directs Federal Prosecutors to Pursue Tougher Penalties for Drug Crimes

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has announced he is directing federal prosecutors to pursue the most severe penalties possible for drug crimes.

Civil rights groups and Republican legislators oppose the sentencing changes, The Washington Post reports.

Sessions sent a memo to prosecutors that overturned former Attorney General Eric Holder’s instructions to avoid charging certain defendants with the most serious crimes that carried the longest sentences.

Full story of Jeff Sessions on penalties for drug crimes at drugfree.org

Family Can Play Lifesaving Role in Overdoses by Using Naloxone: Study

Family members can be active participants in responding to the overdose epidemic by rescuing loved ones with the opioid overdose antidote naloxone, a new study finds.

Boston University researchers studied almost 41,000 people who underwent naloxone training, and found family members used the antidote in about 20 percent of 4,373 rescue attempts. Almost all the attempts were successful, HealthDay reports.

Full story of families lifesaving role in overdoses at drugfree.org

Pain linked to non-medical prescription opioid use in young adults

Physical pain — often “self-medicated” without help from healthcare professionals — is an important contributor to non-medical prescription opioid (NMPO) use by young adults, suggests a study in the Journal of Addiction Medicine, the official journal of the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM).

Young men with severe untreated pain are at especially high risk of frequent NMPO use, according to the new research, led by Brandon D.L. Marshall, PhD, of Brown University School of Public Health. Dr. Marshall comments, “Sex-specific patterns of pain and experiences interacting with health professionals could conceivably impact the way men and women report pain to health care providers, and thus the way young adults with severe physical pain are treated.”

Full story of non-medical opioid use in young adults at Science Daily