Affordable Care Act to Provide Substance Abuse Treatment to Millions of New Patients

Affordable Substance Abuse TreatmentThe Affordable Care Act (ACA) will revolutionize the field of substance abuse treatment, according to A. Thomas McLellan, PhD, CEO and co-founder of the Treatment Research Institute.

“It will have more far-reaching positive consequences for substance abuse treatment than anything in my lifetime, including the discovery of methadone,” he said at the recent annual meeting of the New York Society of Addiction Medicine. “It will integrate substance abuse treatment into the rest of health care.”

Currently, just 2.3 million Americans receive any type of substance abuse treatment, which is less than one percent of the total population of people who are affected by the most serious of the substance use disorders—addiction, said Dr. McLellan, who is a former Deputy Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. Most who receive treatment are severely affected, he said.

“If diabetes were treated like substance abuse, only people in the most advanced stages of illness would be covered, such as those who had already lost their vision or had severe kidney damage,” he said.

Full story of substance abuse treatment at DrugFree.org

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Beedie Savage – President of Quantum Units Education

Commentary: Why the Term “Enabling” Does More Harm Than Good

Term Enabling in Support Addiction GroupsThe term “enabling” is commonplace in the field of addiction. It is used within support group settings, in treatment programs and throughout the professional literature about addiction and the family. I consider it one of the most frequently misunderstood terms in our field. In fact, as my research about family caregivers of people with substance use disorders has evolved, I have come to loathe the term “enabling.” Here is why.

There is a great deal of misinterpretation about what qualifies as behavior that is “enabling.”

Webster’s  definition of the term includes: “a) to provide with the means or opportunity; and b) to make possible, practical or easy.” Wikipedia notes that enabling also is used “to signify dysfunctional approaches that are intended to help but in fact may perpetuate a problem….” Examples include taking responsibility, blaming others or making accommodations for a person’s harmful conduct, so that the person is shielded from the harm it may do and the pressure to change.

Full story of enabling at DrugFree.org

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Beedie Savage – President of Quantum Units Education

Researchers Develop Patch to Deliver Psychoactive Ingredient of Marijuana

Psychoactive Ingrediant of Marijuana PatchResearchers at the University of Mississippi have developed a patch to deliver THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. They say it could be used to treat pain, glaucoma, and the nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy, Mississippi News Now reports. The patch is designed to be used in the mouth, above the gum line.

The patch has been tested in rabbits and pigs, the article notes. “I’m expecting even better results in humans,” researcher Michael A. Repka said in a news release.

The researchers said the patch may be more effective than THC pills. “The main issue with oral THC delivery is that the drug gets metabolized before it reaches the bloodstream, resulting in a lot of variability in the dosage patients receive,” Repka said. “That has been a longtime problem. Delivering through the oral mucosa gives better absorption with minimal variability. When it goes into the mucosa, it bypasses liver metabolism, allowing for a lower dosage of the drug than when delivered orally.”

Full story of psychoactive in marijuana at DrugFree.org

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Beedie Savage – President of Quantum Units Education

Energy Drinks and Alcohol: A Dangerous Mix for Teens

Energy Drinks and Alcohol a Dangerous MixEnergy drinks can be dangerous for teenagers, according to a new report published in a pediatrics journal. The drinks are particularly dangerous when they are combined with alcohol, CBS News reports. The drinks can cause rapid heartbeat, insomnia, high blood pressure, anxiety and obesity, researchers write in Pediatrics in Review.

“They contain too much caffeine and other additives that we don’t know enough about. Healthy eating, exercise and adequate sleep are better ways to get energy,” said lead author Dr. Kwabena Blankson, a U.S. Air Force major and an adolescent medicine specialist at the Naval Medical Center in Portsmouth, Virginia.

Many teens are not aware that mixing alcohol and energy drinks can make them feel less drunk than they actually are, the researchers noted. They wrote that drinking just one caffeinated beverage mixed with alcohol can be equivalent to drinking a bottle of wine and several cups of coffee. A 16-ounce energy drink has about 160 milligrams of caffeine, compared with 100 milligrams for an average cup of coffee.

Full story of energy drinks and alcohol at DrugFree.org

Photos courtesy of and copyright PhotoPin, http://photopin.com/

Beedie Savage – President of Quantum Units Education

California Court to Decide if Local Governments Can Ban Marijuana Dispensaries

California Deciding To Ban DispensariesThe California Supreme Court will soon decide whether local governments can ban marijuana dispensaries, according to the Los Angeles Times. The court will hear arguments on February 5, following years of contradictory decisions by lower courts.

Medical marijuana was approved by California voters 16 years ago, the article notes. Since then, more than 200 local governments have banned the dispensaries. Some legal analysts told the newspaper they expect the court to uphold the bans.

“This is a subject matter that requires detailed regulations, and the California Legislature hasn’t done the job,” Alex Kreit, a law professor who has advised San Diego on medical marijuana law, told the newspaper. Kreit said California legislators have not adopted requirements for state licensing and labeling of marijuana. In contrast, Colorado implemented its medical marijuana law with hundreds of regulations, he said.

Full story of banning marijuana dispensaries at DrugFree.org