New opioid treatment resources for emergency department clinicians

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) today announced the availability of informational resources for clinicians interested in initiating buprenorphine treatment in emergency department settings. Buprenorphine is one of several medicines available for use in many emergency departments to treat opioid use disorders (OUD). The materials were developed by emergency department specialists at Yale University with grant support from NIDA, and contract support from NIDA’s Clinical Trials Network. NIDA is part of the National Institutes of Health.

Emergency department clinicians face unique challenges when faced with patients suffering from opioid overdoses or other effects of OUD. They can often reverse overdoses using the medication naloxone, however, that medication alone does not constitute treatment for the addiction itself. This makes the emergency setting an ideal place for clinicians to begin treatment conversations with patients, however, there have been few tools available to guide them. Since 2002, emergency clinicians have been able to administer buprenorphine to help patients manage opioid withdrawal symptoms, but the practice is still new in many emergency department settings.

Full story at drugabuse.org

Daily use of marijuana among non-college young adults at all time high

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) announced that the latest Monitoring the Future (MTF) survey results on substance use trends as teens transition to adulthood are now available online, comparing substance use patterns of full-time college students to their non-college peers. Most notably, more than 13 percent of young adults not in college report daily, or near daily, marijuana use; alcohol use is more common among college students; some opioid use is declining in both groups, and the most sizeable difference is the higher rate of cigarette smoking in the non-college group.

Below are the highlights from the 2017 MTF survey results on drug use among college students compared to their peers not attending college (ages 19-22).

  • Daily, or near daily,marijuana use among non-college young adults has continued to rise, reaching its highest level (13.2 percent).  As a result, daily, or near daily, marijuana use is now nearly three times as high among non-college young adults as among college students.

Full story at drugabuse.org

New clinician screening tool available for substance use

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Clinical Trials Network has unveiled a new scientifically validated, online screening tool designed to assess a patient’s risk for substance misuse and substance use disorder, and assist the health care provider with prevention and treatment strategies. The Tobacco, Alcohol, Prescription medication, and other Substance use (TAPS) Tool is available on the NIDAMED Web Portal and consists of a comprehensive screening component followed by a brief assessment for those who screen positive. NIDAMED disseminates science-based resources to health professionals on the causes and consequences of drug use and addiction, and advances in pain management. NIDA is part of the National Institutes of Health.

Full story at drugabuse.org

Method to identify undetected drug suicides wins top NIDA Addiction Science Award

A project that identified and tested a bioinformatics program that can help identify underreported suicides linked to drug overdoses was awarded the first-place distinction at the 2018 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF)—the world’s largest science competition for high school students. The awards are coordinated by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health, and Friends of NIDA, a coalition that supports NIDA’s mission. The Intel ISEF Addiction Science Awards were presented at a ceremony Thursday night at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh.

The first place award went to 17-year old Mia Yu and 14-year old Daphne Liu from West High School in Salt Lake City for their project “Undetected Suicide: Classification of Undetermined Drug-Related Deaths Using Machine Learning Techniques.” The two students compared three machine learning models to determine how well they could identify undetermined overdose deaths as actual suicides. Using existing machine platforms, they first plugged in overdose deaths already classified as either suicide or accidental. From there, they identified the most accurate computational model. They then used that model to measure the overdose deaths listed as undetermined. Using data from the state of Utah, the machine learning technique determined that drug-related suicide deaths were underreported by 34 percent.

Full story at drugabuse.org

Method to identify undetected drug suicides wins top NIDA Addiction Science Award

A project that identified and tested a bioinformatics program that can help identify underreported suicides linked to drug overdoses was awarded the first-place distinction at the 2018 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF)—the world’s largest science competition for high school students. The awards are coordinated by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health, and Friends of NIDA, a coalition that supports NIDA’s mission. The Intel ISEF Addiction Science Awards were presented at a ceremony Thursday night at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh.

The first place award went to 17-year old Mia Yu and 14-year old Daphne Liu from West High School in Salt Lake City for their project “Undetected Suicide: Classification of Undetermined Drug-Related Deaths Using Machine Learning Techniques.” The two students compared three machine learning models to determine how well they could identify undetermined overdose deaths as actual suicides. Using existing machine platforms, they first plugged in overdose deaths already classified as either suicide or accidental. From there, they identified the most accurate computational model. They then used that model to measure the overdose deaths listed as undetermined. Using data from the state of Utah, the machine learning technique determined that drug-related suicide deaths were underreported by 34 percent.

Full story at drugabuse.gov