Federal Grants ‘A Lifesaver’ In Opioid Fight, But States Still Struggle To Curb Meth

In his 40 years of working with people struggling with addiction, David Crowe has seen various drugs fade in and out of popularity in Pennsylvania’s Crawford County.

Methamphetamine use and distribution is a major challenge for the rural area, said Crowe, the executive director of Crawford County Drug and Alcohol Executive Commission. But opioid-related overdoses have killed at least 83 people in the county since 2015, he said.

Crowe said his organization has received just over $327,300 from key federal grants designed to curb the opioid epidemic. While the money was a godsend for the county — south of Lake Erie on the Ohio state line — he said, methamphetamine is still a major problem.

Full story at Kaiser Health News

AI can predict psychosis risk in everyday language

People’s language could reveal clues about their future risk of developing psychosis. Scientists concluded this after studying the subtle features of people’s everyday speech.

Researchers at Emory University in Atlanta, GA, and Harvard University in Boston, MA, used a machine-learning technique to analyze language in a group of at-risk young people.

They found that they could predict which individuals would go on to develop psychosis with an accuracy of 93%.

Full story at Medical News Today

Epilepsy drugs linked to increased risk of suicidal behavior, particularly in young people

Treatment with gabapentinoids — a group of drugs used for epilepsy, nerve pain and anxiety disorders — is associated with an increased risk of suicidal behaviour, unintentional overdose, injuries, and road traffic incidents, finds a study from Sweden published by The BMJ today.

Prescriptions have risen steeply in recent years, and gabapentinoids are among the top 15 drugs globally in terms of revenue.

The risks are strongest among 15 to 24 year-olds, prompting the researchers to suggest that treatment guidelines for young people should be reviewed.

Previous studies have linked gabapentinoids to suicidal behaviour and overdose related deaths, but findings have been inconsistent and data on longer term harms are lacking.

Full story at Science Daily

Indoor tanning may be an addiction abetted by both genetic and psychiatric factors

A combination of elevated symptoms of depression along with modifications in a gene responsible for dopamine activity, important to the brain’s pleasure and reward system, appear to influence an addiction to indoor tanning in young, white non-Hispanic women.

That finding comes from a new study, reported by researchers at Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center and published online June 11 in Annals of Behavioral Medicine. Excess exposure to ultraviolet radiation can lead to melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer. Most UV exposure is from the sun, but exposure from indoor tanning is common in certain people and accounts for 10 percent of skin cancer cases in the U.S. There will be an estimated 96,480 new cases of melanoma in the United States and 7,230 deaths from the disease in 2019.

This study compiled survey responses from 292 non-Hispanic white women in the Washington, D.C. area, 18 to 30 years of age, who used indoor tanning beds, sunlamps, or sun booths. The survey asked questions about values and behaviors that might predispose a person to a tanning addiction, as well as a series of questions to determine if they had symptoms of depression.

Full story at Science Daily

How long is acid detectable in the body?

Acid is a hallucinogenic drug. Albert Hoffman, a chemist in Switzerland, first developed it in 1938.

Another name for acid is lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD). In the 1950s, doctors used it in psychotherapy and to enhance the effects of antipsychotics. In the late 1960s, people started to use LSD as a recreational drug.

People also refer to LSD by its street names: blotter, dots, and yellow sunshine. It is an illegal drug of abuse and one of the most powerful mood-changing substances.

In this article, we describe how long LSD stays in the body and how long tests can detect it after a person takes a dose. We also discuss the effects and risks.

Full story at Medical News Today