Alternative to ‘revolving door’ of opioid detox and relapse

In a first-ever randomized trial, patients at a short-term inpatient program began long-term outpatient treatment with buprenorphine before discharge, with better outcomes than detox patients.

Three out of four people who complete an inpatient opioid withdrawal management program — commonly known as “detox” — relapse within a month, leading to a “revolving door” effect. Few successfully transition from the inpatient setting to long-term treatment with proven medications such as buprenorphine, methadone, or naltrexone to prevent overdose.

But patients who start long-term buprenorphine treatment at a detox program, instead of going through detox and getting a referral for such treatment at discharge, are less likely to use opioids illicitly over the following six months, and more likely to keep up treatment, according to a first-of-its-kind study led by a Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) researcher and published in the journal Addiction.

Full story at Science Daily

Sales Soar for Fruity and Candy-Flavored Pods Made by Juul Competitors

Companies that make fruity and candy-flavored pods compatible with Juul devices are seeing big increases in sales, after Juul Labs stopped selling most of its flavored nicotine pods under pressure from the Food and Drug Administration, The New York Times reports.

These so-called “Juul-alikes” include pods made by Eonsmoke, which are cheaper than Juul’s products, and available in more flavors. Some of the company’s pods contain levels of nicotine higher than any Juul sells, the article notes.

Another competitor, Ziip, sells dozens of flavors compatible with Juul, including Froopy, Iced Pina Colada, Cinnamon Roll and Strawberry Lemonade.

Full story at Partnership for Drug Free Kids

Adults who mix cannabis with opioids for pain report higher anxiety, depression

A researcher from the University of Houston has found that adults who take prescription opioids for severe pain are more likely to have increased anxiety, depression and substance abuse issues if they also use marijuana.

“Given the fact that cannabis potentially has analgesic properties, some people are turning to it to potentially manage their pain,” Andrew Rogers, said in describing the work published in the Journal of Addiction Medicine. Rogers focuses on the intersection of chronic pain and opioid use, and identifying the underlying psychological mechanisms, such as anxiety sensitivity, emotion regulation, pain-related anxiety, of these relationships. Rogers is a doctoral student in clinical psychology who works in the UH Anxiety and Health Research Laboratory and its Substance Use Treatment Clinic.

Under the guidance of advisor Michael Zvolensky, Hugh Roy and Lillie Cranz Cullen Distinguished University Professor of psychology and director of the lab and clinic, Rogers surveyed 450 adults throughout the United States who had experienced moderate to severe pain for more than three months. The study revealed not only elevated anxiety and depression symptoms, but also tobacco, alcohol, cocaine and sedative use among those who added the cannabis, compared with those who used opioids alone. No increased pain reduction was reported.

Full story at Science Daily

Binge drinking affects 1 in 10 older adults in the US

Binge drinking affects more than one-tenth of older adults in the United States, according to new research.

Binge drinking can be harmful for older people because it increases the risk of injuries and falls and the chances of developing chronic health problems.

The new Journal of the American Geriatrics Society study analyzed recent national survey data on alcohol use.

The analysis estimates that 10.6% of adults in the U.S. who are 65 years of age and older are “current binge drinkers.”

Full story at Medical News Today

People are more likely to try drugs for the first time during the summer

American teenagers and adults are more likely to try illegal or recreational drugs for the first time in the summer, a new study shows.

Led by researchers at NYU School of Medicine, the study found that over a third (34 percent) of recent LSD initiates first used the drug in the summer. In addition, 30 percent of marijuana, 30 percent of ecstasy (also known as MDMA or Molly), and 28 percent of cocaine use was found to begin in summer months.

“First-time users may be unfamiliar with the effects of various drugs, so it is important to first understand when people are most likely to start these behaviors,” says study senior investigator Joseph J. Palamar, MPH, PhD, an associate professor in the Department of Population Health at NYU School of Medicine.

In 2017, according to the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, more than 3 million people in the United States tried LSD, marijuana, cocaine, or ecstasy for the first time.

Full story at Science Daily