Those in Recovery Should Speak Out, Give Hope to Others: Drug Policy Official

People in recovery from substance abuse should speak out and give hope to others in similar situations, according to the Acting Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy.

Michael Botticelli, speaking at a forum in New Haven, noted 23 million Americans are recovery. Only about one in nine people with a substance use disorder receive treatment, he said. Botticelli said stigma and denial about substance abuse are obstacles to treatment, the Associated Press reports.

Full story of people in recovery speaking out at drugfree.org

Substance Abuse Treatment Much More Likely for Men: Report

A new government report finds twice as many adult men as women entered substance abuse treatment facilities in 2011. The report found 1.2 million men, and 609,000 females, entered such facilities that year.

Among teens 12 to 17, the rate of substance dependence for both males and females was about 7 percent, UPI reports. The findings come from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Teenage boys were more likely to abuse marijuana, while teenage girls were more likely to abuse alcohol.

Full story of substance abuse treatment for men at drugfree.org

Medicaid Law That Limits Available Beds Impedes Addiction Treatment

Major obstacles remain to expanded treatment for addiction through the Medicaid program, according to USA Today. Although the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires treatment be offered to people who are newly insured through insurance exchanges or Medicaid, experts say a federal law is limiting available beds nationwide.

A federal restriction does not allow drug treatment centers with more than 16 beds to bill Medicaid for residential services provided to low-income adults. The law was meant to prevent Medicaid dollars from funding private mental institutions that warehoused patients, according to the article. The result is that addiction treatment centers are turning away new Medicaid patients who are entitled to treatment under the ACA.

Full story of medicaid and addiction treatment at drugfree.org

Study Finds Increase in Number of Headache Patients Given Narcotics in the ER

Contrary to the advice of many medical groups, more emergency departments are giving headache patients prescriptions for powerful narcotic painkillers, according to a new study. Between 2001 and 2010, there was a 65 percent increase in emergency department use of narcotic prescriptions for headaches. Hydromorphone and oxycodone were two of the most frequently prescribed narcotics.

A number of groups, including the American College of Emergency Physicians and the American Academy of Neurology, say narcotics should not be used as a first-line treatment for headaches, HealthDay reports.

Full story of headaches in the ER at drugfree.org

Frequent Involvement in Spiritual Activities Helps Drug and Alcohol Treatment: Study

Frequent involvement in spiritual activities appears to help in the treatment of drug and alcohol abuse in young people, a new study suggests.

Previous studies have found young people who regularly attend religious services and consider themselves religious are less likely to try drugs and alcohol, according to The Wall Street Journal. The reasons could include support from congregations, religious instruction or the belief that using drugs and alcohol violates a person’s religious beliefs, the article notes.

Full story of spiritual activities for drug and alcohol treatment at  drugfree.org