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The RiverMend Health Website - 
RiverMend Health is a premier provider of evidence-based, scientifically driven addiction medicine delivering world-class treatment through our nationwide network of leading addiction recovery experts and treatment centers...

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The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
(SAMHSA) is the agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation. SAMHSA's mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America's communities.

 

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Conditional probabilities of substance use disorders and associated risk factors: Progression from first use to use disorder on alcohol, cannabis, stimulants, sedatives and opioids

Highlights

  • • Pre-existing mental disorders increases the risk of developing SUD.
  • • Prior SUD increases the risk of transitioning from use to use disorder.
  • • Highest rates of transition to SUD occurred among stimulant and opioid users.
  • • Mood and anxiety disorders increased the risk of transitioning to AUD and CUD.
  • • The rapidity of transition to SUD emphasizes the narrow opportunity to intervene.

Conclusion: The relative speed associated with the transition from use to SUD emphasizes the narrow window of time available to intervene, underscoring the urgency of early identification of mental health conditions and the timely provision of appropriate evidence-based interventions, which could potentially prevent the development of secondary SUDs.

 

For complete article 

 

Big Tobacco Wants to Get YOU Hooked on…The health risks of vaping

There’s a figure that is often quoted by vaping enthusiasts: e-cigarettes are 5 per cent as harmful as traditional combustible cigarettes. That figure comes from Public Health England.

But according to Dr Sarah White, director of Quit Victoria (part of the Cancer Council), this is a “spurious made up figure”. She says the constant quoting of Public Health England is disingenuous. Most scientific studies find the risks outweigh the benefits.

“I have a box full of the position statements and evidence reports that are anti-e-cigarettes. The pile of paper is about 20 centimetres high, and there’s another one that’s pro, and it’s about 4 centimetres high. And all the stuff from the pro camp is all England with one exception, which is Canada.”

Most reports conclude the chemicals in the vapour inhaled from e-cigarettes probably have negative health impacts. The long-term effects of these health impacts won’t be known for many years.

The other major risk is that it will lead non-smokers, especially young non-smokers, to take up vaping, and that this could be a gateway to traditional cigarette smoking.

Dr White is critical of the British government’s bullish approach, calling it a “massive natural experiment”.

“I think they came to it with a concept that was coming from the right place and was a really good idea, but instead of testing it they kind of threw themselves in. And I think they’ve actually got themselves into a position where there was a lot of criticism from around the world and they’re just digging in now.

“When you look at the data, the number of people making quit attempts in the UK is dropping. The number of people using gum, patches, lozenges, all those sorts of things, is dropping. The number of people accessing stop smoking services is dropping. And we know that the most common form of use for e-cigarettes is to continue to use them along with cigarettes.

“We know that there’s just no safe level of cigarette smoking. So if we have what’s called dual use, we know that there’s no health benefit there.”

She warned Australia against following suit, because as the market grows, its lobbying power also grows. That would make it difficult to reverse – as has been seen with governments’ decades-long effort to regulate the sale of tobacco.

“If you let the genie out of the bottle, it’s going to be nigh on impossible to put it back in,” Dr White says.

Most health bodies in Australia agree with Dr White that caution and more research are needed. That includes the Australian Medical Association, the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, the National Heart Foundation, and the government’s own health research body, the National Health and Medical Research Council.

Those who argue in favour tend to be tobacco companies, tobacco retailers, political libertarians, a handful of individual doctors – by far the most prominent being Sydney smoking cessation specialist Dr Colin Mendelsohn – and, of course, vapers like Margaretha and Adrian.

News Corp publications have also run many pro-vaping stories, most of which quote Dr Mendelsohn. News Corp denies this has anything to do with Rupert Murdoch once being on the board of Philip Morris, or the fact that his lead director, Peter L. Barnes, spent most of his career at Philip Morris. Read this 2014 piece by The New Daily’s Michael Pascoe to learn more about News Corp’s longstanding support of big tobacco.

So far the Australian government has listened to expert bodies rather than big tobacco, vapers, libertarians and News Corp.

In a statement to The New Daily, a spokesperson for Health Minister Greg Hunt said: “The overwhelming medical advice and evidence is that it [e-cigarette use] is likely to lead to the uptake of smoking and we cannot support that.

“This is the view of the Therapeutic Goods Administration, Australia’s chief medical officer, chief health officers from all Australian states and territories and the National Health and Medical Research Council.

“The Australian Medical Association and the Royal Australian College of GPs are also concerned and have presented clear evidence highlighting this.”

But this will not stop big tobacco – with the support of Liberal MPs like Tim Wilson, Eric Abetz and Trent Zimmerman – from lobbying energetically for a relaxation of the laws. Only last month, they appeared to gain a small victory, when Mr Hunt agreed to set up an independent inquiry into the health risks and benefits of e-cigarettes.

Regardless of whether or not e-cigarettes are a lifeline for smokers who can’t quit any other way, one thing is clear: big tobacco isn’t in it for the health benefits. It wants a piece of the action because it has sniffed a new opportunity to rake in billions off people’s addiction to nicotine. For that reason, most health experts agree that their nice-sounding words must be rigorously scrutinised.

In his submission to the parliamentary inquiry earlier this year, Renee Bittoun, a smoking cessation specialist at the University of Sydney, put it in no uncertain terms.

“It is naïve to believe that the tobacco industry, given its past history, will not endeavour to expand its market and sale of this highly addictive substance. In particular, the seductive and alluring marketing to gain an adolescent consumer who may become a life-long nicotine addict is reprehensible. No health worker should be complicit in this.”

Watch The News in 90 Seconds View Full Video

For complete story Big Tobacco Hopes to Get YOU HOOKED!

 

For more DATA on E-Cigarettes and Vaping

NIDA: E-Cigarettes

The National Institute on Drug Abuse provides this fact sheet about e-cigarettes, which includes their effects on teens, how teens are using them, the link between e-cigarette use and traditional cigarette use, and information about nicotine addiction.

Go to NIDA's website

CDC: Electronic Cigarettes

The Centers for Disease Control maintains a hub of information about e-cigarettes, how they affect youth, and resources for concerned advocates to use, including fact sheets and infographics.

 

View the Hub

 

Marijuana and Opioids - A Link We Can't Ignore

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Measuring Aerosol Particle Emissions from Cannabis Vaporization and Dabbing

SUMMARY 

Cannabis smoke contains many of the same carcinogens and chemicals found in tobacco smoke (Moir, Rickert et al. 2008, Wei, Alwis et al. 2016). Exposure to secondhand cannabis smoke can impair endothelial function, which increases the risk of cardiovascular disease (Wang, Derakhshandeh et al. 2016). However, US data show that the perceived health risks of marijuana use are, in fact, declining among adults (Compton, Han et al. 2016). We measured the concentrations of airborne fine particles (PM2.5) and cannabinoids at an indoor cannabis event where dabbing and vaporizing were the only cannabis emissions. We found average particle concentrations of 200-600 micrograms per m3 and peak concentrations over 1,600 micrograms per m3. Particle concentrations this high are seen in extreme air pollution events like wildfires (Landis, Edgerton et al. 2018, Li, Han et al. 2018) and severe industrial pollution (Nagar, Singh et al. 2017, Li, Han et al. 2018). Exposure at these concentrations can cause cardiovascular and respiratory disease (Zheng, Ding et al. 2015, Li, Fan et al. 2016). We show that dabbing and vaporizing cannabis can create levels of indoor air pollution that are hazardous to human health, in the absence of actual combustion. 

For complete article

 

The US Opioid Crisis is more than it appears!

The Institute for Behavior and Health is pleased to share with you an interview of IBH President Robert L. DuPont, MD featured in Opioid Watch of The Opioid Research Institute: 

The Opioid Crisis is Now About Synthetics and Polydrug Use.

 

Hepatitis C in Injection-Drug Users — A Hidden Danger of the Opioid Epidemic

Transmission of other bloodborne infections, particularly HIV and hepatitis B virus (HBV), is also increasing among injection-drug users, albeit at a slower rate. The opioid epidemic has also been linked to increasing rates of syphilis and other sexually transmitted infections, microbial endocarditis, and other infections associated with unsafe drug injection.3

The social and economic costs of the HCV epidemic could be staggering. Most injection-drug users who become infected with HCV do so as young adults. Such people are at risk for chronic hepatitis C and could face years of hefty health care expenses; left untreated, they may transmit HCV to others. The cost of caring for people with HCV places further strain on an already fragile health care system. Furthermore, because young adults are entering their most productive years, HCV will affect the economic productivity of the country for years to come. (DACA Comment – What is not included in this concerning report is that much of the increase in STI’s is not only due to the misuse of injecting equipment, but unsafe sexual activity engaged in whilst on the illicit drug, be it opioids or ATS. The ‘band aid’ of trying ‘manage’ the ‘disease’ of drug use with mechanisms that do not lead to exit from drug use, only add a further burden of disease and a comorbid condition, which is yet another epidemiological short coming of Harm Reduction ONLY ideologies and practices!) 

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Cocaine and Marijuana Use Among Young Adults Presenting With Myocardial Infarction

JACC: Journal of the American College of Cardiology - Key Summary

  • Patients aged ≤50 years presenting with their first myocardial infarction were retrospectively analyzed to evaluate the prevalence of cocaine and marijuana use and the impact on clinical outcomes. The prevalence of the use of cocaine and/or marijuana was 10.7%. Compared with patients without a history substance use, those using cocaine and/or marijuana had…a significantly higher rate of tobacco use. There was a significant association between the use of cocaine and/or marijuana and elevated cardiovascular and all-cause mortality risk.
  • Approximately 10% of patients presenting with myocardial infarction at age ≤50 years are cocaine and/or marijuana users, and this substance use is associated with an increased mortality risk. Young adults presenting with a first myocardial infarction should be screened for substance use to allow intervention in order to prevent future cardiac events

 

For more

 

Learn About E-Cigarettes!

PREVENTION ALLIANCE

Electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, were invented in 2003 by Chinese inventor and pharmacist Hon Lik. Although many companies and advocates continue to bill them as a safer, smokeless alternative to traditional cigarettes, a U.S. Surgeon General report alarmingly found that 16% of high school students regularly use e-cigarettes. What’s worse, many young people who begin using nicotine through e-cigarettes will start to use traditional cigarettes later, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Smokers need help to quit, and those who can’t quit deserve a safer alternative. However, there’s a growing body of research indicating that e-cigarettes do more harm than good, and the companies selling them shamelessly advertise these products to youth in order to attract lifelong, valuable customers in ways that tobacco companies are prohibited from doing:

We support the Food and Drug Administration’s crackdown on e-cigarettes because with millions of teens using e-cigarettes every year, this is the beginning of an epidemic of nicotine addiction, and we invite you to learn more about these new nicotine delivery systems from the resources below.

Know the Risks

Launched by the U.S. Surgeon General's office, Know the Risks: E-Cigarettes & Young People has quick and ready access to information about what e-cigarettes are, the trends in use, why they're bad for youth, and much more.

View the Campaign

NIDA: E-Cigarettes

The National Institute on Drug Abuse provides this fact sheet about e-cigarettes, which includes their effects on teens, how teens are using them, the link between e-cigarette use and traditional cigarette use, and information about nicotine addiction.

Go to NIDA's website

CDC: Electronic Cigarettes

The Centers for Disease Control maintains a hub of information about e-cigarettes, how they affect youth, and resources for concerned advocates to use, including fact sheets and infographics.

View the Hub

 

 

The Moral Hazard of Lifesaving Innovations: Naloxone Access, Opioid Abuse, and Crime

March 6, 2018 - Abstract

Naloxone access may unintentionally increase opioid abuse through two channels: (1) saving the lives of active drug users, who survive to continue abusing opioids, and (2) reducing the risk of death per use, thereby making riskier opioid use more appealing. By increasing the number of opioid abusers who need to fund their drug purchases, Naloxone access laws may also increase theft. We exploit the staggered timing of Naloxone access laws to estimate the total effects of these laws. We find that broadening Naloxone access led to more opioid-related emergency room visits and more opioid-related theft, with no reduction in opioid-related mortality.

For more

 

Chem-sex Issues: Illicit drug use among New Zealand gay and bisexual men: Prevalence and association with sexual health behaviours

Abstract

INTRODUCTION AND AIMS:

Data are lacking on drug use among gay and bisexual men (GBM) in New Zealand. We establish a baseline estimate of drug use and investigate associations with sexual health and HIV risk.

DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS:

Drug use was common in this sample of GBM. Polydrug and methamphetamine users had especially high sexual health needs, but risks remained elevated among GBM consuming other drugs. Drug harm reduction programs and HIV prevention should target GBM with problematic drug use. Limitations include an inability to attribute causation. [Saxton P, Newcombe D, Ahmed A, Dickson N, Hughes A. Illicit drug use among New Zealand gay and bisexual men: Prevalence and association with sexual health behaviours. Drug Alcohol Rev 2017;00:000-000].

 

For complete article

 

The Key Role of Prevention In Addressing the Current Landscape of Substance Abuse in America: A Perspective 

Presented 2018 Annual PREVENTION DAY February 2018

Elinore F. McCance-Katz, MD, PhD – Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services)

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Reducing Addiction Must Begin with Youth Prevention

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