Addiction Medicine

Four Traits in Adolescents May Predict Future Substance Abuse

  • The Preventure program has been shown to reduce substance abuse among adolescents.
  • Identification of 4 personality traits along with intervention related to those traits reduces rates of substance abuse.
  • Program has been studied in randomized controlled trials in schools in the U.K.

Data from Two Studies Show Routing Pill Mills in Florida Saved Lives

  • State crackdown on high prescribers is associated with more than 1000 fewer deaths.
  • CDC reports that prescription drug-related deaths have continued to rise.
  • Johns Hopkins researchers find the Florida program to be effective.
  • Physicians are being urged to prescribe opioids in fewer cases, to fewer patients, in lower dosages.
  • The epidemic of prescription and non-prescription opioid deaths makes clear the need for drug treatment programs and for the widespread use of naloxone kits.

New Study Links Alcohol Consumption to Seven Types of Cancer

  • There is increasing evidence linking alcohol consumption to cancer.
  • Mechanisms by which drinking alcohol increase the risk of cancer are not yet understood.
  • New meta-analysis concludes that alcohol causes cancer of the oropharynx, larynx, esophagus, liver, colon, rectum, and breast.
  • “Current estimates suggest that alcohol-attributable cancers at these sites make up 5.8% of all cancer deaths world-wide,” the authors note.

New Study Links Alcohol Consumption to Seven Types of Cancer

  • There is increasing evidence linking alcohol consumption to cancer.
  • Mechanisms by which drinking alcohol increase the risk of cancer are not yet understood.
  • New meta-analysis concludes that alcohol causes cancer of the oropharynx, larynx, esophagus, liver, colon, rectum, and breast.
  • “Current estimates suggest that alcohol-attributable cancers at these sites make up 5.8% of all cancer deaths world-wide,” the authors note.

Traffic Deaths Reach 50-Year High: Opioids and Cannabis Are Adding to the Risk

  • Deaths due to traffic collisions rose in 2015 by 7.7%—the largest increase in 1966.
  • Opioid-related overdose deaths are at epidemic levels.
  • Cannabis use is legal in 25 states.
  • The cost of these collisions and deaths is estimated at nearly $38 billion.
  • Are these phenomena related?

Overweight in Children Linked to Later Substance Abuse

  • Weight status at ages 7 and 8 years was predictive of age of first substance use episode.
  • For girls, earlier substance use was associated with being overweight as a child, especially for Hispanic girls.
  • Girls who were overweight as children were found to be more likely to begin to use cigarettes, marijuana, or alcohol at an earlier age than their healthy-weight peers.
  • For boys, unhealthy weight status predicted later substance use.

LA Times Investigation Trashes Purdue’s Claims of OxyContin’s 12-Hour Effectiveness

  • Purdue Pharma’s internal notes indicate the drug maker knew that OxyContin’s effectiveness falls well short of 12 hours in most patients.
  • Many patients in Purdue trials were not getting 12 hours of pain relief.
  • Purdue Pharma seems to have been aware of this fact since as early as 1996, according to the Los Angeles Times’ investigation.
  • Purdue seems to have instructed physicians to prescribe increasing doses in patients who were not getting 12-hour analgesia.

Alcohol Does Not Decrease Mortality, Increases Cancer Rate

  • Low-volume alcohol consumption did not reduce mortality risk in this meta-analysis.
  • Low volume drinking and occasional drinking do not reduce mortality risk but may increase cancer risk.
  • Lifetime abstention confers equal mortality risk but obviates cancer risks.
  • Even low-volume alcohol consumption increases risk of numerous cancers.

Quitting Smoking Cold Turkey Is Most Effective Method

  • Most smoking cessation guidelines advise quitting abruptly.
  • This was found to be the most effective method.
  • Irrespective of quitting strategy, most smokers require repeated quit attempts before they are successful.
  • Primary care physicians can be secure in stressing the patients quit abruptly.
  • Millions of pack years of smoking can be avoided if smokers quit cold turkey versus tapering to a quit.

Multimedia Patient Reminders Significantly Improve Clinical Outcomes

  • Numerous studies report that reminders via telephone, internet, and short message service (SMS), and other methods are associated with improved outcomes for patients with a variety of disorders.
  • Multimedia patient reminders are highly cost effective for control of a number of medical and psychiatric disorders.
  • Reminders were found to improve bipolar disorder medication adherence, appointment attendance, vaccination coverage, and substance misuse and abuse outcomes.

CVS Pharmacies to Retail Naloxone Kits in Ohio w/o Prescription

  • Kits to be sold without prescription at all pharmacies in Ohio.
  • Ohio-based CVS pharmacies join those in Arkansas, California, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, and Wisconsin in dispensing naloxone kits without a prescription.
  • Rates of opioid-related overdose deaths increased 14% from 2013 to 2014, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) statistics.
  • During 2014, 47,055 drug overdose deaths occurred in the United States, representing an increase of 6.5% over the previous year, according to CDC statistics.

Heroin-Fentanyl Combo Creates Street-Drug Emergency

  • Dealers are manufacturing fentanyl in order to mix it with heroin.
  • Widespread combining and selling of illicit fentanyl with street heroin.
  • Combination produces profound euphoria and powerful addiction.
  • Combination is significantly more lethal than either drug alone.

Moderate Drinking Can Increase Cancer Risk

  • Consuming more than 3 alcoholic drinks per week significantly increases a woman's risk of developing breast cancer.
  • Moderate drinking increases the risk of numerous cancers in both men and women.
  • The combination of cigarette smoking and drinking further raises the risk of developing cancer.
  • Alcohol does appear to be protective against a number of cancers.

Naloxone Distribution: A Brief Literature Review

  • “This is the largest public health crisis that we have right now,” Joan Papp, MD, told MDalert.com.
  • An estimated 16,000 lives are lost to opioid-related overdose in the U.S. each year.
  • An opioid-related death in the ER costs about $10,000.
  • A naloxone kit costs about $70.

Naloxone Kits Stop Opioid Deaths, Cost ~$70

  • At around $70 per kit, this may be the most cost-effective life-saving intervention available to physicians.
  • The opioid epidemic is arguably the most significant current public health emergency in the U.S.
  • Depending on geography, the cost of an overdose survival is ~$10,000.
  • The average cost of an overdose-related death at the MetroHealth System in Cleveland, Ohio, is approximately $3000.
  • Naloxone kit distribution programs can be run at a cost of <$1000/life saved.

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