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Study outlines how regulations on alcohol, tobacco may provide guidance to consequences of legalizing marijuana

As U.S. policymakers consider ways to ease prohibitions on marijuana, the public health approaches used to regulate alcohol and tobacco over the past century may provide valuable lessons, according to new RAND Corporation research. [More]

First Edition: April 16, 2014

Today's headlines include a report detailing how changes in the Census Bureau's annual survey could mask the health law's impact. [More]

ABAM Foundation accredits four new addiction medicine fellowship programs

The American Board of Addiction Medicine Foundation today announced the accreditation of four new addiction medicine fellowship programs, bringing the total number of accredited programs to 23. [More]
Researchers show development of new cell models that track, report clock gene function

Researchers show development of new cell models that track, report clock gene function

The consequences of modern life -- shift work, cell phone addiction, and travel across time zones -- all disturb internal clocks. These are found in the brain where they regulate sleep and throughout the body where they regulate physiology and metabolism. [More]

Special Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation conference to focus on issues surrounding addiction

The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation's Professionals in Residence program in collaboration with the University of Minnesota Department of Family Medicine and Community Health and the Scaife Family Foundation will host a special conference June 20-21 in Minnesota for primary health care providers to learn more about the issues surrounding addiction. [More]

Researcher develops novel IBT to help opioid-dependent Vermonters

Opioid dependence - addiction to heroin and prescription painkillers - has reached epidemic levels across the country, with treatment waitlists also at an all-time high. [More]

White House admits 'worrying about the wrong thing'

Top officials say they focused too much on whether enough insurance companies would participate and not enough on the smooth rollout of the exchange website, The New York Times reports. [More]
Studies shed light on propensity for habit formation in obsessive-compulsive disorder

Studies shed light on propensity for habit formation in obsessive-compulsive disorder

Two new studies published this week in Biological Psychiatry shed light on the propensity for habit formation in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). These studies suggest that a tendency to develop habits, i.e., the compulsive component of the disorder, may be a core feature of the disorder rather than a consequence of irrational beliefs. [More]

First Edition: April 10, 2014

Today's headlines include a range of stories taking additional looks at the Medicare physician payment data released yesterday by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. [More]
TSRI scientists to study effects of pain medication on prenatal brain development

TSRI scientists to study effects of pain medication on prenatal brain development

Scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have been awarded a $472,500 Cutting Edge Basic Research Award (CEBRA) by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) of the National Institutes of Health to study models of the brain development of newborns who have been exposed-and become addicted-to prescription pain medication while still in the womb. [More]

2014 PAINWeekEnd Regional Conference to highlight health crises of inadequate pain management

There are 116 million people in pain. There are 4,000 pain specialists. That's 29,000 patients per pain specialist. There are simply not enough pain specialists to go around. [More]
Alkermes announces results from phase 3 clinical trial of aripiprazole lauroxil in patients with schizophrenia

Alkermes announces results from phase 3 clinical trial of aripiprazole lauroxil in patients with schizophrenia

Alkermes plc today announced positive topline results from a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase 3 clinical trial of aripiprazole lauroxil in patients with schizophrenia. Patients treated once monthly with either 441 mg or 882 mg of aripiprazole lauroxil demonstrated statistically significant reductions from baseline in Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) total scores at week 12, compared to placebo (p<0.001 aripiprazole lauroxil 441 mg, p<0.001 aripiprazole lauroxil 882 mg), which was the prespecified primary endpoint in the study. Based on the positive results from this phase 3 study, Alkermes plans to submit a New Drug Application (NDA) to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the third quarter of 2014. [More]

SLU researcher receives NIH grant to study on type of opioids that lead to depression

After finding a link between chronic use of prescription-based painkillers and increase in risk of depression, Saint Louis University researcher Jeffrey Scherrer, Ph.D., has received a $391,706 NIH grant to further investigate the pattern in a wider patient base, and study the type of opioids that lead to depression. [More]
Research roundup: Mental health parity; nurses' workload; can restaurants reduce portion size?

Research roundup: Mental health parity; nurses' workload; can restaurants reduce portion size?

Historically, health insurance covered mental health care differently than other medical care. Recent laws have begun bringing them into balance. ... Congress passed the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) in 2008. ... the MHPAEA applied to large group health plans, both fully and self-insured, and included a cost exemption. [More]
BDSI enrolls first patient in Clonidine Topical Gel Phase 3 trial for treatment of painful diabetic neuropathy

BDSI enrolls first patient in Clonidine Topical Gel Phase 3 trial for treatment of painful diabetic neuropathy

BioDelivery Sciences International, Inc. announced today the enrollment of the first patient in the RHAPSODY Study, a Phase 3 clinical trial of Clonidine Topical Gel for the treatment of painful diabetic neuropathy. [More]
New evidence indicates another risk factor for young adults consuming energy drinks

New evidence indicates another risk factor for young adults consuming energy drinks

Newfound evidence indicates another risk factor for young adults consuming energy drinks. A research team representing six American universities found that the frequency of energy drink use is associated with increased odds of illicit prescription stimulant medication use. [More]

Neuroscientists find lateral habenula of brain controls sensitivity to negative effects of drinking alcohol

‚ÄčAs recovering spring breakers are regretting binge drinking escapades, it may be hard for them to appreciate that there is a positive side to the nausea, sleepiness, and stumbling. [More]
Study shows important parallels between epidemic of HIV/AIDS and opioid addiction

Study shows important parallels between epidemic of HIV/AIDS and opioid addiction

‚ÄčThere are important parallels between the early years of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and the current epidemic of opioid addiction - ones that could trigger a significant shift in opioid addiction prevention, diagnosis and treatment. [More]

Study finds that baclofen drug has potential to prevent cocaine relapse

Relapse is the most painful and expensive feature of drug addiction-even after addicted individuals have been drug-free for months or years, the likelihood of sliding back into the habit remains high. The National Institute on Drug Abuse estimates that 40 to 60 percent of addicted individuals will relapse, and in some studies the rates are as high as 80 percent at six months after treatment. [More]
New textbook provides facts and dispels myths on sugar/fructose consumption

New textbook provides facts and dispels myths on sugar/fructose consumption

A new textbook, Fructose, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Sucrose and Health, published this month by Springer Press, under their Humana Press imprint, provides one of the most comprehensive scientific analyses on the closely-watched issue of caloric sweetener consumption. [More]