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Research to understand how medical marijuana laws may influence overdose deaths

Research to understand how medical marijuana laws may influence overdose deaths

In states where it is legal to use medical marijuana to manage chronic pain and other conditions, the annual number of deaths from prescription drug overdose is 25 percent lower than in states where medical marijuana remains illegal, new research suggests. [More]
Authors emphasize benefits of calcium and vitamin D supplements on bone health

Authors emphasize benefits of calcium and vitamin D supplements on bone health

Calcium and vitamin D are essential to keeping bones strong, dense and healthy as we age, as well as preventing bone loss, osteporosis, and skeletal fractures. [More]
Blood bank industry shrinks

Blood bank industry shrinks

Changed medical practice has reduced the need for blood transfusions, spurring cutbacks and mergers in the blood industry. Meanwhile, Chicago and two counties in California are suing five companies for "aggressive marketing" of opioid painkillers, accusing them of fueling addiction. [More]
First Edition: August 25, 2014

First Edition: August 25, 2014

Today's early morning highlights from the major news organizations include reports on Medicare ratings of nursing homes, the growing demand for home-health aides and accounts of the Obama administration's new contraception coverage rules. [More]
American Heart Association issues new policy recommendations on use of e-cigarettes

American Heart Association issues new policy recommendations on use of e-cigarettes

The American Heart Association issued new policy recommendations today on the use of e-cigarettes and their impact on tobacco-control efforts. The guidance was published in the association's journal, Circulation. [More]

HGSAS launches new online master's degree

The Higher Learning Commission recently granted approval to launch the new online master's degree offered by the Hazelden Graduate School of Addiction Studies (HGSAS). [More]

State highlights: Audit says $93M in Medi-Cal payments could be fraudulent; Mass. insurers press on Medicaid pay

A selection of health policy stories from the District of Columbia, California, Massachusetts and Minnesota. The audit released Tuesday reviewed billing data from July 2008 to December 2013 for Medi-Cal's Drug Treatment program, which reimburses rehabilitation clinics. [More]
Study of chronic users of CCS finds deficits in specific regions of brain white matter

Study of chronic users of CCS finds deficits in specific regions of brain white matter

An imaging study of chronic users of codeine-containing cough syrups (CCS) has found deficits in specific regions of brain white matter and associates these changes with increased impulsivity in CCS users. [More]
Advocates decry closing of mental health clinics in Chicago

Advocates decry closing of mental health clinics in Chicago

But officials say the closings, which planned to shutter six of the city's 12 mental health clinics, actually expanded care for those with mental illnesses. [More]
Mount Sinai researchers receive federal funding to treat HCV in primary care settings

Mount Sinai researchers receive federal funding to treat HCV in primary care settings

With the number of people with chronic hepatitis C reaching record levels in New York City and the recent availability of more effective treatments, researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai recently announced the receipt of $1.9 million in federal funding to increase its capacity to treat HCV in primary care settings. [More]
Study shows that 8.3% of Norwegians are addicted to work

Study shows that 8.3% of Norwegians are addicted to work

In spite of the many positive aspects of work, some people are unable to detach from it - working excessively and compulsively. These are called workaholics. [More]
Findings may help identify teens who are at risk for dangerous behaviors in the future

Findings may help identify teens who are at risk for dangerous behaviors in the future

According to the CDC, unintentional injuries are the leading cause of death for adolescents. Compared to the two leading causes of death for all Americans, heart disease and cancer, a pattern of questionable decision-making in dire situations comes to light in teen mortality. [More]
Viewpoints: Enrollment 'plummeting'?; Arkansas' 'boondoggle'; move Medicare to Obamacare exchanges

Viewpoints: Enrollment 'plummeting'?; Arkansas' 'boondoggle'; move Medicare to Obamacare exchanges

In the latest leg of their endless journey to find bad news about the Affordable Care Act, conservative analysts and websites have seized on some ambiguous figures to declare that enrollment is "plummeting," "shrinking," "sinking rapidly"--choose your headline. The most charitable interpretation of this claim is that it's based on extreme cherry-picking. The most accurate interpretation is that it's wrong (Michael Hiltzik, 8/13). [More]
Viewpoints: Medicaid's good deal; Medicare hospital errors; CBO on exchange coverage

Viewpoints: Medicaid's good deal; Medicare hospital errors; CBO on exchange coverage

If the governor and the legislature refuse to accept the federal deal [for Medicaid expansion] -; as 24 states have so far -; they in effect vote against one of the most fantastic cash-flow deals ever offered them. ... And it gets worse. [More]

Actor's suicide shows complexities of depression and its treatment

The Washington Post looks at how Robin Williams' death has reignited a national conversation about mental health issues and treatment, and whether public attitudes toward diagnosis and treatment are changing. [More]
First Edition: August 13, 2014

First Edition: August 13, 2014

Today's headlines include reports that more than 300,000 people who obtained new insurance through the health law could lose it if they do not provide proof by Sept. 5 that their immigration or citizenship status makes them eligible for it. [More]
Researchers determine safety and effectiveness of neurostimulation to treat chronic pain

Researchers determine safety and effectiveness of neurostimulation to treat chronic pain

Chronic pain, which persists despite the fact that an injury has healed, can last for many months or years and may affect up to 15 percent of the adult population at any point in time. [More]
State highlights: Aging inmate care outside prison; Colo.'s teen birth rate drop; Minn. rural doc shortage

State highlights: Aging inmate care outside prison; Colo.'s teen birth rate drop; Minn. rural doc shortage

Providing health care to an aging prison population is a large and growing cost for states. Not only do inmates develop debilitating conditions at a younger age than people who are not incarcerated, but caring for them in the harsh environment of prisons is far more expensive than it is on the outside. [More]
Memory reconsolidation may offer new treatment approaches for PTSD, drug addiction

Memory reconsolidation may offer new treatment approaches for PTSD, drug addiction

In the novel À la recherche du temps perdu (translated into English as Remembrance of Things Past), Marcel Proust makes a compelling case that our identities and decisions are shaped in profound and ongoing ways by our memories. [More]
Viewpoints: Robin Williams' 'wakeup call'; surprise in Medicaid growth; tools to stop Ebola in U.S.

Viewpoints: Robin Williams' 'wakeup call'; surprise in Medicaid growth; tools to stop Ebola in U.S.

Earlier this year, [Robin] Williams checked himself into a rehabilitation facility. And whether he needed help with addiction or mental illness-;or, as is so often the case, with both-;it's safe to assume he got it. He had the money to afford the best and the sad truth is that, in some cases, even the best isn't enough to save people. [More]