User: flenvcenter Topic: Environmental Health-Independent
Category: Drugs
Last updated: Sep 18 2016 19:42 IST RSS 2.0
 
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Marijuana May Alleviate America’s Opioid Crisis, New Study Suggests 18.9.2016 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
Access to medical marijuana may be cutting down on the overall use of opioids, including prescription painkillers like OxyContin and Percocet, new research suggests.  In a study, researchers from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health  analyzed traffic fatality data from 1999-2013 for 18 U.S states. They found that most states that passed medical marijuana laws saw an overall reduction in fatal crashes involving drivers who tested positive for opioids. “We would expect the adverse consequences of opioid use to decrease over time in states where medical marijuana use is legal, as individuals substitute marijuana for opioids in the treatment of severe or chronic pain,” lead author June H. Kim, a doctoral student at Mailman, said in a statement. The study, published Thursday in the  American Journal of Public Health , is among the first to look at the link between state medical marijuana laws and opioid use. Medical marijuana laws, the authors concluded, are “ associated with reductions in ...
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Confirming Big Pharma Fears, Study Suggests Medical Marijuana Laws Decrease Opioid Use 16.9.2016 CommonDreams.org Headlines
Lauren McCauley, staff writer

It is of little wonder that Big Pharma has been exposed actively undermining efforts to legalize marijuana, after new research on Thursday found a drop in the use of opioid painkillers in that states that allow people to treat pain with good, ol' Mary Jane.

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The DEA Didn't Talk To Kratom Users Before Pushing A Ban. Here's What They Would've Said. 16.9.2016 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
“Oxycontin, morphine, fentanyl, Darvocet.” Deanna McNair, 36, pauses before ticking off the rest of the drugs she’s been prescribed for pain following a series of car accidents and subsequent surgeries. “Percocet, Opana, Norco, methadone,” she continues. “Not all at the same time, of course.” Then there are the muscle relaxers, antidepressants and medications McNair had to take just to treat the side effects of her other prescriptions. The panoply of pharmaceuticals was a necessity for McNair. Over a period of 13 years, she underwent five lumbar surgeries and one cervical surgery. Three vertebrae in her lower back are now fused, as is one in her neck. “The drugs helped with the pain, but not with getting back to life,” McNair said. “They make you loopy, they make you tired, they make you nod out when you’re taking them.” The prescription regimen left McNair unable to drive. She could no longer focus in class, so she put her education on hold. Despite being dependent on opioids for pain relief, McNair ...
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Seriously 'Sinister' Big Pharma: Opioid Maker Bankrolls Opposition to Pro-Pot Referendum 10.9.2016 CommonDreams.org Headlines
Lauren McCauley, staff writer

It has been revealed that the maker of a powerful, addictive opioid drug is bankrolling the opposition to the effort to legalize and regulate marijuana for recreational use in Arizona.

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The Idea That Legalizing Pot Will Drive Kids To Get High Just Went Up In Smoke 9.9.2016 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
The abuse of marijuana by American youth has declined in recent years, even as adults’ embrace of the plant has continued to grow, according to a recent federal study. The findings also suggest that the movement toward legalization and decriminalization of the plant in multiple states hasn’t necessarily increased young people’s access to marijuana.  The study , released last week by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, examines marijuana use among Americans 12 and older between 2002 and 2014. It concludes that while more adults in general are using marijuana, the percentage of teens using or abusing marijuana, or who are dependent on the drug, has actually decreased. The 12-year period covered in the study was one in which more than a dozen states rejected prohibition in favor of legalization of marijuana for medical or recreational purposes. Now, about half the states in the U.S. have legalized some form of marijuana, and ...
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Feds Declare War On Herb Touted As A Solution To Opioid Addiction 31.8.2016 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration is moving to place the herbal supplement kratom on its list of Schedule I drugs, effectively banning a naturally occurring psychoactive substance that some say holds promise as a therapy for opioid addiction. The DEA, in a notice  published in the Federal Register  this week, said it wants to include two active kratom ingredients in its most restrictive classification of drugs with high potential for abuse and no known medical benefit, signaling that the government considers the plant as dangerous as heroin. The scheduling move would last for two years, with a possible extension of an additional year, and would go into effect at the end of September.  Kratom is made from the leaves of Mitragyna speciosa, a Southeast Asian tree related to coffee, and has been consumed in Asia for millennia, typically as a tea or powder. The herb contains alkaloids that appear to activate opioid receptors in the brain and reduce pain. Although most opioids have sedative qualities, ...
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All Solutions for Medical Cannabis Point to Congress 19.8.2016 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
Today over 300 million Americans live in states with medical cannabis laws, and over 2 million individuals are legally using medical cannabis under these state programs. However, all of these patients and programs are in violation of federal laws. Over the past few years, most federal interference has come to halt (more than $500,000,000 dollars of anti-medical cannabis federal enforcement later ) due to the the passage of the Rohrabacher-Farr medical cannabis amendment to the CJS appropriations bill in 2014 and 2015 which prohibits federal interference with state medical cannabis programs as well as the August 2013 Department of Justice memo that made clear that state legal medical marijuana is not a top priority  for federal enforcement. Over the last week the nation has turned its attention once again to the federal battle between the states and federal government as it relates to medical cannabis, and all solutions require action by Congress. On August 10th the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) ...
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Videos Surface of a Death in Custody the LAPD Didn't Want Released 19.8.2016 Truthout.com
Early on the afternoon of June 4, 2012, Vachel Howard was handcuffed to a bench inside the Los Angeles Police Department's 77th Street Station Jail. He was 56 years old, and had been taken into custody for driving while intoxicated. The grandfather of seven had been strip-searched, and his shirt still hung open. Howard told the officers present that he suffered from schizophrenia. Police suspected he was high on cocaine. Less than an hour later, Howard was pronounced dead at Good Samaritan Hospital, just miles from the jail. He had been released from the handcuffs, but later subdued by half a dozen officers after he became, by their testimony, "violent and combative." A coroner eventually listed three contributing causes of death: cocaine intoxication, heart disease, and a chokehold employed by one of the officers. Two years of litigation followed before, in October of 2015, the city of Los Angeles agreed to pay Howard's family $2.85 million to settle a wrongful death claim. The legal fight included ...
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A different type of addiction 16.8.2016 High Country News Most Recent
In Rio Arriba County, New Mexico, alcohol claims more lives than other drugs, but now an alternative treatment program could help.
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The Dangers of Dabbing: The Health Risks Posed by the Latest Marijuana Trend 13.8.2016 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
Twenty-five states and the District of Columbia have now legalized marijuana in some form. And the trend continues unabated: this year could see marijuana being legalized for recreational use in an additional 10 states and for medical use in an additional six states. The march toward legalization has brought a dramatic change in attitude. Once perceived as a serious threat to public health and safety - if not a downright evil - marijuana is now considered by most to be safe - on the order of drinking alcohol, but safer. Many even consider it to be good for them. Fifty-four percent of American registered voters support full legalization, and 12.5 percent of American adults use marijuana, including a third of high school seniors . In some ways, this swing in attitude is understandable given that since 1970 marijuana has been lumped in the same category as heroin and cocaine as a schedule I drug. The drugs placed in this category were defined as drugs that had a high potential for abuse, no accredited ...
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Now You Can Finally Watch The Infamous Rob Ford Crack Tape 12.8.2016 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
A publication ban on the infamous video of former Toronto mayor Rob Ford smoking crack cocaine was lifted on Thursday , allowing for the first public airing of the footage that sparked a political scandal and media circus in 2013. In the short cell phone video, Ford, who died earlier this year, appears in a disheveled state as he sits with a lighter in one hand and glass pipe in the other. He largely mumbles in agreement as an unseen friend, Elena Basso, talks animatedly about Ford’s achievements and denounces his detractors with some explicit language. At one point, Ford calls current Prime Minister Justin Trudeau a “fat dick.” The tape has had a long and bizarre journey to public view. Ford, who died of a rare form of cancer in March, was the mayor of Canada’s largest city when reporters from the Toronto Star newspaper and Gawker wrote, in May 2013, that they had viewed a tape of him using crack. Gawker raised $200,000 to buy the tape from their unnamed source but the deal ultimately fell through. In ...
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Forbidden Fruit Is Always Sweeter: Should Or Shouldn't Marijuana Be Legal? 11.8.2016 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
Since early times, we, human beings, have been trying to create a truly free, democratic society based on moral values that would satisfy the majority of people. But it's not as easy as it sounds as it all comes to the endless philosophical discussions on morality, goodness, and evil. Can we know for sure what's right and what's wrong? And what are the main criteria? While there are things that are undeniably bad, like on-purpose murder, robbery or just anything related to hurting other people, there are things that arise constant debates among people, as everybody has his or her views. For example, is it right or wrong to do the abortion ? Some people claim that it's not morally acceptable as it's the same as killing a person; others argue that every woman has the right to do with her body what she considers proper and should be granted a freedom of choice; some people would say that it's only acceptable in certain situations, like when there's a risk for a woman's health. Can we answer this question ...
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Better Mental Health 10.8.2016 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
When policy-makers say that someone has fallen through the cracks, we attempt to explain a situation as something that we cannot control. As an elected representative, it is my responsibility to identify those cracks, and propose responsible solutions to repair those cracks and ensure that they do not splinter again. A good start in life begins with a solid education. In California and across the nation, many students show up to school facing difficulties not of their own doing. Parents, for better or worse, drop their kids off at school and it becomes the school's responsibility to address those difficulties. These problems can stem from household problems, neighborhood factors, or school-site issues. And we know that mental health is one of the major problems that hamper learning. In fact, the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research reports that in California three out of four children with mental health treatment do not receive treatment despite having health insurance. Los Angeles Unified School ...
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The San Luis Valley’s controversial needle exchange idea 8.8.2016 High Country News Most Recent
Local leaders contemplate a program to address drug-associated health risks with a rocky history.
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Española has tried everything to stop drug overdoses 8.8.2016 High Country News Most Recent
What we can learn from the fight against addiction in a small New Mexico town.
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A community curbs pain pill abuse, but heroin addiction grows 8.8.2016 High Country News Most Recent
Interventions intended to reduce over-prescription of pain medicine may unintentionally be feeding a rise in heroin use in southwest Colorado.
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The rural county trying to find its high-risk drug users before it’s too late 8.8.2016 High Country News Most Recent
Rio Arriba’s health care providers are pulling together to treat patients and prevent overdoses.
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Law, Order and the Wall: Would Trump and Pence Fuel the Drug War? 4.8.2016 Truthout - All Articles
Donald Trump with his running-mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, during a campaign event at the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States National Convention at the Charlotte Convention Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, on July 26, 2016. (Todd Heisler / The New York Times) Trump has put forth few solid drug policy proposals besides building a wall, and Pence's positions are stuck in the 1980s. All in all, Team Trump seems eager to return to a time when health problems like drug misuse were blamed on moral decay. Donald Trump with his running-mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, during a campaign event at the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States National Convention at the Charlotte Convention Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, on July 26, 2016. (Todd Heisler / The New York Times) Writing about what drug policy might look like under a Trump administration is not easy. Donald Trump's views on drugs have changed radically over the years, and the Republican nominee's rambling statements on the subject ...
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Study Finds Drop In Prescription Drugs In Medical Marijuana States 25.7.2016 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
States looking for a way to reduce Medicare spending and prescription drug use may want to turn to legalizing medical marijuana, a new study suggests. The District of Columbia and the 17 states that had medical marijuana as an alternative to prescription drugs in 2013 saved an estimated total of $165.2 million in Medicare program and enrollee spending that year, researchers at the University of Georgia reported in the journal Health Affairs this month. “The results suggest that if all states had implemented medical marijuana the overall savings to Medicare would have been around $468 million,” a press release on the findings stated. The researchers looked at prescriptions filled by Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (or Part D) enrollees from 2010 to 2013. They then narrowed the prescriptions down to ones that could be substituted with medical marijuana. Those prescriptions were for ailments that included anxiety, depression, glaucoma, nausea, pain, psychosis, seizures, sleep disorders and spasticity. Their ...
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It Is Unclear How THC Ended Up In This Colorado Town's Water 22.7.2016 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
Residents of a small farming community in eastern Colorado have been warned to avoid drinking the town’s water after THC, the psychoactive agent in marijuana, was found in one of its feeder wells, authorities said on Thursday. A public works employee in Hugo, a town of about 800 people 90 miles southeast of Denver, detected the chemical and health officials believe it is “marijuana THC-related,” the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office said in a Facebook posting. “At this time, investigators are assessing the situation with state and federal authorities,” the sheriff’s office said. “Bathroom usage is still safe, but until more information is known to us, out of an abundance of caution, avoid drinking Town of Hugo water.” Susan Kelly, the county’s public health director, said there were no reports of anyone falling ill or otherwise being affected by the tainted water. Colorado allows both medical and recreational marijuana use. But it was unclear how THC got into the water, as there are no legal marijuana ...
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