User: flenvcenter Topic: Environmental Health-Independent
Category: Drugs
Last updated: Jan 13 2017 13:31 IST RSS 2.0
 
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Marijuana Eases Pain, But Jury's Out On Other Health Benefits, Scientists Say 13.1.2017 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
Marijuana has proved to be a powerful aid in easing chronic pain and helping battle nausea, but results are mixed or largely inconclusive on other health benefits, as well as detriments, according to a massive new scientific review of cannabis studies. The report , released Thursday by the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine, analyzes an astounding 10,000 scientific studies on the drug. “The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids: The Current State of Evidence and Recommendations for Research” concludes that marijuana definitely provides some health benefits, though other claims about the drug are far less clear. The scientists note that much information could be determined if researchers didn’t have to battle restrictions caused by federal classification of cannabis as a Schedule 1 drug, meaning it “currently” has “no accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.” “It is often difficult for researchers to gain access to the quantity, quality, and type of cannabis product ...
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Medicine Or Health Risk? Parents Prescribed Medical Marijuana Are Clashing With Federal Agencies 10.1.2017 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
Medical marijuana use in the United States is more prevalent than ever before. Twenty-six states have legalized marijuana for medical purposes, seven of which have also legalized it for recreational use. But parents prescribed medical marijuana are beginning to see a backlash against the drug that could cost them custody of their children. Health conditions including epilepsy and chronic pain can be so severe that people with these diagnoses can struggle to live a normal life. For some patients with these conditions accessing medical marijuana can make the difference between independent mobility and debilitating pain. Relatively minimal short-term side effects can make marijuana an appealing alternative to harsher pharmaceutical treatment options. Other patients may choose to use a marijuana-based medication instead of prescription opioids to avoid the risk of developing an addiction. More than 20,000 people died from an overdose related to prescription opioids in 2015. Meta-analyses of state-wide date ...
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Fentanyl Overdoses Are Rising And Science Can't Keep Up 9.1.2017 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
Bribery. Conspiracy. Racketeering. Those are just three of the accusations that federal prosecutors leveled against two Alabama physicians in April as part of a 22-count criminal indictment  ― alleging that Drs. John Couch and Xiulu Ruan ran an opioid pill mill in exchange for hundreds of thousands of dollars in kickbacks from a pharmaceutical company. Couch and Ruan were arrested in 2015 after prescribing Medicare patients a combined $4.9 million in Subsys  ― a potent form of fentanyl, taken via mouth spray and designed to treat severe cancer pain ― between 2013 and 2014. Some of those prescriptions were “diverted and/or abused by drug traffickers and addicts,” prosecutors say, and may have contributed to the opioid crisis currently gripping the nation. Couch and Ruan deny the allegations.  A third doctor, Michigan neurologist Dr. Gavin Awerbuch, pleaded guilty in November to health care fraud and to prescribing Subsys without a legitimate medical purpose. Awerbuch prescribed more Subsys than any other ...
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Offering Syringes Along With Prayers, Churches Help IV Drug Users 5.1.2017 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
Kaiser Health News FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. — When Gov. Pat McCrory signed legislation in July legalizing syringe exchange programs in North Carolina, James Sizemore rejoiced. The pastor of a small church, Sizemore had — with the tacit approval of some, but not all, local law enforcement — been offering clean syringes to drug users to help them avoid contracting HIV and hepatitis C. Now he could do so without fear of arrest. Sizemore, who in 2007 launched Radiant Church, an affiliate of the Church of God of Prophecy, has sought to alleviate the effects of drug addiction, work that he sees as a natural extension of his other pursuits: feeding, clothing and otherwise offering sustenance to his parishioners and others in need. “It was never an issue of, ‘Is this the right thing to do spiritually, scripturally?’” Sizemore said of his efforts. “For us, it was the right thing to do … You can’t save somebody’s soul if they’re dead.” Churches and other faith-based organizations have increasingly voiced approval of ...
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Deaths from Fentanyl Overdoses Double In A Single Year 23.12.2016 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
Deaths involving the opioid painkiller fentanyl more than doubled in a single year in the United States, according to a new report. In 2014, 4,200 people in the U.S. died from overdoses involving fentanyl , up from 1,905 people in 2013, the report found. The rate of fentanyl deaths increased from 6 deaths per 1 million people to 13 deaths per 1 million people during that one-year period. The report, from researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration, used a new method to examine drug overdose deaths in the United States. Traditionally, government researchers have used specific codes that are placed on death certificates to analyze causes of death in the population. But these codes do not always let researchers know which specific drug was involved in a death —sometimes, the same code is used to classify deaths from several different drugs. For example, there is a single code to indicate all deaths from “natural and semisynthetic opioid analgesics ,” ...
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Senator's Solution To The Opioid Crisis Is To 'Declare A War On Drugs' -- Seriously 22.12.2016 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
Sen. Joe Manchin's solution for West Virginia's opioid epidemic: "We need to declare a war on drugs" https://t.co/2o0uOoKYz1 — The Lead CNN (@TheLeadCNN) December 20, 2016 Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) says that a new “war on drugs” is needed to combat the opioid crisis ravaging his home state ― a reference to a policy boondoggle that has spanned four decades and cost the U.S. more than $1 trillion, while destroying millions of lives and cementing America’s position as the world’s leading jailer. “We need to declare a war on drugs, on illicit drugs,” Manchin told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “The Lead” when asked what President-elect Donald Trump should do to address the opioid epidemic. West Virginia has been hit especially hard by substance abuse and addiction. A  recent report by West Virginia’s Charleston Gazette-Mail detailed how drug companies have poured 780 million opioid painkillers into the state and cashed in while ignoring warning signs that the opioid epidemic was spreading as overdoses spiked. But the ...
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How Capitalism Kills... And May Be Getting Deadlier 12.12.2016 Commondreams.org Views
Paul Buchheit

In each of the following areas of our lives, capitalism has been a deadly force in the past, and prospects for the future seem even worse with Donald Trump's Cabinet picks.

1. Medications

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Heroin Deaths Topped Gun Homicides Last Year, Depressing CDC Data Shows 10.12.2016 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
Heroin deaths surpassed gun homicide deaths last year for the first time in more than 15 years, according to data released Thursday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Opioid deaths hit 33,091 in 2015, quadrupling since 1999 . Heroin deaths in particular rose 23 percent year over year to 12,989; synthetic opioid deaths rose 73 percent to 9,580. “I don’t think we’ve ever seen anything like this. Certainly not in modern times ,” Robert Anderson, chief of the mortality statistics branch of the CDC, told the Associated Press. The new figures are a tragic expression of the United States’ urgent addiction problem . As it stands, more than 20 million Americans have a substance use disorder and 12.5 million report misusing prescriptions painkillers, behaviors linked to the aggressive marketing and overprescription of opioids in the 1980s-90s.   It doesn’t take long for prescription use to evolve into misuse. According to a new  Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation survey , a third of ...
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Do speed bumps kill? 1.12.2016 TreeHugger
Starting and stopping means pollution. But if they are designed right, you can go right over them.
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Psychedelic Mushrooms Ease Existential Anxiety In Cancer Patients 1.12.2016 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
Dinah Bazer, a 69-year-old mother and retired information systems worker living in Brooklyn, credits psychedelics with saving her life. After undergoing chemotherapy for late-stage ovarian cancer in 2010, Bazer was consumed with anxiety and constant feelings of dread and hopelessness. So when her nurse told her about a clinical trial testing a new drug for cancer-related anxiety and depression ― high-dose psilocybin, the active ingredient in hallucinogenic mushrooms ― she signed up without hesitating.  Not long after ingesting the psilocybin during her session, Bazer found herself engulfed in utter terror. She visualized her fear as a black mass under her rib cage and yelled for it to “get the fuck out!” Almost immediately, the fear left her completely. She shifted into a spiritual experience she described as bathing in God’s unconditional love for several hours.  Four years later, the experience is still with her and the fear is still gone. Bazer says she became calmer, let go of her aggressive driving ...
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Congress Is About To Pass A Bill That Shows D.C. At Its Worst -- It May Also Fix The Opioid Crisis And Cure Cancer 30.11.2016 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
WASHINGTON ― In 1996, Purdue Pharma introduced a new painkiller it said carried a low risk of abuse or addiction. It called the drug “OxyContin.” In reality, of course, OxyContin was extremely addictive — and Purdue knew it. A decade later, three Purdue executives, and the company itself, pleaded guilty to criminal charges tied to OxyContin’s marketing and agreed to pay more than $600 million in fines. But the executives dodged prison time, and the prosecution did little to slow the rise of opioid use. The pharmaceutical industry had spent the past 10 years and billions of dollars pushing the medical community to ramp up the use of OxyContin and other opioids. By 2013, the number of annual opioid prescriptions , including short term and multiple, had nearly tripled, topping 200 million — in a country of just over 300 million people. Use of OxyContin and other opioids grew to crisis levels. As federal and state governments cracked down on doctors who dispensed pills and prescriptions indiscriminately, ...
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Overdose deaths a public health crisis and no government has the solution 25.11.2016 rabble.ca - News for the rest of us
At the entrance were three photograph collages of those who have fallen to fatal overdoses, many of them youthful and vibrant British Columbians. It is intended to be a reminder that this scourge isn't something confined to the back alleys of the Downtown Eastside. One B.C. presentation showed a photo of a smiling young couple from North Vancouver with their ...
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The Real Trump Effect: Down-Ballot Disaster for Democrats 10.11.2016 Truthout - All Articles
Voters wait in line to cast their ballots at the University Co-op on Election Day in Austin, Texas, November 8, 2016. (Photo: Tamir Kalifa / The New York Times) Democrats sustained losses at every level of government due to the high turnout of Trump voters. But hidden in the rubble are a few significant down-ballot victories: the beating back of efforts to undermine public schools in Massachusetts, voting reform in Maine, marijuana legalization in several states and the defeat of xenophobic Sheriff Arpaio in Arizona. Voters wait in line to cast their ballots at the University Co-op on Election Day in Austin, Texas, November 8, 2016. (Photo: Tamir Kalifa / The New York Times) Heading into the 2016 Election, Democratic Party strategists, pollsters and political scientists discussed the "Trump Effect." The theory, it was widely believed, was that Trump would get crushed so badly that his presence at the top of the ticket would be a boon for Democrats down the ticket, helping them win back the Senate and ...
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The Good News: California, 7 Other States Vote Yes On Marijuana 10.11.2016 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
In a resounding mandate for progressive marijuana reform, California and seven other states voted Tuesday in favor of initiatives allowing for some form of legalized cannabis. In California, considered by experts to be the key nationally, 56 percent voted in support of full adult recreational legalization. Voters in Massachusetts and Nevada also said yes to legalized, regulated cannabis. Medical marijuana initiatives passed in Florida, Arkansas and North Dakota. The vote for full legalization is too close to call in Maine and an initiative to improve an existing medical marijuana program in Montana was too close to call. Arizona so far is the only state that had marijuana on the ballot to vote against. California joins Oregon and Washington on the West Coast with legal weed, creating a new Green Corridor. "This vote will dramatically accelerate the end of federal marijuana prohibition," said Tom Angell, chairman of Marijuana Majority, a drug policy reform organization. "This is the most important moment ...
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Who's Spending to Defeat Progressive Ballot Measures Today? 8.11.2016 Truthout - All Articles
Ballot initiatives across the country today are aiming to legalize marijuana, create a statewide single-payer health care system and raise the minimum wage. Seventy-one of those measures were started by citizens. But the initiatives face significant financial obstacles. (Image: JR / TO ; Adapted: Kyle Johnston / Flickr ) According to Ballotpedia , 162 statewide ballot initiatives from 35 states will be decided on today, with 71 of those measures started by grassroots activists via signature petitions. Measures across the country are aiming to legalize marijuana, create a statewide single-payer health care system and raise the minimum wage. But these initiatives face significant financial obstacles. Who's trying to block these bottom-up democratic measures? California, Arizona, Nevada, Maine and Massachusetts are voting on ballot initiatives that would legalize the use of recreational marijuana today. If California votes to legalize recreational use, as polls suggest, the measure is expected to grow the ...
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9 States to Vote on Marijuana Initiatives: Will They Stop Jailing Young People of Color over Weed? 2.11.2016 Democracy Now!
On November 8, 35 states and the District of Columbia will confront 156 ballot initiatives on issues ranging from universal healthcare to gun sale restrictions and death penalty reforms. One of the most contentious ballot initiatives concerns marijuana legalization. After next week's election, marijuana could be legal for medical or recreational use in 29 states. Currently about 5 percent of Americans live in states where they can legally smoke cannabis, but after November that figure could rise to 25 percent. California is the biggest of the nine states casting a ballot on the measure. While other states are voting on medicinal use, Arizona, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada are with California in voting on legalizing the recreational use of marijuana. The "yes" vote is currently leading in all five states and is widely supported by young voters from both major parties. California legalized the medical use of marijuana 20 years ago. Polls in California show strong support for Proposition 64, the Adult Use ...
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Colorado Lawmakers Want Arizona's Anti-Marijuana Campaign To Stop Misleading People About Their State 1.11.2016 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
Lawmakers in Colorado on Monday asked an anti-marijuana campaign in Arizona to stop airing ads that they say contain false information about their state and could mislead voters who will be deciding on recreational legalization of the drug next week.  State Sen. Pat Steadman (D) and Democratic state Reps. Millie Hamner and Johnathan Singer wrote an email to Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy leaders to call out ads the group has run. They say the TV spots contain “inaccurate and misleading statements” about the use of legal marijuana tax revenue in Colorado as well as rates of teen drug use. “As members of the Colorado Legislature who played a central role in the budgeting and appropriation of marijuana tax revenues, we feel it is our duty to set the record straight so that voters in both [Arizona and Colorado] have accurate information about this subject,” the letter reads.  In an ad titled “ Empty Promises ,” two former Colorado school officials suggest that millions of dollars in tax revenue that ...
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Landlords and tenants to fight out right to grow medical marijuana under new regulations 27.10.2016 rabble.ca - News for the rest of us
Thursday, October 27, 2016 The new Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulation (ACMPR), which came into force on August 24, 2016, has changed how patients with prescriptions for medical marijuana can get their medicine. The ACMPR came to be, in part, as a response to a Federal Court ruling that the former Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR) violated the Charter because it prohibited personal production of medical cannabis. For many medicinal cannabis users, the cost of accessing through the channels allowed under the MMPR were simply unaffordable. While new regulations governing the growth of medical marijuana provide a quick solution for the issue of reasonable access, they leave the tough questions for tenants and housing ...
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Voting Yes For Medical Or Recreational Marijuana Legalization Will Probably Save Lives: Your Vote Matters 26.10.2016 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
This year's election is already underway and while most of us are paying attention to the presidential candidates, there are a lot of other elected positions and ballot measures that are important to consider. One issue, being voted on in nine states, regards varying levels of marijuana legalization, either for medical or recreational use. As an addiction treatment professional who closely follows healthcare issues, I urge you to consider a yes vote if your state has a marijuana legalization measure on the ballot. Doing so probably will save lives that would otherwise be lost to opioid abuse and addiction. Is the legalization of medical or recreational marijuana a solution for America's opioid epidemic? It certainly isn't the be all, end all, but there is a clear connection between decreased opioid overdose death rates and medical marijuana legalization. Although there is little research on medical marijuana's efficacy done in the United States , because it is a Schedule 1 drug, there is growing evidence ...
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Why the Opioid Crisis is an issue of Homeland Security 25.10.2016 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
While the final presidential debate brought up discussions around protecting our borders and deporting drug traffickers, Chris Wallace (and every other debate moderator this election cycle) never asked about how our presidential candidates will address the very real public health crisis stemming from opioid and heroin abuse. Every day , the epidemic is killing 78 Americans and it is creating enormous risk for our next commander in chief who will be in charge of handling this crisis. So, why is a security expert like me concerned about drug abuse? Our homeland defenses are focused on risk planning - terrorism is a threat, but so are hurricanes and tornados, oil spills and border controls, and public health risks like Zika and, clearly, synthetic drugs. Our nation's security is about calculating risks to all-hazards and supporting those who are trained to protect our citizens. Simply put, the drug epidemic is challenging our overall response capacity and we haven't closed the gaps in our postal system that ...
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