Drugs and Alcohol in the News

Substance Abuse Headlines

Map of States Allowing Commitment for Treatment
States That Allow Involuntary Commitment for Treatment. © NASMDL

Below are the latest drug- and alcohol-related news stories from sources around the world.

37 States Allow Commitment for Treatment
There are 37 states in the U.S. that have laws allowing for the involuntary commitment for the treatment of substance abuse disorder, alcoholism, or both, according to the National Alliance for Model State Drug Laws (NASMDL), but the lack of available treatment centers can make those laws practically useless.

Costs of Opioid Abuse Hits $78.5 Billion a Year
The cost to American society for opioid overdose, abuse, and dependence has reached a total economic burden of $75.billion, according to a published study by researchers from the National Center for Injury Prevent and Control. Of that pain medication-related cost, one-third is for health care expenses.

4% of U.S. Workers Test Positive for Illegal Drugs
One of the nation's leading drug testing firms has reported an increase in positive testing for illegal substances in 2015. The percentage of the general workforce testing positive increased from 4.7 percent to 4.8 percent compared to the previous year while positive tests among safety-sensitive workers increased from 1.7 percent to 1.8 percent.

SAMHSA Report Shows Trends in Suicidal Americans
An estimated 9.8 million U.S. adults had "serious suicidal thoughts" in 2015, according to a new report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA).

The group with the largest increase in suicidal thoughts were young adults between ages 18 and 25.

Advocates Fight DEA's Ban on Kratom
People who use the plant-based drug Kratom to treat a variety of medical issues, including post-traumatic stress disorder, alcoholism, and fibromyalgia, are speaking out in large numbers against the DEA's move to make it a Schedule I drug.

The DEA claims that Kratom has a high potential for abuse and has no currently accepted medical use.

Opioid Abusers Willing to Get Naloxone Prescription
Patients who have a prescription for opioid pain medication are willing to also obtain a prescription for naloxone, an opioid overdose antidote. Although naloxone is not usually prescribed to opioid patients, the investigators found that having naloxone around improved the drug-taking behaviors of those patients.

Previous Headlines

More Students Use Marijuana Daily Than Alcohol
The latest Monitoring the Future (MTF) national survey found that more college-age students report using marijuana daily than report using alcohol every day. Also, the 2014 survey revealed a small increase in the number of college students using cocaine.

Treatment Reduces Risks for ADHD Children
Children and teens who are diagnosed and treated with medication for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are 7.3 percent less likely to develop substance abuse disorders compared with ADHD teens who do not receive treatment, a study has found.

Appalachia Seeing a Spike in Heroin Use
Eastern Kentucky treatment centers, emergency departments, and law enforcement are reporting an increase in heroin use in the area. Officials say the move from more expensive prescription pain pills to cheaper heroin use seen in other areas of the country is beginning to make its way to Appalachia.

Prescription Drug Abuse Increases Teen Suicide Risk
A study of 3,300 teens has found that teens who reported abusing prescription drugs were three times more likely to report a suicide attempt a year later. Those risks of attempted suicide were even greater for teens to admitted abusing opiates.

Teens With Easy Access to Drugs At Greater Risk
Teens who had easy access to alcohol and drugs at home are more likely to have substance abuse problems in adulthood, a study of 15,000 teens has indicated. Those with easy access started using drugs and alcohol at a younger age and therefore were more likely to use as they got older, the researchers found.

CDC: Kratom a Growing Public Health Threat
Kratom, a plant-based drug with effects similar to opioids, is a growing public health threat, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Calls to poison control centers about Kratom increased 10 times from 2010 to 2015, the report said.

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