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Friday, July 26, 2013

Kentucky's Fight Against Prescription Drug Abuse

Last year, Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear signed a new law designed to fight prescription drug abuse; this new law has lowered the number of doses of opioid painkillers that were prescribed in the state. The new law requires that pain clinics be licensed, set requirements for ownership and employment, pushing the Kentucky’s licensure board to develop regulations for pain clinics.

20 pain management clinics not owned by physicians have closed, according to the Associated Press. Now, thousands of medical providers have registered with the state’s prescription drug monitoring program.

The number of hydrocodone doses decreased by 9.5 percent, and oxycodone doses dropped by 10.5 percent, the governor points out. For the first time in a decade deaths have decreased; those caused by prescription or illicit drugs decreased from 1,023 in 2011, to 1,004 in 2012.

“The impact of this bill can’t be measured just in the numbers of pills we’ve kept off the streets,” Governor Beshear said in a news release. “This bill, I believe, has literally saved lives in Kentucky.”

Kentucky has long been considered one of the worst states regarding prescription drug abuse, it is great to see some reductions in the number of drugs prescribed as well as overdose deaths.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Addiction Public Health Policy

Addiction affects millions of people across the globe in countless ways. The way in which we view and treat addiction is certainly better than it was in the past. Fortunately, addiction is now viewed as a disease of the mind and is no longer considered a moral failure.

On Thursday, the National Drug Control Policy Director R. Gil Kerlikowske told the attendees of a conference on prescription drug abuse that addiction should be treated as a public health issue.

Every year, drug overdoses take the lives of more Americans than traffic crashes or gunshot wounds, Kerlikowske told the group. He is a big supporter of prescription drug take-back events which keep drugs from falling into the hands of young people, the Associated Press reports.

At the conference, Kerlikowske talked about a number of issues, such as medical marijuana, cocaine use and heroin use. He believes that medical marijuana sends the wrong message to young people, but he pointed out that there has been a 40 percent drop in cocaine use since 2006.

While there has been a decrease in prescription drug abuse from 7 million in 2010, to 6.1 million in 2011, Kerlikowske is concerned about the rise in heroin use.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Women Use Lighter Words to Describe Intoxication

College is often a time of mass consumption of alcohol due to the social nature of the drug in conjunction with the high level of stress during the collegiate years. However, women tend to describe intoxication with a gentler vocabulary, using words like “tipsy” or “buzzed”. On the other hand, men tend to use stronger words such as “hammered” or “wasted,” according to a new study.

A study of 145 college students, who read vignettes that described people who had been drinking, USA Today reports. 

“Results supported previous research by showing that moderate intoxication terms such as ‘tipsy’ were applied to female vignette characters more than male characters, even when female characters were heavily intoxicated,” said study author Ash Levitt of the Research Institute on Addictions at the University of Buffalo, State University of New York. “Female participants applied these terms more than male participants.”

Women may downplay intoxication in order to lower expectations of how much they should drink, while men may overestimate how much they are expected to drink, as well as how much their male friends consume, according to Levitt. Make no mistake about it; drunk is drunk no matter what word is used to describe the feeling. 

The study is published in Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.

Friday, July 5, 2013

2013 America Honors Recovery Awards

Carnegie Institution of Washington
Every year significant people in the recovery community are honored for the role in helping people recover from addiction. The 2013 America Honors Recovery Awards were presented to leaders in the recovery community on June 26, 2013. While there are countless people who contribute to the success of people trying to recover, there are some who stand out as pillars in the community.

This year’s honorees are:
  • A New Path (Parents for Addiction Treatment & Healing) of San Diego, received The Joel Hernandez Award
  • Tom Coderre, Rhode Island State Senator
  • Andre L. Johnson of the Detroit Recovery Project
  • Scott Strode of Phoenix Multisport of Denver, Colorado, received the Vernon Johnson Award
  • Arthur C. Evans, Jr., PhD, Commissioner of the Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disability Services, received the Lisa Mojer-Torres Award
  • Kristen Johnston, Emmy Award-winning actress and best-selling author, received The Voice of Recovery Award
America Honors Recovery is the addiction recovery community’s annual awards event, recognizing the more than 20 million Americans in recovery and recovery community organizations who help countless people recover.

The awards were held at the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington, D.C.
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