This article discusses the worrying link between marijuana use and suicide, providing multiple studies and findings that clearly indicate an increased risk. If the public were aware of these risks, would they ever have supported legislation in favor of legalization?
In recent breaking news, a woman who bought kratom supplements died from taking them, and a jury in a wrongful death lawsuit ordered the supplement company to pay the woman’s family $11 million. While awareness around kratom has gone a long way from the initial perception of the drug as a safe alternative to opioids, more work is needed to educate the public on the risks people face when they use kratom.
According to a recent study, the use of hallucinogens among young people doubled between 2018 and 2021. The findings indicate a concerning shift in youth drug use trends with far more American adolescents, teens, and young adults experimenting with potent mind-altering hallucinogenic substances than in years prior.
A new set of research data sheds doubt on the old narrative that moderate alcohol consumption may help some people guard themselves against experiencing diabetes or obesity. According to growing evidence, no amount of alcohol consumption provides drinkers with any health benefit or a net health gain.
As states increasingly pass laws legalizing marijuana for recreational use, Americans must consider two key issues surrounding such a shift. For one, marijuana legalization in individual states has been connected to increased usage trends among young people in those states.
According to a recent report, illicit ketamine drug busts and seizures by law enforcement skyrocketed by 349% between 2017 and 2022. Ketamine has been in use for years as a tranquilizer medicine for veterinary practices and hospital applications, but now the sedative is a major drug of choice among addicts and recreational drug users.
Drug problems that used to assault our cities have brought their destructive influences to our rural areas. From Wisconsin to Kentucky and Oregon, a new kind of methamphetamine is creating psychosis, schizophrenia, and homelessness. It’s also involved in an increasing number of overdose deaths.
Around 80% to 90% of people who need drug and alcohol addiction treatment do not receive it, and for those who do, it is sometimes inadequate to provide them with the tools they need to overcome their addiction. And in addition to the people who accurately perceive they need treatment, millions more aren’t seeking treatment at all, even though they need it.
The article explores the widespread use of Narcan (naloxone) to reverse opioid overdoses, covering its history, availability, and brand names. A little-known concern about the use of Narcan is that its effects are short-lived, potentially allowing overdose symptoms to return.
There’s much discussion about saving lives from drugs. But what would it take? It’s time to take a good hard look at the steps that would have to be taken to bring about a drug-free nation. The various fronts on which this battle would need to be fought are reviewed and evaluated.
The article discusses the emergence of a new category of drugs known as nitazenes in the illicit market, part of the larger class of novel synthetic opioids (NSOs). These drugs are just the latest synthetic opioids to be manufactured and distributed in Europe and North America.
Ketamine has been used recreationally in the U.S. for some time, but only recently have usage rates increased significantly, and only recently has the drug become a major drug of concern. Law enforcement offices are reporting spikes in ketamine busts and seizures, and hospitals are increasingly reporting ketamine chemicals in ER patients.
Cannabis is often labeled by its supporters as a health solution. However, the negative physical and mental effects of cannabis are not often discussed by advocates pushing for its legalization. It’s important to consider the many well-documented negative short-term and long-term health effects of using cannabis products.
Most people understand that alcohol consumption harms critical organs in the human body. People understand that excessive drinking can damage the liver, kidneys, and heart. However, very few people know what alcohol does to the body’s immune system.
A recently published scientific paper highlighted how alcohol contributes to chronic pain. Contrary to the commonly held view that alcohol numbs or dulls pain, researchers found that chronic alcohol consumption makes people more susceptible to pain sensitivity.
New research shows about one-third of substance-related auto accidents between two moving vehicles are caused by intoxicated drivers over 70, even though people in that age group do not comprise one-third of all drivers on the road.
Tens of thousands of American medical practitioners are licensed to dispense buprenorphine formulas to those in addiction recovery. But is providing this medication enough? Shouldn’t there be solutions for the loss of emotional, thinking, and social skills? We take a thorough look at this important topic.
Which drugs are being used more frequently by employed Americans? Are the trends in workplace drug use increasing or decreasing? This review of workplace drug tests from Quest Diagnostics tells employers what they need to know.
Florida’s CORE Pilot Program offers immediate support to overdose survivors. In this program, first responders will bypass conventional emergency facilities and take the survivor to a specialized facility for stabilization and immediate referral to a drug rehabilitation service. The program offers a more certain path to breaking the cycle of addiction and reducing the risk of future overdoses.
After several years of being plagued by fentanyl deaths, new synthetic opioids are moving into the American illicit drug market. As seizures of these drugs and overdose deaths mount, it's possible to detect the brief life cycle of these drugs, where one new synthetic opioid quickly replaces the last one that was taking lives.
As the opioid epidemic continues to spread across the U.S., Americans face a new threat, the risk of the potent synthetic opioid fentanyl being mixed into non-opioid drugs like meth. Given the changing drug landscape, becoming educated about opioids and avoiding them is no longer enough to keep one safe.
Cocaine addiction is on the rise, as are cocaine-related deaths. Cocaine has also made headlines recently, given that fentanyl is increasingly mixed into cocaine batches and sold to addicts without them knowing. The result? Across the nation, people are being exposed to readily available fentanyl-tainted cocaine...
A recent study published in Psychological Medicine found that people with cannabis addiction have an increased risk of developing schizophrenia and other mental health crises.
A new study has shown schools that have a significant percentage of students with prescriptions for ADHD medication also tend to have a higher percentage of students who misuse such drugs.
A recent study has backed up long-standing assertions by addiction experts that exercise is helpful for people in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. The study compiled data from 43 previous studies to examine if previous hypotheses about exercise being conducive to building strength in sobriety are true.
Recently, the United States White House officially labeled xylazine-tainted fentanyl strains as an “emerging threat” in the United States, which means it is a problem that, although not fully developed, is still a critical issue...
When the opioid addiction epidemic began in the early-2000s, only about one in ten addicts could find treatment, a disturbingly low figure. Unfortunately, the gap between those who are addicted and never get help and those who suffer from addiction but do get help continues to grow.
A new research paper published by the CDC tracked a 300% increase in overdose deaths caused by fentanyl between 2016 and 2021. According to the study’s authors, this is the single sharpest increase in drug-related deaths in such a short amount of time since America’s addiction epidemic began in the early 2000s.
A 2022 study revealed that there is measurable success in assisting recovering alcohol addicts to look at recovery from the perspective that it is a lifetime activity. Conversely, addicts who seek to get better lose out to some degree when they view recovery as a sudden change in their behavior that requires one intervention and can then be mostly forgotten about afterward.
A European study found that at least one in ten patients receiving ICU treatment for heart complications were active drug users, showing the stark connection between cardiovascular health conditions and drug abuse.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released their provisional count for fatal overdoses in 2022, highlighting that about 6,000 fewer Americans died from drugs in 2022 than in 2021. If the provisional figures are accurate, 2022 will represent the first year that drug-related fatalities dropped since 2018.
A new study shows that, for people already at risk for Alzheimer’s disease or who are in the early stages of Alzheimer’s, alcohol consumption may worsen symptoms and speed up the onset of the disease. These findings are another clear indicator of why people should not consume alcohol.
Xylazine, a mind-altering animal tranquilizer once thought only rarely used in the U.S., has become so popular in some parts of the country that it has a slang name. It’s called “tranq dope.” In almost all cases, it’s mixed with fentanyl. What happens when an animal tranquilizer is mixed with America’s most potent opioid?
Statistically, Generation Z has been consuming less alcohol than Millennials, Gen X, or Baby Boomers. There could be myriad reasons for this, but it would be worthwhile to examine the cultural shift and attempt to isolate some of the reasons why young people consume less alcohol than previous generations...
While April 22nd saw thousands of Americans participate in Prescription Drug Take Back Day by coming out to dispose of unused pharmaceuticals, research shows there may be other ways to incentivize patients to dispose of unused medication conveniently.
A paper published by the European Society of Cardiology found a connection between drug use and serious heart complications requiring intensive cardiac care unit treatment. Further, the research indicated addicts might experience long-term health complications even after ceasing drug use.
A research paper published in September 2022 showed that even one alcoholic drink has the effect of “priming the brain” for addiction. While the biological side of alcohol dependence is just one contributing factor to addiction, it’s worth noting the effect that one alcoholic beverage has on brain chemistry.
For decades, American medical institutions held that one to two alcoholic drinks per day for men and one per day for women was okay. It was perceived that risks associated with alcohol did not set in until an individual exceeded that level of “moderate” consumption.
The increase in child and adolescent cannabis exposure is a clear downside of cannabis legalization, yet the issue is rarely discussed. This article reports on the problem as it is currently developing in Colorado, while also touching on other health-related harmful effects of cannabis legalization...
It has been common knowledge in addiction treatment communities that recovering addicts should change their environment once they complete treatment. Now new research provides a strong biological argument for why this fundamental principle is crucial to recovery.
A new study reports an alarming increase in children ending up in the ER after experimenting with cough syrup. This over-the-counter medicine can have mind-altering and addictive effects when misused.
Researchers are developing a pain relief method that targets adrenaline receptors rather than opioid receptors. The goal is to produce a pain reliever as effective as opioid painkillers but without harmful side effects and addiction risk.
A recent report broke the news that alcohol-related liver disease is rising among young Americans. The findings are a surprise because alcohol-related liver problems used to be unheard of among this age group.
A recent study found that almost one in five Americans takes sleeping pills, either over the counter or with a prescription. Unfortunately, many types of sleeping meds can be habit-forming, especially when taken in any way other than as prescribed by a doctor or as directed on the packaging.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published their life expectancy data for 2021, and the findings show Americans experienced their second year in a row of a drop in life expectancy. Several leading health and medical institutions, including the CDC and Harvard Health, are now pointing to drug overdoses as a primary contributing factor to the drop in life expectancy.
After trending up and down for decades, LSD use is at its highest level in many years. There are certain distinct causes for this rise—but are any of them valid? Are the effects of this new LSD experimentation likely to be positive or negative?
Reports of drug-facilitated sexual assaults are being received by law enforcement all over the country. To keep themselves safe, women and men should know what drugs are being used and how they are administered, both on college campuses and in cities.
Research from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration shows about one in eight children live in a household where at least one of their parents regularly abuses drugs and alcohol. Given what is known about the intergenerational nature of addiction, this means at least 12.5% of U.S. youths are at extremely high risk for developing addiction later in life simply as a result of their at-home living situation.
A new study has shown that when a doctor is told that a patient of theirs survived a near-fatal overdose on opioids, the rate at which that doctor prescribes opioid pain relievers to his patients falls in the following year. The study also found that if the doctor’s patient died as a result of an opioid overdose, that doctor’s rate of prescribing falls even lower.
New synthetic drugs are the wave of the future—and the present. Every year, a long list of new drugs is detected by law enforcement. Buyers may not even know what they are getting as these new substances may be camouflaged. This ignorance can result in their death.
Across the country, teens and young adults are adding illicit drugs to their vaping devices because they can use them without being detected, often right in front of parents or teachers.
A significant percentage of young people undergo their first exposure to mind-altering drugs by simply consuming leftover medications they found in the family medicine cabinet or elsewhere in the home. Because it is far easier to prevent someone from using drugs than treat addiction once the person is hooked, families should commit to creating substance-free homes.
Colorado legalized psilocybin with Ballot Proposal 122 in November’s midterm elections. But did advocates for psilocybin legalization properly inform voters about the drug before asking them to vote on it?
Recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest a slight leveling-out in overdose deaths across the U.S. This has led some to believe the worst of the addiction epidemic has passed. Unfortunately, no leveling-out or even a downturn in overdoses will become stable and lasting if effective treatment options are not made available to the 23 million addicts at constant risk of an overdose.
The CDC’s 2016 opioid prescribing guidelines were important because they advocated caution and a conservative approach to prescribing. But in November 2022, the CDC updated its recommendations, softening its guidelines for doctors prescribing oxycodone and other painkillers.
In the November 2022 midterm elections, marijuana ballot proposals were on the ticket in five states. Voters went to the polls to decide whether or not their states would legalize recreational cannabis use, but were the ballot proposal advocates sufficiently informing voters about marijuana?
When illicit fentanyl production first became a serious problem in the United States, it was almost entirely a trafficking problem, with the fentanyl being made in Mexico and China and then trafficked to the U.S. But according to recent DEA reports, many clandestine labs have cropped up on U.S. soil, labs which are making the potent synthetic opioid and distributing it locally, especially in the form of counterfeit pills.
A survey published by Orlando Health showed that 68% of Americans would be willing to try alternatives to opioids for post-surgery pain. Given that opioid prescriptions are one of the most common ways Americans become addicted to drugs, these findings suggest medical institutions should put in more effort to make alternatives to pain relief available to patients.
With the holidays around the corner, people should familiarize themselves with the signs of substance abuse. Most Americans will spend quality time with family members in the coming weeks, potentially with loved ones they don’t see often. Given those unique circumstances, the holidays present an opportune moment to intervene with loved ones if they misuse drugs and alcohol. But first, people must be educated on the signs and symptoms of substance abuse.
During the pandemic, admissions to addiction treatment centers dropped by about 25%. That same year, fatal drug overdoses hit the highest year-over-year increase ever recorded, a 30% spike according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These findings suggest that having access to drug rehab is truly lifesaving.
Even as opioid prescribing rates decline, a few thousand doctors are still responsible for the significant overprescribing of opioids to the broader public. With that in mind, the American people will not overcome the opioid epidemic until all doctors and prescribers agree to adopt more conservative, cautious prescribing guidelines as outlined by the CDC.
Prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) rose to prominence in the early-2000s as a watchdog system for curtailing overprescribing and the diversion of pharmaceuticals into the hands of addicts, not patients. Twenty years later, research shows PDMPs only work when drug rehab is included for those addicted. When rehab is not included alongside PDMPs, addicts seek hard street drugs, and overdoses follow.
It is generally accepted that the more potent a drug is, the more powerful and severe its effects on users. So why is cannabis being treated like the same drug used by previous generations? The cannabis of today is not the cannabis of yesteryear. The serious health problems today’s users face stand as evidence of that.
Since 2019, there have been 171 verified overdoses in Michigan that were traced back to a non-opioid animal tranquilizer called xylazine. That number is likely an undercount, but it is the most recent number Michigan toxicologists have published. Often without addicts knowing, drug dealers lace the tranquilizer into other drugs to create an extended high. Unfortunately, combining xylazine with other drugs increases users' risk for an overdose.
Decades of scientific efforts have sought to understand why some people become addicted to drugs and others do not. One research paper suggests the issue is far simpler than what many believed. According to the data, anyone and everyone are at risk for drug and alcohol addiction, hence the importance of educating the public about this critical health risk.
From Appalachian wastewater to the Puget Sound, California groundwater to rivers and streams, scientists across the nation have begun detecting trace elements of opioids in water supplies. The presence of opioids in the water could harm individuals who do not want to have any opioids in their bodies and who have a right not to have their bodies influenced by such chemicals. Further, the findings have alarming implications for wildlife if fish, mussels, and other marine life now must evolve to adjust to increased levels of opioid chemicals in the water.
Drug addiction affects everyone differently. While such a crisis is unique to the individual, certain demographics face challenges one might not find elsewhere. For example, military veterans who become addicted to drugs and alcohol often feel disinclined to discuss their problems or seek addiction treatment.
A recent study found that 75% of people who come forward and seek addiction treatment are hooked on more than one drug at the time of entry into a treatment facility. Given that most addicts use more than one drug, an effective public health response may be to shift away from focusing on the types of drugs being used and instead focus on the people using them.
A recent study has shown that since 2020, youth harm from drug abuse has skyrocketed. Further, this harm has occurred in a very peculiar way. While overall drug use rates have mostly stayed the same for young adult demographics, the harm from drug use (accidents, injuries, overdoses, and fatalities) has skyrocketed. Primarily because of the types of drugs being used, substance abuse is now far more dangerous for young people than it used to be.
New research has chronicled the alarming rise in methamphetamine-related deaths over the last few years. In the findings, analysts were able to identify where in the U.S., meth-related deaths have been occurring the most. The overwhelming majority of them are happening in rural counties across America. So what has caused the spike in rural methamphetamine overdoses?
Newly published research into youth drug use trends indicates an alarming, unpredicted surge in hallucinogen use. Those who are now hooked will need help getting off such drugs. Further, understanding what prompted the surge will be crucial in preventing more young people from experimenting with mind-altering drugs.
A number of research papers seem to reinforce the view that alcohol consumption is never a healthy choice, regardless of age or how much alcohol one consumes.
Every state in the nation has felt the hardship of the opioid addiction crisis. But no state has been hit harder than West Virginia, where several factors came together to create the worst drug problem the nation has seen in decades.
Boredom is a dangerous condition for a person determined to stay sober. It's smart for anyone in recovery to know the best ways to prevent themselves from feeling bored. The payoff is not only sobriety but often includes achievement of personal goals, attainment of greater skills, and the chance to help others.
A recent study of 274 people found that adolescent cannabis users were three times more likely to develop severe cannabis addiction than other age groups. While cannabis poses an addiction risk for all people who experiment with it, younger users may be at significantly higher risk.
It’s been understood for some time that individuals newly in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction should not re-enter the same environments they were in when they were abusing substances. While this has always been a common sense view, there is new scientific research to provide evidence-based confirmation for why recovering addicts must seek new environments.
In 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a set of prescribing guidelines, written in a way to encourage doctors to curb excessive opioid prescribing. The guidelines were somewhat effective, and overall prescribing trends did recede. However, recent data shows that another small but critical change to the prescribing guidelines could significantly reduce opioid addiction and overdose in the United States.
Most Americans don’t see any harm in binge drinking occasionally, maybe just a couple of weekends a year. However, this behavior is quite harmful. A new study shows that people who binge drink at all, even if just once every few months or on holidays, are at several times more risk of developing alcohol addiction than those who do not binge drink at all.
Speedballing is not a new trend, but it is a trend that is changing and becoming more dangerous. Unfortunately, as more people seek to mix stimulant drugs with opioids or “speedball,” more people will die from overdoses caused by such lethal cocktails. And with the ever-expanding addition of fentanyl into the drug supply, addicts are at even greater risk.
Alarm bells are ringing across public health and research sectors from the east coast to the west and everywhere in between. Drug-related fatalities continue to rise, with no apparent end in sight. Yet drug overdoses are preventable, and there are effective tools for combating drug addiction.
MDMA usage trends and statistics have shifted over time, presenting public health officials and family members with new challenges in combatting the problem.
Inhalants refer to a broad range of household and industrial chemicals whose volatile vapors or pressurized gases cause a mind-altering effect when breathed through the nose or mouth. Such vapors produce intoxication in a manner not intended by the manufacturer. In fact, many of these substances are actually poisonous to inhale, and they carry warning labels that specifically caution people not to inhale them.
It’s important to monitor new drug trends as they arise, as every trend brings new risks to addicts. While the usage of “poppers” is not new, this drug trend is making a bold comeback, posing risks to a new generation of drug users.
If a drug has the potential to create mind-altering effects in those who use it, then that drug has the potential to cause harm. And while hallucinogenic drugs do not cause the high overdose rates or critical public health crises associated with other narcotics, such substances are still physically and mentally debilitating and overall quite harmful. This article aims to cover basic trends in usage and the statistics surrounding hallucinogen abuse in the United States.
Not all mind-altering substances receive equal attention from the media, policymakers, and public health officials. But any drug has the potential to harm the user, hence the importance of understanding usage trends and statistics for all drugs. This article briefly highlights relevant trends and statistics regarding club drug usage.
One of the crucial components in reducing drug experimentation and addiction is ensuring people do not have easy access to drugs. To that point, prescription drug take-back programs may be one of America's best efforts for reducing youth exposure to addictive pharmaceuticals.
New and dangerous trends manifesting in the illicit drug use community reflect a dire need for addicts to seek treatment now.
While the entire world experienced a drop in human life expectancy in the last two years, the drop in the United States was much more pronounced than the global average, leading many experts to believe overdose deaths had an alarming effect on American mortality rates.
Though it is not often mentioned by the media, there is a broader economic cost to the national public health emergency of drug and alcohol addiction. Addiction is expensive, not just for addicts, but for all Americans. Conversely, solving America’s addiction epidemic and returning millions of recovering addicts to the workforce would benefit the economy.
New research shows that adolescent Americans, who had been experiencing a drop in drug use for part of the 21st century, saw their overdose death rate double in just one year, 2020. Experts believe that the recent spike in teen overdose deaths have been driven almost entirely by fentanyl overdoses.
A common narrative heard circulating amongst the proponents of cannabis legalization is that cannabis is not dangerous and therefore should be legal. This narrative is not just misleading; it’s largely untrue. As cannabis research continues, scientists and researchers are finding many dangerous health complications intimately connected to cannabis.
A recent study seems to dispel the age-old belief that just a little bit of alcohol has heart health benefits. Contrary to that belief, rather than being beneficial, any alleged “benefits” once observed in people who drank alcohol in moderation were likely caused by other factors, like an active lifestyle. Alcohol consumption, even when done in moderation, poses a severe risk of harming one’s health, not benefiting it.
The consumption of alcohol is so ingrained in many cultures that it is accepted without question. What may go unnoticed is the millions of deaths it causes every year around the world. The deadly character of alcohol should be understood by everyone.
During my early sobriety, one of the biggest obstacles I found that kept me from living a life of recovery was the fear that I wouldn’t be able to have fun without alcohol. Looking back on this now, I can see how crazy that thought was...
In the late 20th century, tobacco and alcohol companies were caught using marketing techniques to advertise their products to young people. Today, it would appear that cannabis companies are attempting similar strategies to widen their customer base to include a younger demographic.
In 2020, Oregon passed decriminalization legislation to reduce the harmful effects of the addiction-to-prison pipeline and the failed war on drugs. However, new data shows that the implementation of the state’s program fell short of properly incentivizing addicts to seek treatment. The result was a less effective plan than intended and addicts continuing to use drugs.
Researchers at the University of New England found that the rate of opioid-related cardiac arrests has risen dramatically and is now on par with the rate of cardiac arrest from other causes. The research sheds light on yet another major health risk connected to opioid addiction, i.e., the risk for suffering a potentially fatal heart complication.
While the number of cases of synthetic marijuana are declining, this drug isn't any less dangerous. Synthetic marijuana is a volatile and unpredictable drug.
New information shows that young people are increasingly overdosing on prescription drugs, namely psychotropic medications such as benzodiazepines and prescription stimulants.
When prescription drug abuse really began to take off in the U.S., causing unprecedented deaths and destruction, many Americans chose to blame the pharmaceutical companies which made the drugs. And this was the right place to lay the blame, or at least most of it.
Depicted in movies and popular music and pop culture as a way to “Expand Your Mind”, hallucinogens have been circulating in modern society for over fifty years and doing a lot of damage along the way. Some of the names are, shrooms, angel dust, hell’s bells, and acid. Acid, also known as LSD, is the granddaddy of these drugs in terms of strength and unpredictability.
Nitazenes are a new type of opioid drug said to be 800 times more potent than morphine and 40 times more potent than fentanyl. This drug has not yet been approved for human consumption in the U.S., and it is not FDA approved. But could nitazenes become the next “super opioid” to hit the streets?
Making the decision to go to rehab and get help to overcome addiction is a big step, and one of the most important ones on the road to recovery. Sticking through a rehab program and successfully completing it is another big milestone along the way.
Addiction is such a pervasive problem in America that one in eight Americans suffer from this problem. Grasping the extent of the problem is a vital first step to resolving it successfully.
Tianeptine is a relatively new pharmaceutical drug that is being misused for its mind-altering properties, leading to overdoses and harsh consequences. Given the harmful nature of drug abuse and the growing addiction crisis across America, it’s important to stay on top of emerging drug trends like tianeptine abuse and addiction.
There is no doubt that drinking to excess creates harm and risk, both for the person consuming alcohol and for those around him or her. Unfortunately, young people are not only drinking more alcohol, but they’re also consuming alcohol at a younger age.
The drug is not too common in the U.S. (although that is difficult to determine because the U.S. does not record statistics on khat usage). However, about 20 million people worldwide use khat for its stimulant-like and mind-altering properties.
Most of the focus regarding impaired driving goes to drunk driving. But what about drugged driving? What about marijuana-impaired driving?