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Perspectives of pediatric oncologists and palliative care physicians on the therapeutic use of cannabis in children with cancer

10/21/21--The purpose of this study was to determine the perspectives and practices of pediatric oncologists and palliative care physicians regarding the use of cannabis for medical purposes among children with cancer. Findings indicate that most pediatric oncologists and palliative care physicians recognize a potential role for cannabis in symptom control in children with cancer. Read

Nearly 100 civil rights, policy organizations urge congress to reject Biden’s harmful sentencing proposal

10/21/21--Today, nearly 100 leading civil rights organizations, community organizers, and policy groups issued a joint letter to congressional leaders opposing President Biden’s proposal to permanently classify fentanyl-related substances (FRS) as Schedule I drugs. The coalition calls on Congress to let the classwide scheduling policy expire and focus on passing public-health solutions, like expanding access to harm reduction and treatment. Read

State plans for government-sanctioned ‘Injection Sites,’ would evaluate quality of hard drugs and allow users to shoot up

10/24/21--Rhode Island is nearing the start of a pilot plan to give drug users a legal place to use illegal drugs. The two-year pilot is a first for any state, the Wall Street Journal reported. Rhode Island hopes to finish crating the rules for the sites in January and determine where the sites will be located in March. Some have questioned the project, but legislators who supported the project say the time is right. Read

Prevalence of adolescent cannabis vaping: A systematic review and met-analysis of US and Canadian studies

10/25/21--The findings of this study suggest that the prevalence of cannabis vaping has increased among adolescents in the US and Canada and that more effective preventive and response measures are required. Read

Frequent teenage cannabis use: Prevalence across adolescence and associations with young adult psychopathology and functional well-being in an urban cohort

11/1/21--This study aims to 1) examine the prevalence of cannabis use during adolescence, and 2) investigate links of frequent (i.e., weekly or daily) teenage cannabis use with psychopathology and functional well-being at age 20—compared to no or occasional use. Results indicate that frequent teenage cannabis use was common and associated with problematic substance use, more delinquency, and poorer functional well-being at age 20. Accordingly, frequent teenage cannabis users could experience increased difficulties in mastering the transitions of young adulthood. Read

CDC Reports record high 12-month drug overdose death toll

10/14/21--Drug overdose deaths in the United States hit a new record for the 12-month period ending March 2021, new government data shows. A record high 96,779 drug overdose deaths occurred between March 2020 and March 2021, representing a 29.6% rise, new statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics found. Read

Marijuana legalization was a mistake. Highly concentrated pot is destroying my son’s life.

10/17/21--Aubree Adams, director of Every Brain Matters and parent coordinator for a Houston recovery community, openly discusses in an op-ed her eldest son's addiction to marijuana and her initial denial of the fact until he attacked his younger brother and then tried to kill himself. She explains that marijuana, which has been linked to mental illness and psychosis in teens and young adults, slowly takes away your humanity, and says that this is what it did to her son. Read

National Hispanic cannabis council releases report on ‘State of the Hispanic Cannabis Industry in the U.S.’

10/14/21--The National Hispanic Cannabis Council unveiled Thursday a first-ever report on Hispanics in the Cannabis Industry report detailing the “State of the Hispanic Cannabis Industry in the U.S.” The inaugural report, authored by Nucleus One, a leading cannabis industry and business management consulting firm, delivers an informative overview of Hispanic engagement in the industry and the challenges and opportunities currently facing Hispanic businesses and individuals. Read

Study could pave way for creating safer opioids

10/14/21--In a study published in Nature Oct. 13, researchers looked at how opioids may have become so widely abused, and researchers may have uncovered answers on how to create a safer opioid: Design it to bypass the part of brain that feels pleasure, but retain the analgesic properties, which make opioids one of the most effective pain relievers. Read  

With overdose deaths soaring, DEA warns about fentanyl-, meth-laced pills

9/27/21-The Drug Enforcement Administration issued a public warning Monday that a growing number of fake pills bought online are laced with potentially lethal amounts of the synthetic opioid fentanyl, and blamed social media sites for not doing more to protect their users. DEA Administrator Anne Milgram reported that the amounts are staggering, and she believes we're in the midst of an overdose crisis, and the counterfeit pills are driving so much of it. Read

Murders spiked in 2020 in cities across the United States

9/27/21--The year-to-year increase in homicides from 2019 was the largest since national record-keeping began in 1960. But overall, major crimes declined last year. Overall, the toll of some 21,500 people killed last year is still well below the record set during the violence of the early 1990s. Still, several cities, like Albuquerque, Des Moines, Indianapolis, Memphis, Milwaukee and Syracuse, recorded their highest homicide numbers ever, according to the report. Read

Medical cannabis authorization and the risk of cardiovascular events: a longitude cohort study

9/10/21--Cannabis is increasingly used for therapeutic purpose. However, its safety profile is not well known. This study assessed the risk of cardiovascular-related emergency department (ED) visit and hospitalization in adult patients authorized to use medical cannabis in Ontario, Canada from 2014 to 2017. Read

In search of a better way to assess the risk of youth exposure to nicotine and tobacco products

9/27/21--The CDC examines middle school and high school students’ current (past 30 days) use of multiple tobacco products, including cigarettes, cigars, smokeless tobacco, hookahs, pipe tobacco, and electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes). In addition to assessing current use of each product individually, the CDC tracks past 30-day use of any tobacco product (ATP). Both e-cigarette and ATP use rose dramatically in 2018 and 2019, leading public health authorities to label youth vaping an epidemic. Both measures declined in 2020. Read

Alcohol regulations show that bipartisanship can cost the public

9/27/21--According to an article published in The Hill by James M. Hohman, there can be public benefits when the government regulates a dangerous product. However, other pieces of alcohol policy offer few benefits to the public. States do things such as grant exclusive regional monopolies to wholesalers and distributors. The Brewer’s Association says that 43 states do this for beer. This does nothing to protect public health, but it does a lot to give wholesalers and distributors monopoly profits. Read

Why corporate social responsibility is BS

9/26/21--According to Robert Reich, author and former US secretary of labor who is also professor of public policy at the University of California at Berkeley, big corporations would violate laws on worker safety, wages and hours and pensions, whenever doing so was cheaper than obeying the laws. And they’d fight like hell against such laws to begin with – all the while telling the public what wonderful citizens they were. Read

Withdrawal from Psychostimulants restructures functional architect of brain

9/27/21--In a new paper, publishing September 27, 2021 in the journal eNeuro, a multi-institution team of researchers describe how withdrawal from nicotine, methamphetamine and cocaine altered the functional architecture and patterns in the brains of mice, compared to control animals. Read

PMPSA’s Population Health Impact Model

9/13/21--Stanton Glantz and his colleagues at the UCSF TCORS submitted this public comment to the FDA stating that the PMPSA’s Population Health Impact Model for IQOS underestimates the health impact of IQOS, does not adequately address new published research and information on population health impacts, and does not demonstrate benefits to individual or population health, so FDA should not issue an exposure modification MRTP order for IQOS 3. Read

Fireside Project Partners with UCSF to study effectiveness of psychedelic peer support line

9/8/21--The non-profit Fireside Project announced its collaboration with researchers at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) on a study of the effectiveness of its Psychedelic Peer Support Line for assisting people with their challenging psychedelic experiences. This will be the first study to analyze the potential public health impact of a psychedelic peer support line. Read

FDA can and should prioritize youth over Juul and other e-cigs sales while it ponders the long term

9/10/21--Health groups successfully sued FDA to force action after years of delays and deadline extensions that allowed thousands of e-cigarettes to remain on the market without any FDA premarket review and millions of kids to become nicotine addicts. The order provided that any product that did not submit a PMTA by September 9, 2020, or that had not obtained a permissive marketing order from FDA by September 9, 2021, was being marketed illegally and was subject to enforcement action by FDA. Read

Longitudinal trajectories of E-cigarette use among adolescents: A 5-year, multiple cohort study of vaping with and without marijuana

9/1/21--This longitudinal study sought to identify and differentiate between developmental trajectories of past 30-day e-cigarette use with and without marijuana (i.e., liquid THC) across adolescence (11–19 years old). With one exception, all trajectories of e-cigarette use escalated with age. Moreover, age of onset and progression in use were positively related. The most problematic trajectories, corresponding to more frequent use, were observed among the younger cohorts compared to the oldest. Read

Delta-8 available in 29 states while others try to ban it

9/1/21-- has been a sensation in the country. The popularity of Delta-8 THC soared throughout 2020 and many believed its reign of euphoric bliss would continue into 2021 and beyond. However, the federal government and the DEA are coming down in it, and several U.S. states are restricting or banning delta-8 is the result of confusing, conflicting, and unclear federal guidelines. Read

Marijuana use at historic high among college-aged adults in 2020

9/8/21--Marijuana use continued to rise among college students over the past five years and remained at historically high levels among same-aged peers who are not in college in 2020, according to survey results from the 2020 Monitoring the Future (MTF) panel study. This represents the highest levels of marijuana use recorded since the 1980s. Read

Legal woes of CEO’s spouse bring marijuana MSO Trulieve unwanted attention

9/9/21--The recent criminal conviction of the husband of Trulieve Cannabis CEO Kim Rivers has cast an unflattering spotlight on the multistate marijuana operator, focusing attention on how the profitable company secured its Florida business license and renewing questions about its dealings with a construction firm partly owned by Rivers’ spouse. Read

Canadian cannabis industry ‘increasingly fragmented’ despite M&A

9/9/21--According to a report by Bank of Montreal analyst Tamy Chen, the Canadian cannabis industry is becoming more fragmented than ever, with the biggest licensed producers continuing to lose market share as a whole. Citing data from analytics firm Hifyre, the report notes that the top five licensed producers represented less than 40% of the Canadian market in August, down substantially from a year ago when the producers accounted for more than half of all retail sales. Read

Opioid prescribing to US children and young in 2019

9/9/21--This study identified opioid prescriptions dispensed to children and young adults in 2019 in the IQVIA Longitudinal Prescription Database. Results indicate that almost half of pediatric opioid prescriptions are high risk, and to reduce high-risk prescribing, initiatives targeting high-volume prescribers may be warranted. However, broad-based initiatives are also needed to address the large share of high-risk prescribing attributable to other prescribers. Read

Blog: The cannabis industry and the term ‘medical cannabis’

9/9/21--In a Society for The Study of Addiction article, Dr Bobby Smyth MRCPsych PhD, a consultant child & adolescent psychiatrist at Tallaght, Dublin and a clinical senior lecturer with the Department of Public Health & Primary Care in Trinity College Dublin, shares his personal views about ‘big cannabis’ falling into the same category as ‘big alcohol’ and ‘big tobacco’ stating that in fairness to alcohol and tobacco corporations, they are at least subject to some regulations while it seems to be the ‘wild west’ for the cannabis industry. He further states that, sadly, there is absolutely no line dividing the “medical” cannabis industry from the “recreational” cannabis industry. Read

Recent cannabis use and myocardial infraction in young adults: a cross sectional study

9/7/21--The purpose of this study was to assess the association between recent cannabis use and history of myocardial infarction (MI) in young adults (aged 18–44 yr) using pooled data from the 2017 and 2018 cohorts of the American Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey of US adults. The association between any recent cannabis use and history of MI using a weighted logistic regression model that adjusted for demographic factors, socioeconomic factors, health-related behaviors, concomitant substance use and other comorbidities were assessed. They also assessed this association after stratifying by frequency of use and by primary method of consumption. Read

The vapes as strong as 125 cigarettes: Health fears over new craze among young people for super-strength nicotine devices

9/6/21--Health fears are sparked as a result of children buying super-strength vapes – equivalent to smoking 125 cigarettes. They are so powerful that young users have reported lengthy nosebleeds, coughing up blood, headaches, chest pains and dizzy spells. Last night experts warned vaping was a ‘huge crisis for young people’ and called for action. TikTok also launched an investigation after being alerted by the Mail and pledged to ban accounts and remove videos that promoted the possession or consumption of the products by minors. Read

Association of marijuana legalization with marijuana use among US high school students, 1993-2019

9/7/21--Using data from the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) for the period 1993-2017, Anderson et al found that RML adoption was associated with an 8% decrease in the odds of marijuana use among high school students. These authors, however, had prelegalization and postlegalization data from only 7 states and pre– and post–recreational sales data from only 3 states, calling into question the generalizability of their results. Read

Lawsuit files in B.C. argues criminalization of drugs is a charter violation

9/2/21--A group representing drug users has filed a lawsuit against the federal government in British Columbia Supreme Court seeking to decriminalize the possession of illicit drugs, arguing criminalization during the overdose crisis violates charter rights. Read

Safety and tolerability of transdermal cannabidiol gel in children with developmental and epileptic encephalopathies

9/3/21--In this nonrandomized controlled trial, CBD transdermal gel was well tolerated over 6.5 months of treatment, with 60% of patients experiencing a treatment-related adverse event, 96% of which were mild or moderate. A 43.5% reduction in seizure frequency was observed in focal impaired awareness seizures and tonic-clonic seizures. These results suggest that CBD transdermal gel is well tolerated in children with developmental and epileptic encephalopathies and may be associated with a reduction in epileptic seizures. Read

Beyond dopamine: New reward circuitry discovered

9/1/21--In a paper published in Nature Neuroscience, researchers from the Bruchas Lab at the University of Washington School of Medicine pushed the science forward on our reward pathways and found there is another pathway beyond dopamine. The Bruchas Lab is expanding knowledge of the inner workings of the brain and identifying treatments for psychiatric diseases. Read

Phillip Morris International vets launch new agency for regulated industries

8/31/21--Jaime Suarez and Albert Moufarrij, , who both worked client side with tobacco company Philip Morris International, announced the launch of MACH9, which specializes in helping brands meet regulatory requirements while engaging with audiences online in a socially responsible way. Read

Delta-8-THC craze concerns chemists

8/30/21--The popularity of another cannabinoid, ∆8-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta-8-THC), is on the rise. Found in gummies, vape cartridges, tinctures, and other products, delta-8-THC is popping up in gas stations, convenience stores, tobacco shops, and cannabis dispensaries throughout the US and beyond—often with no age restrictions. Regardless of whether delta-8-THC is legal, chemists are sounding the alarm after finding several unidentified compounds in products labeled as delta-8-THC. Read

Federal Taxation of Cannabis: A Primer

8/30/21--According to the research documentation outlined and presented by Gordon Gray, Director of Fiscal Policy at the American Action Forum, as federal and state governments remain somewhat in limbo on the overarching question of legalization and associated taxation, the practicalities of how much and how effectively these products are taxed have policy implications for governments, local economies, consumers, and even complementary industries. Read

Substance use screening and rates of treatment referral among justice-involved youth

8/30/21--Data on screening and linkage to treatment within the justice system is lacking. Therefore, to further inform the juvenile justice behavioral health cascade of care, this study examined factors associated with identified problematic substance use and treatment referral using two screening tools. Study results indicates that regardless of tool used, treatment referral was low, highlighting the need for accurate identification of treatment needs of substance-using, justice-involved youth. Interventions to facilitate referrals for youth with problematic substance use are needed. Read

Addiction should be treated, not penalized: An interview with Nora D. Volkow

8/25/21--As part of the SDG3 good health and wellbeing initiative at Springer Nature, BioMed Central talks to Nora Volkow, research psychiatrist, scientist, and Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse at the National Institutes of Health, on her views about the treatment of addictions. She argues that current laws and policies that criminalize and incarcerate people who use drugs are counter-productive, and exacerbate the current opioid overdose crisis and other addiction-related problems. Read

Bernstein Litowitz told to try again in effort to inspect JUUL’s books

8/24/21--Bernstein Litowitz, one of the leading plaintiffs firms for class actions against companies that suffer, drops in their values. They will have to try to make their inspection request again, this time under Delaware law. Grove represents Daniel Grove, who did not waive his rights to inspect corporate records under the California Corporations Code, threatened to bring an action in California to enforce inspection, and JUUL filed a case against Grove in Delaware seeking to declare he had no right to the books. Read

Use of electric cigarettes as a predictor of cannabis experimentation: A longitudinal study among German youth

8/12/21--This study aimed to investigate whether e-cigarette use longitudinally predicts experimentation with cannabis, and results indicate that e-cigarette use is associated with a subsequent initiation of cannabis use. This association seems to be stronger for youth who have a lower risk for substance use in general. Future studies need to investigate whether this is only true for experimental or also more frequent cannabis use. Read

The seven key messages of the alcohol industry

8/9/21--This revised (2021) publication is written for anyone who wants to learn more about the strategies that the alcohol industry applies worldwide, nationally and locally to improve their position and image. Practice has shown that this information can be of great value to professionals, politicians and other interested persons who are confronted for the first time with interventions from the alcohol industry in their work. Read

All eyes of FDA: The upcoming regulation of Juul e-cigarettes

8/6/21--Following a court ruling, FDA must issue PMTA orders by September 9, pro or con, for every e-cigarette brand or variant that has applied to stay on the market and take any not receiving permissive orders off the market. So, the big questions are whether FDA will issue PMTA orders to allow the continued marketing of any e-cigarettes, and if so, what restrictions and requirements FDA might put on the permitted e-cigarettes, their flavors, and their marketing. Read

Association of 1 vaping session with cellular oxidative stress in otherwise healthy young people with no history of smoking or vaping

8/9/21--The purpose of this study was to evaluate the association of a single session of ECIG vaping on COS in immune cells in young people who do not smoke or vape compared with young people with long-term TCIG or ECIG use. Read

Sturgeon’s drugs shame

8/5/21--Scotland’s drug deaths have more than doubled since Nicola Sturgeon became First Minister seven years ago and nearly tripled since her party took office. This week, the roll call of substance abuse fatalities during the SNP’s period of government is set to hit 10,000. Yet, despite that disturbing number, there has been no examination of this current unfolding tragedy. Read

Fewer than half older adults discuss alcohol with providers

7/29/21--ore than half of U.S. adults age 65 and older who used alcohol and had a healthcare visit in the past year were not asked about their alcohol use, according to a new study by Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health researchers. In particular, older women who have distinct risks from alcohol were less likely than older men to discuss their alcohol use. Read

Gender differences in any alcohol screening and discussions with providers among older adults in the United States, 2015 to 2019

7/29/21--Among older adults who used alcohol and encountered the healthcare system in the past year, 24.68% of men and 27.04% of women reported no alcohol screening/discussions. Men were more likely than women to be asked about drinking frequency, amount, or problems related to drinking. Compared to no alcohol screening/discussions, women were 22% more likely to report alcohol screening only but were 18% less likely to discuss alcohol with providers than men. Read

Updates on the European open-label, phase 2, multicenter feasibility study of manualized MDMA-assisted psychotherapy in subjects with PTSD

7/26/21--After more than 6 months of searching for suitable PTSD patients, we are very happy to report that the team at the research site in Klecany, Czech Republic, have successfully enrolled and treated their first participant in the last few weeks. Read

Calgary lawyer takes on Purdue Pharma to collect opioid-related costs for Canadian cities

8/4/21--A Calgary-based law firm, on behalf of all Canadian cities and municipalities, has filed an objection to Purdue Pharma L.P.'s multibillion-dollar bankruptcy proposal that would compensate U.S. cities, counties, states and Native American tribes for damages related to the opioid crisis while leaving out Canadian jurisdictions. CBC reports that Mathew Farrell with Guardian Law Group says the damage from the opioid crisis didn't stop at the Canadian border. Read

Effects of graphic warning labels of cigarette packs on US smokers’ cognitions and a random clinical trial

8/4/21-- This randomized clinical trial found that graphic warning labels decreased positive perceptions of cigarettes associated with branded cigarette packs but without clearly increasing health concerns. They also increased quitting cognitions but did not affect either cigarette cessation or consumption levels. Read

Coffee protects against liver cancer while alcohol is linked with numerous cancers

8/4/21--According to a new study funded by World Cancer Research Fund, and published this week in Nature Communications, increased coffee consumption was associated with a lower risk of developing liver cancer and basal cell carcinoma of the skin. The study looked at data from 860 reviews (meta-analyses) of published studies, which explored the association between food and nutrient intake and the risk of either developing or dying from 11 different cancers. Read

ONDCP funds research to support evidence-based state drug policies and laws

8/2/21--As part of efforts to address addiction and the overdose epidemic, the Office of National Drug Control Policy today announced $2.5 million to support the establishment of state-level model legislation that advances efforts to expand access to harm reduction services, as well as promote equity in access to treatment and drug enforcement efforts for underserved communities. Read

No hangovers of beer bellies: Cannabis firms try to woo booze drinkers

8/3/21--Some of the largest cannabis companies in North America see a multibillion-dollar marijuana beverage industry waiting to be tapped as states increasingly embrace legal weed, but it’s struggling to boost a potentially lucrative market that centers on persuading Americans to drink their weed. Read

Children increasingly overdosing on marijuana edibles

7/21/21--The number of children under 12 who have ingested edibles at home jumped from 132 in 2016 to almost 2,500 last year, according to the American Association of Poison Control Centers. Those requiring medical care jumped astronomically, too. Read

Two models of legalization of psychedelic substances

8/2/21--Two of the most ambitious measures, in Oregon and California, take different paths to legalization. This Viewpoint reviews these initiatives and the concerns they raise by looking to the cautionary precedents involving the legalization and commercialization of other controlled substances. Read

Changes in cannabis use modes among Canadian youth across recreational cannabis legalization: Data from the COMPASS prospective cohort study

8/2/21--This study was designed to investigate changes in cannabis modes of use and associated factors across the federal legalization of recreational cannabis use for adults in Canada. Results indicate that multi-modal cannabis use increased among Canadian youth, and its association with other substance use and depressive symptoms may indicate clustering of additional harms. Read

Yale opioid study highlights the ethical tightrope researcher walk to study addiction using deception

7/30/21--A Yale study entitled “Methadone Access for Opioid Use Disorder During the COVID-19 Pandemic Within the United States and Canada, that found Canadian clinics were faster than the U.S. to provide opioid treatment during the COVID-19 pandemic highlights the ethical tightrope researchers must walk when studying addiction while using deception in their research gathering. Read

Drug-related deaths in Scotland in 2020

7/30/21--This publication provides statistics of drug-related deaths registered in Scotland in 2020. This includes trends since 1996, as well as breakdowns by age, sex, substances and other factors. In 2020, there were 1,339 drug-related deaths registered in Scotland. This was 5% more than in 2019 and the largest number since records began in 1996. Deaths have increased substantially over the last 20 years – there were 4.6 times as many deaths in 2020 compared with 2000. Read

The effects of alcohol on the body

7/30/21--Alcohol affects the human body in a number of ways. Explore the options outlines and presented by Priory Health Group to see the long and short term effects on the body. Read

Young lured to tobacco addiction via e-cigarettes

7/27/21--According to the the World Health Organization (WHO), the tobacco industry's sleek marketing is attracting youngsters to e-cigarettes which can lead to tobacco addiction, despite claims by some executives that they aim to solve the smoking epidemic. The WHO is calling for greater regulation of smoke-free devices containing nicotine. Read

Frontline advocates view $26 bln opioid deal with frustration, worry

7/27/21--Four major U.S. drug companies Johnson & Johnson, AmerisourceBergen Corp, Cardinal Health Inc (CAH.N) and McKesson Corp) agreed to a $26 billion settlement last week to end lawsuits over the opioid crisis, but treatment advocates expressed frustration that the money will be slow to arrive and worry it could be misspent. The distributors will make payments over 18 years and Johnson & Johnson over nine years. Read

Cannabis part of the future says tobacco giant

7/30/21--British American Tobacco (BAT), the UK's largest tobacco firm, says it sees cannabis as part of its future as it tries to move away from selling traditional cigarettes and "accelerate" its transformation by reducing the health impact of its products. In March, BAT took a stake in Canadian medical cannabis maker Organigram, and it also signed a deal to research a new range of adult cannabis products, initially focused on cannabidiol (CBD). Read