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Tag: illicit drugs

This Pitt Researcher Is Using Data to Fight the Opioid Epidemic

Article Excerpt: Pennsylvania’s opioid epidemic knows no boundaries or borders. It touches rural and urban areas, former steel towns and bustling downtowns. And approaches to fighting the epidemic are as diverse as the people it impacts. Pitt’s Jeanine Buchanich, a research associate professor in the School of Public Health, is taking a big-picture approach to figuring out what programs will best tackle the problem. Since 2019, she has partnered with the Pennsylvania Department of Health to evaluate community-based programs using data tracking and analysis, funded by an Overdose Data to Action grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Buchanich has evaluated public health interventions as varied as community-level training for first responders on naloxone use and stigma reduction; county and municipal health department prevention efforts; the Patient Advocacy Program, which helps patients who have been prescribed controlled substances; local and statewide provider education efforts and Pennsylvania’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program.

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Article Source: University of Pittsburgh Pittwire


OSU Students Create App to Report ‘Bad Batches’, Cut Down on Overdose Deaths

Article Excerpt: In the fall of 2020, a group led by Ohio State students launched an app designed to cut down on overdose deaths in central Ohio. The app alerts users to “bad batches” of drugs, laced with deadly substances such as fentanyl. The team is currently working on a revamped new version of the app they hope will make it even easier to report bad drugs and prevent overdoses.

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Article Source: WOSU Public Media


What Euphoria Gets Right—and Wrong—About Teen Drug Use and Addiction

Article Excerpt: The show (Euphoria) has sparked controversy over how it portrays teen drug use. In January, D.A.R.E.—the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program—criticized the show for “glorify[ing]” high school drug use and making it seem “common and widespread in today’s world.” But drug use is not uncommon among high school students today. In the U.S., about 1.6 million kids ages 12 to 17—6.3% of the adolescent population—had substance use disorder in 2020, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). “That’s a huge problem,” says Dr. Lynn Fiellin, professor of medicine at the Yale School of Medicine and Child Study Center, who is trained in addiction medicine and behavioral health (and who is a fan of the show). The problem seems to be growing, too; in 2020, millions more kids tried drugs for the first time. “Euphoria depicts exactly what is going on,” she says.

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Article Source: Time


Study Finds Unexpected Benefits of ‘Drug Checking’ Programs

Article Excerpt: A recent study has found that so-called “drug checking” programs have unexpected benefits, allowing public health programs to reach and work with people who use drugs who would otherwise not access services such as HIV testing. Drug checking refers to analyzing illegal drugs, or prescription drugs not acquired from a pharmacy, that people have used or are about to use. There are various technologies available for drug checking, but the ultimate goal is to reduce overdoses and other health risks associated with an increasingly contaminated illicit drug supply.

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Article Source: NC State News


Use Data Analytics in the War on Opioids

Article Excerpt: Last year 69,710 Americans died of opioid overdoses. In one year, we lost 19 percent more Americans than in the Vietnam War and 30 times the number killed in Afghanistan… The war on opioids must also involve seizing as many opioids as possible. This requires fully enforcing the 2018 Synthetics Trafficking and Overdose Prevention Act (STOP Act)… (which) requires advanced electronic data (AED) tracking information on all packages coming into the United States… With AED, law enforcement can use sophisticated data analytics to better identify and seize suspicious packages which have opioids. Data analytics is growing in leaps and bounds, providing many other benefits to America.

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Article Source: InsideSources


US Lifts Barriers to Prescribing Addiction Treatment Drug

Article Excerpt: The Biden administration is easing decades-old requirements that made it difficult for doctors to treat opioid addiction using medication. New guidelines announced Tuesday mean doctors and other health workers will no longer need extra hours of training to prescribe buprenorphine, a gold standard medicine that helps with cravings. And they no longer have to refer patients to counseling services.

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Article Source: AP News


Startup Combines Cash Rewards And Therapy In An App To Fight Meth Addiction

Article Excerpt: It doesn’t get that much attention, but the methamphetamine epidemic in the U.S. is startlingly widespread and lethal… At the same time, effective treatment often relies on behavioral therapy programs that aren’t tailored to the needs of meth addicts, according to Kristin Muhlner, CEO and co-founder of addiction treatment startup Affect Therapeutics. There is no FDA-approved medical therapy for methamphetamine user disorder. That’s why in 2020, Muhlner joined forces with Dr. Jeff De Flavio, a founder of opioid addiction treatment programs, among other ventures aimed at broadening access to healthcare, to launch Affect, a New York City startup with an app-based treatment program for meth addicts that combines reward systems—paying cash for achieving certain tasks—with group therapy.

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Article Source: Forbes


Associations between substance use and Instagram participation to inform social network-based screening models: Multimodal cross-sectional study

Bergman B, Wu W, Marsch L. (2020). Associations between substance use and Instagram participation to inform social network-based screening models: Multimodal cross-sectional study. JMIR. 22(9): e21916. doi: 10.2196/21916

Researchers recruited Instagram users ages 18-73 years (n = 3117) to examine associations between substance use and Instagram participation and explore whether age, gender, and race/ethnicity moderate these relationships. Read More


Scientists Used AI to Link Cryptomarkets with Substance Abusers on Reddit and Twitter

Article Excerpt: An international team of researchers recently developed an AI system that pieces together bits of information from dark web cryptomarkets, Twitter, and Reddit in order to better understand substance abusers… The relationship between mental health and substance abuse is well-studied in clinical environments, but how users discuss and interact with one another in the real world remains beyond the realm of most scientific studies.

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Article Source: The Next Web