March 2015 Deaths from opioid painkillers now exceed all other drug overdose deaths, and we are seeing increases in heroin use and increased deaths from heroin as people addicted to painkillers transition to this cheaper, more potent street drug. More must be done to confront the opioid crisis head-on Read More.
February 2015 When asked in early 2014, 17.1 percent of high school seniors and 16.2 percent of 10th graders reported using e-cigarettes in the previous month. We are still wrestling with whether or not e-cigarettes pose a danger, but their popularity among youth combined with society’s past experiences with tobacco and other addictive substances demands that we urge caution around these products. Read More.
January 2015 The changes in the brain common to obesity and drug addiction are especially pertinent to the struggles teens face to resist drugs, because adolescence is a crucial period both of susceptibility to the rewards of drugs and of vulnerability to the long-term effects of drug exposure Read More.
December 2014 At the end of a year that has seen further tragic deaths from addiction and new designer drugs that put young people at risk, today's results from the 2014 Monitoring the Future (MTF) survey of drug use among adolescents provide a dose of welcome optimism. Read More.
November 2014 I have written before about the reproducibility crisis in the health sciences. High percentages of published findings are failing to be reproduced, and this has prompted NIH Institutes and other funding agencies, as well as scientific journals and universities, to take measures to improve how science is taught, funded, conducted, and published. Read More.
October 2014 As social acceptance and public policy around marijuana shift, and especially if legalized recreational use becomes more widespread, we will need to consider the influence and potential regulation of its marketing. Read More.
September 2014 Opioid prescriptions have increased three-fold over the past two decades, and we have seen how this skyrocketing availability of medications has helped create a new drug abusing population, some of whom suffer severe health consequences Read More.
September 2014 We have long known that American Indian communities are particularly vulnerable to problems with substance use, which are tied in part to limited socioeconomic opportunity. But because national surveys fail to fully capture drug use patterns on or near reservations, the true scope of the problem has been elusive. Read More.
August 2014 In a series of recent articles, The New York Times’ editors presented a case for repealing the federal ban on marijuana, including the disproportionate impact of current marijuana laws on minorities. While there is no question that we should rectify any injustices associated with such policies, we also need to consider and prepare for the escalation in social and health costs that could result from creating a third legal drug in this country. We should be thoughtfully examining all policy and regulatory options available to minimize harms to society and promote Americans’ safety, well-being, and competitiveness Read More.