April 2017 Every day, 91* Americans fatally overdose on an opioid drug. It may be a prescription analgesic or heroin but increasingly it is likely to be heroin’s much more potent synthetic cousin fentanyl. In the space of only two years, fentanyl has tragically escalated the opioid crisis. *Update: Overdose rates seen in 2018 are more than 115 a day. Read More.
February 2017 The new report is based on reviews of research on both the cannabis plant itself and its constituents, but its conclusions are substantially similar to the 1999 report: While cannabis use, particularly smoked cannabis, poses some long-term health and safety risks, there is evidence that cannabis or cannabinoids can treat certain medical conditions, which include nausea and vomiting from chemotherapy, spasticity from multiple sclerosis, and pain. Read More.
February 2017 Tackling the opioid crisis and overdose epidemic in our nation is a task that involves partnerships among stakeholders at all levels: federal, state, and local governments and other organizations and health care systems in the community. Read More.
January 2017 The need for better substance use disorder treatments, better diagnostic methods, and better prevention strategies has never been greater. The beginning of a new year gives us an opportunity to take stock of all we have recently accomplished toward meeting these scientific goals, as well as to set our sights on the challenges facing us ahead. Read More.
December 2016 After the election on November 8, marijuana is now or will soon be legal for adult recreational use in eight states plus the District of Columbia. Careful thought should be given to creating regulatory frameworks that prioritize public health. Science needs to be the guide. Read More.
December 2016 One of the best available strategies for reducing the spread of HIV among drug users is syringe-exchange programs (also called syringe service programs); their effectiveness has been proven through abundant research. Read More.
November 2016 Today marks, I hope, another turning point in our country’s health, as Surgeon General Vivek Murthy released Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health. It is the first such report released by the Surgeon General on the health consequences alcohol and drug misuse. Read More.
October 2016 People with substance use disorders and other mental health issues face greater stigma than those with other illnesses. Many of the addiction-related terms widely used in our society—even in the addiction field—retain an implicit moral judgment and subtly frame drug problems as transgressions worthy of punishment. Read More.
September 2016 Medical marijuana is becoming more widely accepted and it is being used for a wide range of conditions. Scientific evidence of its effectiveness for most indications is still slim or nonexistent, but one of the few that are actually well supported is nausea (emesis) from cancer chemotherapy. While it may seem logical to treat the nausea of pregnancy with marijuana, women who do this could be putting their child at risk of neurodevelopmental and other problems. Read More.
September 2016 The Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study, which has been in the planning phase for just under a year, is now recruiting more than 10,000 9- and 10-year-olds at 19 research sites across the United States, and will follow these young people for a decade, through their early adulthood. Read More.