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NIDA Notes Articles: Public Health

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Substance Use Disorders Are Associated With Major Medical Illnesses and Mortality Risk in a Large Integrated Health Care System

October 2017
Strong associations exist between substance use disorder diagnoses and 19 major medical illnesses among patients in a large, integrated health care system. The study indicates that these associations may persist even in health care systems that provide specialized treatment for substance use disorders and have capacity to integrate behavioral and medical care.

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Study Questions Role for Marijuana in Teen Users’ IQ Decline

August 2016
In a recent study, teens who used marijuana lost IQ points relative to their nonusing peers. However, the drug appeared not to be the culprit.

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Study Links Medical Marijuana Dispensaries to Reduced Mortality From Opioid Overdose

May 2016
Legally protected marijuana dispensaries (LMDs) were associated with lower rates of dependence on prescription opioids, and deaths due to opioid overdose, than would have been expected based on prior trends. However, LMDs also were associated with higher rates of recreational marijuana use and increased potency of illegal marijuana.

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Stressful Experiences Affect Likelihood of Remission of Drug Dependence, Continued Drug Use, and Relapse

February 2018
Stressful life events are associated with reductions in a person’s chances of becoming or remaining abstinent from drugs for at least 3 years.

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Sensation Seeking Promotes Initiation, Impulsivity Promotes Escalation of Substance Use

May 2016
Teens who avidly seek new and intense sensations are more likely to start using substances, but are not more likely to use them regularly within the next 3 years unless they also are prone to devalue distant consequences and act impulsively.

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Researchers Speak: The ABCD Study

June 2017
In this video, Dr. Terry Jernigan describes the purpose and goals of the Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study.

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Nonmedical Opioid and Heroin Use Among High School Seniors

April 2017
This study analyzed the use of use of nonmedical opioids and heroin use among 68,000 high-school seniors participating in the NIDA-funded Monitoring the Future Study between 2009 and 2013.

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Long-Term Marijuana Use Is Associated With Health Problems Later in Life

February 2018
Researchers used the statistical technique of latent class analysis to describe distinct patterns of marijuana use across age using data from nearly 10,000 participants in the Monitoring the Future study. Longer-term marijuana use (extending from age 18 into the late 20s or beyond) was associated with increased risk of self-reported health problems at age 50. En Español

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Integrated Intervention Benefits People Who Inject Drugs and Have HIV

November 2018
In this international trial, participants who received the intervention engaged in HIV treatment, achieved viral suppression at higher rates, and died at half the rate of participants in a control group. En Español

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E-Cigarettes Promote Smoking Progression in Youth and Depress Quitting Among Adults

August 2018
E-cigarettes are not an effective tool to reduce combustible-cigarette smoking, two NIDA-supported studies indicate.

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