Alcohol and Drugs News on the Internet

Entries for April 2014

Advocates of medical marijuana came to Capitol Hill this week to urge legislators to pass a measure that would ban the federal government from restricting state medical marijuana laws.


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Top headlines of the week from Friday, April 4- Thursday, April 10, 2014.


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The recent spike in heroin deaths—which is real-- is being attributed to heroin mixed with fentanyl. We wring our hands about overdoses, but do little to make effective treatment widely available. Policy changes must be made to end this scandal explains David L. Rosenbloom, PhD, Professor at Boston University School of Public Health.


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Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, the state’s largest health insurer, announced it has reduced prescriptions of narcotic painkillers by about 6.6 million pills in the past 18 months.


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People seeking treatment for heroin addiction face a number of obstacles, including a lack of treatment beds, expensive care, and insurance companies that refuse to pay for inpatient rehab, according to ABC News.


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About 3.7 million Americans, who live in states that have not expanded their Medicaid programs under the Affordable Care Act, suffer from mental illness, psychological distress or a substance use disorder and don’t have health insurance, according to a recent report.


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Employers in states where marijuana is legal for medicinal or recreational use must decide how to handle employees who use the drug when they are not on duty, USA Today reports.


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The Food and Drug Administration has approved a handheld device that delivers a single dose of the opioid overdose antidote naloxone, The New York Times reports.


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Major obstacles remain to expanded treatment for addiction through the Medicaid program, according to USA Today. Although the Affordable Care Act requires treatment be offered to people who are newly insured through insurance exchanges or Medicaid, experts say a federal law is limiting available beds nationwide.


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Democratic governors around the country are reluctant to support the legalization of marijuana, despite enthusiasm for the idea among voters in their party. The New York Times reports the governors are concerned about managing legalization, as well as being perceived as being soft on crime by Republicans.


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