While federal, state and, local governments deploy strategies to tackle the opioid crisis, the problem continues to proliferate. RAND researchers suggest that these strategies fail to solve the larger problem because they've largely been developed in silos. The opioid crisis is an ecosystem, and mitigating the problem will require a holistic approach.
U.S. schools and community organizations face a difficult battle to keep kids safe and drug-free. They need tools to help them choose programs that will work best for youth. The National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices is such a tool, but its future is uncertain.
Evidence doesn't support using electronic cigarettes to quit smoking. In fact, doing so could even lead to reduced chances of quitting. Evidence does show that other options work, such as nicotine replacement patches or gum combined with counseling strategies.
Opioid overdoses were the greatest cause of accidental death in America in 2014. A panel discussion at RAND addressed the epidemic, including societal attitudes toward pain and addiction, poor understanding of the mechanics of addiction itself, economic drivers, legal responses, and treatment approaches.
John Oliver's "Jeff the Diseased Lung," a cross between a warning label on cigarette packs in Australia and the Marlboro Man, has gone viral while research shows cigarettes are responsible for even more premature deaths than previously thought.
'Graphic warning labels' pair gruesome images with warnings about the dangers of smoking, covering anywhere from 30 to 80 percent of cigarette pack 'faces' (the front and back). Do they prevent people from starting to smoke or cause current smokers to quit?
CVS has officially stopped selling cigarettes and other tobacco products, a move that will cost the pharmacy chain about $2 billion in annual profits. It's difficult to say if this will affect smoking. For now, the ban is most significant for what it represents symbolically.
Last week, President Obama signed a bill to overhaul care provided by the Veterans Health Administration. This is an important step, but attention to veterans' experiences receiving care, particularly veterans in need of mental health and substance use care, should be an essential component to ongoing efforts to improve quality.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) will significantly increase coverage for the publicly funded treatment of substance use disorders. But in order to maximize the benefit to patients, families, and society, it's critical to invest in the development, validation, and use of performance measures.
Currently, evidence for the safety, harmfulness, utility, and addictiveness of e-cigarettes is lacking. The questions that research needs to answer, however, are clear as day—particularly since business is booming.
CVS Caremark will stop selling cigarettes and other tobacco products at its CVS/pharmacy stores beginning Oct. 1. Though it stands to lose $2 billion dollars in annual revenue, CVS CEO Larry J. Merlo said that selling tobacco products is at odds with the company's mission of improving health outcomes.
Anti-tobacco policies that have clear scientific support will strengthen the FDA's regulatory position. While the evidence base is solid in this area, it needs to be much stronger and broader if the TCA is going to have any lasting success against the industry.