This weekly recap focuses on the risk of sexual assault to sexual minorities in the U.S. military, making medication treatment more accessible to people struggling with opioid addiction, countering Russian propaganda, and more.
Many post-9/11 veterans who have PTSD or depression also struggle with substance use. There are clinically proven treatments to help break the cycle of the co-occurring disorders, but the VA and other facilities need guidance on how to expand and enhance treatment opportunities for these veterans.
It is not uncommon to see a co-occurrence of PTSD and heavy use of substances, which can rise to the level of a substance use disorder. It may be necessary to challenge how the needs of veterans are addressed to remove barriers to care that make treating these co-occurring disorders simultaneously so difficult.
America's fentanyl crisis is unlike previous drug epidemics and is likely to get worse. Deaths involving fentanyl and other synthetic opioids have surged from around 3,000 in 2013 to more than 30,000 in 2018. Solving the problem requires innovative approaches and unprecedented resources.
A global settlement with pharmaceutical companies has started to appear more and more likely. Even with billions of dollars, the settlement resources won't be unlimited. To avoid mistakes made in the tobacco master settlement agreement, any opioid funds must be carefully allocated.
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.