Opioid Use Now Tops Tobacco Use in the U.S.

A survey released by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) shows that more people in the U.S. use opioid painkillers than tobacco, highlighting the tragic opioid crisis gripping the country. [1] A federal review published in the spring showed that opioid prescriptions in the U.S. decreased for the 1st time in 2 […]

The Opioid Crisis Deemed a National Emergency: So What Happens Now?

On August 10, 2017, President Donald Trump declared the opioid crisis a national emergency in a move that many speculated he wouldn’t make. Only 2 days before the announcement, Trump vowed to “win” the fight on painkillers and heroin, but stopped short of declaring an emergency. [1] On August 8, following a meeting with Trump, […]

This 1980 Letter from Researchers Helped Fuel the Opioid Epidemic

The U.S. opioid epidemic is claiming lives at a breakneck pace. More than 52,000 Americans died of drug overdoses in 2015, according to the CDC – an average of 1 death every 10 minutes. Nearly 33,000 of those deaths involved opioids, including prescription painkillers and heroin. Now we know how the crisis began unfurling: a […]

A Sad 1st in America: Heroin Overdoses Outpace Gun Homicides

In a report published December 8, 2016, the CDC said that in 2015, heroin deaths spiked by more than 2,000 cases since 2014, resulting in a sad milestone: There were more heroin-related deaths that year than gun homicides. As recently as 2007, gun homicides outnumbered heroin deaths by more than 5 to 1. [1] Source: The […]

Commission to Trump: Declare National Emergency over Opioid Epidemic

President Trump’s opioid commission has urged him to declare a national state of emergency over America’s burgeoning opioid crisis. The recommendation comes from a preliminary draft of the commission’s report. [2] By declaring an emergency, Trump’s cabinet would be able to take action, and Congress would be forced to fund potential solutions to the epidemic. […]

Fewer Dying from 3 of the 5 Leading Causes of Death in the U.S.

A study published online in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report says that fewer people are dying from 3 of the 5 leading causes of death in the United States – heart disease, cancer, and stroke. [1] [2] Potentially preventable deaths from asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, and other chronic lower respiratory diseases didn’t budge, though. But, eh, more […]

NFL Extends Offer to Work With Union to Study Medical Marijuana

In a letter to the NFL Players Association (NFLPA), the NFL offered to team up to study the potential of marijuana as a pain management tool for players. Marijuana use, for any purpose, is currently prohibited by the league. [1] The NFLPA is in the midst of conducting its own marijuana study, and reportedly has […]

Panel: The FDA Desperately Needs to Review its Approach to Opioids

In a report, the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) is calling on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to review the safety and effectiveness of opioid painkillers. The panel of experts says monumental changes are needed to the way in which physicians treat pain, their patients cope with pain, and government […]

Did a Common Anti-Anxiety Drug Play into Soundgarden Rocker’s Death?

In mid-May of 2017, fans of grunge music were shocked and heartbroken to hear of the death of Soundgarden and Audioslave frontman Chris Cornell. His death was ruled a suicide, but Chris’ family says he never would have intentionally taken his life, and are blaming his use of the common anxiety drug, Ativan, for his […]

New Poll Reflects America’s Changing Attitudes Toward Marijuana

A recent survey by Yahoo News and The Marist Poll reveals, among other things, that people – regardless of whether they have children or not – are more concerned about kids smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol than they are about kids using marijuana. [1] For the survey, 1,122 adults age 18 and older were polled from March […]