A woman in Texas attempted suicide while in the active group of a clinical trial for smoking-cassation drugs Chantix and Zyban, both known to exacerbate depression. An appeals court ruled Thursday that she is able to sue the University that admitted her into the study.
Mad In America contributor and prescription drug addiction reformer Barry Haslam has “taken his fight to the world stage by helping create an international awareness day.” The Oldham Evening Chronicle announces the founding of World Benzo Day, which “aims to highlight the plight of all patients worldwide who have become prescribed drug dependent addicts through no fault of their own, who are denied right of access to dedicated withdrawal clinics and after care, who are left to struggle off these drugs without support.”
Writing for Huffpost, medical doctor Lawrence Diller looks at the effects of the ever increasing diagnoses for ADHD and the addiction and abuse issues associated with Adderall. "I have had some dark times on this stuff," a student tells Dr. Diller. "Laying in my bed coming down every night, crying to myself, feeling more alone than ever. Pushing people away in my life. Severe depression. The list goes on. Never in my life would I have thought that I'd become addicted to this awful stuff, let alone any kind of drug. I've never been that kind of person - until now."
Plaintiffs allege that Bristol-Myers Squibb and Otsuka Pharmaceutical failed to warn doctors and patients about the risk for compulsive behaviors when taking the atypical antipsychotic Abilify.
Nora Volkow, the director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), authored an editorial for BMJ this month warning that the opioid abuse epidemic could have dangerous consequences for pregnant women. While the effects of opioid exposure on the developing brain are yet unknown, research suggests that infants may suffer from withdrawal syndrome, nervous system defects, and impaired attachment with the mother.
“The rising death rates for those young white adults, ages 25 to 34, make them the first generation since the Vietnam War years of the mid-1960s to experience higher death rates in early adulthood than the generation that preceded it,” the ‘Times reports.
Watch: “CBS News went to West Virginia, a state that is attempting a drastic solution: allowing addicts to sue the doctors who got them hooked.”
Popular addiction news outlet, the fix, interviews Dr. Gabor Maté on addiction, the holocaust, the "disease-prone personality" and the pathology of positive thinking. “Until people manage to change society so society takes a different approach, suffering is going to happen,” said Maté. “What people need is a lot of awareness, a lot of consciousness so they can identify stressors and eliminate them when they are capable of doing so and find ways of living with them when they can’t.”
Felice J. Freyer for the Boston Globe reports on a new study of chronic pain treatment. “More than 90 percent of people who survived a prescription opioid overdose were able to obtain another prescription for the very drugs that nearly killed them.”
“In 2014, the number of people who died from drug overdoses in the United States reached 47,055 — an all-time high, according to a disturbing report published Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),” but “the effort to get physicians to curb their prescribing of these drugs may be faltering amid stiff resistance from drugmakers, industry-funded groups and, now, even other public health officials.”
"What was going on inside Turning Point was an experiment: a community-based treatment center designed to serve low-income African-Americans. After a few bumpy early years, the program began to take off, and Hayden worked to expand Turning Point’s services, moving beyond a singular focus on addiction treatment to a more expansive approach that addresses the varied needs of the program’s clientele."
A former pharma executive has broken ranks with the industry in a new book by reporting how multiple psychiatrists, schools, and his desperate hopes pressed him to allow higher and higher doses of antipsychotic medications. The result: his 15-year-old son’s death from Seroquel.
Critical psychiatry researcher, anthropologist and NYU professor Helena Hansen writes: “Opioid maintenance acts as a kind of pharmaceutical prosthesis which promises to return white ‘addicts’ to regaining their status as full human persons and middle-class consumers. Meanwhile, black and brown users are not deemed as persons to be rescued, but rather dangerous subjects to be pharmaceutically contained within the public discipline of the state.”
A four-part series from Canada Free Press on Pfizer’s smoking cessation drug Chantix and its connection to violence and suicide. “The 26 case reports included three actual suicides. In every case, the acts or thoughts of violence towards others appeared to be both unprovoked and inexplicable. Most of the perpetrators had no previous history of violence, and most of them were middle-aged women—not a group known for its propensity towards violent behavior.”
A new poll, published in the Washington Post, explores the public’s connection to prescription pain killer abuse. “A surprising 56 percent of the public say they have some personal connection to the issue — either because they say they know someone who has taken a prescription that wasn't prescribed to them, know someone who has been addicted or know someone who has died from a prescription painkiller overdose."
US news coverage has primarily framed the opioid drug abuse epidemic as a criminal justice issue rather than a public health problem, according to new research published ahead of print in the Journal of Psychiatric Services. The media’s framing of the epidemic may increase stigma against those who develop a dependency on prescription drugs and distract political attention from public-health oriented solutions, such as increased access to substance abuse recovery treatments.
The latest economic recession led to a spike in diagnoses for mental illnesses, suicide attempts, and suicide, according to report out of the University of Bristol.
While plans to involuntary commit drug users have “received virtual across-the-board support,” Susan Sered from TruthOut reports that “there is little to no evidence showing that coerced drug treatment is effective,” and that “having abstained from opiates for several days may set them up to overdose when they return to their former level of drug use, with a reduced tolerance for the drugs.”
Joan Cook, professor of Psychology at Yale, writes than in her work with military veterans she realized that her psychotherapy techniques mattered much less than her training had indicated. Instead, what mattered was “the bond forged over years of therapy,” known as “the therapeutic alliance.”
ServiceNet, a mental health and human service agency in western Massachusetts, received a three year, two million dollar grant to launch a program designed to support young adults who have recently experienced their first episode of psychosis. The Prevention and Recovery Early Psychosis (PREP) program is funded by the Massachusetts department of mental health and is designed to treat psychosis as a symptom, not an illness, resulting from other health problems, substance abuse, trauma, or extreme stress.
The German news agency DW features a video report on whether cannabidiol, an active substance derived from marijuana, can help relieve the symptoms of schizophrenia.
In 2014, then National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) director, Thomas Insel, speculated that ketamine “might be the most important breakthrough in antidepressant treatment in decades.” A recent review of the research suggests that while ketamine may produce a rapid short-term improvement in depression, the effect is short-lived and the potential for addiction and dependence warrants considerable caution.
A small study of 30 participants in Germany claims that cannabis can be used to treat “ADHD” because it increases the availability of dopamine. "This then has the same effect but is a different mechanism of action than stimulants like Ritalin and dexedrine amphetamine, which act by binding to the dopamine and interfering with the metabolic breakdown of dopamine." According to the report, 22 of the 30 participants opted to discontinue their prescriptions in favor of medical marijuana.
The UK Independent reports that Ireland is moving toward a policy of decriminalizing small amount of drugs like heroin, cocaine, and cannabis in what amounts to a “radical cultural shift.” While it would remain a crime to profit from the sale of these substances, users will have specially designated areas for safe use. The chief of Ireland’s National Drugs Strategy told the paper: “I am firmly of the view that there needs to be a cultural shift in how we regard substance misuse if we are to break this cycle and make a serious attempt to tackle drug and alcohol addiction.”
In an op-ed for the Guardian, cardiologist Aseem Malhotra writes: “Corporate greed and systematic political failure have brought healthcare to its knees. There are too many misinformed doctors and misinformed patients. It’s time for greater transparency and stronger accountability so that doctors and nurses can provide the best quality care for the most important person in the consultation room – the patient.”
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