Addiction and Mental Health News, Feb. 11

The New York Times: ‘Get Well or Die’: A State Senator Reveals His Addiction Battle
By Luis Ferré-Sadurní
Peter Harckham’s struggles with substance abuse have shaped his views on opioid addiction and the legalization of marijuana.

The New Yorker: The Wrong Way to Fight the Opioid Crisis
By Paige Williams
People struggling with addiction who share a lethal dose of drugs are being prosecuted as killers.

CNN: Scientists discovered a weed compound that may be 30 times more powerful than THC
By Kristen Rogers
A newly discovered cannabis compound has been shown in the lab to potentially be 30 times more potent than THC, the most studied psychoactive compound in marijuana.

CNN: What Trump’s drug policies have meant for America’s opioid epidemic
By Maegan Vazquez
According to new federal statistics, deaths from drug overdoses declined for the first time in 28 years and life expectancy in the United States increased in 2018 for the first time in four years. But a closer look at the numbers, published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, reveal that despite the overall decline in overdose deaths, those numbers have still not returned to 2016 levels. And under Trump, other aspects of addiction and overdose deaths have evolved, as well.

The New York Times: Weaponizing Truth Against Opioids
By Tina Rosenberg
A decades-old campaign that knew how to talk to teenagers persuaded millions of them to never start smoking. Can it now persuade them never to misuse opioids?

NPR: Life Expectancy Rose Slightly In 2018, As Drug Overdose Deaths Fell
By Rhitu Chatterjee
For the first time since 2014, death rates in the U.S. declined and life expectancy showed a modest uptick, according to new data released in two reports by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

US News & World Report: In Addiction Recovery, a Matter of the Mind
By Katelyn Newman
Mindfulness holds promise as a treatment for those struggling to curb their substance misuse, researchers say.

The New York Times: Alcohol Deaths Have Risen Sharply, Particularly Among Women
By Matt Richtel
An analysis of death certificates over nearly two decades contained several troubling findings.

Vox: Methadone can help people beat opioid addiction — if they can afford it
By German Lopez
Studies show methadone and other medications reduce the mortality rate among opioid addiction patients by half or more, and keep people in treatment better than non-medication approaches. But the high out-of-pocket cost keeps methadone out of reach for some potential patients.