Addiction & Mental Health News, Apr 18

The New York Times: Opioid Users Call Kratom a Godsend. The F.D.A. Says It’s a Menace.
By Richard A. Oppel Jr. and Serge F. Kovaleski
The steep rise in the number of people suffering opioid addiction has helped spawn the widespread use of another substance: kratom, a green powdered herbal supplement that is widely available and virtually unregulated. But the authorities warn that kratom can be dangerous. A new government review links kratom to nearly 100 overdose deaths.

Daily Mail: 63% of Americans say the US should spend more on drug rehab to combat the epidemic of addiction – and white people have had the biggest change in opinion, General Social Survey reveals
By Valerie Bauman
Analysis of the General Social Survey reveals a 50% increase since 2012 in the share of Americans who believe the federal government does not spend enough on drug addiction rehabilitation. It marks a major shift in attitude following the emergence of the opioid epidemic, as more white Americans begin to view addiction as a disease rather than as a personal failing that primarily affects people of color. Featuring remarks from Dr. Provet.

Vox: A new study finds the opioid epidemic has led to tens of billions in lost tax revenue
By German Lopez
The opioid epidemic cost the federal government $26 billion in lost tax revenue between 2000 and 2016, and state governments $11.8 billion, according to a new study published in Medical Care.

US News & World Report: Addiction among Older Adults Poses Complex Challenge
By Gaby Galvin
As doctors, public health officials and community-based groups work to curb the nation’s drug crisis, concerns are rising that older adults may be falling through the cracks. Although rates of alcohol and drug abuse have generally been lower among older adults, the number of people 50 and older who have a substance use disorder is projected to reach 5.7 million by 2020.

The New York Times: Marijuana Testing of Job Applicants Is Barred by City in Groundbreaking Measure
By Michael Gold
The bill passed by the New York City Council was the latest in a series of steps to ease cannabis restrictions as efforts to legalize marijuana have stalled.

US News & World Report: Bipartisan Bill Would Give States Control Over Marijuana Laws
By Claire Hansen
A bipartisan group of lawmakers has reintroduced a bill that would shield people complying with state marijuana laws from federal intervention, effectively leaving it up to states to decide their own marijuana laws and regulations.

The Wall Street Journal: Drug Tests Show Marijuana Use at 14-Year High Among Workers
By Kelsey Gee
More American workers are testing positive for marijuana, a new report finds, as lawmakers in New Jersey and Illinois push to join nearly a dozen more states where recreational use of the drug is now legal.

The New York Times: China Bans All Types of Fentanyl, Cutting Supply of Deadly Drug to U.S. and Fulfilling Pledge to Trump
By Steven Lee Myers and Abby Goodnough
China announced on Monday that it would ban all variants of the powerful opioid fentanyl, a move that could slow the supply of a drug that in recent years has caused tens of thousands of overdose deaths in the United States.