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Addiction & Mental Health News, June 13

USA Today: ‘Deaths of despair’ from drugs, alcohol and suicide hit young adults hardest
By Jayne O’Donnell
Young adults were more likely than any other age group to die from drugs, alcohol and suicide over the past decade, underscoring the despair Millennials face and the pressure on the health care system to respond to a crisis that shows little sign of abating.

Time: New Government Estimates Offer Early Hope That Drug Overdose Deaths Are Waning
By Jamie Ducharme
After years of sharp increases in fatal drug overdoses in the U.S., provisional federal data provide reason for cautious optimism. The drug overdose death rate dropped slightly between 2017 and 2018, according to the new estimates, after two decades of near-constant upticks.

The Atlantic: The Misplaced Optimism in Legal Pot
By Olga Khazan
A new study throws cold water on hopes that more liberal cannabis policies could stem the opioid epidemic.

NPR: Federal Grants Restricted To Fighting Opioids Miss The Mark, States Say
By Carmen Heredia Rodriguez, Elizabeth Lucas & Orion Donovan-Smith
The federal government has doled out at least $2.4 billion in state grants since 2017, in hopes of stemming an opioid epidemic that killed 47,600 people in the U.S. in that year alone. But state officials note that drug abuse problems seldom involve only one substance.

The New York Times: Inside the Elementary School Where Drug Addiction Sets the Curriculum
By Dan Levin
About half of the student body at one Ohio elementary school has witnessed drug use at home. Educators spend time every day teaching the children how to cope.

Scientific American: A New Approach to Addiction Treatment
By Jon Morgenstern
We need to create learning laboratories where researchers interact directly with patients.

The New York Times: An Australian Doctor’s Dream: Curing America’s Opioid Curse
By Isabella Kwai
This year, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, part of the National Institutes of Health, awarded Columbia University $6.8 million over the next two years to begin clinical trials of the implant, with the promise of an additional $13.9 million if all goes well.

WBUR: Medical Schools Look To Educate the Next Generation of Doctors on Pain
Because addiction can begin in the doctor’s office, many med schools are rethinking the way they train the next generation of doctors.

NPR: Cities and States Look To Big Pharma To Cover Costs Of The Opioid Epidemic
By Brian Mann
As pharmaceutical companies prepare to square off with states and local communities in courts around the U.S., a growing number of state and local officials say the industry should pay to cover the cost of the nation’s deadly opioid epidemic.

WBUR: In Midst Of Opioid Crisis, FDA May Block New Addiction Drug From Market
By Alison Kodjak
More than 130 people in the U.S. die of an opioid overdose every day. One of the most effective ways to save lives is to get those struggling with addiction treated with medication to stop their cravings. But a loophole in federal law might block at least one new opioid-addiction drug from coming to market for years.

Pew: Men More Likely Than Women to Face Substance Use Disorders and Mental Illness
By Beth Connolly
Compared to women, men are more likely to engage in illicit drug use and to begin using alcohol or drugs at a younger age. These risk factors contribute to a rate of substance dependence in men that is twice that of women; men are also more likely to experience an opioid overdose.

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