Addiction & Mental Health News, May 17

Vox: A new study backs up a lifesaving approach to the opioid epidemic
By German Lopez
The study linked expanded access to naloxone to fewer opioid overdose deaths.

The New York Times: Marijuana Legalization Hits a Wall: First in New Jersey, Then in New York
By Vivian Wang and Nick Corasaniti
In March, both states seemed days away from a landmark legalization deal. Now inertia is feeding doubts that it can happen this year.

Pew Charitable Trust: As the Opioid Crisis Peaks, Meth and Cocaine Deaths Explode
By Christine Vestal
The same lethal drug that has been driving the nation’s spiraling opioid epidemic is also causing an historic surge in overdose deaths among cocaine users. According to a new analysis by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, fentanyl and other opioids were involved in nearly three-fourths of all cocaine overdose deaths and an increasing number of methamphetamine deaths.

US News & World Report: Study: Emergency Visits for Heroin Overdoses Decline in Some States
By Katelyn Newman
The drops may be tied to declines in fentanyl-laced heroin and the increased availability of an overdose-reversing medication.

The Washington Post: Yes, drug-assisted treatment is needed for opioid-addicted patients in U.S. prison
By Dhruv Khullar
Rikers is one of the few correctional facilities in the country that offers inmates all three Food and Drug Administration-approved medications to treat opioid addiction: buprenorphine, methadone and naltrexone.

US News & World Report: Treating the Trauma Behind Addiction
By Katelyn Newman
Joe Polish, a marketing expert who’s battled addiction, says addressing its root cause is key to getting sober.

ABC News: Fewer than half of Americans who abuse opioids have access to addiction medicine
By Martha Bebinger
White drug users addicted to heroin, fentanyl and other opioids have had near-exclusive access to buprenorphine, a drug that curbs the craving for opioids and reduces the chance of a fatal overdose, according to a study from the University of Michigan.

JAMA: People at High Risk of Opioid Overdose Rarely Receive Prescriptions for Naloxone
People at high risk of opioid overdose rarely receive prescriptions for naloxone despite numerous interactions with the health care system, according to a new study.

Fox News: Former US drug czar says national focus on opioid epidemic is overlooking real culprit
By Elizabeth Llorente
William Bennett, the nation’s first drug czar, said Monday that the debate about the opioid overdose epidemic wrongly focuses on prescription drugs. While the government’s opioid crackdown has involved reducing the supply of legal opioids and reducing painkiller prescription rates, black market opioids such as illicit fentanyl and heroin actually have been the driving force of the epidemic in recent years.