Addiction & Mental Health News, Nov. 15

The City: East Bronx Politicians Join Groundswell of Opposition to Drug Treatment Clinics
By Ese Olumhense
East Bronx elected officials are united in opposing the outpatient center proposed by Carnegie Hill Institute — even as all said they’re still seeking solutions for an opioid epidemic that’s wracked the borough.

Los Angeles Times: When pregnant women who abuse opioids are treated like criminals, their babies suffer
By Melissa Healy
Laws that punish women who abuse drugs during pregnancy are often billed as a way to protect unborn babies from addiction. But new research finds they have the opposite effect: After states enact laws treating pregnant drug users as unfit mothers or criminals, the number of newborns who contend with drug withdrawal jumps significantly.

US News & World Report: The Opioid Crisis Has Affected More Than 2 Million Children
By Gaby Galvin
At least 2.2 million children had been affected by the U.S. opioid crisis by 2017, with that total poised to grow and the consequences likely to be felt for years to come. Parents’ opioid use is the primary reason children are affected by the crisis – whether they’re living with an addicted parent or have been removed from their home, or their parent is incarcerated or has died of an overdose. Still, an estimated 170,000 kids had opioid use disorder themselves or had accidentally taken the drugs in recent years, the analysis says.

US News & World Report: Among Young Adults, Marijuana Use Up, Tobacco Use Down, Study Finds
By Alexa Lardieri
Marijuana use increased the most among college students, while tobacco use decreased the most among the group.

Forbes: White House Releases National Roadmap to Combat the Opioid Crisis
By Clary Estes
The Trump White House recently released their federal roadmap to “Stem the Opioid Crisis” in America. The report focuses primarily on research goals for the organization, but with President Trump nearing the end of his first term, the report notably feels like far too little far too late.

Spectrum News: Cuomo Signs Bill for Opioid-Related Death Certificates
By Nick Reisman
Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday approved legislation that will require death certificates in cases of opioid overdoses to specify which opioid was specifically involved in the death if possible. The measure is meant to provide more information so that public health officials can better address opioid addiction.

CNN: The changing face of the US opioid epidemic: Middle-aged black adults see rise in deaths
By Jen Christensen
A new government report finds a large increase in opioid-related deaths among black middle-aged adults. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found in large metropolitan areas, black adults had the biggest rise in rates of drug overdose deaths involving opioids and synthetic opioids in 2017

The New York Times: Is the ‘War on Drugs’ Over? Arrest Statistics Say No
By Susan Stellin
Arrests for marijuana possession are most common, even as public opinion has shifted in favor of its legalization.

The New York Times: $260 Million Opioid Settlement Reached at Last Minute with Big Drug Companies
By Jan Hoffman
The deal involves large pharmaceutical distributors and Teva, resolving cases that sought redress from the devastation caused by two decades of opioid abuse.

NPR: The Real Cost Of the Opioid Epidemic: An Estimated $179 Billion in Just 1 Year
By Selena Simmons-Duffin
The total cost of the opioid epidemic is $179 billion per year in the United States, according to a new report by the Society of Actuaries. The group took into account costs by governments providing taxpayer-funded services—about one-third of the cost—in addition to costs borne by individuals, families, employers, private insurers and others. The largest portion of the total cost is $72.6 billion for overdose deaths, which includes lost earning potential for people who die of overdoses

NPR: Opioid Addiction In Jails: An Anthropologist’s Perspective
By Emily Vaughn
While a quarter or more of the U.S. prison population has an addiction to opioids, only 5% of those individuals receive medication for their chronic condition, Sue notes, despite the growing agreement among doctors that this approach to treatment saves lives.

Science Daily: Study reveals urban hotspots of high-schoolers’ opioid abuse
A new study from researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that in several cities and counties the proportion of high-schoolers who have ever used heroin or misused prescription opioids is much higher than the national average.