Addiction & Mental Health News, Oct. 18

New Yorker: My Years in the Florida Shuffle of Drug Addiction
By Colton Wooten
Cycling through relapse and recovery, and the industry that enables both.

The New York Times: Judge Summons Drug C.E.O.s for Talks on Sweeping Opioid Settlement
By Jan Hoffman
Representatives of states and localities hard hit by the opioid epidemic will also be present. The high-stakes move is an effort to propel a resolution of thousands of lawsuits nationwide.

Los Angeles Times: Opioid addiction can be overcome with mindfulness, study suggests
By Melissa Healy
The ancient practice of mindfulness may be a powerful tool in fighting the modern-day epidemic of opioid addiction, new research suggests. In a series of studies, an eight-week course in mindfulness techniques appeared to loosen the grip of addiction in people who had been taking prescription painkillers for years and experienced powerful cravings for the drugs.

Newsweek: Doctors are ‘well-intentioned but under-prepared’ to treat patients struggling with opioid use: report
By Blake Dodge
More than four out of five doctors are reluctant to take on patients using prescribed opioids, and they said that because of the opioid crisis, it’s considerably harder today to treat patients in pain than it was before the epidemic. That’s according to the new study, which was conducted by Quest Diagnostics and the Center on Addiction.

The New York Times: CBD or THC? Common Drug Test Can’t Tell the Difference
By Amanda Chicago Lewis
Those cannabidiol-laced gummy bears may be entirely legal, but they could still get you arrested on marijuana possession charges.

Forbes: The Financial Cost Of America’s Opioid Crisis [Infographic]
By Niall McCarthy
A recent study released by the Society of Actuaries found that that the collective cost of factors such as healthcare, mortality and lost productivity have added up to hundreds of billions of dollars over the past four years.

The New York Times: Drug Giants Close In on a $50 Billion Settlement of Opioid Cases
By Jan Hoffman
The nation’s three largest drug distributors, as well as two manufacturers, are in intense negotiations to settle thousands of cases before a trial set to begin on Monday.

Vox: Trump just expanded drug testing to hundreds of thousands of workers
By Alexia Fernández Campbell
It’s a huge win for the drug testing industry.

UPI: Poll: 46% in U.S. have seen alcohol or drug abuse in family
By Clyde Hughes
Nearly half of all adults living in the United States have been affected by substance abuse in their families.

The Washington Post: ‘We’re not alone’ – ‘Sesame Street’ tackles addiction crisis
By Mark Kennedy
Sesame Workshop is exploring the backstory of Karli, a bright green, yellow-haired friend of Elmo’s whose mother is battling addiction. The initiative is part of the Sesame Street in Communities resources available online.

The City: Public Advocate leapfrogs Mayor with mental illness emergency response proposal
By Greg B. Smith
Jumaane Williams proposed an emergency response overhaul for calls involving people with mental illness. The public advocate wants to create a new emergency phone number and dispatch system, separate from 911, for calls seeking assistance for people experiencing a psychiatric crisis. Williams also proposed increased funding for crisis services and evaluation of alternatives to police as first responders.