The Obama administration has provided banks with federal guidelines for conducting banking transactions with legal marijuana sellers, enabling a legalized marijuana industry to operate in states that approve it.
Guidance issued last Friday by the Justice and Treasury departments is the latest step by the federal government to make banks feel more comfortable working with marijuana businesses that are licensed and regulated, reports The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register.
Currently, processing money from marijuana sales puts federally insured banks at risk of being charged with drug racketeering, so many banks have refused to open accounts for marijuana-related businesses.
But legal marijuana sellers that are barred from utilizing banks cannot safely deposit cash, leaving them vulnerable to criminals and robbery. Also, state governments that allow marijuana sales want a channel to properly receive taxes from legal marijuana businesses.
In response to the federal guidelines, the American Bankers Association said “guidance or regulation doesn’t alter the underlying challenge for banks. As it stands, possession or distribution of marijuana violates federal law, and banks that provide support for those activities face the risk of prosecution and assorted sanctions.”
As the marijuana movement continues to gain momentum and more states move to legalize marijuana across the country, more banks will be forced to contend with this issue.
The Center for Motivation and Change and The Partnership at Drugfree.org Co-Host “Beyond Addiction” Book Launch Event
This week, The Partnership at Drugfree.org teamed up with The Center for Motivation and Change (CMC), a group of nationally recognized clinicians and researchers specializing in motivational and cognitive-behavioral approaches to addiction, for the launch event of their new book Beyond Addiction: How Science and Kindness Help People Change at The Lamb’s Club in New York City.
The event included a panel discussion with the book’s authors, the CMC’s own Dr. Carrie Wilkens, Dr. Nicole Kosanke and Dr. Jeffrey Foote and was moderated by The Partnership’s president and CEO, Steve Pasierb. Attendees learned how the book offers a roadmap to family and friends on how to help a loved one struggling with substance abuse, providing insight on how to use kindness, positive reinforcement and communication, together with limit-setting and self-care, to “stay connected” and help a loved one change.
Dr. Foote shared information on the CMC’s The Parent’s 20-Minute Guide, written for parents who want to help, stay involved, and provide a loving environment for their children. Based on the research-supported CRAFT approach (Community Reinforcement and Family Training), the guide provides specific strategies and ideas for parents to help prevent and constructively address substance abuse issues with their child, ranging from first experimentations to behavior that requires formal treatment.
The CRAFT approach has also been instrumental in CMC’s training of The Partnership’s new Parent Support Network, which provides direct peer-to-peer support and assistance to parents who are dealing with their teen or young adult’s substance issues.
To close the panel, two members of the Parent Support Network, Lorraine McNeill-Popper and Lauryn Wicks each shared their personal story of how they have been impacted by their loved one’s substance abuse. They illustrated how through their CRAFT education, they have been able to provide extra help to families being served on The Partnership’s Parents Toll-Free Helpline (1-855-DRUGFREE), a nationwide support service that offers assistance to parents and other primary caregivers of children who want to talk to someone about their child’s drug use and drinking. Once a caller has spoken with one of the Helpline’s credentialed, bilingual specialists, they are offered an opportunity to connect with a Parent Support Network coach like Lorraine or Lauryn when appropriate.
For more information on The Center for Motivation and Change, Beyond Addiction, and The Parent’s 20-Minute Guide, please visit motivationandchange.com. To learn more about our Parent Support Network and Parent’s Toll-Free Helpline, please visit drugfree.org.
Craving predicts opioid use in opioid-dependent patients initiating buprenorphine treatment: A longitudinal study.
Craving predicts opioid use in opioid-dependent patients initiating buprenorphine treatment: A longitudinal study.
Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse. 2014 Feb 12;
Authors: Tsui JI, Anderson BJ, Strong DR, Stein MD
Abstract Background: Few studies have assessed associations between craving and subsequent opioid use. We prospectively evaluated the relative utility of two craving questionnaires to predict opioid use among opioid-dependent patients in outpatient treatment. Method: Opioid-dependent patients (n = 147) initiating buprenorphine treatment were assessed every two weeks for 3 months. Craving was measured using the: (1) Desires for Drug Questionnaire (DDQ) and (2) Penn Alcohol-Craving Scale adapted for opioid craving (PCS). Multi-level logistic regression models estimated the effects of craving on the likelihood of opioid use. Craving assessed at time t was entered as a time-varying predictor of opioid use at time t + 1. Results: Craving scores plateaued at approximately 2 weeks after initiation of buprenorphine. In adjusted regression models, a 1-point increase in PCS scores (on a 7-point scale) was associated with a significant increase in the odds of opioid use at the subsequent assessment (OR = 1.27, 95% CI 1.08; 1.49, p < 0.01). The odds of opioid use at the subsequent follow-up assessment increased significantly as DDQ desire and intention scores increased (OR = 1.25, 95%CI 1.03; 1.51, p < 0.05), but was not significantly associated with DDQ negative reinforcement (OR = 1.01, 95%CI 0.88; 1.17, p > 0.05) or DDQ control (OR = 0.97, 95%CI 0.85; 1.11, p > 0.05) scores. Conclusion: Self-reported craving for opioids was modestly associated with subsequent relapse to opioid use among a cohort of patients treated with buprenorphine. Assessment of craving may provide clinical utility in predicting relapse among treated opioid-dependent patients.
PMID: 24521036 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
Homeowners associations in states where medical marijuana is legal are wrestling with the issue of whether to prohibit use of the drug, The Christian Science Monitor reports.
“It’s a brand-new ball game,” said Bob Meisner, a Michigan attorney who focuses on laws related to community associations. “Associations are going to have to decide: Do they want to do anything about prohibiting this kind of conduct?” He notes communities must take into account state and federal fair housing laws, which require reasonable accommodations for residents who have disabilities.
Currently, 20 states and the District of Columbia have approved use of medical marijuana. In addition, recreational marijuana for adults 21 and older is legal in Colorado and Washington state. Colorado attorney David Firmin says homeowners associations would probably have a difficult time enforcing marijuana smoking bans. Such cases are likely to end up in court, he noted. “The one thing that I continually hear is that the marijuana lobby is well-funded and that they’re looking to challenge any restrictions on their rights,” he said.
Kelly Richardson, an attorney who sits on the Community Associations Institute board, told the newspaper the organization has received many calls from members about whether they can legally restrict marijuana.
Arizona attorney Jason Smith, who runs seminars on medical marijuana and homeowners associations, recommends marijuana users use pills, oils and food products instead of smoking the drug, in order to accommodate neighbors.
An Internet drinking game called “Neknomination” reportedly led to the death of two young men in Britain this week, according to ABC News. In the game, a person quickly drinks a concoction of alcohol, sometimes mixed with other ingredients, then nominates two other people to do something even more outrageous. The results are posted online.
The drinks can include ingredients such as protein powder or even engine oil. Some participants have performed back flips and other athletic feats while drunk, or have been drinking while driving. The game started in Australia, and has become popular in Britain. This week, Canadian newspapers have begun to report the game is catching on there.
Rosanna O’Connor, Director of Alcohol and Drugs at Public Health England, said, “The game’s encouragement of participants to outdo each other with ever more reckless stunts brings with it significant risks of alcohol-related harm including acute intoxication, accidents and injury. There is also the potential for cyber bullying of those who are seen to ‘chicken out.’ It has already cost lives and we would advise anyone against taking part in the game to avoid putting themselves in a potentially dangerous situation.”
A new study suggests teens who consume high-caffeine energy drinks such as Monster or Red Bull may be more likely to use alcohol, drugs or cigarettes.
The study included almost 22,000 students in grades 8, 10 and 12, HealthDay reports. The researchers found 30 percent said they drank high-caffeine energy drinks or shots, while more than 40 percent drank regular soft drinks daily, and 20 percent drank diet soda daily. Teens who consumed energy drinks were two to three times more likely to admit recently using drugs, alcohol or cigarettes, compared with teens who didn’t consume energy drinks.
Eighth graders were more likely than older students to use energy drinks. Boys, teens without two parents at home, and those whose parents had lower education levels, were also more likely to consume the drinks. Drinking sodas was related to substance use, but the association was much weaker compared with energy drink consumption.
“The current study indicates that adolescent consumption of energy drinks/shots is widespread and that energy drink users also report heightened risk for substance use,” the University of Michigan’s researchers wrote in the Journal of Addiction Medicine.
The researchers note teens who are risk-taking may be more attracted to both energy drinks and to other substances.
People whose view of religion changes over time are at increased risk of using drugs, alcohol or tobacco, a new study suggests. In contrast, people who are religious throughout their lives have a lower risk of substance misuse, the researchers said.
People whose religious beliefs play a central role in their upbringing, and then lose their ties to religion as they grow older, are at increased risk of substance use, the study found. People who do not grow up with strong ties to religion, but who become devout in adulthood, are also more likely to be at risk for substance use, HealthCanal reports.
The researchers from Virginia Commonwealth University report in Drug and Alcohol Dependence studied more than 6,000 people.
“Consistently high levels of religiosity protects against substance misuse, but substantial changes, whether losses or gains, in religiosity over the life course are associated with increased odds of substance use problems,” lead researcher Arden Moscati said in a news release.
Philip Seymour Hoffman’s tragic death has focused attention on heroin addiction. Unfortunately, heroin addiction is on the rise from teens to older adults.
Heroin addiction doesn’t discriminate. Individuals from every socioeconomic background have access to the drug because it’s cheap and easy to get. According to SAMHSA, in 2011, 4.2 million people age 12 and older used heroin at least once in their lifetime, and 23 percent became dependent.
Although heroin addicts are treated alongside those addicted to alcohol and other drugs, heroin addiction can be especially difficult to treat because of the euphoria it produces in the brain. Heroin can reach the brain more quickly than other drugs – depending on how it’s administered. For example, injecting it intravenously can actually speed up the process of becoming addicted.
For this reason, we do often recommend that heroin addicts stay in treatment for at least 60 days. We find that individuals addicted to heroin need extensive time in treatment because of how much the drug impacts their brain and behavior. Cravings can be intense and they need to relearn how to deal with life stressors and be able to use non-chemical coping skills.
One of the challenges for many recovering addicts – especially those with a preference for opiates – is that painkillers prescribed for a legitimate reason are addictive and lead many people to heroin. If a doctor is unaware of a patient’s history of addiction or the patient is unaware of the addictive nature of prescription painkillers – a dangerous flame is ignited. In some cases, patients don’t have a history of addiction, but their painkiller use eventually becomes abuse and spirals into heroin addiction.
In the case of a relapse, as was the situation with Mr. Hoffman, we believe this process happens even before someone picks up a drink or a drug again. They begin to fall back into unhealthy behavior such as not reaching out for help when dealing with stress, isolating themselves and not being accountable to friends and family. Addiction is a chronic disease and is therefore encoded on their brain. Therefore, once unhealthy behavior starts again there is a tendency to slip right back into old destructive familiar ways.
It’s important to understand that relapse isn’t synonymous with failure. Just like any other chronic illness – people who relapse can recognize that they need help and get the support they need to get back on the path to sobriety. A person has to be actively involved in order to achieve a full recovery.
The pain of addiction doesn’t just impact the individual. Families also suffer extensively. Some family members develop anxiety, depression or hypertension, for example, in response to being with the addict.
Families require treatment separately from their addicted loved one, which is an important part of any treatment center experience. At Caron Renaissance, for example, we have a specialized family restructuring program where families attend their own intensive treatment program.
For those families who are grappling with heroin or other addictions, I offer the following recommendations:
Learn about the disease of addiction. Many family members think, “If only they had loved me more, they wouldn’t have gotten addicted.” That’s not true. You need to understand that addiction is a disease and that it affects you as a family member. Whether or not your loved one is ready to accept help – I want to encourage you to practice a healthy recovery program yourself, whether through Al-Anon or a family support group.
Know what is in your power to control. You can’t control another person; you only have control over yourself. Family members who want to talk to their addicted loved one could use this type of language: “You don’t look well. I’m worried about you. There’s a lot more stress in your life right now because of x, y, and z. Do you have a professional you can talk to or would you be open to attending a 12-step meeting?” You can’t force an adult into treatment but you can stage an intervention in which friends and family express their concerns and feelings to the addict in a loving way.
Learn how to appropriately set boundaries. Families often want to keep a loved one close to them because they feel like they can keep an eye on the individual and help to ensure their safety. However, that behavior frequently enables the addict to continue his or her use. It may seem counterintuitive, but many families have to enforce difficult consequences such as asking the addict to leave the house.
If you suspect a loved one might be abusing heroin, here are some signs to look out for:
• Small, or meiotic, pupils
• Lack of coordination (such as incoherent speech)
• Social withdrawal
• Changes in behavior
• Altered mental state
• New onset seizures
• Burns and bruises
• Social isolation
• Multiple falls
Dr. Barbara Krantz is the Medical Director at the Hanley Center.
Government officials Tuesday urged first responders to increase their use of the drug naloxone to reverse overdoses of heroin and prescription opioids.
Heroin overdoses kill 100 people every day, Director of National Drug Control Policy R. Gil Kerlikowske said at a White House press conference Tuesday. “Naloxone has very few side effects and can be safely administered in many different settings, so there is some hope for its expanded use,” he said.
“Because police are often the first on the scene of an overdose, the Administration strongly encourages local law enforcement agencies to train and equip their personnel with this lifesaving drug. Seventeen states and the District of Columbia have amended their laws to increase access to naloxone, resulting in over 10,000 overdose reversals since 2001,” the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) noted in a blog post. “Used in concert with ‘Good Samaritan’ laws, which grant immunity from criminal prosecution to those seeking medical help for someone experiencing an overdose, it can and will save lives.”
At the news briefing, federal officials pointed to a pilot program of naloxone in Staten Island, New York, where an officer used the drug to reverse an overdose in January, CNN reports.
The increase in heroin abuse is linked to the risk of prescription drug abuse, according to Dr. Wilson Compton of ONDCP. There has been a 20 percent increase in overdose deaths involving prescription painkillers since 2006. “Heroin is cheaper than prescription drugs and they make the switch for economic reasons,” he said. Heroin and prescription drug abuse are not limited to any certain demographic or geographic area. Officials noted that heroin use is increasing among young adults.
Large drug companies are helping officials at the Winter Olympics with anti-doping efforts, the Associated Press reports.
A growing number of athletes are trying to boost their performance by using experimental drugs, many of which were developed in pharmaceutical research labs. Amgen, GlaxoSmithKline and Roche are among the companies that are sharing confidential information with anti-doping officials about those drugs, according to the AP.
“If you want to predict the future of doping it’s essential that you have collaborations with the pharmas,” said Olivier Rabin, Science Director of the World Anti-Doping Authority (WADA), which oversees the testing standards for the Olympics.
In 2011, WADA signed an agreement with the Biotech Industry Organization, which represents most biotech drugmakers. The industry agreed to voluntarily share early information about drugs they are developing that could be used to increase endurance, build muscle or assist in recovery.
One experimental drug developed by GlaxoSmithKline never made it out of the lab. But last year, five professional cyclists were caught using the substance, despite warnings from WADA about its toxic side effects. Many doping products used by athletes are mixed in overseas labs, the article notes.
”A lot of what dopers are looking for is under the radar. They’re looking for drugs that were terminated and that enforcement agencies don’t know about yet,” Mark Luttman, who coordinates Glaxo’s anti-doping program with WADA, told the AP. In 2012, the company provided a $30 million lab for testing officials at the London Summer Olympics, the first time a private sponsor funded such a project at the Olympics.
People are buying more alcohol for use at home, according to new figures from a market research firm. Spending on alcohol grew during every quarter over the last four years, indicating increased alcohol sales are not a weather-related trend.
The firm, IRI, found in the four-week period ending January 26, unit sales of beer from retailers—not restaurants and bars—rose 6.75 percent from a year earlier. Popular products included Bud Light Lime-A-Rita and Straw-Ber-Rita. Craft beer also increased market share.
Whiskies, particularly bourbon, were also popular. Other spirits that saw increased growth included Diageo’s Cîroc Amaretto, Johnnie Walker Platinum and Gold Bullion Reserve and Captain Morgan White, BloombergBusinessweek reports.
Wine sales rose 3.3 last month, and at-home wine consumption rose by about 5 percent last year.
Marijuana delivery services are springing up in Washington state, where recreational marijuana for adults is now legal, but state-run stores won’t start selling the drug for non-medical purposes until later this year.
One such business is the Winterlife Cooperative Cannabis Delivery Service, which delivers marijuana to anyone age 21 and older in the greater Seattle area. The company provides a daily menu of marijuana strains and edible products, and charges about $80 per quarter ounce. Customers can also order a “Critter Box” starter kit for $350, which includes several types of marijuana and hash, along with a pipe and vaporizer. Winterlife is a cash-only business, Time reports.
On its website, Winterlife tells customers it will not ship its products. The company adds, “It is illegal to take cannabis products out of state, we cannot condone the removal of our cannabis products from WA state or give advice on how to avoid detection in the process of removal of cannabis products from WA state. So Really, DON’T ASK!”
According to Seattle Police Spokesman Sgt. Sean Whitcomb, marijuana delivery services are not legal, but added he does not expect authorities to take action against them.
A comparison of DigiGait™ and TreadScan™ imaging systems: assessment of pain using gait analysis in murine monoarthritis.
A comparison of DigiGait™ and TreadScan™ imaging systems: assessment of pain using gait analysis in murine monoarthritis.
J Pain Res. 2014;7:25-35
Authors: Dorman CW, Krug HE, Frizelle SP, Funkenbusch S, Mahowald ML
PURPOSE: Carrageenan-induced arthritis is a painful acute arthritis model that is simple to induce, with peak pain and inflammation occurring at about 3 hours. This arthritis model can be evaluated using semiquantitative evoked or non-evoked pain scoring systems. These measures are subjective and are often time- and labor-intensive. It would be beneficial to utilize quantitative, nonsubjective evaluations of pain with rapid assessment tools. We sought to compare the DigiGait™ and TreadScan™ systems and to validate the two gait analysis platforms for detection of carrageenan-induced monoarthritis pain and analgesic response through changes in gait behavior.
METHODS: Non-arthritic mice and carrageenan-induced arthritic mice with and without analgesia were examined. A painful arthritic knee was produced by injection of 3% carrageenan into the knee joint of adult mice. Analgesic-treated mice were injected subcutaneously with 0.015 mg/mL (0.5 mg/kg) buprenorphine. Five-second videos were captured on the DigiGait™ or TreadScan™ system and, after calculating gait parameters, were compared using student's unpaired t-test.
RESULTS: We found the DigiGait™ system consistently measured significantly longer stride measures (swing time, stance time, and stride time) than did TreadScan™. Both systems' measures of variability were equal. Reproducibility was inconsistent on both systems. While both systems detected alterations in some gait measures after carrageenan injection, none of the alterations were seen with both systems. Only the TreadScan™ detected normalization of gait measures after analgesia, but the system could not detect normalization across all measures that altered due to arthritis pain. Time spent on analysis was dependent on operator experience.
CONCLUSION: Neither the DigiGait™ nor TreadScan™ system was useful for measuring changes in pain behaviors or analgesic responses in acute inflammatory monoarthritic mice.
PMID: 24516338 [PubMed]
Opioid analgesic-treated chronic pain patients at risk for problematic use.
Am J Manag Care. 2013 Nov;19(11):871-80
Authors: Tkacz J, Pesa J, Vo L, Kardel PG, Un H, Volpicelli JR, Ruetsch C
Objectives: To characterize potentially problematic opioid use (PPOU) among opioid analgesic-treated chronic pain (OAT-CP) patients and to compare their healthcare service utilization and expenditures with those of a control group of OAT-CP patients not exhibiting these behaviors. Study Design: Cross-sectional, retrospective analysis of health claims data. Methods: Members of a national health plan (n = 3891) with chronic pain and an opioid prescription were categorized into 3 groups: PPOU group (n = 1499), those displaying evidence of doctor shopping or rapid opioid dose escalation; buprenorphine/naloxone group (n =199), those who filled a prescription for buprenorphine/naloxone, which served as a proxy for opioid dependence; and control group (n = 2193), those not meeting either of the above criteria. Groups were compared on 1-year healthcare service utilization and costs. Results: The PPOU group made up more than one-third of the study sample. Compared with the control group, they incurred significantly greater 1-year adjusted mean pharmacy costs ($6573 vs $6160), office costs ($5705 vs $4479), emergency department (ED) costs ($835 vs $388), inpatient costs ($15,646 vs $7445), and total healthcare costs ($39,048 vs $26,171) (all P <.05). The buprenorphine/naloxone group incurred significantly greater 1-year pharmacy costs ($6981 vs $6160) and ED costs ($1126 vs $388) (both P <.05) than the control group. Conclusions: The PPOU group had the highest healthcare service utilization and costs. Although drivers of elevated service utilization and cost among this population are not clear, health plans may want to focus on PPOU case identification and development of interventions.
PMID: 24511985 [PubMed - in process]
A growing number of people switch back and forth between prescription painkillers and heroin, experts tell The New York Times. They call prescription opiates “heroin lite.”
“The old-school user, pre-1990s, mostly used just heroin, and if there was none around, went through withdrawal,” said Stephen E. Lankenau, a sociologist at Drexel University. Today, he said, “users switch back and forth, to pills then back to heroin when it’s available, and back again. The two have become integrated.”
Some young people are introduced to opiates through prescription painkillers. For people in recovery, painkillers can set off heroin craving. “You can get the pills from so many sources,” said Traci Rieckmann, an addiction researcher at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU). “There’s no paraphernalia, no smell. It’s the perfect drug, for many people.”
About half of the 200 people being treated for heroin addiction at the Cleveland Clinic’s Alcohol and Drug Recovery Center every month started on prescription opiates, according to addiction specialist Dr. Jason Jerry. “Often it’s a legitimate prescription, but next thing they know, they’re obtaining the pills illicitly,” he said. They realize heroin is much less expensive than pills, so they switch.
People who have gone through rehab may be vulnerable to an overdose because they don’t realize their tolerance level has dropped, according to Dr. Nicholas L. Gideonse, the medical director of OHSU Richmond Community Health Center in Portland.
Eight U.S. senators are urging other major drug store chains to follow the example of CVS, which announced last week it will no longer sell tobacco products by October.
CVS, the nation’s second-largest drugstore chain, will be the first national pharmacy company to stop selling tobacco. The company has more than 7,600 retail stores. Public health advocates have pressured retailers for years to stop selling cigarettes and other tobacco products. CVS says its annual sales of tobacco products total about $2 billion, or about 1.6 percent of the company’s revenues in 2012.
The Huffington Post reports that following the announcement by CVS, the company’s chief medical officer, Dr. Troyen Brennan, said, “I think it will put pressure on other retailers who want to be in health care.”
The senators, all Democrats, called on Walgreen Co., the nation’s largest drugstore chain, and Rite Aid Corp., the third largest, to stop selling tobacco. In a letter sent to both chains, as well as to the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, the senators wrote, “By reducing the availability of cigarettes and other tobacco products and increasing access to tobacco cessation products, [you have] the power to further foster the health and wellness of customers and send a critical message to all Americans—and especially children—about the dangers of tobacco us.”
A number of trends could combine to lower U.S. smoking rates from the current 18 percent, to 10 percent or less, health officials predict. Cigarette taxes, bans on smoking in public places and regulations on cigarette advertising could influence people’s perceptions of smoking, according to the Associated Press.
Earlier this month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) unveiled its latest anti-smoking campaign, which features real people talking about smoking in tough and often frightening terms. A previous anti-tobacco ad campaign featuring graphic images helped 100,000 people quit smoking, the CDC said in September.
Last week, CVS, the nation’s second largest pharmacy chain, announced it will stop selling tobacco products in its more than 7,600 stores by October 1.
A report released last month by Acting U.S. Surgeon General Boris Lushniak called for increased tobacco control measures. He told the AP, “I can’t accept that we’re just allowing these numbers to trickle down. We believe we have the public health tools to get us to the zero level.”
Some public health advocates say smoking rates will not decline to 10 percent or lower unless the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) takes bolder steps to regulate smoking, the AP notes. The FDA was given authority to regulate tobacco products under a 2009 federal law, but so far it has not prohibited menthol flavoring in cigarettes, or required cigarette makers to reduce the amount of additive nicotine in cigarettes.
Some health advocates say electronic cigarettes could help reduce smoking rates, by getting people to switch from regular cigarettes. Others are concerned the devices could make smoking more appealing. “It could go in either direction,” said John Seffrin, the American Cancer Society’s Chief Executive Officer.
California has approved the merger of the Hazelden Foundation and the Betty Ford Center, the Star Tribune reports. The new organization will be called the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation. It will be the nation’s largest nonprofit treatment organization.
In a statement, Mark Mishek, President and CEO of the merged organization, said, “We are now well-positioned to respond to the challenges and opportunities presented by health care reform and the rapidly changing marketplace. Together, we will be able to better utilize the addiction treatment field’s most extensive expertise, knowledge and data to accelerate innovation in treating the chronic disease of addiction and expand our already robust national system of care. Together, we will be better able to help all those who seek recovery find it.”
Analysts said the merger will allow the organizations to reduce administrative costs, and to bring treatment into more outpatient settings. Each organization has its own specialties, such as Betty Ford’s programs for treating chronic pain and addiction, and Hazelden’s programs for treating health care professionals and young people, the article notes.
The combined organization operates 15 sites in nine states. It will be headquartered in Center City, Minnesota, where Hazelden is based. It offers residential and outpatient services, a publishing house, an addiction research center and an accredited graduate school of addiction studies. The Betty Ford Center in Rancho Mirage, California will keep its name. It will add the tagline: “a part of the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation.”
The boards of both organizations announced last June that they were considering a formal alliance. At the time, officials at both organizations said one incentive for a possible alliance was the Affordable Care Act, which is expected to greatly increase the number of Americans who will receive health care coverage.
Buprenorphine-Naloxone Therapy in Pain Management.
Anesthesiology. 2014 Feb 6;
Authors: Chen KY, Chen L, Mao J
Buprenorphine-naloxone (bup/nal in 4:1 ratio; Suboxone; Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceuticals Incorporation, Richmond, VA) is approved by the Food and Drug Administration for outpatient office-based addiction treatment. In the past few years, bup/nal has been increasingly prescribed off-label for chronic pain management. The current data suggest that bup/nal may provide pain relief in patients with chronic pain with opioid dependence or addiction. However, the unique pharmacological profile of bup/nal confers it to be a weak analgesic that is unlikely to provide adequate pain relief for patients without opioid dependence or addiction. Possible mechanisms of pain relief by bup/nal therapy in opioid-dependent patients with chronic pain may include reversal of opioid-induced hyperalgesia and improvement in opioid tolerance and addiction. Additional studies are needed to assess the implication of bup/nal therapy in clinical anesthesia and perioperative pain management.
PMID: 24509068 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]