Spring 2014

April 2014

“April Marks 28th Alcohol Awareness Month” (NCADD) April 2014

Each April since 1987, the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. (NCADD) sponsors NCADD Alcohol Awareness Month to increase public awareness and understanding, reduce stigma and encourage local communities to focus on alcoholism and alcohol-related issues… Read more >

“Residents aim to curb growing heroin problem” (WFMZ) 4/1/2014

Three deaths in a matter of weeks; heroin and prescription drug abuse is rocking the streets of Topton… Read more >

“Heroin emerging as the top drug problem in Berks County” (Reading Eagle) 4/2/2014

Heroin abuse is rapidly becoming the county’s No. 1 drug problem, District Attorney John T. Adams said Tuesday… Read more >

“Frequency of Energy Drink Use Linked with Risk of Abusing Prescription Drugs” (The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids) 4/3/2014

College students who consume energy drinks are more likely than their peers who don’t use them to abuse prescription drugs, a new study concludes… Read more >

“National Take-Back Day”: Ridding Your Home Of Unsecured Prescription Medications (Forbes) 4/3/2014

As “National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day” edges closer, (April 26, 2014), it’s a good opportunity to emphasize the importance of this day for helping to address an ongoing source of addiction, misuse, and trafficking of prescription medications… Read more >

“FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg Statement on Prescription Opioid Abuse” (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) 4/3/2014

For more than a decade, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has been working to address the important public health problems associated with the misuse, abuse, addiction and overdose of opioid analgesics… Read more >

“Hooked: A teacher’s addiction and the new face of heroin” (Today) 4/9/2014

For years, Michelle lived a double life in picturesque Putnam County, N.Y. A teacher and mother, she was also a heroin addict willing to risk everything for the drug… Read more >

“Retailers Take Wait-and-See Approach After CVS Announces it Won’t Sell Tobacco” (The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids) 4/10/2014

No other major retailers have joined CVS in pledging to pull tobacco from store shelves, the Associated Press reports… Read more >

“Heroin: Rising deaths and soaring profits” (Reading Eagle) 4/15/2014

Some people in Berks County are making a fortune on human misery.That was the portrayal given Monday by Cpl. Pasquale Leporace, a detective in the Berks County district attorney’s office, concerning heroin dealers who have brought about a string of local overdoses… Read more >

“Mother describes son’s descent into addiction” (Reading Eagle) 4/16/2014

A harsh truth – one so strikingly clear that she wrote it down – occurred to Diane Shepler in early December 2012 as her son endured years of ups and downs in his battle with heroin addiction… Read more >

“E-Cigarette Injury Reports on the Rise” (The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids) 4/17/2014

The number of injury complaints associated with the use of e-cigarettes has risen in the past year, Reuters reports… Read more >

“Heroin a growing threat across USA, police say” (USA Today) 4/17/2014

Heroin and other opiate addiction is now claiming more lives in many communities than violent crime and car crashes, say America’s top law enforcement officials who gathered here Wednesday to discuss the increasing devastation caused by the drug… Read more >

“The rise of college ‘study drugs’ ” (WGAL) 4/17/2014 

Around this time of year, you’re more likely to find college students in the library cramming for final exams than out partying… Read more >

“Introverts With Few Positive Feelings at Higher Risk of Drug Abuse: Study” (The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids) 4/17/2014

Introverts who tend to have fewer positive feelings, or to not be attracted to rewards in life, are more likely to abuse drugs than more extroverted people with positive emotions, a new study suggests… Read more >

“Not My Teen: Trends to Know – The Link Between Energy Drinks and Drug Use” (Stopmedicineabuse.org) 4/21/2014

When it comes to issue of adolescent drug use, typically substances such as tobacco, alcohol and marijuana are the first that come to mind… Read more >

“Powdered alcohol approval was an error” (USA Today) 4/22/2014

Were you one of the many to get excited when you first heard about “palcohol”, the powdered liquor that was supposedly approved by the federal government? Not so fast, the feds say the approval was an error. Read more >

” Feds: Powdered Alcohol Approved in ‘Error’ ” (Time) 4/22/2014

The federal government admitted Monday that its recent approval of Palcohol—a powdered alcohol which turns water into vodka and rum—was actually done in “error.”… Read more >

“Marijuana Edibles Linked to Two Deaths, Increased ER Visits in Colorado”  (The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids) 4/24/2014

Health officials report legal marijuana edible products have been linked to two recent deaths and an increase in emergency room visits in Colorado, Fox News reports… Read more >

“New pain pill stronger than Vicodin” (CNN) 4/28/2014

Video on Zohydro the new pain killer… Watch now >

“CDC director explains what he hates about electronic cigarettes” (Los Angeles Times) 4/29/2014

Of all the threats to Americans’ health — a list that includes bird flu, measles and West Nile virus — few get Dr. Tom Frieden as riled up as electronic cigarettes… Read more > 

“NIDA Director Urges Lawmakers to Resist Legalizing Marijuana” (The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids) 4/30/2014

Dr. Nora Volkow, Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), urged lawmakers this week to resist legalizing marijuana. At a House subpanel hearing, she said marijuana can act as a gateway drug… Read more >

“Reading Health System doctor speaks at Penn State Berks about addiction to opiates” (Reading Eagle) 4/30/2014

Dr. William Santoro’s presentation Tuesday to about 40 students at Penn State Berks included startling statistics… Read more >

“Zac Efron Admits Battle With Addiction Is ‘Never-Ending Struggle’ ” (ABC News) 4/30/2014

Zac Efron is opening up about his history of addiction… Read more >

May 2014

“Gov. Tom Corbett changes position on medical marijuana” (WGAL News 8) 5/1/2014

Gov. Tom Corbett is changing his position on medical marijuana and is backing the legalization of a marijuana extract to treat severe seizures in children… Read more >

DEA Sees Surge in Illegal Marijuana Shipments From Colorado (The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids) 5/1/2014

There has been a spike in illegal shipments of marijuana from Colorado to surrounding areas since the state legalized the drug, according to the head of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)… Read more >

“Some E-Cigarettes Deliver a Puff of Carcinogens” (The New York Times) 5/3/2014

Electronic cigarettes appear to be safer than ordinary cigarettes for one simple — and simply obvious — reason: people don’t light up and smoke them… Read more >

“The Stigma Of Addiction” (HuffPost Live) 5/5/2014

Video interviews with individuals on the stigma of addiction. This is a five-part series on addiction on HuffPost. Watch now >

“The Surprising History of Making Alcohol a Powdered Substance” (Smithsonian.com) 5/7/2014

Palcohol—a new form of powderized alcohol—has gotten plenty of buzz (albeit perhaps not the kind it intended) from both fans and a number of alarmed scientists, politicians and parents after its label was temporarily approved by  the U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau… Read more >

“Officials: Fentanyl-laced heroin crisis in Philadelphia” (ABC Action News) 5/12/2014

Health officials say they have a crisis on their hands because heroin laced with a synthetic painkiller called fentanyl has hit the streets and the toxic cocktail could end up killing hundreds of people… Read more >

“Bad News For Ivy Leaguers: ADHD Drugs Hurt Your Memory” (Time) 5/13/2014

Smart drugs used to boost performance in the short term have long term damage for the young brain, a new study says… Read more >

Painkiller Overdose Deaths Have Tripled: Government Report (Partnership for Drug-Free Kids) 5/15/2014

Overdose deaths from prescription narcotics tripled from 2009-2010, compared with a decade earlier, according to a new government report. Almost half of Americans are taking one or more prescription medications, the report found… Read more >

“Single Episode of Binge Drinking Can be Harmful, Study Finds” (The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids) 5/20/2014

A single episode of binge drinking can increase toxins in the blood that can be harmful to health, according to a new study… Read more >

“Older Americans hooked on Rx: ‘I was a zombie’ ” (USA Today) 5/22/2014

Hundreds of thousands of the nation’s seniors are misusing prescription drugs, including narcotic painkillers, anxiety medications and other pharmaceuticals, for everything from joint pain to depression… Read more (video also) > 

“More Colorado drivers in fatal car crashes testing positive for marijuana” (National Institute on Drug Abuse) 5/27/2014

A new NIAAA- and NIDA-funded study shows an increased number of marijuana-positive Colorado drivers involved in fatal motor vehicle crashes since Colorado’s legalization of medical marijuana in 2009… Read more>

“Not My Teen: Trend to Know – Social Networks, Smoking and Alcohol Use” (StopMedicineAbuse.org) 5/27/2014

Use of online social networking among teens has skyrocketed over the past decade… Read more >

“Heroin Users Are Older, Whiter, More Suburban Than in the Past: Study” (The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids) 5/29/2014

Heroin users are much more likely to be older, whiter and suburban compared with 50 years ago, a new study concludes… Read more >

“After 5 Months of Sales, Colorado Sees the Downside of a Legal High” (The New York Times) 5/31/2014

Five months after Colorado became the first state to allow recreational marijuana sales, the battle over legalization is still raging…. Read more >

June 2014

“NIH preclinical study suggests higher risk of death is associated with warmer brain temperature” (National Institute on Drug Abuse) 6/3/2014

A moderate dose of MDMA, commonly known as Ecstasy or Molly, that is typically nonfatal in cool, quiet environments can be lethal in rats exposed to conditions that mimic the hot, crowded, social settings where the drug is often used by people, a study finds. Read more >

“Newest E-Cigarette Craze: Vaporizers” (The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids) 6/3/2014

Devices called vaporizers, which resemble large fountain pens, are quickly becoming a popular item among people using e-cigarettes, according to The Wall Street Journal. The refillable devices are less expensive and more potent than regular e-cigarettes… Read more >

“The New Joe Camel? E-Cigarette Ads Spook Anti-Smoking Activists” (NBC News) 6/4/2014

Some anti-smoking advocates fear the rise of a new, battery-powered Joe Camel as researchers find that more young people are being exposed to unregulated electronic cigarette ads mixed in with popular TV shows… Read more >

“NIDA review summarizes research on marijuana’s negative health effects” (National Institute on Drug Abuse) 6/4/2014

Comprehensive review published in the New England Journal of Medicine also discusses why risks are greatest for teen users… Read more >

“Are Graduates Ready for the Alcohol-infused Culture of Many Colleges?” (Narconon International) 6/4/2014

As many high school seniors go off for their summer breaks, many are anticipating entering college in the fall… Read more >

“Research on Marijuana’s Role in Car Crashes Expands as Drug Availability Grows” (The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids) 6/10/2014

As marijuana becomes more readily available, a growing number of researchers are studying the possible link between marijuana and fatal car crashes, USA Today reports… Read more >

“Cuomo Adds 100 Officers to Units Fighting Heroin” (The New York Times) 6/11/2014

A hundred State Police investigators are being added to drug units around New York with a mandate to tackle a growing heroin problem, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said on Wednesday… Read more >

“Temple summit addresses prescription drug abuse on college campuses” (Temple University News Center) 6/11/2014

The nation’s and state’s top drug-policy officials joined a variety of higher-education administrators, law-enforcement personnel, academics, students and industry representatives at RX for Prevention: Preventing & Responding to Prescription Drug Abuse on Campus, a conference held June 11 at Temple University… Read more >

“E-Cigarette Standards Will Protect Public Health: FDA Tobacco Chief” (The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids) 6/12/2014

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will develop e-cigarette policies that will protect public health, the head of the agency’s Center for Tobacco Products said Wednesday… Read more >

“Chasing the heroin resurgence” (USA Today) 6/12/2014 

In Burlington, Vt., the police chief sees soccer moms hooked on heroin. In Knoxville, Tenn., addicts desperate for help are waiting six months to get into treatment facilities… Read more >

“Drug-dependent babies challenge doctors, politicians” (USA Today) 6/15/2014

No one who hears it ever forgets the sound.When newborn babies begin to withdraw from powerful drugs, they shriek at a high, telltale pitch… Read more >

“Study compares effectiveness of oral drug tests for recent marijuana use” (National Institute on Drug Abuse) 6/16/2014

A variety of oral drug testing devices are available to determine recent marijuana use… Read more >

“48 people busted; drugs, weapons seized in countywide sweep in Berks” (WFMZ) 6/23/2014 

State and local law enforcement officials say they’ve scored another victory in the war on drugs in Berks County… Read more >

“Getting high on sunbathing? Mice exposed to UV rays show drug addiction symptoms” (Washington Post) 6/23/2014 

Do you like to bask on the beach or relax in a tanning bed? You may think you do it for cosmetic reasons — that natural glow does look good on you — but new research suggests you might have another motive… Read more >

“Biggest Risk Factor for Teens Taking Ecstasy: Use of Other Drugs” (The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids) 6/25/2014

High school seniors who are most likely to take Ecstasy are those who use other drugs, researchers at New York University have found… Read more >

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