In The News: Warnings of Counterfeit Oxycodone

On May 7, 2018, police issued a press release in Gulfport, Mississippi to make the public aware of counterfeit oxycodone tablets. Although those illicitly purchasing these tablets believe they are receiving oxycodone, they may actually be receiving fentanyl which could be deadly. After narcotics detectives seized multiple blue pills marked “A215”, the pills were analyzed…

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Comorbidity and Drug Addiction

Comorbidities are two or more disorders or illnesses that occur in the same person. Many people who are addicted to drugs are also diagnosed with other mental disorders and vice versa. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, these disorders could be caused by overlapping environmental triggers, overlapping genetic vulnerabilities, developmental disorders, or involvement…

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Therapeutic Communities

Therapeutic Communities (TCs) began in the late 1950s as a form of long term residential treatment for substance use disorders. In its beginning stages, TCs were run solely by peers in recovery, and most did not allow program participants to use any medication. However, as decades passed, these communities began to incorporate a more comprehensive…

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Specific Needs of Women in Substance Abuse

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration published a Quick Guide addressing specific needs that women may have when undergoing substance abuse treatment. It also suggested strategies for treatment that take into account women’s experiences and their unique biopsychosocial and cultural needs. For example, women are more likely to assume primary caregiver roles which…

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Substance Use Disorders in Jail and Prison

While it is estimated that 8.5 percent of the general public aged 18 or older have substance use disorders, jails and prisons have a higher and disproportionate percentage of people with substance use disorders—53 percent and 68 percent respectively. Some of the challenges that incarcerated inmates with substance use disorders face are: they are less…

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Substance Abuse in the Aging Population

Approximately one in five older adults have one or more mental health or substance use conditions. Misusing drugs can sometimes be a special concern amongst this population because they receive a high proportion of prescription drugs due to increased likelihood of being prescribed long term and multiple medications. Age related changes in drug metabolism, possible…

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In The News: Officers Armed with Naloxone

On April 19, 2018, the LoudounNow newspaper published an article about the Purcellville Police Department in Loudoun County, VA equipping its officers with Naloxone (often referred to as Narcan). They are the first in the county to do so. Naloxone is used to reverse the effects of heroin or prescription opioid drugs. Sixteen of Purcellville’s…

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Insomnia and Alcohol Recovery

Sleep disturbance is common among patients in recovery from alcohol addiction. A population-based study was conducted in which 18% of alcohol-dependent persons reported sleep disturbance. Another study of 74 patients that were followed for an average of 5 months after alcohol treatment found that insomnia was a major predictor of relapse. It revealed that 60%…

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