Substance Abuse

4:23pm

Fri September 13, 2013
Shots - Health News

Synthetic Marijuana Prompts Colorado Health Investigation

Originally published on Mon September 16, 2013 3:58 pm

A sign outside a medical marijuana dispensary in Manitou Springs, Colo. Voters amended the state's constitution to legalize marijuana for recreational use in November 2012.
Eric Whitney

More than 150 people are now believed to have been sickened by synthetic marijuana in Colorado, which legalized recreational use of real pot last November. Three people may have died.

State and federal investigators are scrambling to identify the exact source of the illnesses. The state health department has named about a dozen illicit products, often sold as "incense," that it believes are responsible for at least some of the illnesses. The stuff goes by names like "Spice," "Crazy Clown" and "Dead Man Walking."

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1:24pm

Tue September 10, 2013
Shots - Health News

FDA Ratchets Down On Prescribing Of OxyContin And Other Opioids

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 2:24 pm

Drug overdose deaths have more than tripled in the U.S. since 1990. Opioid painkillers like OxyContin are the cause of three-quarters of those deaths.
Toby Talbot Associated Press

The Food and Drug Administration today took another step toward restricting use of OxyContin and other powerful and often-abused prescription pain medications.

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3:05pm

Wed August 28, 2013
Shots - Health News

Illicit Drugs And Mental Illness Take A Huge Global Toll

A homeless man smokes crack in the Barrio Triste neighborhood in Medellin, Colombia.
Raul Arboleda AFP/Getty Images

Mental disorders and substance abuse are the leading causes of nonfatal illness on the planet, according to an ambitious analysis of data from around the world.

A companion report, the first of its kind, documents the global impact of four illicit drugs: heroin and other opiates, amphetamines, cocaine and cannabis. It calls illegal drugs "an important contributor to the global burden of disease."

The two papers are being published by The Lancet as part of a continuing project called the Global Burden of Disease.

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1:50pm

Tue August 20, 2013
Shots - Health News

Study Finds No Link Between Hallucinogens And Mental Problems

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 8:03 am

Don't fear the 'shrooms.
iStockphoto.com

How risky are psychedelic drugs to mental health? Not nearly as much as you might have imagined.

People who had taken LSD, psilocybin (the brain-bending chemical in magic mushrooms) or mescaline at any time in their lives were no more likely than those who hadn't to wind up in mental health treatment or to have symptoms of mental illness, according to an analysis by some Norwegian researchers.

And there was some evidence that people who had taken the drugs at some point were less likely to have had recent mental health treatment.

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3:25pm

Sat July 27, 2013
U.S.

How Americans Said No To Cocaine After Years-Long Addiction

Originally published on Mon July 29, 2013 10:56 am

Narcotics officers in New York seized 3,586 pounds of cocaine and $1.3 million seized in 1997. Cocaine use in the U.S. has dropped by almost half since 2006.
Gino Dominico AP

In the 1980s, if you moved in certain circles — or picked up the newspaper — a certain white powder was everywhere, common as dust.

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