NIH Alcohol Consumption Research Project Might Have Been Compromised


The New York Time recently published an article reporting that lead researchers on a $100 million study of the effects of moderate alcohol consumption had extensive discussions with the alcohol industry prior to securing their sponsorship. The article noted that scientists and officials from the National Institute of Health (NIH) undertook a campaign to “obtain funding from the alcohol industry for research that may enshrine alcohol as a part of a healthy diet.” A few days later, the New York Times followed up its initial story by reporting that NIH is now investigating “whether health officials violated federal policy against soliciting donations when they met with alcohol companies to discuss funding a study of the benefits of moderate drinking.” The Times reports that Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D, NIH Director will assemble a group of outside experts to “review the design and scientific methodology of the 10-year government trial, which is...

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Study Aims to Reduce Hep-C Transmission in Young Adults Who Inject Drugs


A new study aims to reduce hepatitis C (HCV) transmission among young adults who inject drugs. The study will equip participants with strategies to avoid situations and practices that put them at risk of contracting HCV. “What makes this intervention model different from others is that we are not focusing just on the moment a person injects drugs,” said study researcher Honoria Guarino, Ph.D., a principal investigator at the National Development and Research Institutes, Inc. and a researcher with the Center for Drug Use and HIV/HCV Research at NYU Meyers College of Nursing. “We are looking at the bigger picture—what factors are putting them in situations where they are likely to inject unsafely. We want to give them planning skills to help them avoid those situations or deal with them more effectively if they come up.” The growing population of young people who inject drugs is at extremely high risk for...

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Supervised Injection Facilities Can Benefit People Using Intravenous Drugs


People who inject drugs in a facility where staff members provide clean needles and guard against overdoses say they have reduced their use of public spaces for drug use, a new study finds. Using supervised injection facilities also has given them a greater ability to use hygienic injecting practices and provides better protection from fatal overdoses, they told authors of the study. More than 100 supervised injection facilities operate legally in 166 cities throughout the world, Reuters reports. There are no such facilities that are legally sanctioned in the United States. The study involved one staff member and 22 participants from one community-based organization that has successfully operated an underground facility since September 2014. Lead author Peter Davidson of the University of California, San Diego told Reuters no one has ever overdosed in a supervised injection facility, where staff members are equipped with the opioid overdose antidote naloxone. The findings were...

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Many Teens Who Take Adderall as “Study Drug” Unaware it is Amphetamine


Many teens who take the attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder drug Adderall as a “study drug” are unaware it is an amphetamine, a new study finds. Some high school and college students take Adderall because they think it will improve their mental function and school performance, according to HealthDay. Nonmedical (not using a drug as directed by a doctor) use of amphetamines, such as Adderall, can lead to abuse and dependency, as well as medical problems such as seizures and heart problems, the article notes. The new study included 24,000 high school seniors. Although 8 percent reported nonmedical amphetamine use, and 7 percent reported nonmedical Adderall use in the past year, 29 percent of those who used Adderall nonmedically reported no nonmedical amphetamine use. “Our findings suggest that many young people are unaware that Adderall is an amphetamine,” lead author Joseph Palamar of NYU said in a news release. “In addition, such conflicting reports...

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Smoking Marijuana and Driving


A new study conducted by Liberty Mutual Insurance and Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) found that a third of all teens surveyed think it is legal to drive under the influence of marijuana in states where it has been legalized for recreational use.In the same study, 27 percent of parents surveyed believe it to be legal as well. The study found that while 93 percent of parents think driving under the influence of alcohol is dangerous, only 76 percent feel that driving under the influence of marijuana is dangerous. The results indicate that teens are receiving mixed messages about the dangers of marijuana use and driving. This thinking puts themselves and fellow drivers at risk, particularly with 22 percent of teens admitting that driving under the influence of marijuana is common around their friends.However, marijuana use has a direct impact on your body, similar to alcohol. According to the National Institute...

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Mixing of Opioids and Alcohol Make for a Dangerous Cocktail

Mixing of Opioids and Alcohol Make for a Dangerous Cocktail

A new study warns that drinking alcohol while taking powerful opioid painkillers can trigger a potentially deadly respiratory problem, particularly in seniors. In the study, report on by HeathDay, the researchers assessed how mixing the opioid painkiller oxycodone and alcohol affected 12 younger volunteers, aged 21 to 28, and 12 older volunteers, aged 66 to 77.  The study authors reported that taking just one oxycodone tablet with a modest amount of alcohol increased the risk of respiratory depression. The older volunteers were more likely than the younger ones to have repeated episodes where they temporarily stopped breathing. The study was published online Feb. 7 in the journal Anesthesiology.

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