Bringing Drug Use Out of the Shadows Reduces Harm to the Community as Well as to Users

Jeffrey A. SingerMany critics of marijuana legalization raise concerns that marijuana dispensaries might serve as loci for  increased local criminal activity. Now there is empirical evidence that just the opposite occurs.A new study reported in the September issue of  Regional Science and Urban Economics examined local crime rate data from 2013 through 2016 in Denver, Colorado, where legal cannabis sales to adults began in 2014. The researchers reported:The results imply that an additional dispensary in a neighborhood leads to a reduction of 17 crimes per month per 10,000 residents, which corresponds to roughly a 19 percent decline relative to the average crime rate over the sample period. Reductions in crime are highly localized, with no evidence of spillover benefits to adjacent neighborhoods.The study found that the majority of the crimes reduced were of a nonviolent nature.There were no changes in the number of cannabis-related crimes near dispensaries, but there was a decrease in the number of crimes related to methamphetamine, cocaine, and heroin. The authors speculated that this may be in part due to the increased presence of law enforcement near dispensaries serving as a deterrent to criminal activity.The authors  stated they did “not find increases in marijuana crimes such as cultivation, possession, or sales nearby,” and no increase in crimes associated with marijuana intoxication, “since there is essentially no change in t...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - Category: American Health Authors: Source Type: blogs

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BACKGROUND: Factors surrounding opioid overdose and naloxone use must be explored from the user perspective in order to more effectively combat the current opioid crisis. METHODS: AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin needle exchange clients were surve...
Source: SafetyLit - Category: International Medicine & Public Health Tags: Alcohol and Other Drugs Source Type: news
According to the latest numbers, roughly 9 million Americans — 4% of U.S. adults — use prescription sleep aids, or medications that can help with insomnia and other sleep issues. And now, some of the most popular prescription sleep drugs must carry stronger safety warnings. In April, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) mandated black-box warnings — which the agency uses to “call attention to serious or life-threatening risks” — on three sedative-hypnotic sleep aids: eszopiclone (often sold under the brand name Lunesta), zaleplon (Sonata) and zolpidem (Ambien). Hypnotic drugs, which ar...
Source: TIME: Health - Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Tags: Uncategorized Drugs Source Type: news
Ryan R. Kelly1,2†, Lindsay T. McDonald1,2†, Nathaniel R. Jensen1,2, Sara J. Sidles1,2 and Amanda C. LaRue1,2* 1Research Services, Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center, Charleston, SC, United States 2Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC, United States The significant biochemical and physiological effects of psychological stress are beginning to be recognized as exacerbating common diseases, including osteoporosis. This review discusses the current evidence for psychological stress-associated mental health disorders as risk factors for os...
Source: Frontiers in Psychiatry - Category: Psychiatry Source Type: research
(Columbia University Irving Medical Center) In a paper out today in The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, Columbia researchers present an expanded model to reduce opioid overdose and death by addressing gaps in addiction care and by monitoring treatment outcomes. A group of researchers led by Arthur Robin Williams, MD, MBE, at Columbia University's Division on Substance Use Disorders, developed a 'Cascade of Care' model for treating individuals with opioid use disorder based on lessons learned in the HIV/AIDS field.
Source: EurekAlert! - Social and Behavioral Science - Category: International Medicine & Public Health Source Type: news
Alcohol content measuring wristbands, smart lighters, nicotine tracking wearables, stop smoking apps, virtual reality therapies, automated messaging platforms are the newest elements in the arsenal of digital health technologies supporting everyone in the fight against addiction to cigarettes, alcohol or drugs. Addiction and dependency ruins lives Once you become addicted, it sticks with you for a long time, if not for life. It doesn’t matter whether it’s about cigarettes, alcohol, medication, drugs, gambling, sex, etc., any of these substances or phenomena could cause you strong dependency and might impact you...
Source: The Medical Futurist - Category: Information Technology Authors: Tags: Future of Medicine Future of Pharma Medical Professionals Patients Researchers alcohol cigarette digital health drugs health technology Innovation medication opioid opioid crisis smartphone smartphone apps smoking virtual Source Type: blogs
BACKGROUND: Estonia continues to have the highest prevalence of HIV among people who inject drugs, and the highest overdose mortality, in the European Union. In August 2017, the Eurasian Harm Reduction Association (EHRA), the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Networ...
Source: SafetyLit - Category: International Medicine & Public Health Tags: Alcohol and Other Drugs Source Type: news
Overdose is a continuing public health crisis. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 64,000 Americans died from drug overdose in 2016 – nearly 175 every day. (Hedegaard et al., 2017) Drug overdose deaths – the majority of which are caused by opioids, either alone or in combination with other substances – now kill more Americans than did HIV/AIDS at the peak of that epidemic. (Dowell et al., 2017)
Source: Drug and Alcohol Dependence - Category: Addiction Authors: Source Type: research
See something of interest? Please share our postings with colleagues in your institutions! Spotlight September is National Preparedness Month. Disasters Happen. Prepare Now. Learn How. This week: Check your coverage. The Fall 2018 offering for The Health Sciences Library Association of New Jersey’s Group Licensing Initiative (HSLANJ GLI) is now available. MAR members are eligible for this cost-saving opportunity! The deadline to participate is Friday, November 9. Learn more. National Network of Libraries of Medicine News Funding Available: NNLM MAR has funding available for two grants of $19,000. Libraries, community...
Source: NN/LM Middle Atlantic Region Blog - Category: Databases & Libraries Authors: Tags: Weekly Postings Source Type: news
Opioid overdose in the United States is a public health crisis. More than 42,000 Americans died from opioid overdose in 2016, which is more than a 100% increase from 2010 (National Center for Health Statistics, 2017). More Americans now die every year from drug overdose than were lost during the height of the HIV/AIDS epidemic despite the availability of much more effective treatments (Lopez, 2017).
Source: Drug and Alcohol Dependence - Category: Addiction Authors: Tags: Full length article Source Type: research
The opioid overdose crisis, which has contributed to hundreds of thousands of preventable deaths in the United States, continues to worsen (Rudd et al., 2016a). Over 2.5 million Americans are estimated to have an opioid use disorder that puts them at higher risk of opioid overdose (United States Department of Health and Human Services, 2015), and in 2016, drug overdose claimed the lives of more than 64,000 Americans – more than were lost in any year during the height of the HIV/AIDS epidemic (Dowell et al., 2017; NIH/NIDA, 2017).
Source: Drug and Alcohol Dependence - Category: Addiction Authors: Tags: Full length article Source Type: research
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