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Drugs of Abuse

Surgeon General Vivek Murthy calls on physicians to screen for addictions

U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy today released a landmark report on the country’s addiction crisis, which he says is a bigger health problem than cancer.

In the report, “Facing Addition in America,” Murthy calls for a shift in the way the country addresses substance addiction. “Addiction is a chronic but treatable brain disease that requires medical intervention, not moral judgement,” he writes.

While one in seven Americans will face substance use disorders, the report says only about 10 percent of those with addictions will receive any type of specialty treatment.

Murthy, who earlier this year wrote a letter to America’s… Continue reading

News on Drug Use in America

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) recently released 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) report – the largest of its kind (70,000 participants throughout the United States), and is the government’s primary vehicle for determining how many persons are using illegal drugs, alcohol, and tobacco, as well as how many are misusing pharmaceuticals.

Although the rate of marijuana use rose in almost every age group, and was up from 5.8% of all Americans in 2007 to 7.3% in 2012, use of this substance dropped slightly for those aged 12 to 17 years.

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Legalization of Medical Marijuana

Medical marijuana is legal in 20 states and the District of Columbia, with pending legislation to legalize the drug for medical purposes in four other states, including Florida. Although still illegal in 30 states, millions of patients are undoubtedly using marijuana for medicinal purposes in these jurisdictions.

Medical Marijuana: The Imperative of Educating Physicians published in September 2013 on Medscape Neurology provides a good coverage and would be particularly interesting to clinicians.

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