Biden Proposes Billions in Federal Aid to Fight Addiction
The money Biden proposed could go to treatment and recovery.

Biden Proposes Billions in Federal Aid to Fight Addiction

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The Biden administration is getting ready to commit billions of dollars to help fight the addiction epidemic. The President recently requested $10.7 billion from Congress to support medication-assisted treatment (MAT) and other mental health services.

Biden Hopes to Help Neglected Communities

Biden also wants his new drug policy to be one of recovery rather than incarceration. During his campaign, he expressed regret for how he and others dealt with the crack epidemic. Now, as a man whose son struggles with addiction, he understands that substance use disorder is a disease.

Sadly, in the 1990s, during the height of the crack epidemic in urban areas, addiction was treated as a moral failing. Thousands of Black Americans lost friends, families, and freedom to the crack epidemic. But after addicted people were incarcerated, Black families were fractured and criminalized, often leading to a cycle of trauma and poverty for the next generation.

Biden …

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One in Five Pharmacies in Blocks Access to Suboxone

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A new study, published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, found that only one in five pharmacies will fill a prescription for the life-changing Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) drug Suboxone. Suboxone is considered a gold standard treatment for opioid use disorder by the FDA. Just this morning, the Biden administration announced that they are decreasing barriers to prescribing the drug.

Sadly, research shows that although a doctor may prescribe Suboxone, also known as buprenorphine, to a person in need, a pharmacy may block access during a critical time in their lives. Without access to MAT, many people will succumb to their opioid use disorder.

The Research on Suboxone and Pharmacies

The researchers did the study after learning, anecdotally, about patients having trouble filling prescriptions for Suboxone. “Buprenorphine is a vital, life-saving medication for people with opioid use disorder, but improving access has been a problem for a variety of …

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New AUD Treatment, AD04, Drug Targets Genotypes

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Adial Pharmaceuticals, Inc. has filed a Fast Track application with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its lead drug candidate, AD04. The drug is meant to target people with specific genes for whom other alcohol addiction therapies have failed. To take the drugs, a person must be diagnosed with alcohol use disorder.

Why Fast-Track AD04?

Several medication-assisted treatment options exist for alcoholics, but they are not considered to fail-proof or even useful for most people. They also carry a level of stigma that prevents doctors from prescribing them.

In America, treatment for alcohol use disorder often focuses on total abstinence, which many people with alcohol use disorder reject or, for whatever reason, are unable to achieve. While several drugs, including Topomax, have shown to be effective at preventing compulsive drinking, few treatment centers feel comfortable recommending a drug that allows people to continue drinking. (Other drugs make people …

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Medication-Assisted Treatment for Meth Addiction Being Tested

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For the past few years, an addiction epidemic has raced across the U.S. While opioids have been taking lives through overdoses, another dangerous addiction has silently raged; methamphetamine. Until recently, there were no medications to help people cope with the withdrawal and intense desire to use that causes meth addiction to be so nefarious. New Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) research shows that a powerful combination of medications — injectable naltrexone and oral bupropion — can help people stay sober. This study would be the first time MAT has been successfully helped people with meth addiction.

What Was The Study About?

The clinical trial tested two drugs that have already been approved for opioid addiction but are already used off-label to treat alcoholism in some places. The study combined injectable naltrexone and oral bupropion and measured their safety and efficacy when treating meth addiction.  The test used subjects who were considered to

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Scientists Explore Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) to Fight Addiction

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Addiction is costly in many ways. It can cost relationships, families, jobs, and lives. The stigma of addiction can cause people not to seek help, and it seems that the stigma is international, just like the disease of addiction itself.

China has been experimenting with different solutions for addiction for years. People often go to the research doctors out of desperation. A recent article by the Associated Press detailed the desperation a man named Yan, in China, felt when over the years he became addicted to crystal meth and, eventually, heroin. His father wanted to help but was tired of watching him bounce in and out of drug rehabilitation. He gave him a choice between another trip to drug rehabilitation, or to try Deep Brain Stimulation surgery. “Of course, I chose surgery,” Yan said. “With surgery, I definitely have the chance to get my life back.”

China’s Research into DBS

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Horizon BCBC Offers NJ Members Free Peer Recovery Counselors

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In New Jersey, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield is offering their clients a new secret weapon as they begin their recovery journey. Peer recovery counselors, trained to help others who are trying to get clean, will be offered to anyone who is currently receiving treatment for a substance use disorder.

The counselors will be available 24/7 via telehealth sessions. The sessions will take place over live video chat, which is how they can be offered any time, day or night. Horizon told the media that about 1.35 million of the 3 million members they currently have would be eligible for the program. Nearly seven out of a hundred thousand people in their network end up seeking help for a substance use disorder.

Why Peer Recovery Counselors?

Allen Karp, Horizon’s executive vice president, says that peer-support programs “dramatically improves a person’s chances of achieving long-term success.” People in treatment or counseling, …

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Single-Step Naloxone Most Effective in Reversing Overdoses

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Addiction professionals and first responders cope with a lot of variables when responding to an overdose, but nothing has changed the outcomes of emergency calls like Naloxone (also known as Narcan), an opioid antagonist drug that has the power to reverse overdoses. There are several versions of Naloxone delivery available. However, research has revealed that the single-step nasal inhaler seems to be most effective at reversing overdoses, according to new research led by faculty at Binghamton University, State University at New York.

In the past few years, expanded access to naloxone has saved thousands of lives by reversing fatal overdoses in people with opioid use disorder. While many people who overdose are not ready for help yet, others identify the moment their overdose occurred as a pivotal point in their life that helped them choose to get into recovery. Law enforcement and other first responders carry the drug on them …

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Medicaid Recipients Have Better Access to Treatment Than Others

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Poor adults seeking help for their opioid use disorder can get more help using Medicaid than other people, including those who may have no insurance or private insurance, according to a report by the Kaiser Foundation.

Medicaid has been instrumental to combatting the opioid epidemic, and in areas where the Affordable Care Act expanded Medicaid, the most vulnerable populations are given a lifeline. Not only do they get help with any long-lasting medical effects of drug addiction, but they also are often able to attend an inpatient or outpatient treatment program.

Republicans have often spoken about retracting the expansions of Medicaid or forcing participants to participate in work programs to “earn” their health insurance. Although many people with substance abuse disorders experience extreme poverty as a barrier to treatment, no new funds have been made available on a federal level to increase access to drug treatment.

According to the …

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Using Science to Fight Addiction

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According to the 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, about 21 million Americans currently need treatment for a substance abuse disorder. Ninety percent of them will not receive treatment; many will end up incarcerated because of crimes related to their addiction.

Since that report was released, an increasing number of doctors and scientists are calling for more recognition of addiction as a brain disorder. The Los Angeles Times recently reported that Gil Kerlikowske, director of the Office of Drug Control Policy and the leading drug authority in the government, spoke out against current perceptions of addiction in a speech delivered at the Betty Ford Center. Kerlikowske characterized addiction as a “chronic disease of the brain” rather than a moral failing on the part of the individual.…

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Study Suggests LSD as Treatment for Alcoholism

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Before LSD became widely used by the Woodstock generation, scientists explored the potential of using the hallucinogenic drug to treat anxiety, pain and alcoholism.

Researchers in Norway have recently revisited the question of whether LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) is an effective treatment option for alcoholism.

A research team from Norway’s University of Science and Technology reviewed six U.S. studies on LSD and alcoholism conducted between 1966 and 1970. The studies included 536 people under treatment for alcoholism. One group of test subjects was given a single dose of LSD while a control group was given a stimulant, no drug or a smaller dose of LSD.…

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