May 23, 2024
Opioid/Substance Use Disorders | Tea Leaves
  • Fentanyl, a pervasive killer in America’s illicit drug supply, is increasingly landing in the hands of teens across the region and nation, worrying providers who say treatment options for youths are limited. Across the country, fentanyl has largely fueled a more than doubling of overdose deaths among children ages 12 to 17 since the start of the pandemic, according to a Washington Post analysis of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data released this month. Many pediatricians surveyed nationwide report feeling underprepared to counsel patients on opioid use. As providers try to catch up and government agencies weigh how best to respond, many schools are stocking overdose reversal medication as recently recommended by the Biden administration and are working to teach students and families about the dangers. (Article here)
  • For the first time, the number of Americans who use marijuana just about every day has surpassed the number who drink that often, a shift some 40 years in the making as recreational pot use became more mainstream and legal in nearly half of U.S. states. In 2022, an estimated 17.7 million people reported using marijuana daily or near-daily compared to 14.7 million daily or near-daily drinkers, according to an analysis of national survey data. In 1992, when daily pot use hit a low point, less than 1 million people said they used marijuana nearly every day. Alcohol is still more widely used, but 2022 was the first time this intensive level of marijuana use overtook daily and near-daily drinking. (Articles here and here)
  • Teenagers who used cannabis within the last year had a dramatically higher rate of developing a psychotic disorder, according to a study published Wednesday. The study, led by researchers from the University of Toronto, found an 11 times higher risk of developing a psychotic disorder among teenagers who used cannabis compared with those who did not. When the analysis was limited to just emergency room visits and hospitalizations, there was a 27-fold increase in psychotic disorders in teenagers who had used the drug. The paper adds to the growing body of research that links cannabis to an increased risk of psychotic disorders, particularly in adolescence. The use of marijuana, particularly higher-potency products, has been linked to a variety of mental health disorders, including schizophrenia, anxiety, and depression. (Articles here and here)