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Top Addiction Headlines of 2015

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Top Addiction Headlines of 2015

Sifting through the events of 2015, it is clear that the year presented a mix of high and lows relevant to addiction.  A proliferation of synthetic drugs, increased prescription drug addiction, heroin abuse and an ever increasing overdose death toll mark the downside of events for the year.  Conversely, breakthroughs in addiction recovery interventions offer promise for improvements and more innovative treatment for people battling addiction. 

Top Addiction Headlines of 2015

  1. Drug Overdose Deaths on The Rise In The U.S.  –According to a report in the Huffington post, drug overdose across the country have more than doubled.  In New Hampshire alone drug overdose deaths topped 400 in 2015. In fact, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has declared prescription drug abuse an epidemic in the United States, and all states except Missouri now have drug-monitoring programs.  To counter the uptick in overdose deaths, Massachusetts and other northeastern states have increased the availability of naloxone, the opioid overdose reversal agent to help counter the death toll.
  2. Obama Administration Takes Aim at Epidemic of Heroin, Painkiller Abuse – In an effort to battle the ongoing drug epidemic, President Barack Obama announced a major new initiative that will enlist the help of major medical groups, leading pharmacy chains, law enforcement agencies, media outlets and other anti-drug groups in a $133 million project earmarked to curb the escalating drug epidemic.  According to the president, prescription drug abuse and heroin use has been a strain on law enforcement and treatment programs as well as taken a heartbreaking toll on many Americans.  
  3. New addiction-recovery service ASCENT poised for behavioral health breakthrough – Researchers have finally found a way to utilize mobile technology to help people battling addiction.  A new service launched by ASCENT that aims to positively radicalize substance abuse recovery blends interactive mobile technology with personal peer coaching. The  campaign that is being funded on a crowd-sourced business investment platform promise to  links clients with a personalized recovery plan as well as provide around the clock support for those in recovery. This program answer the need for continuing care assistance after rehab treatment is completed.
  4. Drug Overdose Rates Soaring Among U.S. Youth – Skyrocketing drug overdose death among young people between the ages of 12 to 19 was the cause of alarm in this 2015 news headline.  According to the report, drug overdose rates tripled or quadrupled in one out of every three states. Overall, drug overdose deaths has more than doubled since 1999 among people 12 to 25 years of age.  According to the Trust for America’s Health report. This reflects a difference of 3.1 deaths per 100,000 between 1999 and2001 versus 7.3 deaths between 2011 and 2013.
  5. Bobbi Kristina Dies at 22 – Almost six months singer/movie star Whitney Houston’s 22 year old daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown was put on a ventilator after an apparent drug overdose.  Bobby Kristina was found unresponsive face down in a bathtub at her Georgia home on January 31 she later died on July 26, 2015 according to multiple media outlets.
  6. Scot Weiland of Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver, has died – 48 year old lead singer’s ongoing struggle with drug addiction ended while on tour with his band.  Weiland’s body was found in his tour bus bedroom.  According to officers from Bloomington, Minnesota, police department cocaine was also found near the singer’s body while sleeping pills and other drugs were found elsewhere in the tour bus.
  7. Daniel Radcliffe “Spiraling Out of Control” with “Drug and Booze Habit” – The actor made famous from his role as a wizard in the Harry Potter block buster movies has his friends and family concerned about his use of drugs and alcohol.  Cause for concern about Radcliffe’s sudden and mysterious hospital visits, concert cancellations were neatly explained away in some reports as exhaustion.   
  8. Study Reveals How Cocaine Affects The Brain – A new study conducted by a team of Bordeaux University researchers offer hope for cocaine addicts.  The study revealed cocaine ability to increase tolerance and desensitization to the drug also provide scientists with a better understanding of how to minimize the persistent cravings caused by cocaine use.  The study was published in the journal Cell Reports explained that “the stimulation of a part of the brain’s hippocampus called the ventral subiculum (vSUB) sends the dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) into a hyperactive state which in turn, increases the brain’s sensitivity to subsequent low doses of cocaine for a period of at least five days afterwards.”
  9. FDA Approves Nasal Spray to Reverse Narcotic Painkiller Overdose – The Food and Drug Administration recently approved a “Narcan” nasal spray.  This spray contains the opioid reversal medication “Naloxone hydrochloride” that has been gaining popularity for its ability to save lives that would otherwise be lost due to overdose on drugs like heroin.  The product approved by the FDA is the first nasal spray version of this important medication that is being disseminated to first responders like emergency medical personnel, law enforcement officer and even family members.  
  10. Almost 1 in 10 Americans Has Lifelong Drug Problem – Based on a federal government survey many Americans battling lifelong drug abuse problems are not seeking or receiving treatment for their addiction.  In fact, the study revealed only a quarter of these individuals actually participate in a rehabilitation program. These research outcomes were evidenced from a large U.S. National Institutes of Health survey. According to the survey, over 23 million Americans are directly affected by this lifelong problem which does not calculate the number of individuals like friends, spouses, children and co-workers that are also affected by the addiction.  

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