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Over 7,600 bags of heroin, other drugs seized from New Jersey apartment

In a massive drug bust, the Paterson Police Department seized large amounts of heroin and other drugs, including crack cocaine, ecstasy and marijuana. According to the police, the raid carried out on Sept. 19, 2017, at a 217 Park Avenue apartment resulted in the seizure of 7,610 glassine bags of heroin; 410 Ecstasy pills; 45 baggies of crack cocaine, 45 baggies containing 750 grams of marijuana and 200 grams of cocaine. Moreover, authorities have also confiscated 300 grams of raw heroin, 206 grams of cocaine. Continue reading

Marijuana use at 15-year low among teens in 2016, says NSDUH

Amid growing popularity of medical marijuana across the United States, use of the drug among adolescents has registered a decline. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) report released on Sept. 7, 2017, past month cannabis use among adolescents witnessed a 15-year low in 2016. The survey reported a 7 percent decrease in marijuana consumption among people aged 12 to 17 years in 2016 over the previous year. It is the second consecutive decline since 2015. Continue reading

Number of Americans consuming alcohol decreased marginally in 2016, says NSDUH

It seems that the culture of drinking is slowly fading away from American society as the overall alcohol consumption across all age groups witnessed a marginal decline in 2016. According to the latest 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) data released on Sept. 7, 2017, 136.7 million people aged 12 or older — 50.7 percent of the U.S. population in the age group — used alcohol in the past month in 2016, registering an approximate 1.2 percent decrease over the same period in 2015. The 2016 estimate of current drinkers recorded a decrease over the period 2009-2015. Significantly, it is the third consecutive year that witnessed a decline in the number of current alcohol users since 2014. Continue reading

Indiana to integrate PDMP into EHRs to deal with opioid crisis

In an attempt to fight the opioid crisis, Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb on Aug. 24, 2017, announced the launch of a comprehensive platform that would allow medical practitioners to review patients’ prescription history for controlled substance more quickly and efficiently. The platform, successfully implemented in two health care systems already, will strengthen Indiana’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP). Continue reading

Heroin, fentanyl responsible for 13-year-old New Jersey boy’s death, says autopsy

More and more adolescents in the United States are falling prey to deadly drugs like heroin and fentanyl. In one such incident, Vincent Weiner, a 13-year-old boy from New Jersey, was found dead in his bed in June this year. The toxicology report released in August 2017 revealed the presence of a fatal cocktail of heroin and fentanyl that resulted in the overdose.   Continue reading

Marijuana increases probability of death due to hypertension by 3 times, finds study

The scarcity of research on marijuana’s medicinal properties and the growing voices for cannabis legalization in the United States have stimulated researchers to study the possible implications of the drug on cardiovascular health. Now, a new study has reported three-fold higher risk of dying due to hypertension in people hooked on pot than those who stayed away from the drug. Continue reading

Colombia saw 34% rise in cocaine production, says UN report

Colombia has reported a significant increase in cultivation area of coca, the base ingredient in cocaine. According to a recent United Nations report, the South American country witnessed a growth of whopping 52 percent — from 96,000 hectares (ha) in 2015 to 146,000 ha in 2016 — in its coca farming area. The annual report by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) also said that cocaine production in the country registered a 34 percent rise from 646 metric tons in 2015 to 866 metric tons in 2016. Continue reading

US scientists get closer to new drug that may replace opioids to treat chronic pain

Scientists have identified a biological target (receptor) for chronic and pathologic pain, which may pave the way for the development of a better painkiller the United States desperately needs. This medicine is believed to alleviate pain without the addictive properties of opioids, which can go a long way in finding a potent solution to tackle the opioid epidemic. Continue reading