Emergency Department Visits Involving Mental Health Conditions, Suicide-Related Behaviors, and Drug Overdoses Among Adolescents — United States, January 2019–February 2023 🔓
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report
In this study, the authors examine trends in emergency department (ED) visits among adolescents between Jan 2019 and Feb 2023 for mental health conditions (MHC), including suicide and overdose. While there was variability during different periods of the year, there was an increase in MHC visits after the start of the COVID pandemic. However, there was a decrease in weekly ED visits by fall of 2022, compared to 2021, for MHCs overall and for suicide-related and drug overdose visits, among females in particular. However, ED visit rates among females in fall of 2022 were still above pre-pandemic rates. The authors support prioritizing evidence-based prevention and trauma-informed early interventions and treatment strategies and improvements to accessible behavioral health care.
All Hands on Deck: We Need Multiple Approaches To Uncover the Neuroscience behind the Opioid Overdose Crisis
ACS Chemical Neuroscience
Preclinical research aims to better understand the underpinnings of OUD. The authors suggest that trends in opioid use should be considered when designing this research. Barriers such as continued stigma and lack of available treatment thwart progress in disease management; these also negatively impact harm reduction efforts. Cultural competence is also needed to address the impacts of the opioid crisis in historically marginalized communities. Researchers need to support multiple models to promote new perspectives and discoveries. The authors suggest that it will take a multidisciplinary approach to implement the strategies necessary to tackle this crisis.
Tusi: a new ketamine concoction complicating the drug landscape
The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse
This paper describes an emerging drug concoction intended to mimic a group of phenethylamines (2C) with psychedelic, stimulant, and entactogenic effects. This emerging drug concoction is known as tusi (phonetic for “2C”) and has been found in Latin America, Europe, and recently in the US. Despite the name, tusi does not contain any of the 2C phenethylamines. It most commonly contains ketamine often combined with MDMA and may also contain cocaine, methamphetamine, opioids, or other substances. The authors are concerned that people may assume they are using 2C-B and not be aware of the actual substances they are using. Researchers may also be misled. They recommend education about this increasingly popular drug concoction.
Cannabis, cannabinoids and psychosis: a balanced view 🔓
Epidemiological studies link cannabis exposure to a higher risk (2‐ to 4‐fold) for schizophrenia. The dose‐response relationship is linear, such that more frequent and heavier use, and use of higher potency cannabis, carries a greater risk. Other moderating factors include an earlier age of exposure, childhood trauma, and exposure to other drugs. Cannabis also has a negative impact on the course of schizophrenia, with greater positive symptoms, relapse rates, emergency department visits, hospitalizations, homelessness, and legal problems. Genome‐wide association studies (GWAS) provide evidence for a bidirectional causal relationship between cannabis use and schizophrenia but suggest a larger contribution of reverse‐causal mechanisms and common genetic risk for both schizophrenia and cannabis use (genetic confounding).