This Week in the ASAM Weekly
This week we showcase publications from leading journals across the scientific fields. In a way, this mirrors the diversity of specialists in clinical settings and beyond who collaborate to treat addiction.
A study from JAMA Network Open is a first to evaluate increased naloxone requirements and clinical outcomes from nitazene overdose: a class of novel potent opioids that have found their way into the illicit drug supply. The title of a publication from ACS Central Science may be technical and targeting fields related to chemistry, but the findings imply that a new way to synthesize methylphenidate may lead to future treatments in cocaine use disorders and more.
A Cochrane Review of over 300 RCT’s has found that the most effective interventions for smoking are e-cigarettes, varenicline, and cytisine (CDSR). It’s unfortunate then that two of these three interventions are either underregulated or unapproved for smoking cessation in the US. Substance use in pregnancy is a known risk factor for intellectual disability (ID) but a study of national registry data found that having either mothers or fathers with SUDs diagnosed before childbirth is also a significant and modifiable risk factor (eClinicalMedicine).
More news about alcohol’s unhealthy effects on the heart comes from a national database study in South Korea. Chronic heavy drinkers have a significantly lower risk of new onset a-fib if they abstain, but little improvement was found if they reduced drinking (EJPC). In the US, addiction plus suicide make up deaths of despair but the diseases themselves are a risk for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (BMJ Open).
Together these publications also showcase how addiction is not just a disease of the brain but an illness that affects the whole body, person, society, and more.
Thanks for reading,
Nicholas Athanasiou, MD, MBA, DFASAM
Editor in Chief
with Co-Editors: Brandon Aden, MD, MPH, FASAM, Debra R. Newman, PA-C, MSPAS, MPH, Jack Woodside, MD, John A. Fromson, MD