Trends in Characteristics of Prescription Opioid-related Poisonings among Older Adults in the United States, 2015–2021
Journal of Addiction Medicine
In the context of the opioid epidemic, the authors examine trends in opioid poisoning in adults 60 and older between 2015 and 2021. Overall and among those 60-69, the number of opioid poisonings decreased, but opioid poisonings increased among those 70-79. The proportion of cases involving hydrocodone, hydromorphone, and morphine decreased, while the proportion involving buprenorphine increased. The study did find an increase in co-use of stimulants and gabapentin, while benzodiazepine co-use decreased. Lastly, the proportion of poisonings with major medical outcomes increased. The authors note that buprenorphine for opioid use disorder should continue, but careful monitoring may be indicated in the older population.
Characteristics Associated With Cannabis Use Initiation by Late Childhood and Early Adolescence in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study
Using data from the ABCD (Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development) study, this research letter identified characteristics linked to early cannabis initiation. The biggest risk identified was prenatal cannabis exposure independent of use of other substances, or a family history of drug or alcohol problems. At one-year follow up, factors such as ease of obtaining cannabis, number of friends using, and greater peer tolerance were associated with increased odds of early initiation. In addition, anhedonia and depressed mood in preadolescents (9 to 11 years) were associated with future adolescent cannabis use. These findings suggest greater caution in attitudes, access, and use during periods of susceptibility, such as pregnancy, particularly for youth with other mental health disorders.
E-cigarette Unit Sales by Product and Flavor Type, and Top-Selling Brands, United States, 2020–2022 🔓
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report
This CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report discusses data on e-cigarette sales during the period 2020 and 2022. Total sales increased by 47% with sales of prefilled cartridges decreasing from 75 to 48% while sales of disposable e-cigarettes increased from 25 to 52%. In January 2020, the FDA announced the intent to restrict sales of flavored e-cigarettes due their appeal to youth. Although flavors decreased in prefilled cartridges, by the end of 2022, 80% of disposable cigarettes contained flavors other than tobacco, menthol, and mint. Flavored, disposable e-cigarettes are the most common type used by middle and high school students. This report recommends “comprehensive restrictions on the sale of all flavored tobacco products … in all jurisdictions.”
No time to lose: the current state of research in rapid-acting psychotherapeutics
Most medications for psychiatric and substance use disorders take weeks to be effective. However, some new treatments are rapid-acting. For example, ketamine can relieve symptoms of depression in hours. Rapid-acting treatments could significantly reduce morbidity and mortality. This article reviews recent research on a variety of treatments that are promising. Among them are psychedelics, the neurosteroid hormone brexanolone, immunotherapy with vaccines, deep brain stimulation, transcranial magnetic stimulation, transcranial direct current stimulation, low energy focused ultrasound to brain nuclei, and brain neuropeptides (ghrelin, oxytocin). Many questions remain, such as mechanisms of action, and how long the therapeutic effects last; however, many therapies show promise.