A 2011 Boston regulation that set minimum pricing and packaging requirements has successfully reduced the availability of fruit-flavored cigars that were becoming increasingly popular among youth, according to a new study published in Tobacco Control.
Drug overdose is the leading cause of injury-related death in the United States, killing more people every year than car crashes. While naloxone has been used in hospitals and ambulances for decades, the rising tide of overdose deaths has resulted in calls to make it more available to laypeople and first responders.
Researchers reviewed 47 prescription monitoring program (PMP) websites for overdose content. They found that most PMPs did not address overdose or related terms in available materials and few state PMPs project overdose-specific messaging or provider tools for prevention.
Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health
A new study released on March 2, 2015, in Health Affairs reports that most primary care physicians are aware of prescription drug monitoring programs and have used the data in their practices, but do so only intermittently.
The study surveyed 420 physicians randomly identified through the American Medical Association’s Masterfile list. Of those physicians surveyed, 72 percent were aware of their state’s prescription drug monitoring program, and 53 percent reported that they had used the programs.
This dataset explores currently effective recreational marijuana laws, identifying which state agency regulates recreational marijuana, sale and possession restrictions, what tax rates are applied, licensing for retailers and cultivators, and other issues surrounding recreational marijuana.
This study, published in the American Journal of Public Health, collected and characterized all statutes and regulations effective from 1998 through 2011 governing the operation of prescription monitoring programs. As of 2011, 10 states required PMPs to report suspicious activity to law enforcement, while only three required reporting to the patient’s physician. None required linkage to drug treatment or required all prescribers to review PMP data before prescribing. Few explicitly address data retention.
Illegal drug use is a persistent problem, prescription drug abuse is on the rise, and there is clinical evidence that drug use reduces driving performance. This study describes trends in characteristics of drivers involved in fatal motor vehicle crashes who test positive for drugs, and finds that the profile of a drugged driver has changed substantially over time. An increasing share of these drivers is now testing positive for prescription drugs, cannabis, and multiple drugs.