Prosecutors Must Prove Ill Intent in ‘Pill Mill’ Cases

In an unanimous decision, the US Supreme Court set aside the convictions of two physicians accused of violating the Controlled Substances Act (1970) and running “pill mills.” The cases were sent back to their respective jurisdictions to be reheard in order to consider whether the juries were properly instructed. If they were not, said the … Read more

Synthetic Opioid Use Up Almost 800% Nationwide

Synthetic opioid use increased by almost 800% over 7 years, new research shows The results of a national urine drug test (UDT) study come as the US is reporting a record-high number of drug overdose deaths — more than 80% of which involved fentanyl or other synthetic opioids and prompting a push for better surveillance … Read more

A Cautionary Tale of Addiction

I bet you or someone you know bought a meme stock or meme coin in the past year. It was all the rage and probably induced some feelings of FOMO (fear of missing out). Even if you weren’t involved, you probably saw a headline on the news or even browsed r/wallstreetbets to see what was … Read more

Substance Use the Main Cause of Physician License Actions: Study

Actions taken against a physician’s license for substance use are more common than those for psychological impairment or actions related to physical health, according to a recent report. Despite a sharp uptick in 2011, substance use–specific license actions taken against physicians dropped in frequency between 2004 and 2020. More than three fourths (76.3%) of license … Read more

Cannabis on Par With Opioids for Pain Relief, Study Suggests

Cannabis-based products may control chronic pain as effectively as opioids, but adverse effects are common, and long-term safety remains unknown, according to a new study. Several other systematic reviews have recently evaluated cannabinoids for treating chronic pain, but the new study’s methodology was “distinct” in “important ways,” leading to “conclusions that differ from other reviews,” … Read more

Definitions, Best Treatments Remain Elusive

NEW ORLEANS – Research into video game addiction is turning up new insights, and some treatments seem to make a difference, according to addiction psychiatry experts speaking at the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association. Still, understanding remains limited amid a general lack of clarity about definitions, measurements, and the most effective treatment strategies. … Read more

APA Targets Structural Racism, Offers Solutions

The negative consequences of structural racism on mental health, and opportunities for change, are the focus of a special theme issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry (AJP), released to coincide with the American Psychiatric Association (APA) Annual Meeting. The hope is this special issue will “motivate clinicians, educators, and researchers to take actions that … Read more

Treatment for Alcohol Abuse Reduces Hepatitis Readmission

SAN DIEGO — Treating people with alcoholic hepatitis for alcohol abuse may reduce their risk of hospital readmission, researchers reported. In a retrospective analysis of nationwide data, 7.83% of those patients who received psychotherapy, counseling, or drug treatment for alcohol abuse were readmitted within 30 days, versus 11.67% of those who did not receive these … Read more

Can a Novel Med School Curriculum Curb the US Opioid Epidemic?

An opioid-centered curriculum for medical students improves awareness of pain management and treatment of opioid use disorder (OUD) and may help mitigate the current opioid crisis in the US, new research suggests. “Our study showed that implementing training for medical students about opioid use disorder and its treatment improves knowledge and understanding of clinical principles … Read more

New Data Support Electroconvulsive Therapy for Depression

Advocates and users of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) have received further scientific backing: a retrospective cohort study has provided further evidence that ECT can prevent suicide among severely depressed patients. The patient cohort comprised 27,231 men and 40,096 women who had been treated as inpatients. The average age was 45.1 years (range: 18-103 years), and 4982 … Read more