Author Archives: Benjamin Chambers

Marijuana Bills Run the Gamut from Legalization to Repeal

A broad range of marijuana-related legislation is pending in at least 13 states. The flurry of new bills includes efforts to legalize, expand, or repeal medical marijuana; protect workers using prescription marijuana; restrict the sale of medical marijuana in food; make …

Call for Comments: Should Medicare Cover Alcohol Screening and Counseling?

"The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services at the federal Department for Health and Human Services wants to know what you think about Medicare covering alcohol screening and counseling in primary medical care. Public comment period is open now until March 20." …

NYC Still the ’Marijuana Arrest Capital of the World’

"Nearly 140 people a day were arrested for marijuana possession in New York City in 2010, according to The Drug Policy Alliance, which got its figures from the N.Y. Division of Criminal Justice Services. " …

Lawmakers in Ten States Mull Drug Testing of Public Aid Recipients

Legislators in at least ten states are considering bills that would require adults on various types of public assistance to submit to drug testing. Supporters have said that testing would save money and encourage treatment, while opponents have claimed it would …

Recovery Advocates Call on U.S. Representatives to Join Addiction Caucus

"Faces & Voices of Recovery is organizing recovery and treatment advocates to ask their U.S. Representatives in Congress to join an addiction caucus focused on substance use disorders treatment and recovery." …

SAMHSA: Behavioral Health an Ever-Smaller Percentage of Total Health Spending

Although national spending on mental health and substance abuse grew between 1986-2005, it accounts for a shrinking part of the part of the pie, according to an analysis of public and private spending on health care done by the Substance …

New Dietary Guidelines on Alcohol Keep Daily Drinking Yardstick

"Thanks to comments from public health advocates -- including many of you -- the new Dietary Guidelines for Americans do not suggest a weekly average for alcohol consumption. Consistent with current scientific evidence, the guidelines suggest up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men for moderate consumers. " …

For Treatment Providers: a ’Health Reform Readiness Index’ from NIATx

"Wisconsin-based NIATx has developed a self-assessment tool for behavioral healthcare treatment providers, designed to help agency leaders determine their organization’s capacity to ’undertake the changes resulting from health care reform, parity legislation, state budget shortfalls, and increased performance accountability.’" …

Drug Czar Issues ’Bath Salts’ Warning

The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) issued a nationwide warning about the dangers of legal synthetic drugs often marketed as bath salts while various states moved to ban them, the Associated Press (AP) reported Feb. 2. …