Painkiller abuse is the biggest emerging substance abuse threat in Iowa, according to a report by the state’s Office of Drug Control Policy.
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Officials at universities in Colorado and Washington state say they do not expect to change their marijuana policies, in light of voters’ approval of laws that legalize recreational marijuana in those two states.
A small number of doctors are linked to a large percentage of prescription drug-related deaths in Southern California, according to an investigation by the Los Angeles Times.
Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana are seeing an increase in heroin use as pain clinics known as “pill mills” have begun to shut down, making prescription opiates more difficult to obtain. Ann Barnum, Senior Program Officer, Substance Use Disorders at The Health Foundation of Greater Cincinnati, says several communities in the Ohio River Valley are taking steps to fight opiate abuse.
Officials in Colorado and Washington state are seeking guidance from the federal government in the wake of those states’ approval of recreational marijuana laws, The Washington Post reports.
Although Arkansas voters rejected a medical marijuana initiative on Tuesday, supporters of the measure say they will modify it and try again. If the measure had passed, it would have been the first medical marijuana law to be approved in a southern state, according to the Associated Press.
Opponents of the Massachusetts medical marijuana law passed Tuesday say they are concerned about how the drug’s distribution will be regulated, and whether the state can prevent abuses.
Voters in Colorado and Washington approved measures to legalize the possession and sale of marijuana for recreational use, becoming the first U.S. states to do so. A similar measure in Oregon was defeated, Reuters reports.
Voters in Missouri rejected a measure that would have raised the state’s tobacco tax, which is the lowest in the United States. The proposal would have increased the tax from 17 cents to 90 cents per pack.
Foundations can play a vital role in battling the epidemic of opiate overdoses. In addition to funding, some foundations have the expertise to provide technical assistance and can bring together communities and policymakers to devise solutions to this devastating public health problem, says Ann Barnum of The Health Foundation of Greater Cincinnati.