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Utah Attorney General, Mark Shurtleff, explains that prescription drug abuse is unlike any other type of drug addiction. People who wouldn’t dream of smoking marijuana or snorting cocaine can find themselves addicted to painkillers that have been prescribed by their doctor.

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Robert Morrison, Executive Director of the National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors, discusses key issues impacting substance abuse prevention, treatment, recovery and policy.

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Two leading substance abuse experts from Columbia University and The Partnership at Drugfree.org will offer professionals and parents the opportunity to learn more about teen mental health as it relates to risky teen behaviors, like substance use, and the proper methods to identify the most prevalent risk factors in teens.

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On July 1, the first group of medical residents will start training in 10 newly accredited addiction medicine residencies around the country. The programs, accredited by the American Board of Addiction Medicine (ABAM) Foundation, will signal a new era in addiction medicine, says ABAM Foundation President Kevin Kunz, MD.

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Florida officials met with health care executives last week to discuss how to protect babies born to women addicted to prescription drugs. An estimated 1,300 babies were treated for drug withdrawal in Florida in 2010, a 30 percent jump from the previous year.

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Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown has introduced a bill designed to cut down on the abuse of prescription opioids. The bill would limit the number of doctors from which “high-risk” Medicaid beneficiaries could receive prescriptions, as well as pharmacies from which they could obtain opioids.

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The effects of nicotine on the parts of the brain involved with addiction are similar to the effects of cocaine, according to a study using rat brain tissue.

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Being exposed to secondhand smoke in an enclosed space such as a car has a direct impact on the brain and may increase cravings among smokers, a new study suggests. The authors say that this exposure in children might increase the chance they will become smokers in their teen years.

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Addiction is a disease that is hard to understand, explains Dr. Tom McLellan, Professor, Dept. of Psychiatry, and Director, Penn Center for Substance Abuse Solutions.

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In the second half of his interview with Join Together, Nic Sheff, author of the new memoir We All Fall Down, discusses what treatment and recovery mean to him.

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