Category: Laws and Policies

Buprenorphine Prescriptions Tripled to Fight Opioid Epidemic

The abuse of opioids has become a prevalent problem throughout the United States. In fact, many consider this form of substance abuse to be an epidemic, as it has caused devastation in the lives of countless individuals, and yet appears to be continuously growing in prevalence. It has been estimated that 80 people die from overdoses on opioid-based substances, which includes prescription painkillers and heroin, every day in the United... Read More

The Pros and Cons of Medical Marijuana

Medical marijuana continues to be a hotly debated topic throughout the United States as more and more Americans are legally accessing the drug. As new states have legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes, some have criticized these decisions, implying that the legalization of cannabis for medical purposes is merely a “back door” method of legalizing the drug for recreational use. However, research has shown that individuals are not just using the... Read More

California Voters to Consider Marijuana Legalization

When Californians head to the polls on Nov. 8, they won’t only be helping to determine who the next president of the United States will be. They will also be deciding if California will become the fifth U.S. state to legalize the sale, possession, and use of marijuana by adults. The combination of California’s size, financial strength, and cultural clout suggests that the vote to legalize marijuana could be a... Read More

The Pros and Cons of Drug Testing for Welfare Recipients

In the world of public policy and legislation, the question of whether or not to require drug testing for welfare recipients is divisive and emotionally charged. Both sides fight tooth-and-nail for their side, and the end result is a vicious battle for legal authority. Laws requiring drug testing for welfare recipients are also becoming more popular. As of May 2016, at least 17 states were in the process of creating... Read More

California Tightens Restrictions on Tobacco

California recently made it more difficult for young people to get tobacco, and experts hope that the move will have a variety of long-term benefits. On May 4, California Governor Jerry Brown signed several smoking-related bills. When the laws went into effect on June 9, California became the second state in the nation to ban the sale of tobacco products to anyone under the age of 21, with an exemption... Read More

Obama Administration Focuses on Fight to End Opioid Abuse

Money does not cure drug addiction. But it can be an essential weapon in the fight. Recognizing this reality, U.S. President Barack Obama has called for more than $1 billion of new government funding to be dedicated to the battle against one of the nation’s most pernicious drug abuse problems, the ongoing opioid epidemic. The president has also made several appearances to raise awareness about the scope of the problem... Read More

Arrests Shine Light on Prescription Pill Abuse in Reno

The recent breakup of a “pill mill” ring in Reno, Nevada, has brought renewed attention on the area’s struggles to effectively address epidemic levels of prescription drug abuse. In the nearly 90 years since Reno, Nevada bestowed the “Biggest Little City in the World” nickname upon itself, the former mining town has maintained a reputation for excess. Liberal divorce laws, legal gambling, and proximity to licensed brothels has made Reno... Read More

Supervised Drug Use in California

In an attempt to help decrease overdoses on heroin and other illicit substances, a Canadian facility began a program in 2003 which involved the supervised use of such substances. In Sacramento, California, lawmakers are attempting to follow suit and allow individuals who are addicted to heroin, crack, or other drugs to use their substances of choice at facilities that will provide supervision. The clinics where this supervised drug use would... Read More

How Obamacare Affects Rehab: A Fiasco Turned Friendly—For a Few

Of the 23 million Americans struggling with alcohol or drug problems, only about 10% receive treatment right now. In the state of California, almost 3 million people aged 12 and over need, but are not receiving, alcohol and other drug treatment. Although certain stigmas and associations motivate many to bypass treatment, about a quarter of these 23 million don’t have insurance. Legislators knew this was a big problem and did some... Read More

FDA approves Zohydro, first hydrocodone-only painkiller

It’s been a long ride for Zohydro ER and its California-based pharmaceutical firm Zogenix, but the journey is nearing an end. Zohydro ER will be the first extended-release, hydrocodone-only painkiller to reach the market, expected in approximately four months. On October 25, the FDA officially approved this highly controversial drug to treat severe chronic pain that is unresponsive to alternative therapies. The approval came as a surprise since the FDA’s own... Read More

NTSB wants to lower BAC to 0.05

In May, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recommended lowering the legal blood alcohol content (BAC) benchmark from 0.08 to 0.05. On the surface, it seems like a reasonable initiative because drunk driving accounts for a third of all road deaths in the United States. But critics—generally led by CEOs of beer companies—question the efficacy of the change. (Or perhaps they just aren’t willing to give up that extra drink... Read More