Illicit drugs

Sobering Facts about the Repeal of Obamacare

by Steve Beller on January 30, 2017

The Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare, has been one of the most contentious pieces of legislation in decades. While more than 20 million Americans are covered by the ACA, many have vocalized concerns over the cost and effectiveness of the legislation. With the outcome of November’s election, Congress and President Trump are working to repeal the ACA. As a result, people with addiction and mental health disorders, as well as their families and treatment providers, are wondering how patients will maintain their sobriety if the ACA is repealed.

In a recent article in the USA Today, the American Psychiatric Association was quoted as saying, “the people helped the most by the ACA are the ones most likely to suffer from poor mental health and addiction. Nearly 30% of those who got coverage through Medicaid expansion have a mental disorder, such as anxiety or schizophrenia, or an addiction to substances, such as opioids or alcohol, according to the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).”

In terms of real numbers, The Hill recently published excerpts from a report by two researchers from New York University and Harvard Medical School. The report read, “roughly 2.8 million Americans have a substance use disorder, 222,000 of whom are battling an opioid disorder and would lose some or all of their coverage if the ACA is repealed. To put this in dollar terms, repealing the mental and substance use disorder coverage provisions of the ACA would withdraw at least $5.5 billion annually from the treatment of low income people with mental and substance use disorders.”

In his campaign, President Trump promised to take control of the heroin and opioid epidemic in the U.S. However, some experts are concerned whether this can be accomplished if Obamacare is repealed.

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cocaine_use.jpgAside from being dangerous and highly addictive, cocaine and methamphetamine may also affect the moral judgment of users.

Results from a recent study conducted by Psychopharmacology – an international journal that covers the elucidating mechanisms by which drugs affect behavior – revealed that habitual cocaine and methamphetamine users can have difficulty distinguishing between right and wrong.

During the study, researchers asked 131 habitual cocaine and methamphetamine users and 80 non-users to make decisions that required moral reasoning while having their brains scanned. The data showed that prolonged cocaine and methamphetamine use can damage the part of the brain that processes right from wrong.

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DEA Report Details Heroin Threat

July 1, 2016 News

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) published the 2016 National Heroin Threat Assessment Summary on June 27, 2016, detailing the threat of heroin and opioid drug abuse in the United States. Heroin is now available in larger quantities, it is being used by a greater number of people, and it is causing an increasing number […]

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Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking Day

June 23, 2016 Illicit drugs

Drug trafficking, once viewed largely as a social and criminal problem, has transformed in recent years into a major threat to the health and safety of citizens in every country. In an effort to create international awareness about the abuse and trafficking of illicit drugs, the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) established […]

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The United Kingdom has the Highest Cocaine Use in Europe

June 22, 2016 Illicit drugs

Often associated with rock stars and the “social elite,” cocaine has a long history of use dating back to its origins as a medicinal compound in the late 19th century. Cocaine use reached its peak during the disco era in the 1970s and 80s. Recently, there has been a resurgence of cocaine use, and its […]

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Drugged Drivers Pose a Serious Threat

June 20, 2016 News

According to a recent poll conducted by the American Automobile Association (AAA), motorists now view drivers, who are under the influence of illicit drugs, as bigger threats to their safety than those driving under the influence of alcohol. Data from the survey revealed the following insights: 74 percent of motorists think people driving after using […]

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Businesses Struggle to Find Drug-Free Workers

May 17, 2016 News

New York Times writer Jackie Calmes reports that employers across the United States are struggling to find workers who can pass a pre-employment drug test. Businesses started noticing a trend once job candidates learned that the next step of the hiring process was a drug test and nearly half of the applicants simply skipped the […]

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Can employers still screen for marijuana?

January 7, 2016 Illicit drugs

As state governments continue to “legalize” marijuana for medicinal and recreational use, some employers may be questioning whether or not they can still screen their employees and job candidates for the drug. That said, several legal cases have set a precedent which may help address this growing concern. In the latest case, Washington State’s “Michael […]

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Why is Heroin So Addictive?

December 28, 2015 Illicit drugs

An upsurge in heroin use has led to increased hospitalizations, overdoses and deaths. Heroin use reaches so far that Americans are living through a legitimate addiction epidemic. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the diverse group of addicts emerging from this epidemic is surprising, with some of the greatest increases in addiction rates occurring […]

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Comparing Policies in States with Legalized Marijuana

December 23, 2015 Illicit drugs

The Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) conducted a first-of-its kind survey to better understand and compare substance abuse policies in states where medical and recreational marijuana is legal. SHRM asked more than 600 human resource (HR) managers about their drug-free workplace policies as they relate to how they hire, reasons for drug testing, general […]

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