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Psychedelic drug helped people with alcohol use disorder reduce drinking, study shows

 

Two doses of psilocybin pills, along with psychotherapy, helped people with alcohol use disorder reduce drinking for at least eight months after their first treatments, results from the largest clinical trial of its kind show.

“There’s really something going on here that has a lot of clinical potential if we can figure out how to harness it,” said Dr. Michael Bogenschutz, the director of the NYU Langone Center for Psychedelic Medicine at NYU Langone Health, who led what may be the first randomized, controlled trial of psilocybin for alcohol use disorder. 

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High-potency cannabis linked to increased risk of psychosis and addiction, study suggests

The high-potency cannabis that is now widely available may raise the risk of both psychosis and addiction, a report published Monday in The Lancet Psychiatry finds.

The potency of cannabis — measured by how much THC is found in the product — has been rising for nearly half a century, increasing by about 0.29% every year from 1970 to 2017, according to earlier research. THC is the chemical in cannabis responsible for its psychoactive effects.

That change could have important implications for public health, experts say.

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California debates opening supervised sites for people to use drugs

Lawmakers in California are debating whether to open sites where people can inject or snort illegal drugs under the watchful gaze of a health care worker. These facilities are an effort to save lives as overdoses skyrocket across the country.

"Instead of having people use drugs on the sidewalk when your kid is walking by, we want to give them a place where they can go inside," said state Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, the sponsor of a bill to pilot facilities in Oakland, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

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America’s response to addiction relies on fixing this website

At a psychiatric hospital in Michigan, Dr. Cara Poland’s patients were handed a sheet of paper to find follow-up care. The hospital had entered local ZIP codes on a website — run by the nation’s top substance use and mental health agency — and printed the resulting list of providers for patients to call.

But her patients who tried to use it often hit a wall, Poland said. They’d call a number only to find it disconnected, or they’d learn that a facility wasn’t accepting new patients, or that the clinician had retired or moved.

“It’s scary, because if you go to use the site, it’s got invalid information,” said Poland, an addiction-medicine doctor who is now an assistant professor in women’s health at Michigan State University. “People give up if they can’t find treatment. And we risk losing a life.”

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