Sur­vey: Progress shown against U.S. opi­oid cri­sis

The Detroit News - - Nation & World - From Detroit News wire ser­vices.

Fig­ures from a U.S. gov­ern­ment sur­vey re­leased Fri­day show some progress in the fight against the on­go­ing opi­oid ad­dic­tion cri­sis with fewer peo­ple in 2017 us­ing heroin for the first time com­pared to the pre­vi­ous year.

The num­ber of new users of heroin de­creased from 170,000 in 2016 to 81,000 in 2017, a one-year drop that would need to be sus­tained for years to re­duce the num­ber of fa­tal over­doses, ex­perts said.

Fewer Amer­i­cans are mis­us­ing or ad­dicted to pre­scrip­tion opi­oid painkillers. And more peo­ple are get­ting treat­ment for heroin and opi­oid ad­dic­tion, the sur­vey found.

Among the other find­ings:

Mar­i­juana use climbed in all age groups ex­cept young teenagers, with 2.5 per­cent of those 26 and older, or 5.3 mil­lion adults, re­port­ing they use mar­i­juana daily or al­most daily last year.

Metham­phetamine and co­caine use climbed in young adults, ages 18 to 25. The uptick may in­di­cate that users are shift­ing from opi­oids to other drugs, said Leo Belet­sky, a pub­lic health pol­icy ex­pert at North­east­ern Univer­sity in Bos­ton.

Young adults have in­creas­ing rates of se­ri­ous men­tal ill­ness, ma­jor de­pres­sion and sui­ci­dal thoughts.

The num­ber of new heroin users in 2017 – 81,000 – was lower than the num­bers in most years from 2009 to 2016. But it was sim­i­lar to the num­bers of new heroin users in 2002 through 2008.

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The Food and Drug Ad­min­is­tra­tion said it would hold the meet­ing even as its of­fi­cials and sev­eral in­de­pen­dent ex­perts dis­puted the new work. Lead­ers of the study con­cede that it has big lim­i­ta­tions and can­not prove that im­plants cause any of these prob­lems.

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Fe­ro­cious ty­phoon slams into north­east­ern Phillip­pines; some 5M peo­ple at risk

Tugue­garao, Philippines – Ty­phoon Mangkhut slammed into the coun­try’s north­east­ern coast early Satur­day, with wit­nesses say­ing the storm’s fe­ro­cious wind and blind­ing rain ripped off tin roof sheets and knocked out power at the start of the on­slaught.

The ty­phoon made land­fall be­fore dawn in the coastal town of Bag­gao in Ca­gayan prov­ince on the north­ern tip of Lu­zon is­land, an agri­cul­tural re­gion of flood-prone rice plains and moun­tain prov­inces of­ten hit by land­slides.

More than 5 mil­lion peo­ple were at risk from the storm, which the Hawaii-based Joint Ty­phoon Warn­ing Cen­ter cat­e­go­rizes as a su­per ty­phoon with pow­er­ful winds and gusts equiv­a­lent to a cat­e­gory 5 At­lantic hur­ri­cane.

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Un­cer­tain­ties mount as Iraq’s PM says he won’t seek 2nd term: Prime Min­is­ter Haidar al-Abadi said he will not “cling to power,” af­ter the coun­try’s high­est Shi­ite re­li­gious au­thor­ity called for the ap­point­ment of a new head of gov­ern­ment. A mem­ber of the leader’s par­lia­men­tary bloc, how­ever, said Fri­day that if al-Abadi gets a ma­jor­ity in the leg­is­la­ture he will form the new Cabi­net. A mem­ber of al-Abadi’s al-Nasr List, or Vic­tory List, said Fri­day that the out­go­ing prime min­is­ter is still ne­go­ti­at­ing to form the largest bloc in par­lia­ment.

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