The Buzz - A Blog About the Disease of Addiction | The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse


Welcome to The Buzz—The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse's online conversation about addiction and substance use.

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Injection drug use presents a special challenge for public health – those who inject drugs become severely addicted, often avoid the health care system, and are at high risk for multiple negative health outcomes, including infection, overdose and death. Some solutions fall under the umbrella of harm reduction, a set of strategies targeted at reducing the negative consequences associated with drug addiction. One harm-reduction approach being considered is called a supervised injection facility (SIF) – a legally sanctioned setting where individuals can inject previously obtained drugs (such as heroin and other opioids) under medical supervision. 

Our recent poll asked the important question “What is the number one preventable cause of death in the U.S.?” The answer, not shockingly, is tobacco use. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently found that although adolescents have been smoking fewer traditional cigarettes, their use of e-cigarettes and hookah is on the rise. That’s why the new tobacco regulations by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are a major milestone in public health. 

Among parents, there is a debate about letting their underage children drink alcohol at home. Some think it’s safer for kids to drink at home in a secure environment. Others believe that offering sips makes alcohol appear less alluring, and teaches kids to drink responsibly. They often point to Europe as an example of how alcohol can be normalized at a young age, supposedly without any adverse consequences.  



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