The Buzz | The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse

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

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Welcome to Five Minutes With, where we take a few moments to get to know the staff at The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse. Today we’d like to introduce Marcus Daugherty, Assistant Director of Healthcare Reform Consultation, MA, LMHC.

As more states push for the legalization of marijuana, there is increasing fear that the stores that sell marijuana, commonly known as dispensaries, will have a negative impact on their surrounding communities. Both recreational and medical marijuana are legal in Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Alaska, Colorado, Massachusetts, and Maine. However, because of the negative ripple effects of legalizing marijuana, state support doesn’t necessarily translate into local backing. 

Have you ever woken up panicked and confused, wondering how you got home after a night out drinking with friends? If this has happened, you might have experienced an episode of alcohol induced amnesia, also known as a blackout. This is different than passing out or losing consciousness. Your friends may report drinking and talking with you during the evening and you may have even driven home – but your memory of some or most of the night is wiped away.

Beginning on February 3rd, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) required Public Housing Agencies nationwide to implement a “smoke-free” environment. This rule prohibits the use of flammable tobacco products – including cigarettes, cigars, and hookah – inside all indoor areas of public housing units and within 25 feet of buildings. Public Housing Agencies (PHAs) nationwide now have until July of 2018 to implement the new smoke-free policy. Repeated violations will be enforced as a lease violation, meaning residents could be evicted from their homes.

Congress is hotly debating a replacement for the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and there is significant debate about whether the Republican’s proposed bill is a suitable replacement that will address the problems attributed to the ACA (or, “Obamacare”). Ongoing discussions are focused on who will be harmed by and who will benefit from this proposed bill, called the American Health Care Act. At The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, we are most concerned with how this bill will impact individuals suffering from addiction. Our analysis, explained below in greater detail, concludes that the proposed bill will endanger the lives of people with addiction.

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