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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The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health was released today and shines a much needed spotlight on substance misuse and addiction and provides a long overdue call for significant changes to how we address this top public health problem. We applaud the Surgeon General for fully embracing addiction as a medical condition, a position our Center has long held and which is reflected in our mission to connect science with policy and practice to better the lives of all people impacted by substance use and addiction.

U.S. Senator Cory Booker is working to end mass incarceration and promoting alternatives to incarceration for people with addiction. With two terms as “Supermayor” of Newark, New Jersey, Sen. Booker has a wealth of experience investing in fighting crime and reducing poverty for a city with a reputation for criminal activity, corruption and drug use. He provides some important insights from his real life experiences. 

Recently, news organizations and social media channels have increased exposure of devastating images of addiction, especially photos and videos of people overdosing or near-death, sometimes with their children nearby. In several cases, community leaders and first responders posted or shared these pictures and videos, believing that public exposure to these images will help address the problem

As we continue to read and hear dire stories about the heroin epidemic, new and more dangerous opioids seem to be emerging at a rapid pace. Another narcotic that is now a part of this epidemic is called carfentanil. Though it is sold mixed into – or “cut” with – heroin and other drugs, carfentanil is so potent that even the smallest dose can cause an overdose and death.

In the past few years, marijuana has become more widely available and its use more accepted. Twenty-five states and Washington D.C. have now legalized it in some form. Still, concerns remain about marijuana’s effects. One growing but not well-recognized health problem is that marijuana can induce psychosis – particularly when the marijuana ingested is highly potent or when the individual is susceptible to developing psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia.

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