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Addiction News & Policy Update for Week Ending February 26, 2021

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As Pot Legalization Spreads, More Teens Are Lighting Up
As pot gains in acceptance among adults, teenagers appear to be more tempted to try it, a new study out of California finds. After the state legalized marijuana use for adults in 2016, teens' use of the drug also climbed after years of steady decline.

Health care workers replaced Denver cops in handling hundreds of mental health and substance abuse cases — and officials say it saved lives
A program that replaces police officers with health care workers on mental health and substance abuse calls in Denver, Colorado, is showing signs of success, according to a six-month progress report. Despite responding to hundreds of calls, the workers made no arrests, the report said — and the city's police chief told CBS News on Friday that he believes the program "saves lives.".

The people who care: How harm reduction strategies for those who use drugs bloomed in the region
Daryl Hams saw a discolored bandage poking out from the man's sleeve. The bandage covered a festering abscess. A wound from a contaminated needle. The man had had it cleaned at a hospital but hadn't yet picked up antibiotics prescribed for him. Daryl, who had never met the man before, handed the stranger fresh bandages, cleansing packets, and urged him to get and take all the antibiotics.

Soaring mental health unicorns race to meet employer needs
Companies scrambling to provide employees with expanded mental health care options are propping up a booming market for digitally minded startups racing to address their needs.

Medical marijuana's last wildernesses
Only a handful of U.S. states remain holdouts. Will 2021 change that? Only two states — Nebraska and Idaho — have never passed any sort of medical marijuana law. There are now movements afoot in both states — as well as several others with very restrictive programs — to change that as soon as this year..

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