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Addiction News & Policy Update for Week Ending November 5, 2021

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Biden Admin Signals Shift To Harm Reduction

Xavier Becerra, the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), has indicated that the war on drugs may be in the midst of a sea change (and so too the Biden administration's drug policy); late last month, Becerra told NPR that as far as harm reduction strategies concerned with mitigating damage from drug abuse go, "We are willing to go places where our opinions and our tendencies have not allowed us to go [before]."

HHS unveils drug overdose prevention plan to boost accessibility to care

The four-part HHS plan focuses on efforts to promote evidence-based prevention, harm reduction, treatment and recovery support among those struggling with drug overuse and their families.

Many Dentists Still Giving Patients Addictive Opioid Painkillers
Though most U.S. dentists say non-opioid painkillers effectively manage dental pain, nearly half still prescribe potentially addictive opioid painkillers, a new survey reveals.

Why is fentanyl so dangerous? The illicit drug has ruined lives during COVID pandemic
Comedian Fuquan Johnson. The 16-year-old "Flash" actor Logan Williams. "The Wire's" Michael K. Williams. These famous names are just a few of the recent accidental overdose deaths linked to fentanyl. During the COVID-19 pandemic, more drugs have also been found contaminated with the deadly drug.

Do high school friends still matter for health behavior in adulthood? Variations in smoking trajectories by adolescent peer smoking networks, race/ethnicity, and gender
Peers play an influential role in the initiation of smoking during adolescence. However, there has been limited literature examining whether adolescent peers are associated with longer-term patterns of smoking.

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