Archive for the ‘Harm Reduction’ Category

Overdose Deaths Increased in Pregnant and Postpartum Women From Early 2018 to Late 2021

Drug overdose deaths rose markedly between January to June 2018 and July to December 2021 among 10- to 44-year-old girls and women who were pregnant or pregnant within the previous 12 months, according to a new study by researchers at National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) at the National...

Still Reaching: The Syndemics that Complicate and Characterize How Drugs and HIV Intersect in People’s Lives

Nearly 42 years ago, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported a rare pneumonia in five gay men, marking the recognized start of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. While we often hear about those men’s sexuality, we hear less often about their substamce use. As the 1981 report notes,...

Prenatal Cannabis Exposure Associated With Mental Disorders in Children That Persist Into Early Adolescence

Prenatal cannabis exposure following the middle of the first trimester – generally after five to six weeks of fetal development – is associated with attention, social, and behavioral problems that persist as the affected children progress into early adolescence (11 and 12 years of age),...

Research to Address the Real-Life Challenges of Opioid Crisis

While great progress has been made in controlling the COVID-19 pandemic, America’s opioid crisis continues to evolve in unexpected ways. The opioid crisis, which worsened during the pandemic and now involves the scourge of fentanyl, claims more than 70,000 lives each year in the United States1....

Five Areas Where “More Research” Isn’t Needed to Curb the Overdose Crisis

“…but more research is needed.” That’s often the refrain in science, and it includes addiction research. As the addiction epidemic and overdose crisis continue to claim an unprecedented number of lives and to fray communities, science is an essential part of the solution. In the...

Preparing Youth with Behavioral Health Needs to Enter the Workforce: A Pathway to Housing

Imagine sitting in a classroom, expected to absorb the curriculum, when you are extremely worried about whether your family will be evicted from their home. What can you, a young person trying to graduate from high school, do to change your circumstances? What if you have also survived traumatic...

Behavioral Health News Spotlight on Excellence: An Interview with Mary Brewster, Associate Commissioner for Harm Reduction at the New York State Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS)

Overview David Minot, Executive Director of Mental Health News Education, the non-profit organization that publishes Behavioral Health News, interviewed Mary Brewster, Associate Commissioner for Harm Reduction at the New York State Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS). The mission of...

Harm Reduction in Treatment: A Simplified Overview

In the past, harm reduction was mainly associated with distributing clean needles to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (2022), there were over 100,000 deaths related to drug overdoses in 2022. Treatment has evolved to...

The Long History and Bright Future of Harm Reduction in New York State

For the past year, the New York State Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS) has implemented a new division among its pillars of prevention, treatment, and recovery services. The newly formed Division of Harm Reduction seeks to bring both the harm reduction philosophy and its practical...

Harm Reduction: A Bridge Back to Life

Harm reduction is a decades-long, well-established, effective tool in reducing illnesses, deaths, and other negative consequences of problematic substance use (Jones et al., 2022). This approach has never been more important as in the current overdose crisis (Perera et al., 2022). Harm reduction...