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I Screen, You Screen, We Should All Screen for Unhealthy Drug Use

Nearly 1 in 8 Americans older than 12 used illicit substances in 2018, including misuse of prescription medications. In addition, more than 80% of those who would benefit from substance use treatment in the past year did not receive it. Thus, the importance of identifying and offering treatment should be a priority — particularly in primary care settings. However, there are many barriers to implementing unhealthy substance use screening including pervasive stigma, lack of clinician comfort, logistics, and limited knowledge of or avenues for treatment when unhealthy drug use is uncovered. The US Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) recently published updated recommendations on drug use screening.

Guest Authors: Melissa C. Palmer, PharmD, BCPS, BCPP; Jordan Cooler, PharmD, BCPP; and Amanda Stahnke, PharmD, BCACP

Music by Good Talk

Is the Grass Really Greener? Cognitive Function After Discontinuation of Cannabis

Cannabis use is a hot topic among patients and in healthcare circles. Cannabis is used by an estimated 20% of multiple sclerosis (MS) patients to ameliorate symptoms such as spasticity, pain, and insomnia. Unfortunately, both MS and regular cannabis use can negatively impact cognition. Determining whether cognitive impairment can be reversed upon discontinuation of cannabis can help to distinguish its beneficial and harmful effects in patients with MS. It might also provide insights regarding the reversibility of cognitive impairment when cannabis is used for recreational purposes.

Guest Authors:  Lindsey Trotter, PharmD; Sean Smithgall, PharmD, BCACP; and Nicole Slater, PharmD, BCACP

Music by Good Talk

Getting Some SHUTi: Using the Internet to Treat Patients with Insomnia

Could automated, web-based cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) replace flesh-and-blood healthcare practitioners?  Can computers deliver healthcare at lower cost and similar quality to face-to-face interactions with humans? Several web-based CBT programs have been developed and are now being marketed directly to consumers.  But do they actually work?

Theme Music by Good Talk

The EAGLE has Landed! Reassuring the Safety and Efficacy of Drugs for Smoking Cessation in Mental Illness

Persons diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder consume nearly half of all cigarettes smoked in the United States!  Seven first-line therapies have shown to increase long-term abstinence rates, with bupropion sustained release (SR) doubling and varenicline tripling the odds of quitting. However, the FDA issued black box warnings in 2009 regarding increased neuropsychiatric events and suicidality with bupropion and varenicline use.  Thus many clinicians have been reluctant to prescribe these agents in persons with mental illness.  The EAGLES study compared the efficacy of non-nicotine therapies to nicotine replacement therapy in smokers with mental illness

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