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West Virginia vs. J&J in Opioid "Tsunami," Many Teens with SUD Still Affected as Adults, and Details About Phone Addiction
Here is a recap of some of the top industry-related news stories of the week:
West Virginia says J&J, drugmakers created 'tsunami' of opioid addiction
West Virginia's attorney general urged a judge to hold Johnson & Johnson, Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries Ltd., and AbbVie Inc's Allergan liable for causing a "tsunami" of opioid addiction in the state.
The addiction crisis has affected the state's police forces, hospitals, foster care system, and jails, with effects that will linger for more than a generation, Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said during opening statements in Kanawha County Circuit Court.
"This epidemic has impacted virtually all of West Virginia," Morrisey said. "Our lawsuit speaks for all West Virginians who have suffered due to the defendants' unlawful, callous, and destructive conduct."
West Virginia has accused the drug manufacturers of creating a "public nuisance" by deceiving prescribers about the risks of opioid painkillers and said their marketing efforts caused opioids to become a common treatment for chronic pain in West Virginia, leading to an increase in substance abuse and overdose deaths.
Teva's attorney, Harvey Bartle, said that the company's marketing of opioids did not lead to any "medically unnecessary" prescriptions in West Virginia.
The state has been hard hit by the epidemic, with a per capita opioid mortality rate over three times the national average in 2020, according to data from the National Center for Health Statistics.
Most teens with substance use disorder still have it as adults, study finds
Most teenagers who develop substance use disorders continue to suffer from problems related to drug or alcohol addiction as adults, a study published by JAMA Network Open found.
About 12% of 18-year-olds included in the analysis had severe symptoms of substance use disorder, or the persistent use of drugs despite substantial physical and emotional harm and adverse consequences.
More than 60% of teens in the study with severe substance use disorder had at least two symptoms of it as adults, the researchers. These teens were more than 50% more likely to misuse prescription drugs as adults, with more than half abusing prescription opioid pain medications, according to the researchers.
"We must rethink how we screen and prescribe to individuals who have multiple substance use disorder symptoms in their past," said McCabe, a professor at the University of Michigan School of Nursing in Ann Arbor.
Phone addiction: what you need to know
The use of cell phones has become an integral part of society and many people have developed what some researchers consider an addiction to their phones that can have negative effects on well-being. According to some research, roughly 27.9% of young adults are addicted to their cell phones.
Research has found that although anyone can be at risk for this type of addiction, it is most commonly found in adolescents. Teens in particular use their phones with high frequency, while cell phone use tends to decrease gradually as a person gets older.
People who get phones at a younger age are also more likely to present with addictive behaviors than those who get them later in life.
Some new terms have emerged to describe characteristics of phone addiction. They include:
Nomophobia: Fear tied to going without one’s phone
Textaphrenia: Fear of the inability to receive or send text messages
Ringxiety: Feeling as though a notification has come through on your phone when it hasn’t
Textiety: Feeling anxious because of receiving and responding to text messages immediately
Breaking any type of addiction isn’t easy, but it is possible. First, you must acknowledge the issues it's causing in your life. Once you have determined that you need to break your addiction, you can:
Identify the reasons: Research has found that people who are on their phones constantly may be trying to escape issues or problems in their life. By determining if the root cause of your phone addiction is to escape problems, you can address and treat the underlying issues.
Consider therapy: Certain types of therapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), have proven effective in helping people overcome addictions. Other types of effective therapies for addictions are contingency management, motivational interviewing, and couples counseling, if it is affecting your relationships.
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