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Pain Pill Abuse Higher in Adolescent CBD Oil Users

Adolescent users of cannabidiol (CBD) oil are far more likely to engage in risk-taking behaviors ― such as illegally taking prescription pain medications ― than peers who don’t use CBD, new research indicates.

The study, which included data on 200 youths aged 12 to 23 years, also suggests that 4 in 10 use CBD oil products. Users also reported experiencing increased anxiety over the prior 6 months, but the researchers couldn’t pinpoint whether CBD oil, which is marketed for anxiety relief, might contribute to participants’ anxiety levels.



Nicole Cumbo

“A lot of kids don’t talk to their clinicians about CBD” use, said study author Nicole Cumbo, BS, a third-year medical student at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

“It’s important to ask kids if they’re using CBD, along with vaping and marijuana use, because it could be causing them more problems than it helps,” Cumbo told Medscape Medical News. “Monitoring for dangerous behaviors in their social history is important. Since we were able to see a correlation between risk-taking behaviors, we should ask kids about risk-taking behaviors as well.”

Touted as a panacea for conditions ranging from insomnia to muscle aches to low mood and more, CBD oil products have become ubiquitous across the United States, Cumbo noted. “Even if you go to a gas station, you see it,” she said. “It’s growing prevalence is apparent, but we weren’t sure what we’d see in our pediatric population.”

Cumbo and colleagues administered questionnaires to adolescents who presented for medical care to a level 1 pediatric trauma center/emergency department affiliated with a children’s hospital in central Pennsylvania. The questionnaire asked about demographics, risk-taking behaviors, and use of CBD oil products. The survey also asked participants about clinical symptoms experienced over the prior 6 months, along with their views on the perceived benefits of using CBD oil.

The average age of the participants was 17.6 years, and 63% were female. Forty percent reported CBD oil use. Compared to nonusers, among those who used CBD oil, there was significantly greater use of prescription medications without a prescription (19% vs 6%; P = .002), as well as greater use of cigarettes (40% vs 8%; P < .0001), chewing tobacco (18% vs 1%; P < .0001), and cigars (30% vs 3%; P < .0001).

No significant differences were found between CBD users and nonusers in symptoms such as chest pain, racing heart, difficulty breathing/cough, dizziness, abdominal discomfort, nausea/vomiting, headache, tremors, sleep disturbances, or dehydration over the prior 6 months.

However, those who used CBD were more likely to report experiencing an increase in anxiety over the prior 6 months (66% vs 47%; P = .009).

Regarding their perceived beliefs about CBD oil, 69% said it is “safer than other drugs,” 33% said it’s “just for fun,” and 48% said it can “help treat my medical illness.” Participants reported that myths about CBD oil include the notions that it’s a gateway drug and that it’s addictive.

“I think there’s a disconnect in

Supreme Court blocks federal abortion pill delivery restrictions; first abortion decision since Ginsburg death

The Supreme Court on Thursday blocked enforcement of federal government restrictions on women seeking access to an abortion drug during the coronavirus pandemic, in the high court’s first abortion-related decision since the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg last month.

The ruling would, for now, continue to allow women to obtain an abortion pill by mail during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The high court has returned the case to a federal trial court in Maryland for further review of the issue. Justices Sam Alito and Clarence Thomas dissented.

The Supreme Court is seen in Washington, Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, as the justices begin a new term following the recent death of their colleague, Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

The Supreme Court is seen in Washington, Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, as the justices begin a new term following the recent death of their colleague, Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
(AP)

The ruling comes nearly three months after a federal judge in Maryland ruled that, during the coronavirus pandemic, health care providers can arrange for mifepristone to be mailed or delivered to patients. The FDA has approved mifepristone to be used in combination with a second drug, misoprostol, to end an early pregnancy or manage a miscarriage.

Thursday’s ruling from the high court is temporary in nature, while the larger legal ramifications play out in court. It comes in response to the case, “FDA vs. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.”

DEMOCRATS RESIGNED THAT AMY CONEY BARRETT CONFIRMATION IS INEVITABLE: ‘WE CAN’T STOP THE OUTCOME’

The administration is asking to be allowed to enforce a U.S. Food and Drug Administration rule. The administration has suspended similar in-person visits for other drugs, including opioids in some cases, but refused to relax the rules for getting the abortion pill.

Alito and Thomas said they would have granted the administration’s request. “Six weeks have passed since the application was submitted, but the Court refuses to rule,” Alito wrote.

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The court called for the federal judge to take a new look at the issue and rule within 40 days – postponing any further high court action until after the November Election.  

This story contains material from the Associated Press.

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Supreme Court refuses to restore abortion pill restrictions, for now

Two of the court’s most conservative justices, Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas, dissented, saying the Court should have stayed the lower court ruling and reinstated the restriction on abortion pills.

“Changes in the severity of the problems caused by the COVID–19 pandemic…does not justify the Court’s refusal to rule,” they wrote.

How we got here: At issue is a challenge by medical and advocacy organizations to the FDA rules that require a patient to obtain abortion medication in-person from a provider, though the pill itself — prescribed only for abortions early in pregnancy — can be taken at home. The groups, pointing out that FDA allows higher-risk drugs to be provided through telemedicine, argue the policy is medically unnecessary and puts both patients and providers at risk during the pandemic.

In July, a federal judge in Maryland agreed with the groups and blocked the in-person requirement for the duration of the pandemic. The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the Trump administration’s request to keep the restrictions in place while it appealed the Maryland judge’s ruling, prompting the Justice Department in late August to request an emergency stay from the Supreme Court.

Why it matters: Both sides of the abortion debate had been closely watching the case for signals of how the Supreme Court would approach the issue after Ginsburg’s death gave Trump the opportunity to shift the court further right.

In the two years since Justice Brett Kavanaugh joined the bench, the Supreme Court had largely avoided abortion cases before Chief Justice John Roberts this summer joined with the court’s liberal wing to strike down Louisiana restrictions on abortion providers. The ruling angered conservatives, though Roberts’ opinion in the case could lay the groundwork for the court to uphold more state restrictions on the procedure. Anti-abortion groups supporting Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court are hoping a 6-3 conservative majority would curtail abortion rights, including the reversal of Roe v. Wade.

What’s next: The justices weighed in only on the injunction, not the merits of the case. It could very well come back to the Supreme Court.

There are more pending lawsuits in the federal courts regarding abortion medication, the most common method of abortion in the first 10 weeks of pregnancy. The ACLU, which is representing the groups in the challenge to pandemic restrictions, in separate litigation is pushing for the courts to permanently lift FDA restrictions on abortion medication and allow patients to receive the pills through the mail. Meanwhile, Republican lawmakers and anti-abortion groups have called on FDA to revoke access to the abortion pill entirely.

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Justices Say Women Can Get Abortion Pill by Mail, for Now | Health News

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Thursday said it would for now continue to allow women to obtain an abortion pill by mail during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The action came over the dissent of two conservative justices who would have immediately granted a Trump administration request to reinstate the requirement that women must visit a hospital, clinic or medical office to obtain a pill.

The court did little more than defer its first action on an abortion-related issue since the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg last month. The court called for a lower-court judge to take a new look at the issue and rule within 40 days. That would put any further high court action after the Nov. 3 election.

The court said in an unsigned opinion that it was holding the administration’s appeal “in abeyance.”

The administration is asking to be allowed to enforce a U.S. Food and Drug Administration rule. The administration has suspended similar in-person visits for other drugs, including opioids in some cases, but refused to relax the rules for getting the abortion pill.

A federal judge in Maryland ruled in July that, during the public health emergency declared by Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, health care providers can arrange for mifepristone to be mailed or delivered to patients. The FDA has approved mifepristone to be used in combination with a second drug, misoprostol, to end an early pregnancy or manage a miscarriage.

Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas said they would have granted the administration’s request. “Six weeks have passed since the application was submitted, but the Court refuses to rule,” Alito wrote.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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