VOLUME 10, ISSUE 2- Summer 2016
Societal Trends in Drug Use and Policy
In this edition of the Journal, our feature article entitled The Hidden Costs of Marijuana Use in Colorado: One Emergency Department’s Experience is by Kenneth Finn, MD, President of Springs Rehab, PC, and Rochelle Salmore, MSN, RN, NE-BC, Nurse Scientist, Penrose St. Francis Health Services (retired). This very significant study provides the results of a unique and timely 6-year quantitative evaluation of the financial impact of marijuana on a Colorado Springs, CO hospital emergency department. The results determined that there were indeed substantial negative consequences from marijuana legalization leading the authors to encourage all hospitals and healthcare facilities to conduct similar fiscal studies.
In the first of our two commentaries in this issue, Dr. Edward Zawadski, DO, FAPA Forensic Psychiatrist, and Medical Director of Beach House Center for Recovery, provides an overview of some of the original and trending synthetic drug “concoctions” affecting America in his piece, The New High: Synthetic Drugs and Drug Trends. From the wide array of seemingly innocuous drug alias names (e.g. Meow Meow, Molly, Dime) to formulations using chemicals such as racing fuel, the author highlights the extreme danger of these substances and the need for everyone, especially parents, to be aware of them.
To cap it off, the Journal’s Editor-in-Chief, Dr. Eric Voth, MD, FACP, provides his sage perspective on the many, often conflicting, issues of treating pain with opioid medications. His commentary shared (with permission) an open letter from the president of the American Pain Society commenting on the recent release of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain — United States, 2016.