8 signs your co-workers are struggling with addiction

With roughly 23.5 million Americans addicted to drugs or alcohol, and another 22 million in recovery, substance abuse happens often happens on the job.

“It rarely goes unnoticed,” says Lawrence Weinstein, chief medical officer for  American Addiction Centers. ”People just don’t know what to do.”

Here are signs a co-worker might be struggling with alcohol or drug addiction:

  1. Falling asleep at work, or constantly appearing to be very tired
  2. Suddenly making frequent mistakes
  3. Frequent trips to the bathroom or break room
  4. Extreme mood swings
  5. Theft or disappearance of valuable pieces of company property
  6. Missed appointments or deadlines
  7. Difficulty concentrating or recalling details, inability to follow instructions or unusual amount of time needed to complete routine tasks
  8. Changes in hygiene


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Why is Walgreens still selling tobacco products? Because people want to smoke

Amid FDA allegations that minors purchase cigarettes at its stores, Walgreens says it’s not going to stop selling tobacco products at all its stores due to the negative fallout from consumers.

“We are well aware of the risk with this, but we leave it to customer choice. And if the customers choose to smoke and want to buy tobacco products in our environment, we provide that,” said James Skinner, executive chairman of Walgreens Boots Alliance during a shareholder call earlier this year.

Walgreens Boots Chief Executive Stefano Pessina said that the reason the pharmacy chain isn’t giving up selling cigarettes in all its stores is that “when we don’t sell tobacco, we have a lot of (negative) reactions,” in an interview with the Wall Street Journal.

The issue stems from a Food and Drug Administration order in February to halt the sale and distribution of tobacco products, including cigars and mental cigarettes to minors.

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Should Airlines Consider Banning Alcohol On Aircraft?

Should airlines ban drinking on some flights? Could never happen, you say? April Fool!

Not exactly. Drunk and out-of-control passengers are becoming a real problem, groping and assaulting flight attendants, fighting other passengers and air marshals, attempting to open the aircraft door mid-flight and attempting to get into the cockpit, among other issues.

To paraphrase the late Rick James, like cocaine, alcohol “is a hell of a drug.”

In 2017, a BBC investigation found that drunk air passenger arrests at UK airports rose 50% over the previous year. In an video posted by the BBC, 14-year Virgin Atlantic flight attendant Ally Murphy said one reason she quit flying were drunk, abusive passengers who groped and swore at her. Once, a “drunk passenger tried to open the plane door.”

Read more here.

Serious alcohol-based incidents continue to occur on board. Just last month, an Australian model was convicted for assaulting a flight attendant on a United flight from Melbourne to Los Angeles in January. According to a press release from the US Department of Justice, the woman, Adau Akui Atem Mornyang, 24, of Victoria, Australia, was convicted of offenses relating to a January 21 incident “in which she appeared to be intoxicated and was verbally and physically abusive to personnel and other passengers during the flight.”

CBD sold in Ohio stores despite pharmacy board ruling restricting extract to medical-marijuana dispensaries

Stores throughout Ohio continue to sell cannabidiol, commonly known as CBD, months after the state’s Board of Pharmacy ruled that the cannabis extract may be sold only in medical-marijuana dispensaries.

CBD has something of a cult following, and its users believe it can treat a variety of conditions.

In its August decision, the pharmacy board cited the Ohio Revised Code, which defines marijuana as any product derived from cannabis.

But CBD distributors say they believe the pharmacy board overstepped its boundaries and that selling CBD is legal.

Lucky’s Market in Clintonville and several Fresh Thyme locations in the state still have special sections for CBD oils. The Columbus Botanical Depot, a boutique shop in Clintonville, sells CBD products almost exclusively.

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Wendy Williams Launches Substance Abuse Hotline a Week After Returning to Show

Wendy Williams wants to help others in need.

A week after returning to her talk show following a lengthy health-related hiatus, the host announced Monday on The Wendy Williams Show that her family’s Hunter Foundation has partnered with T.R.U.S.T., an organization dedicated to building a bridge from treatment to long-term recovery, to launch a national resource hotline. 1-888-5HUNTER (1-888-548-6837) will provide resources to those suffering from drug addiction or substance abuse, their families and loved ones, or the general public to receive education and awareness information.

“The Hunter Foundation launched a 24-hour nationwide hotline to offer treatment resources to get help for you if you happen to be addicted to drugs and substance abusing,” Williams, 54, told viewers. “What you do is you call, and your call will be answered by specially-trained, certified recovery coaches. These people will provide you, should you want help, with referrals and treatment facilities. If that’s you, we’re here to help.”

Read more here.

Why states are wary of allowing sports betting on phones

For states looking to profit off the new world of legal sports betting, there’s an app for that. The question for state lawmakers: Should they allow it?

As state legislatures across the U.S. decide whether to authorize sports gambling, lawmakers are debating whether the bets — like almost everything else in daily life — should be allowed to happen online or made only in-person.

Among their concerns is that the accessibility of online betting, especially on mobile devices, could be a pathway for minors to start gambling and make sports betting more addictive.

The debate was on display this past week in Rhode Island, where the Legislature sent a bill to the governor that expands the state’s sports betting law by allowing wagers to take place online.

Rep. Teresa Tanzi, who voted against the bill, said she worries about giving people unlimited access to an activity that can be highly addictive.

“We know cellphones are addictive and gambling is addictive,” said Tanzi, a Democrat. “It’s two corrosive elements together, and we don’t know what those two things together will exponentially produce. I just don’t see that there’s adequate caution moving forward.”

She wants the state to launch a public awareness campaign to educate people about the signs of gambling addiction and to dedicate sports betting revenue to help problem gamblers. Tanzi also said that any mobile app designed to take sports bets should include information about how people can get help if they are developing an addiction.

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Experts say inexperienced marijuana users eat too much because edibles take longer to kick in

Panic attacks, heart attacks, and dangerous behavior in Colorado after people have been eating food that contains marijuana.

While “edibles” account for less than 1 percent of the recreational marijuana consumption in Colorado, it is responsible for more than 10 percent of the hospital visits related to marijuana.

Experts say people who eat the marijuana-laced food don’t think it’s working, so they eat more than they should.

This results in users getting so high that they can have panic attacks, that lead to heart attacks. In other cases, users act irrationally, doing things that can result in serious injuries or even death.

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Why Marlboro Maker Bet on Juul, the Vaping Upstart Aiming to Kill Cigarettes

The biggest U.S. tobacco company has made a $12.8 billion bet on a company whose stated goal is to get smokers to drop cigarettes. The calculated gamble: The move will help the Marlboro maker keep up with a quickly changing market. The risk: It could hasten its own decline.

Facing an accelerating fall in cigarette sales, Altria Group Inc. in December put billions into Juul Labs Inc., a controversial startup whose sleek, nicotine-packed vaporizers have fueled a surge in the e-cigarette market.

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Cannabis-related ER visits in Colorado jump threefold after legalization, study says

Cannabis use in Colorado has been on the rise since medical cannabis was liberalized in 2009 and recreational cannabis went on sale in 2014, and it has led to an increase in emergency department visits, according to a new study.

Although inhaled cannabis leads to more visits overall, new research says, edibles — foods containing cannabis extract — account for more visits for psychiatric and cardiovascular symptoms.

Research has shed light on increasing safety concerns related to cannabis. The researchers identified 9,973 cannabis-related emergency department visits at UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital from 2012 to 2016, a more than threefold increase in such visits.

Lead study author Dr. Andrew A. Monte, a medical toxicologist and emergency medicine physician at UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital, and his colleagues were motivated by their own experiences. “We observed a higher number of visits attributable to edibles than expected, and there was no data to determine if this was indeed true,” he said.

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