May is Hepatitis Awareness Month, a time to raise awareness that hepatitis continues to be a public health threat in the United States. Hepatitis C, which is spread through contact with contaminated blood, is often contracted by people who inject drugs (PWID). Hepatitis C is treatable, but unfortunately, many people who are infected and […]
Raising Awareness for Effective Mental Health Counseling in Addiction Treatment
April is National Counseling Awareness Month. The month-long celebration was created by the American Counseling Association to bring awareness to the ways mental health counselors help keep individuals and communities healthy. The celebratory sense of the month is meant to help remove stigma around seeking help for mental health counseling and encourage people who may not […]
Xylazine: What Does the Emergence of this New Contaminant Mean for People Who Use Drugs and Health Care Providers?
Throughout the past year, a substance called xylazine has been saturating the drug supply in many parts of the United States. Xylazine is a powerful sedative used in veterinary medicine, typically for larger animals like horses and cattle. It is not considered to be safe for humans. However, the drug has been found to be […]
Join Us In Pittsburgh for the 2023 Scaife Medical Student Fellowship in Substance Use Disorders!
We are excited to announce that for the first time since prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, we will be hosting a portion of the fellowship in Pittsburgh for experiential, in-person learning.
Pennsylvania has Legalized Fentanyl Test Strips, But Legality Does Not Equal Accessibility
In early November, Governor Tom Wolf signed legislation that legalized the use of fentanyl test strips in Pennsylvania. Before reaching Governor Wolf’s desk, the legislation passed the PA House and Senate unanimously. This change comes as fentanyl continues to escalate overdose rates in Pennsylvania and across the United States. Fentanyl, which is undetectable by sight, […]
Adding to the Universal Addiction Medicine Toolbox
Dawn Lindsay, Ph.D, is the Director of Research and Evaluation at IRETA. Dawn and her team have been working with the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) and the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry (AAAP) this past year to develop a clinical guideline addressing the management and treatment of stimulant use disorders. This project is […]
Overdose Awareness Day: Honoring Those We Have Lost By Preventing Future Overdose Deaths
August 31 marks International Overdose Awareness Day. This is a day to remember those we have lost in the past year to overdose of opioids and other substances. As of November 2021, more than 100,000 people have lost their lives annually to substance overdose. In order to properly commemorate those lives we have lost, we […]
IRETA Continues to Provide Intensive Learning Experience on Substance Use Disorders for Medical and Pharmacy Students
For 23 years, IRETA has hosted medical students for the Scaife Medical Student Fellowship in Substance Use Disorders. The program has been held virtually since 2020, due to COVID-19. This year’s program continued online. For three weeks in both June and July, small cohorts of medical and pharmacy students logged in from across the country […]
Will the FDA’s Crackdown on Tobacco Products Help Improve Public Health?
Is a Juul ban enough to solve the problem of nicotine addiction in young adults? Time has shown us that bans often don’t keep people from using a product or substance.
Alcoholics Anonymous Works. But It’s Important to Give People Options When It Comes to Recovery.
AA’s success rate has been historically difficult to measure, largely because the program is anonymous. But thanks to rigorous research we now know that Alcoholics Anonymous and clinically-related Twelve-Step Facilitation programs can be just as, or more effective than treatment modalities like CBT to maintain long-term sobriety for people with alcohol use disorder.