Health Highlights: Sept. 6, 2019

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

U.S. College Students’ Marijuana Use Highest in 35 Years: Study

Marijuana use by U.S. college students in 2018 was the highest in 35 years, researchers report.

Their survey of about 1,400 respondents, ages 19 to 22, found that about 43% of full-time college students said they used some form of marijuana at least once in the past year, up from 38% in 2017, and previous month use rose to 25% from 21%, the Associated Press reported Thursday.

The 2018 rates are the highest found in the annual University of Michigan survey since 1983.

About 6% of college students said they used marijuana 20 or more times in the past month, compared with 11% of respondents the same age who weren’t in college, the AP reported.

“It’s the frequent use we’re most worried about” because it’s associated with poor school performance and can harm mental health, researcher John Schulenberg said.

In the United States, marijuana use is greater among college-age adults than any other age group, the AP reported.


Avoid All Pig-Ear Dog Treats: U.S. Health Officials

Dog owners should not buy or feed any pig ears to their pets, U.S. health officials said in an update on a salmonella outbreak linked to pig-ear dog treats that’s sickened 143 people in 35 states.

Of those cases, 33 have resulted in hospitalizations and 26 have involved children, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Thursday, CBS News reported.

There have been five separate recalls of pig-ear dog treats in the United States, and the CDC and FDA issued a general warning against all pig-ear treats as they conduct an investigation.

That warning extends to pig-ear treats people may already have in their homes.

The CDC said that tests have detected “many different strains in salmonella in pig ears from various brands and suppliers,” and that “handling these treats could make people sick; eating the treats could make dogs sick,” CBS News reported.

So far, no single supplier, distributor or common brand of pig ear treats linked with the outbreak has been identified, according to the CDC.

In people, salmonella infection causes symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever. In some cases, it can cause more serious symptoms. In pets, salmonella infection can cause lethargy, diarrhea, fever and vomiting, CBS News reported.


Psychedelic Research Center Created at Johns Hopkins University

A research center that will assess the use of psychedelic drugs to treat conditions such as addiction, alcoholism and depression has been announced by Johns Hopkins University.

“Johns Hopkins is deeply committed to exploring innovative treatments for our patients,” Paul Rothman, dean of the medical faculty and CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine, said in a statement, ABC News reported.

“Our scientists have shown that psychedelics have real potential as medicine, and this new center will help us explore that potential,” Rothman added.

The center, which received $17 million in funding from a group of private donors, will also use psychedelic drugs to study the brain and behavior, ABC News reported.


White House Announces Nearly $2 Billion in Grants to Fight Opioid Epidemic

Nearly $2 billion in grants to help fight the U.S. opioid epidemic will be handed out to states and local governments, the White House says.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration will provide $932 million to every state and some U.S. territories for opioid addiction treatment and recovery, the Associated Press reported.

A new, three-year program at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help state and local governments better track overdose data will receive $900 million.

In the first year, 47 states and the District of Columbia will be among the jurisdictions sharing $301 million, the AP reported.

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