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    February 05, 2020
    Health News Headlines
     
     
    DRUG USE: Federal government to allow use of opioid funds to stem meth, cocaine surge
     
     
    The government will allow states to use federal funds from the $1.5 billion grant program earmarked for the opioid epidemic to help growing numbers of people struggling with methamphetamine and cocaine (AP, Cleveland Plain Dealer, 1/21). The change is buried in a spending bill passed by Congress late last year. Starting this year states can also use those federal dollars to counter addiction to “stimulants,” a term the government uses for methamphetamine and cocaine. Read the Plain Dealer article.
     
     
    CHILDREN’S HEALTH: Flu takes toll on local schools
    Three Rivers Local School District in Cleves closed for the last two school days in January due to rising absences from the flu (WCPO, 1/29). Flu caused Miami Local Trace schools in Fayette County to close for a day earlier this year. This has been an unusual flu season because of its early start and because the strain that was most common early on — influenza B — usually doesn't peak until around March or April (Gonzalez, WCPO, 1/20). This strain is especially hard on children. Read the WCPO coverage here and here.
     
     
    TOBACCO: Surgeon general says doctors need to counsel more smokers to quit
    A new 700-page report by the U.S. surgeon general criticizes doctors for not doing enough to encourage their patients to quit smoking. The report says 40% of smokers who see a health care provider each year are not routinely advised to quit (Howard, CNN, 1/23). The report also found that, roughly two-thirds of smokers who try to quit make the attempt without using Food and Drug Administration-approved interventions that could increase their chances of success. Read the CNN story.
     
     
    CHILDREN’S HEALTH: Steep increase in homelessness among Ohio students
    Public schools identified more than 1.5 million children experiencing homelessness during the 2017-18 school year – an 11% increase over the previous school year and the highest number ever recorded, according to new federal data (Camera, U.S. News & World Report, 1/30). Ohio, with an increase of 12.5%, was one of the 16 states that reported growth in its identified homeless student populations of 10%. Read the U.S. News article and access the report.