STUDIES More Smokers Switching From Cigarettes to Small Cigars In a new report, the CDC found cigarette consumption decreased 33 percent from 2000 to 2011, while use of other kinds of tobacco increased by 123 percent. Study Suggests that Girls Are More Likely than Boys to be Affected by Secondhand Smoke The study of 476 children found that those who were exposed to high secondhand smoke levels and also showed signs of allergy at age 2, were at higher risk for decreased lung function by the time they were 7, according to HealthDay. The researchers found lung function in girls was six times worse than in boys who were exposed to similar levels of secondhand smoke, and had the same degree of immune system response to allergens, or allergic sensitization. Impact of Cocaine on Cognitive Functioning Although cocaine makes people feel more alert and on top of things in the moment, it can leave users vulnerable to a much slower brain in the long run. A new study shows that chronic use ages key parts of the brain at an accelerated rate. The findings were published online April 24 in Molecular Psychiatry. Cocaine users lost much more gray matter in the prefrontal and temporal regions—which help control memory, decision-making and attention—than non-users did. Teens End Up In Emergency Room After Drinking Hand Sanitizer Experts advise parents to buy foam hand sanitizer instead of the gel type, because it is more difficult to extract alcohol from it. Don’t leave it around the house, and monitor it as you would any other liquor or medicine, Impulse Control and Addiction Poor impulse control may be pre-wired in some teenagers, suggests a new study. The study identified teens who had previously been exposed to alcohol, illicit drugs or nicotine, and could recognize specific brain patterns linked with early experimentation with these substances. Teens who had poor impulse control, but did not have a history of substance abuse, had similar brain images to those teens who already had used these substances. The findings suggest it may be possible to identify teens at risk of substance abuse, before they start. The findings are published in Nature Neuroscience. Dramatic Differences Found in American and European Teenage Substance Use By Join Together Staff | June 6, 2012 | 1 Comment | Filed in Alcohol, Drugs, Research, Tobacco & Youth Surveys of American and European teenagers have found dramatic differences between the two groups’ substance use. While American teens smoke and drink less than their European peers, they are more likely to use illegal drugs. Heroin Use Rises as Prescription Painkillers Become Harder to Abuse By Join Together Staff | June 7, 2012 | Leave a comment | Filed in Addiction, Community Related, Drugs,Prescription Drugs, Young Adults & Youth Regulations designed to make it more difficult to abuse prescription painkillers are leading to an increase in heroin addiction, MSNBC reports. Law enforcement officials report there is an abundance of cheap heroin from Mexico. They are seeing it in upscale suburbs, where heroin was once hard to find. As a result of these measures, prescription painkillers have become more expensive–$30 to $80 per pill, compared with $10 for a bag of heroin. Odds of Future Drug Abuse By Join Together Staff | June 5, 2012 | Leave a comment | Filed in Alcohol, Drugs, Mental Health, Prevention,Research, Young Adults & Youth Treating teenagers for major depression can reduce the odds they will develop a drug use disorder, a new study suggests. Researcher John Curry of Duke University said improved regulation of mood from medication or skills learned in cognitive-behavioral therapy, along with support and education received by all study participants, may have helped keep the teens off drugs. Rate of Bipolar Symptoms Among Teens Approaches That of Adults The rate of bipolar symptoms among U.S. teens is nearly as high as the rate found among adults, according to NIMH-funded research published online ahead of print on May 7, 2012, in the Archives of General Psychiatry. The researchers found that 2.5 percent of youth met criteria for bipolar disorder in their lifetime, and 2.2 percent met criteria within a given year. About 1.7 percent reported having mania alone within their lifetime, and 1.3 percent reporting having mania alone within a given year. Rates increased with age—about 2 percent of younger teens reported bipolar disorder symptoms, whereas 3.1 percent of older teens did. To read more from this study, click here. 46% of all high school students are currently using addictive substances and 1 of 3 diagnosis of substance abuse. Early identification of, and effective intervention for adolescents with, substance use problems can prevent the disease’s progression from abuse to addiction and, for teens already addicted, the possibility of recovery before incurring the increasingly severe damage and losses tragically associated with adult addiction. But for intervention to be effective, it is crucial, especially for adolescents, to distinguish between drug abuse and drug addiction. A diagnosis of substance abuse essentially involves impairment in role functioning and repeated harmful consequences without the physiological cravings, tolerance, or withdrawal associated with addiction. Addiction, on the other hand, changes the brain’s structure, chemistry and function in fundamental ways. The result is compulsive behavior that overrides the ability to control impulses despite persistent and severe negative consequences. Drug use is common among teenagers. By late adolescence, a recent study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry showed that as many as 78 percent of teens have abused alcohol and over 40 percent have used other drugs. Vulnerability to Addiction: #1 Family History of Addiction #2 Impulsive Personality #3 Stress #4 Having a Mental Health Condition #5 Lack of Parental Supervision or Involvement #6 Having Friends Who Use Drugs #7 Childhood Trauma #8 Perceptions About Drugs #9 School Problems #10 Lack of Community Support Teens Have Little Awareness of the Possible Consequences of ‘Sexting’ New Study Warns Nearly 20 percent of the students said they had sent a sexually explicit image of themselves via cellphone, and nearly twice as many said they had received a sexually explicit picture. More than 25 percent of those who received a sexually explicit picture forwarded it to others. Of those who had sent a sexually explicit picture, more than one-third did so despite believing that they could face serious legal and other consequences if they were caught. The study also found that students who sent a sexually explicit picture by cellphone were more likely than others to believe it was an acceptable activity. The American Academy of Pediatrics explains how to talk to children and teens about social media and sexting. Parents of Teens’ Friends Can Influence Substance Use According to New Research Among friendship groups with ‘good parents’ there’s a synergistic effect — if your parents are consistent and aware of your whereabouts, and your friends’ parents are also consistent and aware of their (children’s) whereabouts, then you are less likely to use substances. The study appears in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. 74 Percent of Teens in CO Substance Abuse Treatment Programs Used Diverted Medical Marijuana By Celia Vimont | June 29, 2012 | Three-quarters of teenage patients in substance abuse treatment programs in Denver, Colorado said they used someone else’s medical marijuana, according to a new study. The study revealed that 121 of 164 teenage patients (73.8 percent) have ever used medical marijuana prescribed to someone else. Patients reported using diverted medical marijuana from one to 1,000 times, with a median of 50 times, suggesting that most adolescent patients have used medical marijuana on multiple occasions. As of the end of April 2012, Colorado has 48 registered medical marijuana users under the age of 18. Four of the 164 teenage patients in the study reported being evaluated for a medical marijuana card; however, only one teenage patient received a medical marijuana card. According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, 96,709 people in the state were registered as medical marijuana users as of April 30, 2012. This means 2.5 percent of the adults in Colorado are registered medical marijuana users. Three states are now getting to the heart of the matter with outright legalization on the table. Colorado’s Amendment 64, the “Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act,” will permit those over 20 to possess, use, display, purchase and transport limited amounts of marijuana. Washington’s Measure 502 would also allow limited possession of marijuana by those over age 20. The Oregon Cannabis Tax Act, Measure 80, would create the Oregon Cannabis Commission to regulate the sale and cultivation of marijuana for those over age 20. Addiction: Misunderstood, Greatly Under treated, Report Finds By Join Together Staff | June 26, 2012 Right now there are no accepted national standards for providers of addiction treatment,” lead investigator Susan Foster, CASA Columbia’s Vice President and Director of Policy Research and Analysis, said in a news release. “There simply is no other disease where appropriate medical treatment is not provided by the health care system and where patients instead must turn to a broad range of practitioners largely exempt from medical standards. Neglect by the medical profession has resulted in a separate and unrelated system of care that struggles to treat the disease without the resources or knowledge base to keep pace with science and medicine.” • In 2010, $28 billion was spent to treat the 40 million people with addiction. In comparison, the United States spent $44 billion to treat diabetes which affects 26 million people. • Costs to federal, state and local governments amount to 11 percent of total spending — 95 cents of every dollar pay for the consequences and 2 cents go to prevention and treatment. Teen Dating Violence Not A Priority For Schools According to Study A new study published in the journal Pediatrics said that a majority of high schools in the United States don’t have procedures or trained staff to deal with teen dating violence and often don’t make teen dating violence a “high-priority issue to be addressed.” Despite research that shows notable levels of teen dating violence across the country, around 70 percent of high school counselors who were surveyed said they have not received any formal training in handling these issues. Statistics released by the centers last month show that about 10 percent of students nationwide report being physically abused by a boyfriend or girlfriend within the past year. Aug 16, 2012 Issues: Smoking A new study, as reported by Join Together and The Wall Street Journal, found nonsmokers who breathe in secondhand smoke outdoors have elevated levels of tobacco-related chemicals in their body. The study included 28 college students who spent three evenings on patios outside a restaurant and bar where smoking was allowed, and at a nonsmoking open-air site. The students sat near smokers at the restaurant and bar, and one of them counted the number of cigarettes lit every 10 minutes. The study found the students’ levels of cotinine, a nicotine byproduct, were significantly higher in their saliva both right after and the morning after the restaurant and bar visits, compared with the non-smoking site visits. Levels of the chemical NNAL, found in tobacco, were elevated in the students’ urine immediately after the bar and restaurant visits, and continued to be significantly higher the next morning. Aug 30, 2012 Issues: Alcohol Advertising, Underage drinking In Yahoo’s fashion blog this week, the issue was raised about a new line of Urban Outfitters t-shirts that promote binge and underage drinking with slogans such as “I Vote For Vodka,” “Misery Loves Alcohol,” and “USA Drinking Team.” A version modeled by a young woman on their website, who appears to be a teenager, features blurry letters reading, “I Drink You’re Cute.” CADCA has sent a letter to the chairman and CEO of Urban Outfitters expressing our disapproval of these shirts and asking for the shirts to be taken off the racks. We encourage coalitions to use CADCA’s letter as a template for their own letter to the company. Together we can have an impact! If your coalition receives a response from Urban Outfitters, please let CADCA know by writing the editor. Survey Finds 17% of High School Students Abuse Substances During School Day By Join Together Staff | September 5, 2012 A new survey finds an estimated 17 percent of American high school students say they drink, smoke or use drugs during the school day. The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University found 86 percent of teens say they know which of their peers are abusing substances at school,CNN reports. “Tobacco—I’m Not Buying It” Video Contest In conjunction with the 2012 Surgeon General’s recent report Preventing Tobacco Use Among Youth and Young Adults: A Report of the Surgeon General , the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Office on Smoking and Health has launched the Surgeon General’s video contest called “Tobacco—I’m Not Buying It.” This contest invites youth ages 13-17 and young adults ages 18-25 to submit original videos that feature one or more of the key findings from the report. Please share the Surgeon General’s Spotlight Facebook tab on CDC Tobacco Free with your communities and visit Challenge.gov for a complete of contest rules. The video submission deadline is April 20, 2012. TOOLKITS, ASSESSMENT TOOLS & EDUCATION WORKBOOKS Technical Assistance Partnership Child and Family Mental Health Releases Juvenile Justice Publications A Primer for Mental Health Practitioners Working With Youth Involved in the Juvenile Justice System provides an overview for mental health practitioners working with youth involved in the juvenile justice system, emphasizing emerging research and practices. Screening and Assessment in Juvenile Justice Systems: Identifying Mental Health Needs and Risk of Reoffending explains why juvenile justice agencies and their partners must use screening and assessment tools for mental health needs and risk of reoffending when planning the most effective course of action for youth. Read more about the TA Partnership. Toolkit Helps To Prevent Suicide Among High School Students
SAMHSA has released Preventing Suicide: A Toolkit for High Schools. This toolkit represents the est available evidence and expert opinion on preventing suicide among high school students. DownloadPreventing Suicide: A Toolkit for High Schools Now the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is also available to provide 24-hour, toll-free, confidential crisis counseling. If you or someone you know is in an emotional distress or suicidal crisis, please call the Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). KNOW! Parent Workbook. $3.50 Kids need to Know! the risks to their health, their safety, their family and their future when it comes to substance abuse. They may not ask for guidance, but they want it and they definitely need it. Your guidance can make a positive difference and KNOW! can help! Let us assist you with getting those conversations started and provide you with information to keep them going through our KNOW! Order Parent Workbooks today! The Medicine Abuse Project is a multi-year effort to help educate parents, teens and the public about the dangers of medicine abuse. The site provides a pledge for parents promising to safeguard medicines and to speak to their children.