March 18th, 2015
BY SIYANDA NKALA
Obesity is a major public health problem and notoriously difficult to treat. Although the web is infested with insightful information on various ways to combat obesity and avoiding several diseases associated with it – there still is however, a worrying absence of material on the relationship between weight, alcohol and other drugs.
There are many parallels between obesity/overeating and addictions to alcohol and drugs. What we have gathered from several reports, is that substance abuse dramatically alters the diet and in most cases, often leads to irregular eating patterns and poor nutrition. As a result, previously healthy adolescents and adults may begin to experience significant health problems shortly after the substance abuse begins.
How exactly does this happen? And what are the effects of alcohol on body weight?
March 17th, 2015
Here’s One Simple Way We Can Change The Conversation About Drug Abuse
The negative words we use to describe drug addiction — “clean” vs. “dirty,” “patient” vs. “addict” — can drive some individuals away from the very help they so desperately need. To reduce that stigma, we need to start changing the language for people struggling with a disease.
That’s the findings of some recent research and the goal of U.S. drug czar Michael Botticelli.
“Research shows that the language we use to describe this disease can either perpetuate or overcome the stereotypes, prejudice and lack of empathy that keep people from getting treatment they need,” Botticelli told The Huffington Post. “Scientific evidence demonstrates that this disease is caused by a variety of genetic and environmental factors, not moral weakness on the part of the individual. Our language should reflect that.”
Read more and see chart…
March 16th, 2015
Marijuana deposits four times more tar in the lungs than tobacco.
March 15th, 2015
Enter Stop Rx Abuse contest and help fight drug abuse, AG Cooper urges NC students
By N.C. Department of Justice
North Carolina middle and high school students can help fight prescription drug abuse and overdose deaths by entering a video contest sponsored by Attorney General Roy Cooper and the NC Department of Justice.
“For most teens, finding prescription drugs to abuse is as simple as opening up the medicine cabinet,” Cooper said. “When used incorrectly or mixed with alcohol or other drugs, just one pill can kill, and it’s critical that young people help us get this message out to their friends and classmates.”
Cooper visited Davis Drive Middle School in Cary today to kick off the Stop Rx Abuse contest, which is open to all North Carolina students in grades 6 through 12. This is the fourth year Cooper has sponsored the contest and the first year it has been open to middle school students.
March 13th, 2015
Empowering Teens to End Dating Violence
Debra Houry, MD, MPH
As an emergency physician and a mother of a 6-year-old daughter, I recognize how essential it is to talk about the need for healthy relationships early and to model them at home. Talking about respect in ways she understands now will make it easier to discuss dating violence when the time comes. Although this may seem early to start thinking about this, it’s not.
Teen dating violence is a widespread problem. Findings from a CDC survey of high school students analyzed in today’s JAMA Pediatrics, show one in 5 females and one in 10 males experienced teen dating violence in the year prior to the survey. This survey’s first national estimates of sexual teen dating violence underscore that females are disproportionately affected. The consequences can be both immediate and long term: health concerns like binge drinking and suicide are significantly higher for teens who experienced both physical and sexual violence.
March 12th, 2015
Alcohol is more dangerous than drug dealing or gangs
By Harold Pollack
We have seen many stories about the public health hazards of alcohol. Alcohol is strongly related to road fatalities and other health risks. It is also a big risk-factor for violence — especially among young adults.
A recent article in Pediatrics by Northwestern University professor Linda Teplin and her colleagues underscores just how big these risks are for one especially-high-risk population: young people who spent at least some time locked up in juvenile detention in Cook County, Ill.
This is a key population. First, these young men and women are vastly over-represented among both perpetrators and victims of violence. And this is a population about whom we actually know something. We collect a lot of data about their interactions with the criminal justice system. The experiences and characteristics of these young people thus provide important clues about other populations of young-people at risk.
March 11th, 2015
We need to make sure parents and coaches are aware of the dangers and on the look-out for the warning signs. Performance enhancing drugs are too damaging to young people for parents and coaches to not be involved. - Chuck Grassley
March 10th, 2015
New Sleep Guidelines to Keep Youth Healthy
By Richard Taite
Sleep is essential for overall health. Without regular age appropriate amounts of sleep, adolescents are at risk for developing a variety of conditions such as depression, anxiety, weight change, and sometimes insomnia. There may be noticeable behavioral changes when teens don’t sleep well, such as moodiness, experimentation with substance use and an increase in stress from school. Many physicians today inappropriately prescribe addictive medications for both kids and adults, which can easily lead to abuse and addiction, or at least increases the possibility.
While previous studies have shown that many patterns of addictions have roots in childhood, the most recent research strongly suggests that increasing sleep time could have an influence on preventing anxiety and depression, disorders that commonly co-occur with addiction. Several research studies have reinforced the importance of good sleep habits, especially for young people who are physically and mentally still developing.
One study by the University of Michigan found “teens prescribed anti-anxiety or sleep medication are up to 12 times more likely to abuse prescription drugs than those who had never been prescribed such medication.”
March 9th, 2015
Gymkana—An Awesome Way to Steer Clear of Drugs and Alcohol
The NIDA Blog Team
One of the best ways to escape the pressure to drink alcohol or take drugs is to hang out with people that don’t use them. If you think no one shares your desire to live a healthy life—think again. You just have to know where to look.