Our Mission: Prevention and Early Intervention of Teenage Drug and Alcohol Addiction

Researchers study why drugs affect people differently – Columbia Daily Tribune

July 12th, 2014

Maureen Dowd, a 62-year-old Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for The New York Times, had a bad marijuana trip earlier this year. As part of her research into the legalization of recreational cannabis in Colorado, she ate a few too many bites of a pot-infused candy bar, entered a “hallucinatory state” and spent eight paranoid hours curled up on her hotel room bed. Dowd used the experience as a jumping-off point to discuss the risks of overdosing on edible marijuana, which has become a major issue in pot-friendly states. It’s also possible, however, that Dowd just doesn’t handle cannabis very well. While pot mellows most people out, everyone has heard of someone who barricaded himself or herself in a dorm room after a few bong hits in college. Why do people react so differently to the same drug?

The question itself might be something of a fallacy. Cannabis is not a single drug — it contains dozens of compounds, and they appear to have varying, and sometimes opposing, effects on the brain. Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, and cannabidiol, or CBD, have been the subject of some intriguing research. In 2010, researchers showed that pretreating people with a dose of CBD can protect against the less pleasant effects of THC, such as paranoia. In a similar 2012 study, participants took pills that contained only one of the two chemicals, rather than the combination that you receive in cannabis. The subjects who took THC pills were more likely to suffer paranoia and delusion than those who took CBD.     Read more…



Heroin availability at ‘all-time high’ locally – JC Online

July 11th, 2014

A rising tide of cheap heroin flooding the Great Lakes states has washed into Greater Lafayette.

Availability of the narcotic seems to be at “an all-time high,” Lafayette police Chief Patrick Flannelly said.

“Overall, our numbers are up on heroin arrests and investigations,” he said. “I think that’s expected, because the amount of heroin that’s available is up.”

The problems caused by heroin seep well beyond the individuals who use it and their immediate families, Flannelly said. He noted that 80 percent of property crimes are fueled by drug addiction.

“It’s not just something that affects them,” he said. “It affects the whole community.”

USA TODAY special report: Chasing the heroin resurgence

By the time police get involved in a drug case, it already has been a community issue, Flannelly said, driving home a message of shared responsibility to combat heroin’s scourge.

Marc Estes, chief of emergency medicine at IU Health Arnett Hospital, said heroin overdoses were relatively uncommon three years ago. These days, his emergency room handles one or two each week.

“They become very sleepy and then eventually, if they have enough ingestion, then they will quit breathing,” he said of patients experiencing a heroin overdose. “Their heart rate will go down, and if not treated, they die.”     Read more…



How Teen Social Life Affects Drug Abuse (And How Drug Abuse Affects Social Life) –

July 10th, 2014

What do you picture when you think of teen drug abuse? Is it parties at the home of an out-of-town parent, or sneaking drinks from the family liquor cabinet, or hiding in a bedroom with a “no parents allowed” sign on the door while slipping deeper and deeper into addiction? The fact is all of these are models of adolescent use, and a study published in the journal Psychopharmacologyshows a common denominator: when a teen’s social life turns south, drug abuse can follow. The opposite is also true, that drug abuse itself can destroy a teen’s otherwise successful social life.

In many cases a socially awkward teen uses drugs in the mistaken hope that substances can fill the hole left by an unfulfilling social life. Unfortunately, this is true for many teens dissatisfied with their social group or lack thereof. They find acceptance in the group of kids using drugs.     Read more…



Pope for Legal Dope? Still Nope.

July 9th, 2014

The Holy Father is standing firm against recreational drugs, even as his home continent pushes for legalization

 

Pope Francis is not changing his mind about recreational drug use or marijuana legalization. On Friday morning, the Holy Father made his anti-pot position clear to the International Drug Enforcement Conference in Rome. “Let me state this in the clearest terms possible: the problem of drug use is not solved with drugs!” the Pope said. “Drug addiction is an evil, and with evil there can be no yielding or compromise.”     Read more…



Drop box helps keep prescription drugs off street – The Kearney Courier

July 8th, 2014

Got drugs? The Kearney Police Department wants to help residents keep them out of the hands of Kearney kids.

A prescription drug drop box was purchased by the Northland Coalition in support of Kearney/Holt CAN, which works to reduce substance abuse and other high-risk behaviors in the Kearney area.

Laura Bruce of the Northland Coalition said prescription drug abuse has usurped other drug use in teens and children because of the easy availability of medications. She said the drug drop box would offer an easy outlet for family members to discard their unwanted and expired prescription drugs.

“Prescription drug abuse is on the rise,” she said. “It’s the No. 1 drug of choice among kids now days.”     Read more…



Amherst school board passes first drug test policy – The Morning Journal

July 7th, 2014

AMHERST — A new drug testing policy in effect Aug. 1 encourages Amherst students who test positive to participate in treatment programs.

“I really hope it makes a change with the kids,” said Teresa Gilles, an Amherst Exempted Village School Board member who worked on the committee to craft the policy. “I’m hoping that we can help the kids that need to be helped, and encourage the other kids to take the right path.”

According to the policy:
Drugs that may be included in the tests include: LSD, alcohol, marijuana, amphetamines, methadone, anabolic steroids, methaqualone, barbiturates, nicotine (tobacco), benzodiazepines, opiates, cocaine, propoxyphene (Darvon), or other illegal substances.

The purpose is to create a school program free of illegal drug abuse and alcohol.
Testing student athletes, those in extra-curricular activities, and students who drive to school provides a legitimate reason for them to refuse drugs.     Read more…



Preventing alcohol and drug problems in your community – Australian Drug Foundation

July 7th, 2014

We can’t rely on governments or harm reduction measures any longer to reduce the number of people who die or suffer each year from entirely preventable alcohol and other drug (AOD) related causes. Grassroots community prevention programs can have a significant impact on reducing these harms.

Prevention can be challenging, but this publication looks at best practice approaches to prevention that communities can use to help them achieve the greatest impact from their programs and campaigns.     Read more…



Study finds acute alcohol misuse among suicidal people – Medical Press

July 6th, 2014

(Medical Xpress)—One-third of all suicides in the U.S. involve acute use of alcohol before the fatal attempt, according to a study led by UCLA social welfare professor Mark Kaplan. The researchers say the findings underscore the need to link suicide prevention and alcohol-control strategies.

The study is the first to compare  use among those who committed  with that of a nationally representative survey of non-suicidal adults in the United States. Its purpose was to provide estimates of the relative risk of suicide associated with drinking and heavy drinking occasions.

The report was published online June 12 by the Annals of Epidemiology.

The researchers found that alcohol was detected in nearly 36 percent of men and 28 percent of women who committed suicide. Additionally, a  at or above .08 grams per deciliter—considered legally intoxicated in many states—was a potent risk factor for suicide across the age spectrum, and that people who committed suicide were four to 20 times more likely than others to have engaged in heavy drinking at any point in their lives. High levels of  were also associated with the methods of suicide that are most likely to be fatal, such as shooting and hanging.     Read more…



Summer Months Prime Time for Teen Alcohol and Drug Experimentation – CP Opinion

July 5th, 2014

By now, most school doors have closed and summer swings into full-tilt fun as teens excitedly romp into the time-honored tradition of summer break.

Yet, along with this free time, lack of homework, and perhaps more time away from the house and parents’ watchful eyes come new freedoms that tantalize every teen’s mind.
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Unfortunately, as school-year stress melts away in the summer sun, also melting away are accountability, structure, supervision, stimulation, focus and even brain cells due to inactivity.

Add to these ingredients some new friends and some extra money from a summer job, and this dangerous summertime cocktail can be the cause of a higher number of young people experimenting with drugs, smoking their first cigarette and trying alcohol in June and July than at any other time of the year.     Read more…



Alcohol, substance abuse doubles suicide risk in bipolar disorder – News Medical

July 3rd, 2014

Patients with bipolar disorder and comorbid alcohol and substance use disorders are twice as likely to attempt suicide as those without such comorbidity, results of a systematic review and meta-analysis show.

The findings, “underline the importance of prevention, early detection and aggressive treatment of [alcohol and substance use disorders] in individuals with [bipolar disorder] to reduce suicidality”, remark Francesco Bartoli (University of Milano-Bicocca, Monza, Italy) and colleagues.

The researchers reviewed data from 29 studies comprising 31,294 individuals with bipolar disorder, 6308 (20.1%) of whom had attempted suicide.

Thirteen of the studies, involving 19,062 individuals, looked at the association between a lifetime history of alcohol and/or substance use disorders (found in 20% of participants) and suicide attempts. The pooled odds ratio for these studies was 1.96, with moderate to high heterogeneity (64.3%).     Read more…