Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Use of ecstasy, heroin, synthetic marijuana, alcohol, cigarettes declined among US teens in 2015

Michigan News | University of Michigan, December 16, 2015

"The results from the latest national survey in the Monitoring the Future series on use of licit and illicit drugs by American teenagers show that some important improvements are taking place.

The use of both alcohol and cigarettes reached their lowest points since the study began in 1975. Use of several particularly dangerous illicit drugs—including MDMA (ecstasy, Molly), heroin, amphetamines and synthetic marijuana—also showed a decline this year. Marijuana use, however, remained level.

Monitoring the Future tracks trends in substance use by surveying over 40,000 8th­, 10th­ and 12th­grade students each year located in about 400 public and private secondary schools across the contiguous 48 states. Now in its 41st year, MTF is conducted by a team of research professors at the University of Michigan and is sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse." Read more

For additional resources to speak with youth on the dangers of substance abuse, click here

Friday, December 18, 2015

Drinking and Driving Becoming Less Common Among Teens and Young Adults

Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, December 15, 2015

"The number of teens and young adults who drive under the influence of alcohol or a combination of alcohol and marijuana is declining, a new study finds.

Self-reported driving under the influence of alcohol declined by 59 percent among those ages 16 to 20 between 2002 to 2014, HealthDay reports. Among young adults ages 21 to 25, the rate dropped by 38 percent.

Driving under the influence of alcohol and marijuana dropped by 39 percent in both age groups, according to the study, published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There was little decrease in the number of young adults who said they drove under the influence of marijuana alone." Read more

For additional resources to speak with youth about the dangers of underage drinking and substance abuse, click here.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

A New Direction On Drugs

60 Minutes, December 13, 2015

"Top drug official Michael Botticelli says the old war on drugs is all wrong, and wants to refocus the country's drug policy

After forty years and a trillion dollars, the nation has little to show for its war on drugs. Prisons are beyond crowded and there's a new outbreak in the heroin epidemic. If it's time for a change, it would be hard to find a leader more different than Michael Botticelli. The president's new Director of National Drug Control Policy isn't a cop. He's lucky he didn't go to jail himself. And we knew that things had changed the first time we used the nickname that comes with his job, the 'drug czar.'

Michael Botticelli: It's actually a title that I don't like.

Scott Pelley: Why?

Michael Botticelli: Because I think it connotes this old "war on drugs" focus to the work that we do. It portrays that we are clinging to kind of failed policies and failed practices in the past.

Scott Pelley: Are you saying that the way we have waged the war on drugs for more than 40 years has been all wrong?" Read more

For resources to speak with youth about the dangers of drug abuse, click here.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

9 Tips for Talking With Kids About Alcohol

Make it Better Magazine, November 30, 2015

"When it comes to kids and alcohol, the news is mixed.

The bad news is that 66 percent of kids have consumed more than just a few sips of alcohol by the end of high school, and over a quarter have done so by eighth grade, according to a clinical report by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) published in September.

The good news is that number represents a decline in the number of kids drinking, and research shows that kids are less likely to drink if a parent has spoken with them about not doing so." Read more

For additional resources to speak with youth about the dangers of underage drinking, click here.

Friday, December 4, 2015

High-Potency Marijuana May Damage Nerve Fibers in Brain, Study Suggests

Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, December 3, 2015

"A new study suggests smoking high-potency marijuana may cause damage to nerve fibers responsible for communication between the brain’s two hemispheres.

The study included MRI scans of 99 people, including some who were diagnosed with psychosis, HealthDay reports. The researchers found an association between frequent use of high-potency marijuana and damage to the corpus callosum, which is responsible for communication between the brain’s left and right hemispheres.

The corpus callosum is especially rich in cannabinoid receptors. THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, acts on these receptors." Read more

For more information to speak with youth about the dangers of substance abuse, click here.