Monday, February 29, 2016

Talk. They Hear You

Want a resource that is more interactive and can be used on the go? Try the “Talk. They Hear You” application for mobile devices that provides tips and tools for talking to your teen about all substances. SAMHSA provides you the opportunity to envision different scenarios of how conversations can go and offers advice and guidance.

Click here to get the App.

Friday, February 26, 2016

3 Things Parents of High Schoolers Need to Know About ‘Study Drugs’

U.S. News Education, February 22,2016

"Just because amphetamines like Adderall are prescribed by a doctor doesn't necessarily make them safe to use, one expert says.

Using study drugs may cause high schoolers to avoid building other life skills that are crucial for success, one school psychologist says.

The second half of the school year can be a stressful time for high schoolers with the SAT, ACT, final exams and other important academic events on the agenda.

Some teens may resort to using so-called 'study drugs' – often prescription amphetamines like Adderall – to get it all done. Read more

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

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Start Talking: Tips for talking to your teen about marijuana, alcohol, and other drugs

Marijuana Talk Kit

Marijuana use is a significant issue for today’s youth. In 2013, 42.1% of youth reported to using marijuana at least once in their life and 26% of youth reported to using in the last 30 days. Many states, including Connecticut, have considered legalizing marijuana for recreational use by adults. Connecticut has already legalized medical marijuana and decriminalized marijuana, which contributes to the normalization of marijuana use by youth. As the perception of harm decreases and the number of youth using marijuana increases, it becomes important to start talking about the risks and realities of marijuana and other drugs.

The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids provides all you need to know about how to talk to your teen about marijuana in a prepackaged toolkit. This downloadable resource provides a step by step guide from how to start the conversation to advice on what to say. Click here to download.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

FDA Should Add “Black Box” Warning to Opioids and Benzodiazepines: Health Officials

Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, February 23, 2016

"Officials from state and local health departments around the country are urging the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to add “black box” warnings to opioid painkillers and sedatives known as benzodiazepines, to alert people that taking them together increases the risk of fatal overdoses.

On Monday 41 health officials submitted a petition to the FDA about the warnings, The Washington Post reports.

The petition urges the FDA to adopt labeling for all opioid medications that reads: 'Warning: Concurrent use with benzodiazepines reduces the margin of safety for respiratory depression and contributes to the risk of fatal overdose, particularly in the setting of misuse.' A similar warning would be placed on benzodiazepines, warning about mixing the drugs with opioids. Read more

For resources to speak with youth about the dangers of prescription pills abuse,

How to Protect Your Teen From Synthetic Drugs

In 2014, a young girl from Minnesota died after using what she thought was LSD, but what turned out to be 25i, a LSD synthetic drug, one of the many synthetics making their way into the lives of young people. Although this story is from Minnesota, 25i has made an appearance in high schools in Connecticut.

On Sunday, February 21, 2016, Dateline highlighted the story in “One Small Dose” along with tips on how to prevent synthetic drug use in youth.

For resources to speak with youth about the dangers of synthetic drugs, click here

Monday, February 22, 2016

Walgreens to install kiosks to dispose of opioids, prescriptions

New Haven Register, February 9, 2016

By the end of the year, some Connecticut Walgreens locations will have kiosks for the safe disposal of opioids and other prescription medications, as part of a new initiative by the company to combat drug abuse.

In addition to the kiosks, Walgreens plans to offer naloxone, more commonly known as Narcan, to consumers without a prescription by the end of the year. Narcan is a drug that reverses the effects of opioid medication and can be used to help treat someone suffering from the effects of a heroin overdose.

While the specific locations within the state for the kiosks have not yet been determined, Connecticut is one of 39 states where they will be placed. Emily Hartwig, spokeswoman for the Deerfield, Illinois-based chain, said the store locations will be strategically selected so consumers can have access in urban, suburban and rural areas. Read more

For resources to speak with youth about the dangers of prescription pills, click here

Friday, February 19, 2016

Study Links Marijuana Use to Greater Risk for Developing Addiction to Other Drugs

Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, February 18, 2016

"A new study suggests marijuana smokers may be significantly more likely to develop an addiction to other drugs and alcohol than people who don’t use marijuana.

People who used marijuana were not more likely to develop a mood or anxiety disorder, HealthDay reports.

'This new finding raises the possibility that the recent rise in marijuana use may be contributing to the coincident rise in serious harms related to narcotics and other drugs of abuse,' said lead researcher Dr. Mark Olfson of Columbia University Medical Center." Read more

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

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Nonmedical Use of Adderall on the Rise Among Young Adults

Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, February 17, 2017

"Nonmedical use of Adderall, a medication used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), rose 67 percent among young adults between 2006 and 2011, a new study finds. The number of emergency room visits involving misuse of the drug among 18- to 25-year-olds also rose during this period, NPR reports.

The number of ER visits related to Adderall among this age group rose from 862 visits in 2006 to 1,489 in 2011. During this period the number of prescriptions for the drug remained unchanged among young adults." Read more

For resources to speak with youth about prescription drug abuse, click here

Monday, February 8, 2016

New Study Finds that Marijuana Affects Verbal Memory in Middle Age

CADCA, February 4, 2016

"Medical News Today reported this week about a new study that reveals that both past and present marijuana use is linked with worse verbal memory in middle age.

The researchers - led by Dr. Reto Auer of the University of Lausanne in Switzerland - published their work in JAMA Internal Medicine.

They used data from the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study, which contains 25 years of marijuana exposure measurements, beginning in early adulthood.

In the final year, the study measured cognitive performance through standardized tests of verbal memory, processing speed and executive function.

Using the measurements from the final year of the study, Dr. Auer and colleagues investigated the association between cumulative years of marijuana use and cognitive performance in middle age." Read more

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

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Young People Surprised By Risky Synthetic Drugs They Considered Safe

Shots, Health News from NPR, January 25, 2016

My 14-year-old patient grabbed my hand and told me that he was going to die.

Just seconds before, the nurse had wheeled him into the resuscitation room. His blood pressure and heart rate were more than twice the normal levels. He was pale, clammy and gasping for breath.

The nurses and doctors with me in the ER worked to stabilize him. We put an oxygen mask on his face. We inserted two IVs and began pumping fluids into his body. When his oxygen level dropped, we inserted a breathing tube. Read more

For more resources to speak with youth on the dangers of synthetic substances, click here

Monday, February 1, 2016

“Unprecedented” Number of Heroin Overdoses in New London Highlights Growing Problem

Governor's Prevention Partnership, February 1, 2016
by Kristen Granatek, Sr. Program Manager, Prevention Programs

"New London has had a rash of heroin overdoses last week. On Thursday, there were 9 overdoses, including one fatality, more than in any other 24 hour period. Three additional overdose patients were treated at Lawrence and Memorial Hospital on Wednesday.

All of the patients were frequent heroin users who reported using a brown form of heroin sold in similar packaging. It is suspected that this batch of heroin is tainted or laced with something dangerous, though with what remains unknown.

This incident highlights an increasingly common problem in cities and towns across Connecticut and around the country – a spike in heroin use by people of all ages and from a variety of backgrounds. In an article posted on, Mayor Michael Passero called it a growing health crisis that crosses all social and economic boundaries. "Our communities must face it and not leave the families who are touched by it to suffer alone and in shame," Passero said in a statement. In 2013, Connecticut saw 257 deaths in which heroin was involved, compared with 325 in 2014. While the 2015 total has not yet been reported, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner projected it to reach 381.

According to the most recent Connecticut School Health Survey, Youth Risk Behavior Component, 3.4% of youth report to have ever used heroin in their life. This is higher than the national rate of 2.2%. However, 11.1% of youth report using prescription drugs without a doctor’s prescription. Recent research points to a strong correlation between prescription drug abuse and heroin use, indicating that people become addicted to prescription pain medications such as OxyContin, Vicodin and Percocet, then move on to heroin to get the same high when their supply of pain medication runs out. Heroin is increasingly available, low cost and provides the same high (Partnership for Drug Free Kids, October 2015). Unfortunately, incidents like the one in New London this week have become increasingly common as heroin use reaches epidemic levels.

To read more about the overdoses in New London

If you are concerned about prescription drug or heroin use by your child or someone you know, please visit the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids or The Partnership’s website.