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Substance Abuse Weblinks

2012 Annual Synar Report: Tobacco Sales to Youth Annual Report

The FFY 2012 Annual Synar Report: Tobacco Sales to Youth annual report was published today. This report covers inspections completed by states in FFY 2011 and reported in their FFY 2012 Annual Synar Reports. A synopsis of the report and link to the full report is below: In FY 2012, the national weighted average rate of tobacco sales to minors for the 50 States and the District of Columbia was 9.1 percent. While this rate is the second lowest retailer violation rate (RVR) in the history of the Synar program, it represents an increase in the RVR from FFY 2011, when the national rate was 8.5 percent. Despite the increase in the national average rate of tobacco sales to youth, the number of states reporting RVRs below 10 percent (34 states) remained consistent between FFYs 2011 and 2012. However, the number of states reporting RVRs below 5 percent decreased from 12 in FFY 2011 to 9 in FFY 2012.

Applications Due September 20th, Get Up to $4,000 for Your reACT Crew!

reACT mini grants are here! This school year, reACT mini grants will help your crew address tobacco marketing in convenience and grocery stores in your community, as well as facilitating other activities of your crew's choice! Want to do something cool to fight back against corporate tobacco with your crew, but don't have the money? Apply for a grant!

CADCA 2014 Forum to Offer Series of Courses to Help Community Leaders Address Marijuana Use

One of the toughest challenges communities are facing right now is trying to keep children and teens from using marijuana. To help drug prevention practitioners tackle this challenge, CADCA will offer several unique marijuana-related courses at its 24th National Leadership Forum to ensure community coalitions are equipped with the necessary skills and messaging. Held Feb. 3-6, 2014 in National Harbor, Md., the CADCA Forum offers people in the prevention and treatment field the most up-to-date information and research on a number of relevant topics.

CADCA Launches NEW Online Toolkit to Help Community Leaders Prevent Prescription Drug Abuse

To help community leaders address our nation's prescription drug abuse epidemic, CADCA has launched a new online Rx Abuse Prevention Toolkit. This free resource contains facts, strategies and tools coalitions can use to prevent and reduce prescription and over-the-counter medicine abuse in their community. This newly revised toolkit is based on CADCA's Seven Strategies for Effective Community Change. Incorporating these strategies will help coalitions formulate, modify and implement their medicine abuse prevention and intervention strategies.

Colorado Ad Campaign Warns Teens About Long-Term Effects of Marijuana

A new ad campaign warns teenagers in Colorado about the long-term effects of marijuana use. The "Don't Be a Lab Rat" campaign targets 12- to 15-year-olds, Reuters reports. The ads state that the long-term effects of marijuana are not yet fully understood, and warn teens that if they use marijuana they are essentially volunteering as subjects of research about the drug's effects. In Colorado and Washington state, the possession and recreational use of small amounts of marijuana is legal for those 21 and older.

Drinking and the College Experience

If you were to ask a parent why they talk so positively about drinking to college kids, I bet most sensible adults would say they were just making small talk. They weren't trying to encourage kids to hurt themselves or commit a crime. But from the perspective of a teenager, that doesn't matter. Whether adults understand the impact of their words or not, conversations about the "normalness" of drinking in college are propagating an illegal and harmful social norm among young people.

E-Cigarettes Used Indoors Could Expose Non-Users to Nicotine: Study

People who use e-cigarettes indoors may be exposing the people around them to nicotine, a new study suggests. The amount of secondhand nicotine exposure from e-cigarettes is much smaller than from traditional cigarettes, the researchers conclude. The study evaluated vapor from three brands of e-cigarettes, using a smoking machine in controlled exposure conditions, MedicalXpress reports.

Efforts to Reduce Tobacco Sales to Minors Are Effective, According to Report

Federal and state efforts to reduce tobacco sales to minors are working, says a new Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) report, with only 9.6 percent of inspected retail outlets in the 50 states and the District of Columbia making illegal sales to youth at any time in 2013. That number is 20 percent below the target range set by the Synar Amendment program, a federal and state partnership aimed at reducing these sales. It is also extremely lower than the highest reporter state retailer violation rate of 72.7 percent, when the program was established 16 years ago.

Frequent Marijuana Use in Teens and Young Adults Can Affect the Brain: Researchers

Using marijuana at least once a week can lead to cognitive decline, poor attention and memory and decreased IQ in teens and young adults, according to researchers at the American Psychological Association annual meeting. Krista Lisdahl, Director of the Brain Imaging and Neuropsychology Lab at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, noted that 6.5 percent of high school seniors reported smoking marijuana daily, up from 2.4 percent in 1993. Among young adults ages 18 to 25, almost one-third said they had used marijuana in the last month, Lisdahl noted in a news release. She said a 2012 study found people who have become addicted to marijuana can lose an average of six IQ points by adulthood.

HHS Provides $50 Million to Expand Treatment for Substance Use, Mental Health

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced its plans to provide $50 million to expand treatment for substance use disorders and mental health. The funds will be used to hire staff, add services and employ team-based models of care. The funds will go to approximately 200 community health centers, UPI reports.

Heroin Use Soars in Rural Areas

Rural areas are seeing a surge in heroin use, The Wall Street Journal reports. Many people who were addicted to prescription painkillers switched to heroin after drug companies made their products more difficult to crush and snort. Heroin is also much less expensive than pills such as oxycodone.

How To Use Local Regulatory and Land Use Powers To Prevent Underage Drinking publication has been recently revised

Local governments have the responsibility and ability to protect the public's health and safety. They fulfill this responsibility in part through their land use powers - by determining what activities may occur on the land within their jurisdiction. Activities associated with alcohol fall within these broad powers. Although the exact term and process may differ from State to State, these Conditional Use Permits are a crucial feature of zoning laws in most States. These policies can help create and maintain an environment regarding alcohol that protects minors from underage drinking.

Molly deaths may be caused by other drugs

More and more college-age kids are landing in emergency rooms after ingesting the designer drug known as Molly, but experts tell NBC News that many of the kids who think they're using Molly are really taking something else -- often something more harmful, like bath salts.

NCAA CHOICES Alcohol Education Grants - February 14th deadline

The misuse of alcohol by college students is of great concern to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). In an effort to educate students about the risks involved with the misuse of alcohol, the NCAA has, through the support of the NCAA Foundation and Anheuser-Busch Companies, Inc., developed NCAA CHOICES, a grant program for alcohol education. The NCAA CHOICES program provides funding for NCAA member institutions and conferences TO INTEGRATE athletics into campus-wide efforts to reduce alcohol abuse. NCAA CHOICES projects must partner athletics with other campus departments in the development and implementation of effective alcohol-education projects.

New Hampshire Declares Emergency Over Synthetic Drug 'Smacked'

Gov. Maggie Hassan declared a state of emergency on Thursday in response to 44 reported overdoses linked to people smoking or ingesting "Smacked," a synthetic marijuana-like product sold in convenience stores as potpourri. The state of emergency authorizes public health officials to investigate stores and quarantine the product.

Now Available -- Alcohol Research: Current Reviews on Epigentics

The term "epigenetics" is rapidly becoming one of the more important watchwords in the field of alcohol research. Put simply, epigenetics is the study of changes in gene function that occur without a change in the body's genetic code. Instead epigenetic "markers" turn genes "on" and "off." By acting on these epigenetic markers, environmental factors such as diet, stress, and prenatal nutrition can make an imprint on the genes that are active in different tissues and at various stages of life. Even more importantly, these alterations may be passed along from one generation to the next.

Partnership For Success - Community Environmental Prevention Grant

The Department of Public Health and Human Services is seeking a contractor to implement environmental prevention activities to address underage drinking (ages 12-20) and misuse/abuse of prescription drugs (ages 12-25) in 23 identified counties/reservations. Applications are due Thursday, January 23, 2014 2:00 PM.

Podcasts Address Impact and Prevention of Underage Drinking

The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention's (OJJDP's) Underage Drinking Enforcement Training Center is hosting the podcast series "A National Conversation on Protecting Our Youth" to provide environmental strategies that address underage drinking-related issues in communities, states, and territories and reduce youth access to alcohol. Parents, researchers, law enforcement officials, coalition members, youth groups, advocates, and experts discuss public health and safety issues of youth alcohol use and share successful outcomes and strategies.

Prescription Painkiller Abuse Linked with Increased Risk of Heroin Use

A new government report finds a link between prescription drug abuse and an increased risk of heroin use. Americans ages 12 to 49 who illegally use prescription drugs are 19 times more likely than others in their age group to begin using heroin, the report found. HealthDay reports almost 80 percent of people who recently started to use heroin said they had previously used prescription painkillers illegally.

Primary care interventions can keep youth from smoking

In a final recommendation, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has stated that primary care clinicians should provide interventions, including education or brief counseling, to prevent school-aged and adolescent patients from using tobacco. Evidence shows that a variety of behavioral counseling interventions can reduce the risk that school-aged children and adolescents will start smoking cigarettes, according to the task force.

Rapper Macklemore Takes on Prevention

A famous rapper is helping make prevention cool. A few weeks ago, a friend of mine shared some new songs with me. He explained the songs were written and performed by a rapper named Macklemore. After listening to just one song, I was encouraged.

Small conversations can make a big impact

Holidays - we are busier than ever before, and planning ahead for the approaching holiday festivities adds additional stress that impacts our routine and rhythm of daily life. It's not exactly a convenient time for having a serious conversation with your teen about topics such as underage drinking. Some parents might think that battling underage drinking is a futile effort, but studies show that parents who adopt a zero tolerance for underage drinking were the top reason that teens don't drink.

Study Finds Glamorization of Alcohol in Songs Popular with Youth

Four alcohol brands - Patron tequila, Hennessy cognac, Grey Goose vodka, and Jack Daniel's whiskey - accounted for more than half of alcohol brand mentions in the songs that mentioned alcohol use in Billboard's most popular song lists in 2009, 2010 and 2011, according to a new study from researchers at the Boston University School of Public Health and the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth (CAMY) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Study Linking Nicotine and Heart Disease Suggests E-Cigarettes Not Safe for Heart

A study that shows nicotine contributes to smokers' higher risk of developing heart disease suggests the nicotine in e-cigarettes is not necessarily safe for the heart, CNN reports. The study found human and rat heart cells exposed to nicotine showed changes after only six hours. A type of cellular drill formed and ate through tissue. The result was the formation of plaque, which forms in heart disease, the researchers reported this week at the American Society of Cell Biology.

Teaching Kids About Drugs and Alcohol

While parents may not like to hear the cold, hard truth about drugs and alcohol and their kids, the truth remains that they nonetheless try alcohol in high school and during college, even years before their 21st birthdays. According to research on the subject, about 80 percent of kids have already attempted to try alcohol while still in high school. The danger with experimentation is that it is neither legal nor safe for kids to attempt it, despite the fact that many still give in to temptation and bad judgment and try alcohol. The way to try to curb these worrying statistics and trends is by discussing alcohol and drug abuse with kids at quite an early age and continue talking to them about it as they grow up.

Teens More Likely to Smoke if Parents Were Smokers, Even if They Quit Long Ago

Teens whose parents have ever smoked are more likely to become smokers, even if their parents quit before they were born, according to a new study. Teens with an older sibling who smokes are also more likely to start using cigarettes. The study followed 214 participants starting in 1988, when they were high school freshmen, until 2011. The researchers also studied 314 of their children ages 11 and older. Participants took annual surveys about their smoking habits, and their children were surveyed in 2011.

Tobacco Companies Follow Old Tactics in Marketing E-Cigarettes

Tobacco companies are using marketing tactics for their e-cigarettes that are similar to the ones they have used for regular cigarettes, including sponsoring race cars, using cab-top and bus stop displays, and buying TV ad time to tell smokers to take back their freedom, the Associated Press reports.

Treatment for Mental Health Problems Surging for Young Adults

Millions more young adults are receiving treatment for mental health problems because their parents can keep them on the family health insurance plan under the Affordable Care Act, a new study concludes. The study looked at young adults between 18 and 25 who had already screened positive for substance abuse or mental disorders, Time reports. The researchers examined the period between September 2010, when the Affordable Care Act provision allowing young adults to stay on their parents' health plan went into effect, and 2012. They found this group of young adults increased their use of mental health treatment by 5.3 percent, compared with a similar group of 26- to 35-year-olds who were not eligible for coverage by their parents' health plan.

Two-Thirds of U.S. Residents Who First Started Using Drugs in the Past Year Began with Marijuana

An estimated 2.9 million persons ages 12 or older used an illicit drug other than alcohol or a prescription drug nonmedically for the first time in the past year, according to data from the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Two-thirds (66%) of these new users reported that marijuana was the first drug they tried.

Upcoming Webinar: Preventing Alcohol Use During Pregnancy

In the continuing effort to raise awareness about the dangers of drinking alcohol during pregnancy, and to highlight the 15th anniversary of International Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) Awareness Day, you are invited to a webinar hosted by the FASD Center for Excellence. Titled "Preventing Alcohol Use During Pregnancy: Applying New Solutions to Ongoing Needs," the webinar will take place on September 9, 2013, from 2 to 3:30 p.m. ET, and is free to all attendees.

Watchdog Group Slams Alcohol "Social Responsibility" Campaigns

Alcohol companies' "social responsibility" campaigns increase brand loyalty and positive perceptions of the products, without reducing alcohol-related harms, according to a critic of the industry. "These campaigns provide alcohol companies with a great deal of PR opportunities, and make them look like a credible public health source with regulators, legislators and the public - it's a huge problem," says Sarah Mart, MS, MPH of the industry watchdog group Alcohol Justice.

Webinar: Partner or Window-Dressing: A Model for Empowering Youth to Make Change

This youth-taught workshop presented by New Hampshire's Dover Youth to Youth (a nationally recognized student advocacy group) uses the "Knowledge > Skills > Action" model to share how youth can be organized and empowered to become effective. A focus of the webinar will be on how the model can be used to achieve policy change and shifts in community norms. Many of the principles will be illustrated by examining the "Refrigerator Campaign," a multimedia strategy to reduce youth access to alcohol by motivating parents to control access to alcohol in their homes. This webinar is ideal for adults, coalitions, or organizations that would like to work effectively with youth advocates, those who would like to have greater youth involvement, those who want to broaden their existing youth advocacy efforts, and youth who are interested in advocacy. Wednesday, September 25, 2013, 3:00-4:15 p.m. ET

Webinar: Social Host Laws: The Good, the Bad, and the Changes

Since the 1990s, local and State governments have passed laws designed to hold those who provide alcohol, or enable the consumption by providing an environment in which a minor can consume alcohol, responsible for their conduct. These "social host" laws are often different and unique to the communities they serve. Our program will look retrospectively at the different social host approaches used by cities, counties, and States and the laws that have survived and those that have been struck down by the courts; and we will discuss the challenges and proponents of social host legislation in the future. Thursday, September 19, 2013, 3:00-4:15 p.m. ET

Youth Drug, Alcohol and Tobacco Abuse Considered "Big Problem" in Latest Poll

According to a national poll conducted by the C.S. Mott Children's Hospital at the University of Michigan, Americans rate youth drug, alcohol and tobacco abuse as one of the "big problems" children and adolescents face today. The eighth annual National Poll on Children's Health, was given in June 2014 to a randomly selected, stratified group of adults aged 18 and older. Percentages were weighted to reflect population numbers from the 2010 U.S. Census.

Youth Marijuana Use Rises Nearly 11 Percent in Colorado Since Medical Legalization

A new report that analyzes the impact of medical and retail marijuana in Colorado found that youth marijuana use increased by nearly 11 percent since medical marijuana became legal in 2009. In addition, since retail marijuana began overall crime rose nearly 7 percent. The Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (RMHIDTA) looks at the effects of the medical use since it was legalized in 2009 and retail use, since it was legalized in 2013, on several sectors of society: traffic fatalities, youth marijuana use, emergency room admissions related to the drug, marijuana related exposure, treatment, diversion of marijuana by mail, problems with THC extraction labs and other related data.

Page last updated: 12/27/2010