New Survey: Hispanic Teen Drug Use Significantly Higher Than Other Ethnic Groups, Substance Abuse Becoming Normalized Behavior Among Latino Youth
The Partnership at Drugfree.org released new research from the latest Partnership Attitude Tracking Study (PATS), a nationally projectable survey that tracks teen drug and alcohol use and parent attitudes toward substance abuse among teens. The research, sponsored by MetLife Foundation, shows that Hispanic teens are using drugs at alarmingly higher levels when compared to teens from other ethnic groups. It confirms that substance abuse has become a normalized behavior among Latino youth. Continue reading here.
Common genes may underlie alcohol dependence, eating disorders
People with alcohol dependence may be more genetically susceptible to certain types of eating disorders, and vice-versa, according to a study in the September issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. In a study of nearly 6,000 adult twins, researchers found that common genetic factors seemed to underlie both alcoholism and certain eating disorder symptoms—namely, binge eating and purging habits, such as self-induced vomiting or laxative abuse. Genes appeared to explain 38 percent to 53 percent of the risk of developing those disorders. Read the rest of this article here.
Federal Drug Agency Denies Marijuana Is Less Toxic Than Alcohol
The National Institute on Drug Abuse released an eyebrow-raising statement to PolitiFact on Monday, denying that marijuana is less toxic than alcohol. "Claiming that marijuana is less toxic than alcohol cannot be substantiated since each possess their own unique set of risks and consequences for a given individual," wrote the institute. NIDA, part of the National Institutes of Health, funds government-backed scientific research and has a stated mission "to lead the nation in bringing the power of science to bear on drug abuse and addiction." The statement was in response to a declaration by the pro-pot policy group Marijuana Policy Project that marijuana is less harmful than alcohol –- a claim that was the centerpiece of a controversial pro-marijuana commercial aired during a NASCAR race last month. Continue here.
Do the same genes cause alcohol dependence and eating disorders?
A new statistical analysis suggests that alcohol dependence and binging and purging behaviors, all believed to be influenced by genetic factors, may actually be influenced by the same genes. Writing in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, Washington University School of Medicine postdoctoral researcher Melissa Munn-Chernoff and colleagues reported that genetic risk factors that make people susceptible to alcoholism also appear to influence risk for binge eating in both men and women and for “compensatory behaviors” such as starvation, laxative use and self-induced vomiting in women. More here.
Advice on Addiction in Boomers, Part 1
Readers have been sending questions about baby boomers and addiction to Dr. Barbara Krantz, an addiction expert at the Hanley Center, a nonprofit addiction recovery center in West Palm Beach, Fla. This is Part 1 of her answers; more will appear next Wednesday. Because of the volume of questions, not all of them may be answered. Keep reading here.
NIDA and Lightlake Therapeutics Inc., a biopharmaceutical company developing novel treatments for addictions and conducting clinical trials with intranasal naloxone for the treatment of binge eating disorder, have entered into a partnership to apply this technology towards the treatment of opioid overdose. Clinical trials are expected to begin fall 2013. Naloxone is an injectable medicine that can rapidly reverse the overdose of prescription and illicit opioids. An intranasal delivery system for naloxone could widely expand its availability and use in preventing opioid overdose deaths, a public health problem of epidemic proportion in the U.S. For more on the role of naloxone in preventing opioid overdose deaths, see: www.fda.gov/downloads/Drugs/NewsEvents/UCM318909.pdf (PDF, 29KB) To learn more about NIDA’s medications development program, go to: www.drugabuse.gov/about-nida/organization/divisions/division-pharmacotherapies-medical-consequences-drug-abuse-dpmcda.
Full-Time College Students Less Likely to Use Synthetic Cannabinoids or Cathinones Than Other Young Adults
Young adults not in college are more than twice as likely to report using synthetic cannabinoids or synthetic cathinones than those attending college full time, according to the most recent data from the national Monitoring the Future survey. Nearly one in ten high school graduates who were one to four years out of high school reported using synthetic cannabinoids, also known as spice or K2, in the past year, compared to 4.3% of full-time college students. Similarly, 3.5% of young adults not attending college reported using synthetic cathinones, also known as bath salts, compared to 0.2% of full-time college students. While there are currently 18 synthetic cannabinoids and 3 synthetic cathinones illegal at the federal level, these laws are often circumvented by the production, sale, and use of new synthetic cannabinoid and cathinone metabolites not covered by current legislation. SOURCE: Adapted by CESAR from Johnston, L.D., O’Malley, P.M., Bachman, J.G., and Schulenberg, J.E., Monitoring the Future National Survey Results on Drug Use, 1975-2012, Volume 2: College Students and Adults Ages 19-50, 2013.
New SAMHSA report shows when times are tough, public funding for behavioral health treatment is even more critical
A new report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) shows the importance of public funding for mental health services and substance abuse during difficult economic times, when it helps those who might otherwise be unable to afford the help they need. Continue here.
Tackling Underage Binge Drinking in College [AUDIO] - NJ101.5
From Animal House to Old School, college and alcohol cultures have been intrinsically linked, however, when it comes to underage and binge drinking, advocates are trying to disassociate the two entities for the safety of many young adults. Steven Liga, President and CEO of the Middlesex County chapter of the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, says because of the cultural association of college and drinking, incoming freshmen often come in with the assumption that drinking heavily is expected of them. But, he points out as students age, they actually find out that’s not the case. Read/listen to the complete piece here.