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Friday, March 28, 2014

ATOD & Advocacy Recap - Week ending March 28, 2014

The pseudo-science of Alcoholics Anonymous: There’s a better way to treat addiction
Alcoholics Anonymous is a part of our nation’s fabric. In the seventy-six years since AA was created, 12-step programs have expanded to include over three hundred different organizations, focusing on such diverse issues as smoking, shoplifting, social phobia, debt, recovery from incest, even vulgarity. All told, more than five million people recite the Serenity Prayer at meetings across the United States every year. Please click here for the rest of this article.

Alcohol's role in traffic deaths vastly underreported: Study
It's no secret that drinking and driving can be a deadly mix. But the role of alcohol in U.S. traffic deaths may be substantially underreported on death certificates, according to a study in the March issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. Between 1999 and 2009, more than 450,000 Americans were killed in a traffic crashes. But in cases where alcohol was involved, death certificates frequently failed to list alcohol as a cause of death. Why does that matter? One big reason is that injuries are the leading cause of death for Americans younger than 45, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And it's important to have a clear idea of alcohol's role in those deaths, explained Ralph Hingson, Sc.D., of the U.S. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Please click here for the rest of this article.

Mindfulness Approach Reduces SUD Relapse Risk
Mindfulness-based aftercare significantly reduces relapse risk in patients with substance use disorders (SUDs) in the long-term compared with 2 other standard treatment approaches, new research shows. Results from a randomized clinical trial show that after initial treatment for drug and alcohol abuse, patients assigned to receive mindfulness-based relapse prevention (MBRP) were significantly less likely to relapse at 12 months compared with their counterparts who received usual 12-step programming. Please click here for the rest of this article.

Britain is sobering up with alcohol-free 'dry bars'
In the UK, a number of bars that don't serve alcohol have opened up recently. They are called "dry bars" — and they're places where people can hang out, have a bite to eat and drink "mocktails." One of these dry bars is a place called Sobar in Nottingham. "This is somewhere to provide a nice environment, which isn't just a coffee shop," said Sobar manager Alex Gilmore. "Someone in recovery or someone who doesn't want to drink still wants to put on their glad rags on and have a good night out." Britain is known for having a culture of heavy social drinking. Substance abuse charities in such hard-drinking cities as Liverpool and Nottingham now run dry bars. Sobar, for example, is run by the Nottingham-based addiction charity Double Impact, which assists people recovering from both alcohol and illegal drugs. Please click here for the rest of this article.

Whatever Happened to the Ad War on Drugs?
After Peaking at Rate of $1M in Media Time a Day in Late 80s, Anti-Drug Campaign Airtime Has Been on Steady Decline.
Colorado and Washington have legalized recreational pot. Philip Seymour Hoffman's apparent overdose has sparked yet another national conversation about heroin. And a club drug called Molly is perpetually in the headlines. Drugs are everywhere. But where are all the anti-drug ads? Please click here for the rest of this article.

It's Legal, So It's Safe, Right? The New Conversation About Marijuana (Your Teen Magazine)
For parents who had convinced their teenagers not to use marijuana, the conversation just got a lot more complicated. Nearly two dozen states have legalized marijuana for medical use. In 2013, Colorado and Washington went even further, legalizing marijuana for recreational use by adults. And as many as fourteen more states may pass laws legalizing pot by 2017. We asked experts how to talk to our teenagers about marijuana, in light of these new laws and changing societal attitudes. Please click here for the rest of this article.

These Photos Show What the Average Person Who Is Arrested for Drugs Looks Like
In an effort to increase substance abuse awareness, decided to compile 100 mugshots from marijuana, DUI, and methamphetamine arrests to see what the average face looks like on drugs. . Please click here for the rest of this article.

Study looks at using web-based intervention to help college drinkers
On most college campuses in the U.S. and around the world, unhealthy alcohol use can cause problems for a lot of students. “World-wide, we see huge issues with students who develop problems with drinking that continue to adulthood, that really have a societal cost to us and it’s really critical to be addressing those early and often, “ said Nicholas J. Horton, Sc.D. at Amherst College. Please click here for the rest of this article.

Merchants: Alcohol ‘Big Part’ of Collegetown Economy
Alcohol sales play a vital role in the Collegetown economy, with some business owners attributing the sale of alcohol to over one-third of their revenue. “The economy of Collegetown is students; and since alcohol is a central part of the college experience it’s a big part of the [Collegetown] economy,” said Jason Burnham, owner of the convenience store Jason’s Grocery and Deli. Although Burnham said alcohol represents about 20 percent of his total sales, he said he believes that alcohol has an even greater financial impact on the Collegetown economy due to the products that people buy before and after consuming alcohol. Please click here for the rest of this article.

The Truth about Alcohol and Sexual Assault
The phrase “I’m Not Asking For It. I’m Only an Easy Target If You’re Thinking Like Rapist” splashes across an image of a female passed out behind empty bottles of liquor in bold. This shot and others fill the #AlcoholIsNotConsent photography series created by a UCLA student group to eliminate alcohol-blaming from the current rape conversation. Please click here for the rest of this article.

TV Prescription Drug Ads--Friend or Foe? Novus Medical Detox Encourages FDA's Study of Drug Commercials' Influence on Public
As widely available prescription drugs remain a threat to American society by contributing to more than 16,000 fatal overdoses annually (1), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is studying whether disclosure limited only to serious side effects in TV drug ads would improve consumer understanding of the inherent risks of prescription medications. Please click here for the rest of this article.

Editorial: N.J. drug addiction study underscores deadly problem facing state
Starting with the first sentence of its report on a two-year study of New Jersey’s drug problems, the Governor’s Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse doesn’t mince words. “The skyrocketing use of heroin and other opiates has become the number one health care crisis confronting New Jersey,” it says. Drug overdose deaths now surpass the number of fatalities from motor vehicle accidents. And the route from legally prescribed medication to heroin is far too often a shortcut to death. Please click here for the rest of this article.

The Surprising Failures of 12 Steps
How a pseudoscientific, religious organization birthed the most trusted method of addiction treatment
Say you’ve been diagnosed with a serious, life-altering illness or psychological condition. In lieu of medication, psychotherapy, or a combination thereof, your doctor prescribes nightly meetings with a group of similarly afflicted individuals, and a set of 12 non-medical guidelines for recovery, half of which require direct appeals to God. What would you do? Please click here for the rest of this article.

Medical marijuana pills or spray may ease multiple sclerosis pain
Moderate evidence indicates medical marijuana pills and spray may ease multiple sclerosis pain, frequent urination and muscle rigidity.
The researchers find there is not enough evidence to indicate whether smoking marijuana is helpful in treating MS symptoms. Spray marijuana is not available in the United States. Please click here for the rest of this article.

Lawmaker behind medical marijuana wants N.J. to permit recreational use
A prime author of New Jersey's medical marijuana law wants the state now to emulate Colorado and legalize the recreational use of pot by adults. Citing the windfall Colorado is enjoying from marijuana sales, State Sen. Nick Scutari (D., Union) announced Monday that he had drafted a bill to legalize marijuana for recreational use and hoped to get it assigned to a committee as soon as possible and then posted for a vote. New York and Rhode Island have similar bills in legislative committees. Please click here for the rest of this article.

Why heroin is spreading in America's suburbs (+video)
The drug has followed prescription painkillers into new neighborhoods, forcing police and parents to confront an unexpected problem. Please click here for the rest of this article.

Big Pot rising: The marijuana industry’s first full-time lobbyist makes rounds on Capitol Hill
It took Michael Correia more than a week after getting his new job to tell his parents he was a marijuana lobbyist. “I just got a job lobbying for a small-business trade association that focuses on taxes and banking issues,” he told them four months ago after being hired by the National Cannabis Industry Association. Please click here for the rest of this article.

Alcohol May Not Help: Alcohol’s Impact on Your Mental Health
Alcoholism is common among people suffering from mental health conditions. People experiencing anxiety, depression, impulsivity, or other diagnosable mental illnesses often turn to alcohol to find temporary solace. Additionally, people who do not have a mental health diagnosis, yet are encountering a phase of overwhelming emotions, drink dangerously. Please click here for the rest of this article.

The danger of drinking game dares
“This is how you drink.” That’s what Bradley Eames says in the YouTube video, as he downs two pints of gin in less than a minute – and brags that he’s going to show his friends “who’s boss.” Almost immediately, he complained he felt ill. And four days later, Eames, 20, was found dead in his Nottingham, England home. He’s considered just one victim of “NekNomination,” an Internet drinking game that has reportedly claimed the lives of five men under 30 in the United Kingdom – and has some experts worried it will spread to the U.S. The premise: Teens and 20-somethings film themselves downing a large quantity of alcohol (“necking”) and post the video on social media, be it Facebook or YouTube. Then they nominate a friend to outdo them – drinking alcohol from a toilet, for example, or mixing it with a goldfish or dead mouse. The ultimatum: “You have 24 hours. Get it done.” Please click here for the rest of this article.

Alcohol and recovery: there’s an app for that
A new smartphone app could help people with alcohol addiction problems to control their drinking, according to a study. Please click here for the rest of this article.

Medical Marijuana's Legalization Doesn't Raise Crime Rates: Study
Nationwide data helps inform debate as restrictions on pot use continue to ease, researchers say.
Legalization of medical marijuana does not lead to increased crime, and may even be tied to lower rates of offenses such as assault and murder, a new study suggests. The findings challenge claims by opponents that legalizing medical marijuana would lead to higher crime rates, the University of Texas at Dallas researchers said. Please click here for the rest of this article.

Marijuana, Prescription Drugs Pose Greatest Threat to Adolescent Men
In recent months, there has been a growing conversation about marijuana use. Should it be legalized for recreational use or is it a "gateway" drug to more addictive substances? A recent CNN story ( is just one example of the conversation that puts a fine point on the complexities of the topic. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, marijuana use by adolescents declined from the late 1990s until the mid-to-late 2000s but has steadily increased since then. Dr. Chapman Sledge, chief medical officer at Cumberland Heights, finds that enrollment statistics at the highly respected rehabilitation center in Nashville, Tenn., support the trend. Please click here for the rest of this article.

Research finds many students have some level of alcohol dependency, few seek treatment
While drinking in college may be fun, some students may find themselves graduating with not only a degree, but also a dependence on alcohol.
According to a study done by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 19 percent of college students meet the criteria for alcohol dependency but only five percent seek treatment. Please click here for the rest of this article.

Legalizing Medical Marijuana May Actually Reduce Crime, Study Says
Legalizing medical marijuana causes no increase in crime, according to a new study. In fact, legalized medical pot may reduce some violent crime, including homicide, University of Texas at Dallas researchers wrote in a journal article published this week. The study, published in PLOS ONE on Wednesday, appears to settle concerns, simmering since the first states approved medical marijuana nearly two decades ago, that legalization would lead to more crime. Please click here for the rest of this article.

Parents Argue Medical Marijuana Helps These Kids Avoid A 'Death Sentence'
Yet another state is considering expanding its medical marijuana laws to include children suffering from debilitating conditions like epilepsy. On Tuesday, Illinois' Senate Public Health Committee unanimously approved legislation that would legalize medical marijuana treatment for minors in a 8-0 vote. Please click here for the rest of this article.

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