Drugs and Alcohol in the News

Substance Abuse Headlines

Marijuana Usage Map
Map Shows Highest/Lowest U.S. Marijuana Use. SAMHSA

Below are the latest drug- and alcohol-related news stories from sources around the world.

More Students Use Marijuana Daily Than Alcohol
The latest Monitoring the Future (MTF) national survey found that more college-age students report using marijuana daily than report using alcohol every day. Also, the 2014 survey revealed a small increase in the number of college students using cocaine.

Treatment Reduces Risks for ADHD Children
Children and teens who are diagnosed and treated with medication for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are 7.3 percent less likely to develop substance abuse disorders compared with ADHD teens who do not receive treatment, a study has found.

Appalachia Seeing a Spike in Heroin Use
Eastern Kentucky treatment centers, emergency departments, and law enforcement are reporting an increase in heroin use in the area. Officials say the move from more expensive prescription pain pills to cheaper heroin use seen in other areas of the country is beginning to make its way to Appalachia.

Prescription Drug Abuse Increases Teen Suicide Risk
A study of 3,300 teens has found that teens who reported abusing prescription drugs were three times more likely to report a suicide attempt a year later. Those risks of attempted suicide were even greater for teens to admitted abusing opiates.

Teens With Easy Access to Drugs At Greater Risk
Teens who had easy access to alcohol and drugs at home are more likely to have substance abuse problems in adulthood, a study of 15,000 teens has indicated. Those with easy access started using drugs and alcohol at a younger age and therefore were more likely to use as they got older, the researchers found.

CDC: Kratom a Growing Public Health Threat
Kratom, a plant-based drug with effects similar to opioids, is a growing public health threat, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Calls to poison control centers about Kratom increased 10 times from 2010 to 2015, the report said.

Previous Headlines

Marijuana Use Up, Perceived Harm Down
The latest National Survey on Drug Use and Health figures are in and indicate 7.73 percent of all Americans smoked marijuana in the past month, ranging in 3.93 percent in a substate region in the southernmost part of Texas to 15.46 percent in San Francisco. Across the United States, only 28.50 percent of people aged 12 or older perceived a great risk of harm from monthly marijuana use.

Colleges See an Increase in 'Drunkorexia'
Health officials are seeing an increase in a practice called "drunkorexia" on U.S. college campuses. By skipping meals, exercising heavily before drinking alcohol, taking laxatives or diuretics, or vomiting after drinking, a growing number of students are looking to avoid alcohol-related weight gain or get a bigger buzz. The practice is seriously unhealthy, doctors say.

Mixing Booze With Energy Drinks Increases Desire to Drink
A small study of 26 adults concluded that mixing alcohol with high-caffeine energy beverages may increase the desire to continue drinking alcohol.

The researchers believe caffeine may increase the rewarding properties of alcohol and therefore increases the desire to drink.

Parents Play Key Role in Preventing Underage Drinking
Two new studies explore the role of parents in preventing teen drinking. One study found that parents who set strict alcohol-related rules while maintaining a supportive family environment can reduce the risk of binge drinking. The other study found that a home-based, third-grade alcohol prevention program was effective in reducing later teen drinking.

Buprenorphine Implant More Effective Than Pills
Compared with patients taking the pill form, people addicted to opioids are more likely to remain abstinence after six months if they use the newly-approved implanted form of buprenorphine. Probuphine, the implant medication, is inserted in the upper arm and releases a dose of buprenorphine for six months.

New Drug Disposal System Developed
Rather than leave unused painkillers around the house or having to take them to an official "take back" events, patients can now dispose of their unused medications at home with a new drug deactivation system. The Deterra system allows patients to mix their unused pills in a bag with a carbon that, when mixed with water, neutralizes the active ingredients in the pills. The bag can then be tossed in the trash.

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