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13 Sobering Facts About Teen Substance Abuse

13 Sobering Facts About Teen Substance Abuse A new report finds that 76 percent of high school students have used tobacco, alcohol, marijuana, and other drugs, and one-fifth of them may be addicted. These alarming figures highlight the urgent need for parents and communities to help troubled teens. Teen substance use is an epidemic of greater proportions than depression, bullying, and obesity, according to a new report by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University in New York City. CASA interviewed more than 2,500 high school students, parents, and school personnel, analyzed thousands of studies, and interviewed 50 leading experts in a broad range of fields to produce the comprehensive report, which unearthed some shocking statistics. Among the findings: While the percentage of teens who smoke, drink, or use illegal drugs has declined since 1999, the number of youths who still do so is dangerously high....
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One In Eight U.S. Teens Misuses Pain Drugs

One in eight older U.S. teenagers has used powerful painkiller drugs without prescriptions, and many of them start misusing the pills at age 16 or 17, earlier than was previously assumed, according to new research released on Monday. The findings published in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine are based on two national surveys that asked teenagers about their recent or lifetime use of prescription painkillers, which include highly addictive drugs such as oxycontin and codeine. For the full study, see: http://bit.ly/pD1ZHL Both medical and recreational use of such opioid drugs has increased across the United States over the last two decades, as have deaths due to painkiller overdoses. The new findings suggest that educational programs on the dangers of misusing painkillers should start earlier in high school, researchers said. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 14,800 Americans died of an opioid overdose in 2008 - three...
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National Survey Results On Teen Drug Abuse For 2012

article by Janel Spencer The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University (CASAColumbia) released their findings this month from the 17th annual 2012 National Survey of American Attitudes on Substance Abuse (XVII: Teens). According to the findings, 2012 is the sixth year in a row that 60 percent or more of high school teens reported that their schools are drug-infected. “This year teens in our focus groups talked freely about the extent of drinking and drug use among their high school classmates, not only after school, but during the school day, smoking marijuana in the school cafeteria and attending classes while high on alcohol and drugs,” Joseph A. Califano, Jr., Founder and Chairman Emeritus of CASAColumbia said in a statement. Nearly nine out of 10 high school students answered that they knew classmates who were drugging, drinking or smoking during the school day. Fifty-two percent reported a known...
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Up to 20,000 marijuana plants found in Cherokee County

POSTED: Friday, August 31, 2012 - 9:59am Nicole Underwood Assistant News Director/ KETK News   CHEROKEE COUNTY — Marijuana plants up to 8 feet tall have been found within four patches of plants near the Angelina River, in eastern Cherokee County. The plants were found on Thursday, August 30th. Cherokee County investigators, DPS narcotics officers, DEA agents and the Texas National Guard participated in the search for the fields. During the morning and early afternoon, two helicopter crews flew over heavily wooded areas searching for the fields. The investigation is part of the Domestic Marijuana Eradication Program, or DME, which is dedicated to the eradication of domestically grown marijuana. Around 2:45pm on Thursday, helicopter crews spotted a possible marijuana site near the Angelina River, about 1.5 miles south of FM 343, on the eastern border of Cherokee County. Ground crews were alerted to the patch, and investigated the area. They found a very large...
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Are Parents Blind to Rising School Drug Use?

By Salynn Boyles 4 of 5 High School Students Exposed, Survey Shows Drug use in the nation’s schools is increasing and parents are not aware of the extent of the problem, a new survey suggests. Drugs and alcohol have become so common in the nation’s middle and high schools that for many students, “school days have become school daze,” the well-known head of a leading substance abuse research group says. Joseph A. Califano Jr., who served as health secretary during the Carter administration, tells WebMD that parents, school administrators, and government officials need to “wake up to the reality of increasingly drug-infested schools.” Califano’s remarks coincide with the release of a survey designed to track attitudes and behaviors of teens and parents regarding substance abuse in the nation’s schools. Based on survey responses, researchers concluded that 80% of the nation’s high school students and 44% of middle-schoolers have personally seen illegal...
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Parents Frequently Asked Questions About Drug Testing in Schools

What is drug testing? Some schools, hospitals, or places of employment conduct drug testing. There are a number of ways this can be done, including: pre-employment testing, random testing, reasonable suspicion/cause testing, post-accident testing, return to duty testing, and follow-up testing. This usually involves collecting urine samples to test for drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, PCP, and opiates. Following models established in the workplace, some schools have initiated random drug testing and/or reasonable suspicion/cause testing. During random testing schools select, using a random process (like flipping a coin), one or more individuals from the student population to undergo drug testing. Currently, random drug testing can only be conducted among students who participate in competitive extracurricular activities. Reasonable suspicion/cause testing involves a school requiring a student to provide a urine specimen when there is sufficient evidence to suggest that the student may have used an illicit substance. Typically, this involves...
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Heavy Marijuana Use in Teen Years May Lower IQ Later

Teens who start smoking marijuana regularly experience what appear to be permanent declines in their IQs and other aspects of mental function, new research finds. The study included information on more than 1,000 people born in New Zealand in 1972-1973. Participants took IQ and other mental functioning tests at age 13 -- before any had started smoking marijuana -- and then again at age 38. Every few years, starting at age 18, participants were also asked about their use of marijuana and assessed for marijuana dependence. Marijuana dependence is defined as someone who feels they need to smoke more and more marijuana to get the same effect, who has tried to quit but can't or who keeps using even though the habit is causing them problems, such as with their health, family, work or school. About 5% reported using marijuana more than once a week before age 18 or were considered...
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Growing Number of Teens Drinking, Taking Drugs During School

Ninety percent of American high school students report that some of their classmates are using illicit drugs, including alcohol and tobacco, during the school day, a new survey found. When asked to estimate how many were involved, these teens reported that about 17 percent of students -- roughly 2.8 million -- are abusing drugs during the school day, according to the survey. "The findings are alarming but not surprising," said Bruce Goldman, director of substance abuse services at Zucker Hillside Hospital, in Glen Oaks, N.Y. "We know that teens abuse alcohol, cannabis, prescription medications. It makes sense that they do it at school where they congregate with their peers. Goldman was not involved with the survey, which was released Wednesday by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University (CASAColumbia), in New York City. The survey is a timely one, coming out soon after a U.S. government study...
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Feds bust a drug ring run from Indiana prisons, meth, heroin, and other drugs

Federal authorities have charged 40 people—including two inmates and a corrections officer—for running a drug ring through three Indiana prisons. According to The Associated Press, the indictment unsealed Wednesday in Indianapolis notes the scheme  involved methamphetamine, heroin and other drugs and also alleges prison guards smuggled cellphones and drugs into prisons. The indictment says that inmates Oscar Perez and Justin Addler, who are in different prisons, made repeated calls to drug dealers in California to arrange for illegal deliveries of drugs to a network of distributors in Indiana, the Indianapolis Star reported. The deliveries were made in person or through the U.S. Postal Service or UPS, the newspaper notes. Perez is serving time for murder and Addler is a convicted drug dealer, according to the AP. Correctional officer John Dobbins is accused of delivering a package containing drugs and a cellphone to an inmate at a third prison in July, according...
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Alarming increase seen in West Nile Virus: Know the Signs and Symptoms Says CDC

ATLANTA (AP) — U.S. health officials reported Wednesday three times the usual number of West Nile cases for this time of year and one expert called it "one of the worst" outbreaks since the virus appeared in this country in 1999. So far, 1,118 illnesses have been reported, about half of them in Texas, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In an average year, fewer than 300 cases are reported this early. There have also been 41 deaths. "We're in the midst of one of the largest West Nile outbreaks ever seen in the United States," said Dr. Lyle Petersen, a CDC official. Never before have so many illnesses been reported this early, said Petersen, who oversees the CDC's mosquito-borne illness programs. Most infections are usually reported in August and September, so it's too early to say how bad this year will end up, CDC officials said. They...
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Teens Smoking More Pot, Less Tobacco

Cigarette smoking is out but pot use is in among the nation's teenagers, who also report a higher use of prescription painkillers and a waning perception about the risk of illicit drugs, a federal study on students has found.   As more states move to approve medical marijuana, and pot legalization and decriminalization become more mainstream in the national discussion, teens seem more accepting of pot use, according to a study released Monday by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.   The national survey, "Monitoring the Future," was conducted by the University of Michigan and queried 47,097 students in the eighth, 10th and 12th grades.   It found that one-fifth of seniors—20.6 percent—reported using marijuana in the previous month, up from 18.3 percent in 2006. High school sophomores' pot smoking rose from 13.8 percent in 2008 to 15.9 percent this year, statistics that researchers said should capture the nation's attention.  ...
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More Americans Abuse Drugs

The number of Americans who used illegal drugs or abused prescription medications rose last year to reach its highest level since 2002, a survey showed.   Nearly 22 million Americans aged 12 and older used illegal drugs in 2009, a rise of 9 percent from 2008, the survey conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) found.   Some 7 million Americans older than 12 took prescription drugs for nonmedical reasons. The bulk of the abuse of prescription medications involved painkillers, which some 5.3 million Americans used off-label last year — a rise of 20 percent from 2002.   Among teens, the rate of nonmedical prescription painkiller use rose 17 percent year on the year, with most youngsters saying they got the meds from friends, family, or an unsecured medicine cabinet.   The rise in the use of illegal drugs was driven in large part by an increase...
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Opiate-based prescriptions declared an epidemic

(NaturalNews) There has been a recent epidemic of opium-addiction that is growing fast as one of America's drug problems. The CDC says this is not coming from foreign cartels, traffickers or drug dealers, but from the pharmacy that so many visit for prescribed medicines. These opiate-based drugs include Vicodin, Oxycontin, Oxycodone, and other opioid pain relievers. The CDC says that last year alone, enough of these drugs were prescribed to medicate each and every American adult with "five mg of hydrocodone (Vicodin and others), taken every four hours, for a month, and have led to over 40,000 drug overdose deaths." Currently, there are more overdose deaths from these prescribed drugs than heroin and cocaine combined. Furthermore, the consumption of these drugs are costing health insurers approximately $72.5 billion annually. As many people know, the problem also lies in the fact that the underlying causes are not being managed, but rather just...
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Study Finds 'Diverted' Medical Marijuana Use Common Among Teens

MONDAY Aug. 13, 2012 -- Among teens receiving treatment for substance abuse, many have used medical marijuana that was recommended for someone else, also known as "diverted" medical marijuana, a new study has found. The study authors, from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, Colo., suggest that policy changes are needed to curb the improper use of medical marijuana by young people. In conducting the study, lead author Stacy Salomonsen-Sautel and colleagues questioned 164 teens aged 14 to 18 at two adolescent substance abuse treatment programs in Denver about their use of medical marijuana. The investigators found that nearly 74 percent of the teens used marijuana that was recommended for someone else an average of 50 times. Compared with teens who did not use medical marijuana, those who did began using the drug regularly at a younger age and were also more dependent on marijuana and showed more...
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Study Finds More Kids Taking Antipsychotics for ADHD

MONDAY Aug. 13, 2012 -- Use of powerful antipsychotic medications such as Abilify and Risperdal to control youngsters with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and other behavior problems has skyrocketed in recent years, a new study finds. Antipsychotics are approved to treat bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, other serious mental problems and irritability related to autism. But they don't have U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for ADHD or other childhood behavior problems, and their use for this purpose is considered "off label." "Only a small proportion of antipsychotic treatment of children (6 percent) and adolescents (13 percent) is for FDA-approved clinical indications," said lead researcher Dr. Mark Olfson, a professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City. "These national trends focus attention on the substantial and growing extent to which children diagnosed with ADHD and other disruptive behavioral disorders are being treated with antipsychotic medications," said Olfson. The researchers...
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Father working to get illegal drugs off the streets after son's death

K2Father working to get illegal drugs off the streets after son's death By Richard Elliot DOUGLAS COUNTY, Ga. The father of a metro Atlanta teenager who died after using synthetic marijuana is now working to get all illegal drugs off the streets, and he's found a unique way to do it. Dakota Dyer, 14, committed suicide in March after ingesting synthetic marijuana for the first and only time. His father, Lance Dyer, formed a foundation dedicated to ridding the community of illicit drugs. He gets old mailboxes from the U.S. Postal Service, paints them, and offers them to law enforcement agencies free of charge to be used as drug drop-off boxes. "We looked at a way of trying to give back to the community with the foundation we formed in my son's name," said Dyer as he delivered one of the mailboxes to the Douglas County Sheriff's Office. "They're placed inside...
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Depression Rates Rise for Girls During Teen Years

TUESDAY July 31, 2012 -- Rates of major depression skyrocket among young girls as they move through the already vulnerable period of adolescence. According to new research, about 5 percent of 12-year-old girls experienced a major depressive episode in the past year, compared with 15 percent of 15-year-old girls, a threefold increase. Some 1.4 million girls aged 12 to 17 experienced a major depressive episode in the past year. The information "is important for both prevention and treatment," said Richard McKeon, chief of the suicide prevention branch at the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the government agency that released the report last week. "Girls are experiencing major depressive episodes early, around the time of puberty, and this really points to the need for treatment," added Dr. Elizabeth Miller, chief of the division of adolescent medicine at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh. The report, based on a large national...
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Prescription Drug Abuse

What Are the Common Misconceptions About Prescription Drug Abuse? There's a reason that prescription drugs are intended to be taken under the direction of a doctor: if used improperly they can be dangerous. Teens are making the decision to abuse prescription medicines based on misinformation. In fact, many people think that abusing prescription drugs is safer than abusing illicit drugs. As the facts will tell you, prescription drugs can have dangerous short- and long-term health consequences when used incorrectly or by someone other than for whom they were intended. What Is Prescription Drug Abuse? Prescription drug abuse is when someone takes a medication that was prescribed for someone else or takes their own prescription in a manner or dosage other than what was prescribed. Abuse can include taking a friend's or relative's prescription to get high, to treat pain, or because you think it will help with studying. What Are the...
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Stay involved with teens to stop drug abuse, doctor says

By Charlotte Stewart cstewart@news-journal.com What three kinds of drugs are teenagers most likely to abuse? “Alcohol, marijuana and nicotine,” responded an audience member Tuesday at a presentation on youth drug abuse held at the Longview Public Library. Presenter Dr. David Adams responded, “Alcohol, marijuana and prescription medications .” Adams, a Longview chiropractor, said these are often the drugs with the easiest access. “For instance, there was a mom who had a surgery and was given Vicodin (hydrocodone) for pain relief. She took a few , and there is that leftover Vicodin in the medicine cabinet. That’s a pretty big temptation,” Adams said, adding this is a common scenario. Locking the medicine cabinet is a  solution, but kids are  resourceful, and if they want to get into it probably will find a way, he said. Even if the kids in that home don’t touch the medication, a visiting child might. “Count the...
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After ban of ‘bath salts,’ many still get high legally

Rudy GutierrezPosted in Nation on Sunday, July 29, 2012 4:00 am WASHINGTON (AP) — People are inventing so many new ways to get high that lawmakers can’t seem to keep up. During the past two years, the U.S. has seen a surge in the use of synthetic drugs made of legal chemicals that mimic the dangerous effects of cocaine, amphetamines and other illegal stimulants. The drugs are often sold at small, independent stores in misleading packaging that suggests common household items like bath salts, incense and plant food. But the substances inside are powerful, mind-altering drugs that have been linked to bizarre and violent behavior across the country. Law enforcement officials refer to the drugs collectively as “bath salts,” though they have nothing in common with the fragrant toiletries used to moisturize skin. President Barack Obama signed a bill into law earlier this month that bans the sale, production and possession of...
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