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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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Olympic hopefuls doped up?! Find out who was caught...

by Rachel on July 27, 2012 CNN news has confirmed that the International Association of Athletics Federations knows of at least 9 athletes that have tested positive for illegal drug use. Among the suspensions, bans and further investigations, Olympic bronze medalist Nataliya Tobias was stripped of her medal. What causes athletes to risk not being able to compete or even worse, being stripped of their medals from the Olympics? Cheating is strictly prohibited and addressed immediately through disqualification if an athlete is found guilty. It seems that these athletes feel that an untouchable athletic ability may translate into a belief system that says “win at any cost.” Unfortunately, the cost of cheating in the Olympics causes much more devastation than a clean loss. Who Was Caught? Nataliya Tobias – Ukraine Abderrahim Goumri – Morocco Irini Kokkinariou – Greece Meryem Erdogan – Turkey Svetlana Klyuka –Russia Nailiya Yulamanova – Russia Yevgenina...
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Bath Salt Users Beware: Ban on Synthetic Compounds Passed

by Rachel on July 24, 2012 Have questions about addictions and treatment? Call LVH @ 1-800-884-1727 24/7.   President Obama signed the Synthetic Drug Abuse Prevention Act of 2012 placing synthetic compounds found in synthetic marijuana (spice, K-2), synthetic stimulants (bath salts) and hallucinogens under the Schedule I of Controlled Substances Act. When a drug is classified as Schedule I, it means that the drug has no medical use or purpose and should never be consumed. While under the influence of synthetic drugs people are committing ungodly acts and are in desperate need for help. Under this new Act, insurance companies may have to adjust policies to reflect whether or not to pay for bath salt and spice addicts to go to drug rehab. Synthetic drug compounds, when ingested, cause devastating psychological and physical damage. Addicts intoxicated with bath salts and/or spice need medical attention and addiction treatment to eliminate use....
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Bath Salts - "Not Your Ordinary Epsom Salts"

Bath SaltsAlthough bath salts are sold disguised as a harmless substance used for relaxation, people are ingesting them seeking euphoria. In addition to experiencing altered moods, many bath salt users are having psychotic episodes marked with agitation, hallucinations and violent behavior. Because this drug is unfamiliar to medical professionals, doctors are still learning how to treat symptoms and overdoses of this drug. This drug has dangerous consequences as noted in different news events in the United States.   Via Lakeview HealthView More Drug Rehab Infographics [SlideDeck id='55' width='100%' height='370px']
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Your Teen Probably Knows All About Synthetic Drugs (like Spice, K2 and Bath Salts) — Shouldn't You?

by Steve Pasierb Synthetic marijuana, known as Spice or K2, is gaining attention among high school seniors. According to The University of Michigan’s Monitoring the Future studyone in every nine 12th graders reported using this drug. Yesterday R. Gil Kerlikowske, Director of the White House ONDCP, urged parents to help stop teen use of Spice / K2. “It’s not in the vocabulary of parents, and they need to be aware of it so that when they have that conversation about substance abuse they are knowledgeable,” he said.  “These drugs are dangerous and can cause serious harm.”   Another synthetic drug to be aware of is Bath Salts, a synthetic powdered stimulants – sold online and in drug paraphernalia stores as bath salts and plant food.   So what exactly are these new synthetic “designer” drugs?  Here’s what you need to know:   Spice   Also Known As: K2, Fake Marijuana, Skunk,...
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