First-Time Marijuana Use Among College Students is at Highest Level in Three Decades

First-time marijuana use among college students is at the highest level in three decades, a new study finds.

Among 19- to 22-year-olds who had never used marijuana by 12th grade, those who go to college are 51 percent more likely to try the drug than those who do not attend college, HealthDay reports.

Full story of first-time marijuana users highest among college students at drugfree.org

Longer-lasting pain relief with MOFs

To treat headaches, back pain or fever, most of us have reached for ibuprofen at one point or another. But we often have to take doses every four to six hours if the pain warrants it. Now scientists are working on a way to package the commonly used drug so it can last longer. Their approach, reported in ACS’ journal Molecular Pharmaceutics, could also be used to deliver other drugs orally that currently can only be taken intravenously.

Recently, scientists have been studying compounds called metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), which are made of metal ions linked to organic ligands, for drug delivery. Active ingredients can be packed inside MOFs, which are porous, and some of them have additional traits such as water solubility that make them good candidates for drug couriers. But few studies have so far investigated whether such MOFs could be used in oral formulations. J. Fraser Stoddart and colleagues wanted to test promising MOFs using ibuprofen as a model drug.

Full story of pain relief with metal-organic frameworks at Science Daily

Tuition-free school helps teens fight opioids and other substance abuse

When Logan Snyder got hooked on pills after a prescription to treat pain from a kidney stone, she joined the millions already swept up in the nation’s grim wave of addiction to opioid painkillers.

She was just 14.

Youth is a drawback when it comes to kicking drugs. Only half of U.S. treatment centers accept teenagers and even fewer offer teen-focused groups or programs. After treatment, adolescents find little structured support. They’re outnumbered by adults at self-help meetings. Sober youth drop-in centers are rare. Returning to school means resisting offers to get high with old friends.

Full story of tuition-free schools and substance abuse at CBS News

‘Alarmingly high’ risk of death for people with opioid use disorder in general medical care

Almost one-fifth of patients with opioid use disorder (OUD) in a large healthcare system died during a four-year follow-up period, reports a study in the Journal of Addiction Medicine, the official journal of the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM). The journal is published by Wolters Kluwer.

The results suggest very high rates of serious illness and death among patients with OUD in general medical care settings — much higher than for those in addiction specialty clinics, according to by Yih-Ing Hser, PhD, of University of California, Los Angeles, and colleagues. They write, “The alarmingly high morbidity and mortality among OUD patients revealed in the present study challenge healthcare systems to find new and innovative ways to expand evidence-based strategies for OUD in a variety of settings.”

Full story of death risk for opioid users in general medical care at Science Daily

Volunteering might prevent substance abuse for female student-athletes

More than 180,000 student-athletes from 450 colleges and universities compete in Division III sports, the largest NCAA division; nearly 44 percent are female. As substance abuse continues to be a health concern in colleges and universities across the U.S., a social scientist from the University of Missouri has found that female student-athletes who volunteer in their communities and engage in helping behaviors are less likely to partake in dangerous alcohol and marijuana use.

“Past research has demonstrated that prosocial behaviors such as comforting or assisting others has long-term benefits for young people,” said Gustavo Carlo, Millsap Professor of Diversity in MU’s College of Human Environmental Sciences. “For this study, we were interested in understanding how female student-athletes might be impacted by community service because they make up a growing number of the college population.”

Full story of volunteering prevents substance abuse at Science Daily