Rate of Mental Disorders Among Smokers is Rising: Study

The rate of mental disorders among smokers is increasing, a new study concludes. More recent smokers have the highest risk, HealthDay reports.

The study analyzed data from 25,000 people. The researchers found that while the national smoking rate has been declining since the 1960s, the percentage of smokers who are nicotine-dependent has been increasing. The risk of substance use disorders rose among all smokers with each decade, regardless of whether they were nicotine-dependent.

Smokers who were nicotine-dependent and began smoking in the 1980s were more likely than older smokers to have disorders such as bipolar disorder, antisocial personality disorder or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorders, the researchers report in Molecular Psychiatry.

Full story of smokers and mental disorders at drugfree.org

Sales of Legal Marijuana Jumped 17 Percent to $5.4 Billion in 2015: Report

Sales of legal marijuana jumped 17 percent to reach $5.4 billion last year, according to a new report. Sales could grow 25 percent this year, to $6.7 billion, according to the marijuana industry investment and research firm ArcView Market Research.

By 2020, sales of legal marijuana could reach $21.8 billion, Fortune reports. “I think that we are going to see in 2016 this next wave of investors, the next wave of business operators, and people who’ve sort of been watching or dipping their toe in, really starting to swing for the fences and take it really seriously,” ArcView CEO Troy Dayton said.

The report includes medical and recreational dispensary sales, as well as cannabis products sold through delivery services and medical marijuana “caregivers” who can legally grow and distribute the drug.

Full story of legal marijuana sales in 2015 at drugfree.org

Mailing Free Nicotine Replacement Patches to Smokers Can Help Some Quit

Mailing free nicotine replacement patches to smokers who are interested in giving up cigarettes can help some of them quit, a new study finds.

The smokers in the study did not receive counseling or other support, HealthDay reports.

Researchers sent a five-week course of nicotine patches to 500 smokers. After six months, the rate of participants who said they hadn’t smoked in the past month was more than double the rate of 499 smokers who did not receive free nicotine patches. About half of participants returned saliva samples, which researchers tested to confirm they had stopped smoking.

The rates of smoking cessation in both groups were low—2.8 percent among those receiving patches, compared with 1 percent among those who didn’t receive the patches.

Full story of free nicotine replacement patches for smokers at drugfree.org

Quantum Units Education: New CEU Courses

Challenges of Responsible Non-Custodial Fathering for Low Income Individuals

Sweeping changes have dramatically altered the structure of the American family – making marriage less common and fathers less present in their children’s lives.  This CEU course draws on the first of a longitudinal series of in-depth interviews with a subset of fathers participating in the Parents and Children Together Responsible Fatherhood (PACT RF) programs to better understand their lives and experiences, including the complexities and difficulties they face as fathers.  These interviews focus on fathers’ childhoods, relationships with their children and the mothers of their children, views on fathering, employment experiences, and participation in the fatherhood programs.

Immunization, Vaccine Storage, Handling and Safety

This CEU course discusses the timing and spacing of vaccines; adverse reactions following vaccination; contraindications and precautions to vaccination; invalid contraindications to vaccination; screening for contraindications and precautions to vaccination; vaccine storage and handling; receiving and unpacking vaccine deliveries; vaccine storage and temperature monitoring equipment; vaccine and diluent placement and labeling; vaccine storage troubleshooting; vaccine and diluent inventory control; importance of vaccine safety programs; sound immunization recommendations and policy; assessing and monitoring safety of vaccines; vaccine injury compensation; and the immunization provider’s role.

HIV AIDS Clinical Care – Adverse Events
This CEU course provides health care professionals working with the HIV-infected population information on adverse reactions to HIV medications; drug-drug interactions with HIV-related medications; and antiretroviral medications and hormonal contraceptive agents.

For more on these new courses and many more, visit Quantum Units Education

College Marijuana Use Linked With Skipped Classes, Lower Grades, Late Graduation

A new study finds marijuana use in the first year of college can lead to students missing classes. The more frequently a student uses marijuana, the more they tend to skip class, earn lower grades, and graduate later.

Researchers at the University of Maryland School of Public Health followed 1,117 college students for eight years to test the direct and indirect effects on marijuana use on GPA and time to graduation. The findings are part of a larger study, called the College Life Study, which began in 2003.

“Alcohol and other drug use are also related to skipping class, but when we adjusted for other substance use we still found a relationship between marijuana and skipping class,” said lead researcher Amelia Arria, Associate Professor of Behavioral and Community Health at the University of Maryland School of Public Health.

Full story of college marijuana use and skipping classes at drugfree.org