Ignition Interlock Systems Have Stopped 1.77 Million Attempts at Drunk Driving: Report

Ignition interlock systems in cars have prevented 1.77 million attempts at drunk driving since 1999, according to a new report by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).

The report, released Wednesday, is based on data from the 11 major manufacturers of ignition interlock systems, the Associated Press reports.

Ignition interlock devices are wired into vehicles. A person convicted of drunk driving must blow into the device to determine their blood alcohol concentration. The device has a preset level for blood alcohol concentration. If a person blows into it when they are over the set limit, the vehicle will not start.

The report found ignition interlocks have prevented 1.77 million attempts by a driver to drive with an illegal blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher, which is legally considered drunk driving in all states.

Full story of ignition interlock systems and drunk driving at drugfree.org

45,000 Arrests on College Campuses for Drug- and Alcohol-Related Offenses in 2014

There were almost 45,000 arrests on college campuses in 2014 for drug- and alcohol-related offenses, according to a new report. There were also more than 250,000 disciplinary actions on campuses related to drugs and alcohol, according to U.S. News & World Report.

The findings come from a report by ProjectKnow.com, an online referral service for drug and alcohol addiction treatment centers.

Project Know analyzed data from colleges that receive federal funding, which are legally obligated to provide annual reports about crimes that occur on and around their campuses. The report analyzed data from colleges with enrollments of at least 5,000 students, totaling about 1,000 medium- and large-sized colleges.

The researchers found drug arrest rates on college campuses were highest in Montana, West Virginia, South Dakota, Wyoming and Delaware. Those states had on-campus arrest rates that were at least 2.3 times higher than the median state average of 1.08 per 1,000 students. Alabama, Florida and South Carolina accounted for some of the largest jumps in drug arrests on campus when measured by arrests per capita.

Full story of campus arrests for drug and alcohol at drugfree.org

College Students Studying Abroad Drink More Alcohol While They’re Away

College students who study abroad drink more alcohol while they are away, according to a new survey by a firm that provides risk management services to Americans traveling abroad.

The survey, released by On Call International, included 1,000 current or recent students who studied abroad in college. Half of the students who drank alcohol said they drank more while studying abroad, Bloomberg Business reports. The survey found 11 percent said that while abroad, they were more likely to black out while drinking. In addition, 29 percent of those surveyed said they had used drugs while studying abroad, and 11 percent said they tried a drug for the first time.

“Students may feel invincible, but there are many real dangers when they venture out on their own,” On Call International’s Chief Security Officer, Jim Hutton, said in a news release. “In unfamiliar situations, risky behaviors like drinking, drug use and going home with a stranger take on a new level of risk. Students who don’t understand their limits could find themselves injuring themselves or others, or being arrested by law enforcement for their actions and removed from their study abroad programs. In addition, young college students can be an easy target for theft or other crimes, and are especially vulnerable when under the influence of alcohol or drugs. To mitigate these risks, universities should institute mandatory pre-travel training sessions for any students who are heading overseas, as it is the institutions’ responsibility to ensure student safety.”

Full story of students abroad and alcohol consumption at drugfree.org

Major League Baseball and Partnership for Drug-Free Kids Present Sixth Annual Commissioner’s Play Healthy Awards to Exemplary Youth Coach and Teen Athlete

Chad Smock, a youth coach from Hilliard, Ohio and Cameron Justice, a teen athlete from Dublin, Ohio, were honored by the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids and Major League Baseball Charities (MLB), with the sixth annual Commissioner’s Play Healthy Awards. The award recipients were recognized and presented their awards by Melanie LeGrande, Director of Community Affairs for Major League Baseball, during the Partnership’s annual gala at Gotham Hall on December 8 in New York City.

Judged by a panel of parents, coaches and sports industry professionals, Coach Smock and Justice were selected from a competition across the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico for their dedication to fair, drug-free play and an overall healthy lifestyle. Winners were chosen based on their commitment to leadership, sportsmanship and encouragement of others, on and off the playing field.

Coach Chad Smock is a girls’ varsity lacrosse coach at Hilliard Davidson High School in Ohio; a school sports and senior portrait photographer; a father; and an advocate for guiding youth to live a healthy and drug-free lifestyle. Since 1986, Coach Smock has been involved in Youth to Youth International, a community-based drug prevention and youth leadership program that encourages young people to live free of drugs and alcohol. Despite the loss of his daughter earlier this year, his passion and dedication to motivating teens never faltered as he continues to inspire his student-athletes to do their best in sport and in life.

Full story of MLB and Drug Free Kids at drugfree.org

Teen Use of Prescription Painkillers, Cigarettes, Alcohol Declines

A new report finds the rate of prescription painkiller use among American teenagers is declining. The 2015 Monitoring the Future survey finds the rate of teen use of cigarettes, alcohol and synthetic marijuana is also decreasing, The New York Times reports.

The percentage of high school seniors who said they smoked marijuana every day (6 percent) was higher than those who smoked regular cigarettes daily (5.5 percent, down from 6.7 percent last year). This is the first time in the survey’s 41-year history that more seniors said they smoked marijuana than regular cigarettes, the article notes.

The survey found 24 percent of all students said they smoked marijuana in the past year, about the same rate as a decade ago. However the rate of students who view daily marijuana use as harmful dropped from 58 percent in 2005 to 32 percent this year.

Full story of teen use of painkillers, cigarettes and alcohol declining at drugfree.org