Bullying’s lasting impact

A new study led by the University of Delaware found that kids who are bullied in fifth grade often suffer from depression and begin using alcohol and other substances a few years after the incidents.

“Students who experienced more frequent peer victimization in fifth grade were more likely to have greater symptoms of depression in seventh grade, and a greater likelihood of using alcohol, marijuana or tobacco in tenth grade,” said the study’s leader, Valerie Earnshaw, a social psychologist and assistant professor in UD’s College of Education and Human Development.

The study involved researchers from universities and hospitals in six states, who analyzed data collected between 2004 and 2011 from 4,297 students on their journey from fifth through tenth grade. The findings were published online in the medical journal Pediatrics.

Full story of bullying’s lasting impact at Science Daily

Study shows role of depression in the ongoing tobacco epidemic

The prevalence of smoking has remained fairly stable over the past decade after declining sharply for many years. To determine whether an increase in certain barriers to successful cessation and sustained abstinence may be contributing to this slowed decline, researchers at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health analyzed changes in the prevalence of depression among current, former and never smokers in the U.S. The team found that depression appeared to have significantly increased in the U.S. from 2005 to 2013 among smokers, as well as among former and never smokers. While the prevalence of depression is consistently highest among smokers, the rate of increase in depression was most prominent among former and never smokers. The full study findings are published online in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

The research team, led by Renee Goodwin, PhD, in the Department of Epidemiology, analyzed data from the National Household Survey on Drug Use, an annual cross-sectional study of approximately 497, 000 Americans, ages 12 and over. The prevalence of past 12-month depression was examined annually among current (past 12-month), former (not past 12-month), and lifetime non-smokers from 2005 to 2013. The researchers further analyzed the data by age, gender, and household income.

Full story of depressions role in the tobacco epidemic at Science Daily

Research Finds Many Links Between Alcohol and Suicide

A growing body of research points to the relationship between alcohol and suicide. Taking steps to reduce the availability of alcohol may help to reduce the number of suicides, says Raul Caetano, MD, PhD, Senior Research Scientist at the Prevention Research Center of the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation in Oakland, California.

Dr. Caetano was a co-author of a study published in the journal Addiction in 2015 that found in the United States, the density of both on- and off-premises alcohol outlets in a county is associated positively with alcohol-related suicide.

“It’s pretty clear from that study that there is a relationship between alcohol outlets, such as bars, restaurants and liquor stores, and suicide,” he said. “That suggests that public health policies that affect the availability of alcohol in the community can also help prevent suicide. It’s an opportunity for prevention that hasn’t been fully utilized.”

Full story of links between alcohol and suicide at drugfree.org

Commentary: How to Navigate the Holidays in Early Recovery

With the holiday season upon us, many of us look forward to get-togethers with friends and family, and work celebrations with colleagues. From the smell of holiday cookies baking to hearing carols in stores, we’re primed to be in a holiday mood. But the season can also bring stress. Attending or planning holiday events can be exhausting and we often have high expectations that don’t always align with reality. For someone in early recovery – and their family members – it can be an especially stressful time.

Here are tips for those in early recovery on how to navigate the holidays.

Full story on navigating the holidays at drugfree.org

Scientists Developing New Painkillers With Fewer Side Effects

Scientists are working with three compounds that show promise in treating pain, without the side effects of opioids, CNBC reports.

One experimental drug, oliceridine, is in the final stages of human trials. It is administered intravenously. Studies show the drug relieves pain like morphine, without causing respiratory depression or constipation. However, it is no less addictive than morphine and it can only be used in hospitals. The company that makes oliceridine, Trevana, is developing an oral form of the drug.

Full story of new painkillers without side effects at drugfree.org