Study Supports Using Lungs Transplanted From Smokers

Lung Transplant For SmokersPeople who receive a lung transplanted from a smoker live longer than people who need a transplant and don’t receive one, a new study finds.

While getting a lung from a smoker was better than not receiving one at all, it still was not as beneficial as receiving a lung from a non-smoker. The three-year survival rate for recipients of lungs transplanted from smokers was lower than for recipients of lungs from non-smokers, ABC News reports. Recipients of smokers’ lungs also had more complications. The study included 1,295 lung transplant recipients, 39 percent of whom received lungs from people who had previously smoked.

The findings support a policy of transplanting lungs from people who have smoked, the researchers said. “Donors with positive smoking histories provide nearly 40 percent of the lungs available for transplantation,” they wrote in The Lancet. “Rejection of this donor-organ resource would increase waiting-list mortality and is ill advised.”

Full story of lung transplants at DrugFree.org

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Beware of Drunk Drivers on Memorial Day Weekend

Beware of Drunk Driving This MemorialDrunk drivers are a threat on the road during Memorial Day weekend, warns Fox Business. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 397 people died over the three-day weekend in 2010, the latest year for which data is available. Of those crashes, 40 percent were alcohol-related.

In 2010, more than 10,000 people died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes—one every 51 minutes, notes the NHTSA. The agency has found fatal crashes involving an alcohol-impaired driver are more likely on weekends and at night, the article notes.

Alcohol interferes with a person’s coordination, driving skills and judgment. Drinking can cause people to lose control and become aggressive, which can in turn affect driving skills.

Full story of drunk drivers at DrugFree.org

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New Steps Pediatricians Can Take to Reduce Teen Substance Use

Pediatricians Can Reduce Teen Substance UseTeens who complete a five-minute computer screening program that includes six questions about alcohol and drug use, and who talk with their pediatrician briefly about the results, reduce their risk of drinking up to one year later, according to a new study.

Researchers at Boston Children’s Hospital studied more than 2,000 teens from New England and the Czech Republic. The teens completed the screening program, which asks six questions about alcohol and drug use, and then presents a score and risk level. The teens read through 10 pages with facts and stories that illustrate the serious health effects of substance use.

The teens’ doctors receive a report with the results, and a list of talking points for a two- to three- minute conversation about the risks involved in alcohol and drug use. They tell the teens it would be best for their health not to use alcohol or drugs at all.

Full story of teen substance abuse at DrugFree.org

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Facebook Can Negatively Affect Teens’ Substance Use Treatment, Study Suggests

Using Facebook and other social networking sites can negatively affect teenagers’ treatment for substance use disorders, a new study suggests.

Researchers administered a 20-question survey to 37 teens who were receiving substance abuse treatment at a behavioral health center in Los Angeles. Most reported marijuana as their drug of choice, followed by Ecstasy and methamphetamine, Psychiatric Times reports.

Almost all of the teens engaged in online social networking, with the majority using Facebook. While 44 percent of the teens said they posted drug-related content on the sites, 94 percent said their friends did, and 97 percent said their social networking friends used drugs.

Full story on substance abuse related to Facebook at Drugfree.org

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FTC Requires Major Alcohol Producers to Release Online Marketing Information

Major Alcohol Producers To Release Marketing InformationThe Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is requiring 14 major alcoholic beverage producers to provide information about their online marketing. The FTC will use the information for a study that will guide recommendations on how the alcohol industry should regulate itself, both online and offline.

The last time the FTC completed an alcohol marketing study was in 2008, using data from 2005, according to The Kansas City Star. That study found only 1.9 percent of alcohol marketing expenditures went toward Internet efforts.

The marketing landscape has changed dramatically since then, with a much greater emphasis on social media. For example, Bacardi has at least seven Facebook pages, with a total of 1.7 million fans, according to David Jernigan, Director of the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth at Johns Hopkins University’s Bloomberg School of Public Health. He notes that Captain Morgan Rum has a video game app for iPhones. Many companies connect with consumers through Twitter.

Full story of alcohol producers releasing marketing information at DrugFree.org

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