Opioid Use Among Teens Decreasing, Studies Suggest

Opioid use is declining among high school seniors, a new study suggests.

The study, published in the journal Pediatrics, looked at prescription opioid use nationwide among high school seniors from 1976 to 2015. Teens were asked whether a doctor had ever prescribed them opioids, and how often they had taken prescription opioids without a doctor’s instruction.

About one-fourth of seniors said they had used opioids at least once for any reason, NPR reports. The study found opioid use in this age group rose in the 1980s, decreased in the 1990s and increased in the early 2000s, before dropping again starting in 2013.

Full story of teen opioid use decreasing at drugfree.org

Number of Children and Teens Hospitalized for Opioid Overdoses Almost Tripled

A new study finds the number of young children and teens hospitalized for opioid painkiller overdoses has almost tripled in recent years.

Opioid overdoses increased 205 percent from 1997 to 2012 among children ages 1 to 4, HealthDay reports. Among teens ages 15 to 19, overdoses increased 176 percent.

Full story of children and teen opioid overdoses tripled at drugfree.org

Teens Who See Medical Marijuana Ads More Likely to Use the Drug: Study

Viewing ads for medical marijuana may influence middle school students to use the drug, a new study suggests. Students in sixth through eighth grades who saw ads for medical marijuana were twice as likely as others to have used the drug or to say they intended to use it in the future, the study found.

The study included more than 8,200 middle school students in Southern California,HealthDay reports. In the first year of the study, 22 percent of the students said they had seen at least one medical marijuana ad in the past three months. The following year, the number rose to 30 percent.

Full story of medical marijuana ads impact at drugfree.org

Vaping Tricks Increase Teens’ Attraction to E-Cigarettes

Many teens who use e-cigarettes say they enjoy performing tricks with the vapor, such as blowing smoke rings or creating funnels of smoke that look like tornadoes. Performing tricks is one of the top two reasons teens say they enjoy using e-cigarettes, Reuters reports.

The other top reason is the flavoring in nicotine liquid. The wide range of flavors include cappuccino, pomegranate and single-malt scotch.

The findings about vapor tricks come from a study by researchers at Yale School of Medicine. The Yale team asked 5,400 Connecticut teens to explain what they found “cool about e-cigarettes.”

Full story of vaping attraction to teens at drugfree.org

Generation Rx: Reversing the Deadly Trend of Medicine Abuse

Across the country, teens are abusing medicine at alarming rates, and they and their families are paying the consequences. What have we, as a nation, done to prevent and address the epidemic of teen medicine abuse? What are our individual roles in reversing this problem?

Our President and CEO, Steve Pasierb, answers some of these questions in a new piece on The Atlantic.

Full story of the trend of medicine abuse at drugfree.org