Pain linked to non-medical prescription opioid use in young adults

Physical pain — often “self-medicated” without help from healthcare professionals — is an important contributor to non-medical prescription opioid (NMPO) use by young adults, suggests a study in the Journal of Addiction Medicine, the official journal of the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM).

Young men with severe untreated pain are at especially high risk of frequent NMPO use, according to the new research, led by Brandon D.L. Marshall, PhD, of Brown University School of Public Health. Dr. Marshall comments, “Sex-specific patterns of pain and experiences interacting with health professionals could conceivably impact the way men and women report pain to health care providers, and thus the way young adults with severe physical pain are treated.”

Full story of non-medical opioid use in young adults at Science Daily

Tuition-free school helps teens fight opioids and other substance abuse

When Logan Snyder got hooked on pills after a prescription to treat pain from a kidney stone, she joined the millions already swept up in the nation’s grim wave of addiction to opioid painkillers.

She was just 14.

Youth is a drawback when it comes to kicking drugs. Only half of U.S. treatment centers accept teenagers and even fewer offer teen-focused groups or programs. After treatment, adolescents find little structured support. They’re outnumbered by adults at self-help meetings. Sober youth drop-in centers are rare. Returning to school means resisting offers to get high with old friends.

Full story of tuition-free schools and substance abuse at CBS News

States Consider Requiring Mandatory Opioid Abuse Education in Public Schools

Some states are considering requiring mandatory opioid abuse education in public schools, according to The Washington Post.

Ohio is requiring opioid education in kindergarten through twelfth grade. The Michigan legislature is considering a similar program. The Michigan bill states, “The model program of instruction adopted or developed by the department shall include at least instruction on the prescription drug epidemic and the connection between prescription opioid drug abuse and addiction to other drugs.”

Full story of mandatory opioid abuse education in schools at drugfree.org

Growing number of teens think getting heroin is ‘probably impossible’

Despite reports about the increase in heroin use, more teens believed it was “probably impossible” to get heroin in 2014 than in 2002, according to a Saint Louis University study.

“Overall it’s cautious good news,” said Michael Vaughn, Ph.D., professor of social work at Saint Louis University and the lead author of the paper. “It’s a nuanced picture. The use of heroin is still a problem, but what you see in the news is generally more applicable to adults and doesn’t apply uniformly across all populations. ”

Vaughn examined the records of more than 230,450 adolescents between ages 12 and 17, which were collected by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health to estimate substance use and related behaviors. He found that in 2014, nearly 50 percent of the adolescents thought it was “probably impossible” to acquire heroin, compared to about 39 percent in 2002.

Full story of teens think getting heroin impossible at Science Daily

One in four teen e-cigarette users have tried ‘dripping’

Yale researchers found in a study that one in four high schoolers who use electronic cigarettes are inhaling vapors produced by dripping e-liquids directly onto heating coils, instead of inhaling from the e-cigarette mouthpiece, possibly increasing exposure to toxins and nicotine.

This form of e-cigarette use, known as “dripping,” is gaining in popularity among youth, who report it produces thicker clouds of vapor, a stronger hit in the back of the throat when inhaled, and a more pleasurable taste, according to the study, published online Feb. 6 in the journal Pediatrics.

Applying the liquid directly to the battery-powered coil heats it at a higher temperature than inhaling from a cartridge or tank, possibly increasing exposure to harmful chemicals like formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, and acrolein in the vapors, according to other existing research.

Full story of teen e-cigarettes and dripping at Science Daily