Parents have critical role in preventing teen drinking

Fewer Australian teenagers are drinking alcohol but more needs to be done to curb the drinking habits of Aussie students, based on the findings of the latest study by Adelaide researchers.

More than 2800 Australian students aged 12-17 took part in a survey of drinking behaviour, conducted by researchers from the University of Adelaide’s School of Psychology and the Population Health group at the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI).

The results of the study, now published in the journal BMC Public Health, provide a snapshot of the prevalence of alcohol consumption among students, and the factors that most influence their drinking behaviour. This research has been supported by Cancer Council SA and SA Government.

Full story at Science Daily

Heavy drinking during adolescence: Dire effects on the brain

What would a celebration be without alcohol, whether we are talking about a private or professional event? Drinking alcohol, is a well-engrained and long-standing social habit in many countries around the world, even though the fact that alcohol has an impact on one’s health is largely established, especially when it comes to heavy drinking. In particular, adolescents are known to enjoy their drinking games and nights-out without worrying much about the effects alcohol can have on their health. In fact, drinking in high quantities is common during adolescence with nearly 25% of high school seniors in the US reporting that they got drunk in the last 30 days.

The effects of heavy drinking among young people on the brain have been looked at closely in a mini review published in Frontiers in Psychology by Anita Cservenka, Assistant Professor at Oregon State University et.al.

Full story at Science Daily

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