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

Teen Use of Marijuana Increased in Washington – But Not Colorado – After Legalization

Teen use of marijuana rose in Washington state after the drug was legalized for adults 21 and older, a new study finds. In Colorado, legalization had no impact on marijuana use by teens, CBS News reports.

The findings come from a study published in JAMA Pediatrics.

In Washington, since 2012, marijuana use among eighth graders has increased by 2 percent and among tenth graders by 4.1 percent. In Colorado there was no increase in marijuana use among teens. The conflicting results suggest a need for more research on the impact of marijuana legalization on teens, said study co-author Magdalena Cerda.

Full story of increased teen marijuana use in Washington at drugfree.org

Drug and Alcohol Use Among Teens at Lowest Rate Since 1990s: Study

American teens’ use of drugs, alcohol and tobacco has declined to the lowest rate since the 1990s, according to an annual nationwide study.

The Monitoring the Future study found marijuana use declined this year among 8th- and 10th graders, but remains flat among 12th graders, USA Today reports.

Full story of teen drug and alcohol use at drugfree.org

Teens Who Use E-Cigarettes Often More Likely to Become Regular Smokers

A new study finds teens who often use e-cigarettes are more likely to become regular smokers and to smoke many cigarettes a day.

The study included 3,084 Los Angeles teens who participated in surveys in the fall and spring of tenth grade, Reuters reports. They were asked whether they had tried e-cigarettes, and if so, how often. They were also asked about regular cigarette use. The researchers found more frequent vaping was associated with smoking two or more cigarettes on the days teens chose to smoke.

Full story of e-cigarettes as gateway to regular cigarettes at drugfree.org