Marijuana use amongst youth stable, but substance abuse admissions up

While marijuana use amongst youth remains stable, youth admission to substance abuse treatment facilities has increased, according to new research from Binghamton University, State University of New York.

Miesha Marzell, assistant professor of social work at Binghamton University, along with researchers at The University of Iowa, did a secondary analysis of data collected from every nationally funded substance abuse treatment facility in the United States from 2003-2013. The data covered admissions before and after major marijuana policies were enacted nationwide. The team’s analysis showed that while marijuana use amongst youth has remained relatively unchanged, admissions to substance abuse treatment facilities has increased.

“Teens were being admitted to substance abuse treatment centers across the United States, but they were not necessarily indicating that their marijuana use was at a high-risk,” said Marzell.

Full story at Medical Xpress

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Women Who Inject Drugs: Risks, Experiences, and Needs

Women who inject drugs have substantially different needs and face higher risks of disease and violence than do men who inject drugs.  This CE course seeks to illuminate the many reasons a focus on drug-injecting women is important, including their significantly higher mortality rates, increased likelihood of facing injecting-related problems, faster progression from first use to dependence, higher rates of HIV, increased risky injection and/or sexual risk behaviors.

Prevention of Youth Violence and Risk Associated Behaviors

Youth violence is a significant public health problem that affects thousands of young people each day, and in turn, their families, schools, and communities.  This CEU course includes programs, practices, and policies with evidence of impact on youth violence victimization, perpetration, and risk or protective factors for youth violence.

Pharmacological Management of Schizophrenia

This CEU course provides recommendations for treatment of inmates in federal facilities who are diagnosed with chronic psychotic disorders.

Child Welfare and Human Trafficking

Often, the lack of stability in a child’s living situation, physical distance from friends and family, and emotional vulnerability put them at risk for traffickers who are actively seeking children and teens to exploit.  This CEU course provides a broad overview of the crossover between the child welfare field and the work currently being done to prevent and respond to human trafficking of children and youth in the United States.

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First secondhand smoke, now secondhand harm from drinking

It’s no secret that university life often includes alcohol use, which can sometimes cause harm. Yet harm can also extend beyond the drinker, such as “secondhand harm” that is caused by intoxicated people: accidents or domestic, physical, or sexual violence; interrupted sleep or property destruction; and arguments, problems with relationships, or financial problems. Prior research suggests that more than 70 percent of college undergraduates have experienced harm from other students’ drinking. This study examined the prevalence and types of secondhand harm among Canadian undergraduates, and whether certain personality risks for alcohol use disorder — impulsivity, sensation seeking, hopelessness, anxiety sensitivity — can predict secondhand-harm exposure.

Researchers administered an online survey to 1,537 first-year Canadian undergraduates (two-thirds of whom were women) during 2015. Problematic alcohol use was measured by the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) and personality was measured by the Substance Use Risk Profile Scale (SURPS). The 11 secondhand-harm choices given to students ranged from “interrupted your studies” to “sexually harassed/insulted you.”

Full story at Science Daily

Newly discovered pathway for pain processing could lead to new treatments

The discovery of a new biological pathway involved in pain processing offers hope of using existing cancer drugs to replace the use of opioids in chronic pain treatment, according to scientists at McGill University.

Because many therapeutic options, such as opioids, for patients with chronic pain carry the risk of addiction and undesirable side effects, this breakthrough offers promising lines of research into chronic pain treatment, says Luda Diatchenko, professor at McGill’s Faculty of Dentistry and co-lead author of the new study

The scientists discovered that EGFR blockers, routinely given to lung cancer patients to inhibit tumour growth, were as potent analgesics as morphine in mouse models of inflammatory and chronic pain.

Full story at Science Daily

Survey Finds Many Doctors Underprescribing Buprenorphine

Doctors are underprescribing the opioid addiction medicine buprenorphine, according to a new survey of addiction specialists.

Buprenorphine can be used to treat opioid addiction in the privacy of a doctor’s office. Doctors who prescribe the medication must have a waiver allowing them to do so. Until recently, doctors with waivers could prescribe buprenorphine to 100 patients. This year, the cap was raised to 275, HealthDay reports. More than half of the doctors with a waiver said they were not currently prescribing the buprenorphine to capacity, according to the survey, which was presented at the American Psychological Association annual meeting.

Full story at drugfree.org