Substance Abuse Treatment Counselors Say Workplace Violence is Common

Counselors at substance use disorder treatment programs say violence against them is common, a new study finds. More than half said they personally experienced violence, 44 percent witnessed violence, and 61 percent had knowledge of violence directed at a colleague.

The study is the first to measure the extent of workplace violence in treatment programs across the United States, according to News-Medical.net.

“We know that workplace violence disproportionately impacts health care and social service providers,” lead author Brian E. Bride of George State University said in a news release. “Our goal was to quantify its existence in substance abuse treatment centers, identify personal and institutional responses, and identify any characteristics that may put counselors at greater risk.”

Full story of workplace violence and substance abuse at drugfree.org

Not Enough Evidence to Give Doctors Advice on Reducing Teens’ Drug Use: Expert Panel

A government panel said this week there is insufficient evidence about the best way for doctors to persuade children and teens not to use drugs.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, which issues guidelines for doctors, said they did not find enough reliable studies to base recommendations on, NPR reports. They reviewed studies on brief counseling sessions during an office visit, which is sometimes combined with computer-based screening. They also looked at studies of computer-based programs that children or teens access at home.

Full story on the drug expert panel at drugfree.org

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Facebook Infidelity Examined in New Research

Thanks to a new study by Texas Tech University researchers, treating infidelity among couples may change due to the unique aspect of social networking sites, specifically Facebook.

Using data from Facebookcheating.com, researchers found that although the stages of coping with online infidelity are unique, the infidelity itself creates similar emotional experiences for the partner who was cheated on.

“This is very important because there is a line of thought that if the infidelity was discovered online, or confined to online activity, then it shouldn’t be as painful,” said Jaclyn Cravens, a doctoral candidate in the Marriage & Family Therapy Program and lead author of the study.

During her master’s program clinical work, Cravens discovered many of her clients’ relationship issues stemmed from online infidelity thanks to an increasing number of people using social media sites, especially Facebook.

“Facebook already has changed the dynamics of relationships,” Cravens said. “We see when our ‘friends’ are getting into a relationship. We say a relationship isn’t ‘official’ until it’s ‘Facebook-official.'”

Full story of facebook infidelity at Science Daily

Beedie Savage – President of Quantum Units Education

Preventing Substance Use Disorders in People With Mental Illness

A researcher at Harvard Medical School is studying which substance use disorders are more common among people with different types of mental illness, and when they tend to develop. He hopes his research will one day be used to prevent drug and alcohol disorders among people with mental illness through early counseling, detection and treatment.

Ronald C. Kessler, PhD, the McNeil Family Professor of Health Care Policy at Harvard Medical School, is investigating at what age people tend to develop mental health problems and substance use disorders. “I am looking at when these problems develop, and at interventions to try to prevent a pileup of problems,” he says. “Often, when a person comes in for mental illness treatment, they already have several problems. For instance a young person with social phobias, depression or anxiety may start using alcohol to self-medicate, so by the time we see them, they have mental health issues and a drinking problem.”

At the recent American Psychiatric Association annual meeting, Dr. Kessler discussed his goal of reaching people with mental health issues before they develop alcohol or drug disorders, known as secondary prevention. “If a person comes in for treatment of depression, social phobia or anxiety, we need clinicians to warn them they may also be at high risk of substance use disorders because of self-medication. We need to look at children, adolescents and young adults being treated for mental illness, and examine their risk for substance use. Find out if they are using drugs or alcohol as a crutch, and if they aren’t, give them the tools to prevent them from starting. Clinicians don’t normally think this way.”

Full story of substance abuse in mental illness at DrugFree.org

Beedie Savage – President of Quantum Units Education