Oregon Voters to Decide on Legalization of Recreational Marijuana in November

The Oregon Secretary of State has certified that a petition campaign for a measure that would allow recreational marijuana for adults 21 and older has turned in enough valid signatures to qualify for the November ballot.

Under the proposal, a person could possess up to eight ounces of marijuana at home, and could cultivate up to four plants, USA Today reports. The measure would allow the Oregon Liquor Control Commission to oversee and regulate sales of recreational marijuana. If the initiative passes, sales would begin in January 2016.

Taxes on recreational marijuana would be set at $1.50 per gram or $35 per ounce. The funds would be used for schools, drug treatment programs, mental health programs and law enforcement, the article notes.

Full story of Oregon vote for marijuana legalization at drugfree.org

Recovery High Schools Show Promise, But Face Challenges

High schools designed to support students in recovery from substance use disorders show promise in helping students sustain their abstinence, but face a number of challenges, according to experts.

Recovery schools offer an alternative to students who have left their high school to deal with substance abuse issues. If they return to their regular high school after treatment, they often find that getting thrown back in with old friends quickly leads to relapse. Around the country, a small number of recovery high schools offer a safe and sober alternative for students struggling to avoid falling back into old harmful routines.

Full story of recovery efforts in high school at drugfree.org

Study: Heroin Addiction Treatment Should Include Inpatient and Outpatient Therapy

Treatment for heroin addiction is most effective if it includes both inpatient and outpatient therapy, according to a new study.

Researchers at Boston Medical Center compared two groups of patients addicted to heroin: those who started buprenorphine treatment while in the hospital and then were referred directly to an outpatient buprenorphine treatment program, and patients who took a tapered dose of buprenorphine in the hospital to help with withdrawal, but only received referral information about local community treatment programs. Buprenorphine is an opioid substitute used to treat opioid addiction. It helps curb opioid withdrawal symptoms.

Full story of heroin addiction treatment therapy at drugfree.org

Some Colleges Starting to Sell Beer at Stadiums to Increase Revenue

Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas is among the schools that will start to sell beer and wine at football games this fall, in an effort to increase revenue, according to USA Today.

The school sold beer during basketball season this past year, netting six figures over the course of 12 games, the article notes.

With school athletic departments looking at multimillion-dollar obligations in new player benefits, more schools may look at alcohol sales as a way of increasing revenue. “It seems like it’s going that way, and I think you’ll see more doing it,” said Virginia Tech Athletics Director Whit Babcock. “But it’s a cultural issue at a place of higher education where there’s a tradition (of not selling it). I don’t know that it will be one of the top things on my agenda. But as more people do it … I’ll definitely be watching.”

Full story of college beer sells at stadiums at drugfree.org

Biggest Risk Factor for Teens Taking Ecstasy: Use of Other Drugs

High school seniors who are most likely to take Ecstasy are those who use other drugs, researchers at New York University have found.

Overall, about 4.4 percent of high school seniors reported using Ecstasy within the last year, Newwise reports. Males are at particularly high risk for use. The drug is also known as “Molly,” “E” and “X,” the article notes. It has become popular at dance parties.

The findings, published in Substance Abuse and Misuse, are based on data from the Monitoring the Future nationwide annual study. About 15,000 high school seniors are included in the study each year. The study did not specifically ask about Molly. Since many teens may not realize Molly is another name for Ecstasy, more of them may be using the drug than the study indicates, the researchers noted.

Full story of teen risks taking ecstasy at drugfree.org