New Steps Pediatricians Can Take to Reduce Teen Substance Use

Pediatricians Can Reduce Teen Substance UseTeens who complete a five-minute computer screening program that includes six questions about alcohol and drug use, and who talk with their pediatrician briefly about the results, reduce their risk of drinking up to one year later, according to a new study.

Researchers at Boston Children’s Hospital studied more than 2,000 teens from New England and the Czech Republic. The teens completed the screening program, which asks six questions about alcohol and drug use, and then presents a score and risk level. The teens read through 10 pages with facts and stories that illustrate the serious health effects of substance use.

The teens’ doctors receive a report with the results, and a list of talking points for a two- to three- minute conversation about the risks involved in alcohol and drug use. They tell the teens it would be best for their health not to use alcohol or drugs at all.

Full story of teen substance abuse at DrugFree.org

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Facebook Can Negatively Affect Teens’ Substance Use Treatment, Study Suggests

Using Facebook and other social networking sites can negatively affect teenagers’ treatment for substance use disorders, a new study suggests.

Researchers administered a 20-question survey to 37 teens who were receiving substance abuse treatment at a behavioral health center in Los Angeles. Most reported marijuana as their drug of choice, followed by Ecstasy and methamphetamine, Psychiatric Times reports.

Almost all of the teens engaged in online social networking, with the majority using Facebook. While 44 percent of the teens said they posted drug-related content on the sites, 94 percent said their friends did, and 97 percent said their social networking friends used drugs.

Full story on substance abuse related to Facebook at Drugfree.org

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FTC Requires Major Alcohol Producers to Release Online Marketing Information

Major Alcohol Producers To Release Marketing InformationThe Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is requiring 14 major alcoholic beverage producers to provide information about their online marketing. The FTC will use the information for a study that will guide recommendations on how the alcohol industry should regulate itself, both online and offline.

The last time the FTC completed an alcohol marketing study was in 2008, using data from 2005, according to The Kansas City Star. That study found only 1.9 percent of alcohol marketing expenditures went toward Internet efforts.

The marketing landscape has changed dramatically since then, with a much greater emphasis on social media. For example, Bacardi has at least seven Facebook pages, with a total of 1.7 million fans, according to David Jernigan, Director of the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth at Johns Hopkins University’s Bloomberg School of Public Health. He notes that Captain Morgan Rum has a video game app for iPhones. Many companies connect with consumers through Twitter.

Full story of alcohol producers releasing marketing information at DrugFree.org

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Dopamine Impacts Your Willingness to Work

Slacker or go-getter? Everyone knows that people vary substantially in how hard they are willing to work, but the origin of these individual differences in the brain remains a mystery.

Now the veil has been pushed back by a new brain imaging study that has found an individual’s willingness to work hard to earn money is strongly influenced by the chemistry in three specific areas of the brain. In addition to shedding new light on how the brain works, the research could have important implications for the treatment of attention-deficit disorder, depression, schizophrenia and other forms of mental illness characterized by decreased motivation.

The study was published May 2 in the Journal of Neuroscience and was performed by a team of Vanderbilt scientists including post-doctoral student Michael Treadway and Professor of Psychology David Zald.

Full story of dopamine impacting work at Science Daily

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Quantum Units Education: New Online CEU Courses

Quantum Logo MediumCare of the Patient with MTBI
6 CEU Hours: $18.00

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a leading cause of disability worldwide. It is caused by a bump or blow to the head that affects how the brain normally works (National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, 2008). Because nurses are frequently the professionals who see the full impact of TBI and have the skills that can alter the course of a patient’s recovery, it is important for nurses to have a valuable resource to help them achieve the best possible outcomes.

Clients with Substance Abuse and Eating Disorders
2 CEU Hours: $6.00

SUD treatment counselors are in a good position to help their clients with undiagnosed EDs by being aware of the disorders, screening clients for EDs in the SUD treatment setting, and/or supporting their recovery from SUDs and EDs.

Perspectives in Alzheimer Science
7 CEU Hours: $21.00

This course highlights current research in the Science of Alzheimer’s with particular focus on biomarkers and their role in the early detection and diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease and the influence of lifestyle factors such as exercise and diet in modifying ones’ risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

More information of new online courses at Quantum Units Education