New Products Similar to E-Cigarettes are Attracting Teens

A growing number of teens are starting to use devices that are similar to e-cigarettes, with names such as “hookah pens,” “e-hookahs” or “vape pens.” The devices are being marketed to avoid the stigma associated with smoking any kind of cigarette, The New York Times reports.

The new devices are colorful and come in candy flavors, but are otherwise almost identical to e-cigarettes, according to the article. Like e-cigarettes, they have nicotine and other chemicals, which are unregulated.

Full story on teen addicting products at drugfree.org

Teens Who Consume Energy Drinks May Be More Likely to Use Alcohol and Drugs: Study

A new study suggests teens who consume high-caffeine energy drinks such as Monster or Red Bull may be more likely to use alcohol, drugs or cigarettes.

The study included almost 22,000 students in grades 8, 10 and 12, HealthDay reports. The researchers found 30 percent said they drank high-caffeine energy drinks or shots, while more than 40 percent drank regular soft drinks daily, and 20 percent drank diet soda daily. Teens who consumed energy drinks were two to three times more likely to admit recently using drugs, alcohol or cigarettes, compared with teens who didn’t consume energy drinks.

Full story of energy drinks and drug relation at drugfree.org

Internet Drinking Game Called “Neknomination” Proves Deadly in Britain

An Internet drinking game called “Neknomination” reportedly led to the death of two young men in Britain this week, according to ABC News. In the game, a person quickly drinks a concoction of alcohol, sometimes mixed with other ingredients, then nominates two other people to do something even more outrageous. The results are posted online.

The drinks can include ingredients such as protein powder or even engine oil. Some participants have performed back flips and other athletic feats while drunk, or have been drinking while driving. The game started in Australia, and has become popular in Britain. This week, Canadian newspapers have begun to report the game is catching on there.

Full story on internet drinking game at drugfree.org

Commentary: New Project Aims to Address Adolescent Substance Use Through Technology

Teenagers spend a massive amount of time interacting with modern technology tools – and for good reason! Technology these days holds the key to not just instant entertainment, but to new found experiences, education and perspective on the world around us. If anyone knows technology best, it’s teens, and their powerful ability to interact with social media, video games and the Internet operates faster than many of us can keep up.

Technology is the driving force behind the Treatment Research Institute’s (TRI) latest project being funded by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. Through a $3 million grant and clinical partnership with Phoenix House Foundation, TRI is preparing to implement and evaluate Screening, Briefing Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) in New York high schools later this year. SBIRT is an evidence-based practice that consists of screening for risky substance use, followed by a brief motivational intervention, and when necessary, referral to treatment. Decades of research in medical settings has shown that this practice can significantly delay onset and reduce use of alcohol and other drugs.

Full commentary on adolescent substance use at drugfree.org

Adderall Abuse Increases Among High School Students

The University of Michigan’s Monitoring The Future (MTF), an annual survey tracking teen drug abuse among eighth-, 10th- and 12th- graders, shows an increase in the abuse of the prescription medicine Adderall among high school seniors in the U.S. over the past few years. Adderall is a prescribed stimulant that is commonly used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD.

According to MTF, the past-year non-medical use of Adderall among American high school seniors has been steadily increasing since 2009 when abuse rates were 5.4 percent. In 2010 and 2011, past year Adderall abuse increased to 6.5 percent among 12th-graders, continued increasing to 7.6 percent in 2012 and is now at 7.4 percent in 2013.

Full story of increased adderall use in high school at drugfree.org