Research

Is Mass-Media Effective for Drug Prevention?

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Mass-media can be a great means for sharing knowledge and information. A study recently published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) aimed to determine whether such channels are successful in reducing the intention to use, and the consumption of, illegal drugs. In a systematic review of existing mass-media drug usage prevention campaigns, the study found mixed levels of effectiveness.

The Internet and Alcoholism

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The prevalence of binge drinking is highest amongst 18- to 24-year-olds. In the United States around 1,800 college students die from unintentional alcohol-related injuries each year. Given the growth of the Internet in the last twenty years or so, online intervention programmes can provide added benefits compared to traditional methods of health promotion.

What Are Teens Vaping?

Citation
Richard Miech, Megan E Patrick, Patrick M O'Malley, Lloyd D Johnston. "What Are Kids Vaping? Results from a National Survey of US Adolescents. Tobacco Control 2016: 10.

The use of e-cigarettes, also known as vaping, has become more popular among teens in recent years and has caused concern over a rise in nicotine intake among young people. In order to learn more about the percentage of nicotine consumption among e-cigarette users, a survey asked American students about the substances that they used when vaping.

Teen Athletes and Opioid Use

Citation
Philip Veliz, Carol J. Boyd, Sean Esteban McCabe. Nonmedical Prescription Opioid and Heroin Use Among Adolescents Who Engage in Sports and Exercise. Pediatrics 2016: 10.1542.

Previous research has shown that young athletes might be at greater risk of nonmedical prescription opioid use due to injuries. However, a new study found that sports participation might act as a protective factor against opioid as well as heroin use. Young people who engaged in sports and exercise were less likely to use opioids without a doctor’s prescription. They were also less likely to use heroin compared to their non-athlete peers.

Teen Alcohol and Marijuana Use Affects School Performance and Mental Health

Citation
D'Amico, E. J., Tucker, J. S., Miles, J. N. V., Ewing, B. A., Shih, R. A., and Pedersen, E. R. Alcohol and Marijuana Use Trajectories in a Diverse Longitudinal Sample of Adolescents: Examining Use Patterns from Age 11 to 17 Years. Addiction 2016: 10.1111.

According to a recent study, students who smoke marijuana and drink alcohol tend to get lower grades and have poorer mental health. Marijuana users were also more likely to engage in delinquent behaviour and were less prepared for school. A group of researchers surveyed more than 6,000 Californian students from 16 different schools over a period of seven years. They also found differences in outcomes across ethnicities.

Students' Mental Health Disorders Linked to Higher Rates of Drug Use

A new study offers a glimpse into the link between mental health disorders and drug use among secondary school students in Brazil. Researchers at Columbia University and the Federal University of São Paulo found that students with symptoms of a mental illness were more likely to use alcohol, tobacco and marijuana in the past month than those without symptoms.

Underage Drinking Influenced by Alcohol Marketing

Citation
Avalon de Bruijn, Jacqueline Tanghe, Rebecca de Leeuw, Rutger Engels, Peter Anderson, Franca Beccaria, Michał Bujalski, Corrado Celata, Jordy Gosselt, Dirk Schreckenberg, Luiza Słodownik, Jördis Wothge, Wim van Dalen. European longitudinal study on the relationship between adolescents’ alcohol marketing exposure and alcohol use. Addiction, 2016; DOI: 10.1111.

A new study has found that exposure to alcohol marketing increases the amount and frequency of drinking among young people across Europe. More than 9,000 students in the Netherlands, Germany, Italy and Poland provided information about their alcohol intake as well as their exposure to a variety of alcohol marketing (e.g. television ads, online marketing, sponsorship of sports, music events, ownership of alcohol branded promotional items, recei

Addiction as a Brain Disease

Citation
Nora D. Volkow, George F. Koob, and A. Thomas McLellan. Neurobiologic Advances from the Brain Disease Model of Addiction. N Engl J Med 2016; 374: 363-371.

Even though scientific advances over the past decades have supported the concept of addiction as a brain disease, skepticism remains. Recent research has aimed to reinforce the link between addiction and brain functions and broaden the understanding of addiction as a brain disease. A team of leading researchers has shown that regular drug use can lead to:

Study Links Medical Marijuana Dispensaries to Reduced Mortality From Opioid Overdose

Citation
National Institute on Drug Abuse. Study Links Medical Marijuana Dispensaries to Reduced Mortality From Opioid Overdose Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/news-events/nida-notes/2016/05/study-links-medical-marijuana-dispensaries-to-reduced-mortality-opioid-overdose on July 3, 2016
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During the past 2 decades, nearly half of U.S. states implemented policies that sanction marijuana use for medical purposes. Researchers have been hard put, however, to draw firm conclusions about the policies’ public health ramifications. Now, NIDA-supported researchers have found that providing legal and practical access to marijuana may have both positive and negative impacts.

Long-term follow-up of patients treated with buprenorphine/naloxone

Citation
Eric Sarlin, M.Ed., M.A., NIDA Notes Contributing Writer, National Institute on Drug Abuse

In the first long-term follow-up of patients treated with buprenorphine/naloxone (Bp/Nx) for addiction to opioid pain relievers, half reported that they were abstinent from the drugs 18 months after starting the therapy. After 3.5 years, the portion who reported being abstinent had risen further, to 61 percent, and fewer than 10 percent met diagnostic criteria for dependence on the drugs.

Latest UK drug related deaths statistics

Citation
Office of National Statistics
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On 3rd September 2015, the UK's Office of National Statistics released a Statistical Bulletin Deaths related to drug poisoning in England and Wales, 2014 registrations. The report's main points included a number of serious statistics demonstrating increases, with the total registered drug poisoning deaths reaching 3,346, the highest since records began in 1993. The report states: