NCADD-SD News & Blog

News and Information from NCADD-SD and it national partner

FDA Requests Removal of Opana ER For Risks Related To Abuse

FDA Requests Removal of Opana ER For Risks Related To Abuse

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration requested that Endo Pharmaceuticals remove its opioid pain medication, reformulated Opana ER (oxymorphone hydrochloride), from the market.

After careful consideration, the agency is seeking removal based on its concern that the benefits of the drug may no longer outweigh its risks. This is the first time the agency has taken steps to remove a currently marketed opioid pain medication from sale due to the public health consequences of abuse.

The FDA’s decision is based on a review of all available postmarketing data, which demonstrated a significant shift in the route of abuse of Opana ER from nasal to injection following the product’s reformulation. Injection abuse of reformulated Opana ER has been associated with a serious outbreak of HIV and hepatitis C, as well as cases of a serious blood disorder (thrombotic microangiopathy).

This decision follows a March 2017 FDA advisory committee meeting where a group of independent experts voted 18-8 that the benefits of reformulated Opana ER no longer outweigh its risks.

The FDA has requested that the company voluntarily remove reformulated Opana ER from the market. Should the company choose not to remove the product, the agency intends to take steps to formally require its removal by withdrawing approval. In the interim, the FDA is making health care professionals and others aware of the particularly serious risks associated with the abuse of this product.

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Governor Takes Steps to Protect Healthcare Coverage and Equity in NY

Governor Takes Steps to Protect Healthcare Coverage and Equity in NY

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo recently took steps to protect the health care of New Yorkers in the context of uncertainty about the future of federal health reform.

The Governor’s actions will help ensure that New York does not return to a time when insurers could discriminate against people on the basis of race, gender or previous heath conditions.

The emergency regulations issued by Governor Cuomo require that all insurers participating in the New York Health Exchange, Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Programs retain core consumer protections included in the Affordable Care Act. These protections are stripped away under the version of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) passed by the House of Representatives on May 4th, which is currently being considered in the Senate.

The current version of the AHCA proposes to remove or relax consumer protections, including the requirement that insurers cover ten ‘essential health benefits’ in all plans. These essential health benefits include coverage for certain services that were previously excluded from many health plans, including substance use and mental health treatment. The legislation would also allow plans to deny coverage to individuals with pre-existing or complex health conditions.

Paul Samuels President and Director of the Legal Action Center says, “These protections are particularly critical to ensuring coverage for vulnerable New Yorkers, especially those with substance use disorders or other complex health needs.” He adds, “As we continue to face an unprecedented epidemic of opioid addiction and overdose deaths in New York and across the nation, protecting access to treatment is absolutely critical to saving lives and addressing this public health crisis.”

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NCADD-SFV Takes on Every 15 Minutes

NCADD-SFV Takes on Every 15 Minutes

The number of DUI related auto deaths in the United States on a yearly basis is alarming. It is only when we begin to look at the daily statistics and the ones that involve high school age kids, that it becomes very clear that we have a huge problem.

About 18 months ago we started the planning process with Birmingham Community Charter High School in taking part in the “Every 15 Minutes” Program.

Birmingham Charter HS Parents and StudentsThe program, which is funded and sponsored by The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence of the San Fernando Valley, Inc. (NCADD-SFV) and local CHP and law enforcement agencies, is an educational tool that is used to make high school aged students more aware of the impact that drinking and driving has on their communities. This “real-life” experience consists of a staged announcement of the loss of student lives, followed by a staged and very realistic DUI accident resulting in massive injuries and fatalities in front of the entire student body. This staged collision involves law enforcement and emergency assistance teams such as fire and paramedics as they run through a complete rescue and recovery procedure.

The program was designed to evoke raw and real emotion from students as they are challenged to think about the potential consequences of drinking and driving. While the process can seem brutal and harsh for the students, the CHP feels that witnessing these events allow students to understand the cause and effect of drinking and driving.

“We were beyond honored that Birmingham Community Charter High School was interested in hosting the event. “This was a great opportunity to not only educate everyone on the dangers of drinking and driving.

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LICADD Does It Again...Tee Off For Teens Is A Success!

LICADD Does It Again...Tee Off For Teens Is A Success!

On May 23, 2017 LICADD hosted 88 golfers at the beautiful Maidstone Club in East Hampton. The weather cooperated with mild temperatures and a sun-filled sky resulting in a great day for the Tee Off For Our Teens Invitational.

Pictured in main image: Tony Fromer, Rich Warren, Mitch Robbins and past LICADD Board Chair, Jeff Capazzi. Pictured here: Alan Herzog, David Simson, Don Ross, and past Board Chair, Bill Baum This special day of golf raised awareness and over $100,000 to support Long Island's adolescent population from Elmont to Montauk.

Teens across Long Island are facing the fight of their lives as they are bombarded with media messages and social interactions promoting unhealthy choices. "We are in the midst of an opioid epidemic reaching the highest numbers of drug-related overdose ever experienced on Long Island. Prevention education and counseling services for both adolescents and their families is a vital component to slow or stop overdose rates from increasing even more," says LICADD Executive Director Steve Chassman, LCSW, CASAC.

The stories of families who are desperately struggling to save their children from the epidemic of alcohol, marijuana, prescription drugs and heroin that is sweeping our communities is all too familiar.

LICADD's evidence-based education and prevention programs are a lifeline, providing parents, teachers, children and young adults with effective solutions. By reaching out to our children in their early years with effective prevention, we can help end the cycle of addiction.Pictured are LICADD Executive Director, Steve Chassman and Past Board Chair, Alfred Devendorf

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Drug Thefts at VA Hospitals Continue, Despite New Prevention Efforts

Drug Thefts at VA Hospitals Continue, Despite New Prevention Efforts

Drug thefts by employees at Departments of Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals are continuing, despite new prevention efforts, according to data obtained by the Associated Press.

Dozens of new criminal investigations have been launched by federal authorities into possible thefts of opioids and other drugs by VA employees. Thirty-six cases were opened by the VA Inspector General’s office from October 1 through May 19, the article notes. There are a total of 108 open criminal investigations involving missing prescriptions, theft or unauthorized drug use.

The VA announced new efforts in February to combat drug thefts, including more inspections, employee drug tests and more internal audits. “We have a zero-tolerance policy regarding drug theft,” Poonam Alaigh, VA’s Acting Undersecretary for Health, told the AP. “We have security protocols in place and will continue to work hard to improve it.”

Original linkOriginal author: Ezra
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Express Scripts Sues Maker of Injectable Naloxone

Express Scripts Sues Maker of Injectable Naloxone

The prescription management company Express Scripts is suing the maker of the injectable naloxone drug Evzio.

The price of the drug, which reverses opioid overdoses, quintupled last year.

Express Scripts claims it is owed more than $14.5 million in fees and rebates related to Evzio, which is made by the drug company Kaléo. Evzio is no longer on Express Scripts’ preferred drug list, The New York Times reports.

Kaléo said the price increase was meant to cover the cost of a new patient-assistance program that decreases the out-of-pocket costs for patients who cannot afford the drug. The company covers all out-of-pocket costs for patients with private insurance. For uninsured patients making less than $100,000 per year, the company offers Evzio at no cost.

Critics say these programs increase the price of drugs because they leave insurance companies to pay most of the costs, particularly when a less expensive version is available. Other forms of naloxone are available at much lower prices.

Original linkOriginal author: Ezra
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Canadian Teens Admit to Riding With Driver Who Had Been Drinking

Canadian Teens Admit to Riding With Driver Who Had Been Drinking

A new study finds more than 35 percent of Canadian high school students admit to having been in a car with a driver who had been drinking, while 20 percent reported ever riding with a driver who had been using marijuana.

“These numbers are concerning,” said study author Leia Minaker of the University of Waterloo. “A significant proportion of car-crash deaths are related to alcohol and drug impairment.”

The findings come from a national survey of almost 25,000 students, HealthDay reports. The survey found 9 percent of students in grades 11 and 12 have driven within an hour of drinking. More than 9 percent have driven after having used marijuana.

The findings are published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal Open.

Original linkOriginal author: Ezra
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NIH Announces Partnerships With Drug Companies to Create New Addiction Treatments

NIH Announces Partnerships With Drug Companies to Create New Addiction Treatments

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) will partner with drug companies to spur research on new treatments for opioid addiction and pain medications that are not addictive, according to The Wall Street Journal.

In an article in the New England Journal of Medicine, NIH Director Francis S. Collins and Nora D. Volkow, Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, said the NIH will join with drug companies to launch an initiative in three scientific areas: developing better overdose-reversal and prevention interventions to reduce mortality, saving lives for future treatment and recovery; finding new, innovative medications and technologies to treat opioid addiction; and finding safe, effective, nonaddictive interventions to manage chronic pain.

Collins and Volkow called for stronger versions of the opioid overdose antidote naloxone to counteract painkillers such as fentanyl and carfentanil, which are much more potent than heroin.

Original linkOriginal author: Ezra
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Trump’s Budget Cuts Run Counter to His Promises to Battle Addiction

Trump’s Budget Cuts Run Counter to His Promises to Battle Addiction

Family members of young people who have struggled with or died from opioid addiction say President Trump’s budget proposal, which would reduce funding for addiction treatment, runs counter to his promises to help solve the problem, the Associated Press reports.

The proposed budget would shrink spending for Medicaid, which covers an estimated three in 10 adults with opioid addiction. The budget is unlikely to be approved as written, the article notes.

The Republican health care bill passed by the House would allow states to weaken a requirement that private insurance cover addiction treatment. The Congressional Budget Office estimates a patient’s cost of substance abuse treatment could increase by thousands of dollars a year in states that have chosen to reduce coverage requirements.

“Inside I’m screaming,” Sandra Chavez of Sacramento, California, who lost her 24-year-old son, Jeffrey, to a blood infection related to his injection drug use, told the AP. “We’re going backward with Donald Trump’s plan.”

Original linkOriginal author: Ezra
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Hope & Healing for Chautauqua

Hope & Healing for Chautauqua

A day of presentations, speakers and addiction resources for the community was held on May 16, 2017 at the Chautauqua Suites in Mayville, NY.

The event was open to the public and free of charge. Speakers included Vince Horrigan, County Executive, Christine Schuyler, BSN, RN, MHA, Chautauqua County Director of Health & Human Services (Commissioner of Social Services/Public Health Director), Andrew O'Brien, CASAC, UPMC Chautauqua WCA Director, Chemical Dependency and Outpatient Mental Health, Keynote: Rodney Wambeam, PhD "Boomers, Xers and Millennials: How New Research on Generations Can Inform the Future of Prevention", Level Up Talks - Micro presentations about Prevention, Treatment & Recovery ideas with the potential to "level up" hope and healing in Chautauqua County!

Morning and Afternoon Breakout Session topics were: HOPE Youth Empowerment Program for Youth Advocacy-Laurie Reynolds & Tracy Jespersen, Chautauqua Alcohol & Substance Abuse Council; Planning and Evaluating Environmental Prevention Efforts, Rodney Wambeam, Ph.D.; Success in Treatment and Recovery with Lifestyle Changes, Dr. Davina Moss-King; Peer Specialists & Peer Recovery Supports, Kia Briggs, Mental Health Association and Pastor Steve Kilburn, Addiction Response Ministry; and the Winged Ox Players presented scenes from the "Least Resistance" play. Help, Information, & Resource Tables were also available throughout the day.

The Addiction Epidemic: Hope & Healing for Chautauqua Overview, continued on Wednesday, May 17 3:00-4:00 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church in Dunkirk.

A presentation of resources available for prevention, treatment and recovery in Northern Chautauqua County was followed by an Opioid Overdose Response/Narcan Training by Alison Espin.

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LICADD's 30th Annual Angel Ball - The Discovery of Recovery

LICADD's 30th Annual Angel Ball - The Discovery of Recovery

A Celebration of Possibility, Hope and Promise

The Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (LICADD) celebrated the 30th Annual Angel Ball.

Over 330 LICADD supporters and friends came together to note a year of milestones in the addiction and recovery arena. The filled to capacity crowd, raised over $300,000 enabling LICADD to continue its important and vital work of service, support, prevention education and advocacy.

At the height of an opioid crisis on Long Island, this successful event was a positive stride in the fight to support those individuals and their families who struggle with substance abuse.

The Angel Ball paid a heart-felt tribute to the late Adele C. Smithers. A good friend and advocate for LICADD, she has been dubbed the "Mother" of research, education, prevention Adele Smithersand recovery in the field of alcohol abuse and drug dependence. Her guidance, leadership and generosity will remain guiding principles for LICADD, as the agency furthers its 61-year mission for years to come.

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Family Can Play Lifesaving Role in Overdoses by Using Naloxone

Family Can Play Lifesaving Role in Overdoses by Using Naloxone

Family members can be active participants in responding to the overdose epidemic by rescuing loved ones with the opioid overdose antidote naloxone, a new study finds.

Boston University researchers studied almost 41,000 people who underwent naloxone training, and found family members used the antidote in about 20 percent of 4,373 rescue attempts.

Almost all the attempts were successful, HealthDay reports.

“Families are willing participants in this fight against overdose deaths, and more should be done to involve them as allies,” lead researcher Sarah Bagley said.The study appears in Drug and Alcohol Review.

Original linkOriginal author: Ezra
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Police Officer Accidentally Overdoses on Fentanyl While on the Job

Police Officer Accidentally Overdoses on Fentanyl While on the Job

A police officer in Ohio accidentally overdosed on fentanyl while on the job, NBC News reports.

He was recovering, but reportedly “still miserable” several days later.

Patrolman Chris Green was at the police station after having searched the car of two suspected drug dealers. A colleague pointed out some white powder on Green’s shirt. Green brushed it off with his bare hand. About an hour later, he passed out. It took four doses of the opioid overdose antidote naloxone (Narcan) to revive him, the article notes.

According to East Liverpool Police Chief John Lane, Green had used gloves and a mask to search the car, but had taken them off before he brushed the powder off. “He did this without thinking,” Lane said. “I’m not sure he even realized this was drugs.”

Original linkOriginal author: Ezra
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Bill to Protect Drug Control Office from Sweeping Budget Cuts Introduced

Bill to Protect Drug Control Office from Sweeping Budget Cuts Introduced

Two senators have introduced a bill that would protect the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) from sweeping budget cuts proposed by the Trump Administration, according to the Associated Press.

The White House is proposing a cut of 94 percent to ONDCP’s budget, an e-mail to agency employees by Acting Director Richard Baum revealed. He asked employees not to share the information, but the e-mail was quickly leaked. The proposed budget fully eliminates several programs involved in fighting the opioid epidemic.

New Hampshire U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan introduced a bill that would reauthorize the office, increase funding for programs, and streamline ONDCP to ensure efficient use of resources.

“The Trump Administration’s proposal to effectively eliminate the ONDCP is not fiscally responsible, it’s dangerous and would significantly roll back our efforts to stem the tide of this crisis,” Hassan said in a news release.

Original linkOriginal author: Ezra
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Millions of Americans Drink Alcohol at Dangerously High Levels

Millions of Americans Drink Alcohol at Dangerously High Levels

Nearly 32 million adults in the United States (13 percent of the U.S. population aged 18 and older) consumed more than twice the number of drinks considered binge drinking on at least one occasion, according to a 2013 survey that asked about past-year drinking. This higher level of drinking is associated with increased health and safety risks.

A report of the findings is online in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. The study was conducted by researchers at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), part of the National Institutes of Health.

Binge drinking, defined as having four or more drinks on an occasion for women, or five or more drinks on an occasion for men, can produce blood alcohol levels greater than 0.08 percent, which is the legal limit for driving in the United States. Reaching this level is well known to increase the risk of harms to the drinker and others. However, evidence suggests that many people drink far beyond four or five drinks per occasion, defined as extreme binge drinking. The current study analyzed three levels of past-year binge drinking - Levels I, II, and III. These levels were defined as four to seven drinks, eight to 11 drinks, and 12 or more drinks on a single occasion for women; and five to nine drinks, 10-14 drinks, and 15 or more drinks on a single occasion for men.

The researchers found that in the 2012–2013 survey, 39 percent of adult males and 27 percent of adult females reported Level I binge drinking during the previous year. Eleven percent of males reported Level II binge drinking (two times the binge drinking threshold for adult males) at least once in the past year, and 7 percent reported Level III binge drinking (three times the binge threshold) at least once in the past year. Five percent of females reported Level II binge drinking (two times the binge drinking threshold for adult females) at least once in the past year, and 3 percent reported Level III binge drinking (three times the binge threshold) at least once in the past year.

After controlling for age, race, sex, marital status, education, drug use, and smoking, compared to people who did not binge drink, people who drank at the various binge levels were much more likely to experience an alcohol-related emergency department visit; have an alcohol use disorder; be injured because of drinking; be arrested or have legal problems resulting from alcohol use; or be the driver in an alcohol-related traffic crash. Compared to non-binge-drinkers, Level I binge drinkers were 13 times more likely, Level II binge drinkers were 70 times more likely, and Level III binge drinkers were 93 times more likely, to have an alcohol-related emergency department visit.

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Leaked E-mail Indicates White House Proposes Slashing Drug Policy Office Budget

Leaked E-mail Indicates White House Proposes Slashing Drug Policy Office Budget

The White House is proposing a cut of 94 percent to the budget of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), according to an e-mail to agency employees by Acting Director Richard Baum.

He asked employees not to share the information, but the e-mail was quickly leaked, NPR reports.

The proposed budget fully eliminates several programs involved in fighting the opioid epidemic, the article notes.

Senator Rob Portman of Ohio, who co-sponsored the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, which was signed by President Obama last year, sent a letter to Office of Management & Budget Director Mick Mulvaney urging the Trump Administration to reconsider cuts to the ONDCP. “We have a heroin and prescription drug crisis in this country, and we should be supporting efforts to reverse this tide, not proposing drastic cuts to those who serve on the front lines of this epidemic,” he said in a statement.

Original linkOriginal author: Ezra
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Colleges Addressing Opioid Crisis With Naloxone and Recovery Programs

Colleges Addressing Opioid Crisis With Naloxone and Recovery Programs

Colleges are addressing the opioid crisis by distributing the opioid overdose antidote naloxone and adding on-campus recovery programs, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Students have died from opioid overdoses at many campuses, including Queens University of Charlotte in North Carolina; Washington State University and Columbus State Community College in Ohio.

Adapt Pharma announced last month it would offer 40,000 free doses of its brand of naloxone, called Narcan, to colleges nationwide.

So far 60 schools have contacted the company about their offer.

The University of Texas at Austin stocks naloxone at the front desk of residence halls, and Idaho State University and Indiana University of Pennsylvania recently offered naloxone training. Campus Police at the State University of New York at Geneseo have been carrying naloxone since 2014.

Original linkOriginal author: Ezra
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NIAAA Introduces a Strategic Plan for 2017-2011

NIAAA Introduces a Strategic Plan for 2017-2011

Alcohol is part of our society. People use it to celebrate, socialize, relax, and enhance the enjoyment of meals. Nearly 90 percent of adults in the United States report that they drank alcohol at some point in their lifetime, and more than half report drinking in the last month. Although most people drink in moderation, nearly 40 percent of U.S. adults drink in excess of the low-risk guidelines established by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA).

Alcohol misuse has wide-ranging adverse consequences. In the United States, nearly 88,000 people per year die from alcohol-related causes globally, alcohol accounts for 3.3 million deaths—5.9 percent of all deaths—each year. Alcohol misuse also contributes to poor performance at school and work; family problems; unprotected sex and sexually transmitted diseases; violence; memory blackouts; unintentional injuries, accidents, and overdoses; and organ damage and disease. It can lead to alcohol use disorder (AUD), a serious chronic condition that affects nearly 16 million people in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that alcohol misuse, including AUD, costs the United States $249 billion per year due to health care expenses, lost workplace productivity, crime, property damage, and other outcomes.

NIAAA, a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), is the largest funder of alcohol research in the world. For nearly five decades, NIAAA’s extramural research program has supported a diverse portfolio of innovative investigator-initiated research to elucidate the effects of alcohol on health and reduce the burden of alcohol misuse for individuals at all stages of life. This work is complemented by a robust intramural research program that leverages the state-of-the-art resources available at NIH to advance high-risk, high-reward studies in key areas of alcohol science. In addition, through the Collaborative Research on Addiction at NIH (CRAN) initiative, NIAAA is partnering with the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Cancer Institute to integrate resources and expertise across NIH to develop a comprehensive, well integrated understanding of substance use, misuse, and addiction that considers the common and distinctive features of addictive substances and substance use disorders (SUDs).

Research supported by NIAAA has spurred tremendous progress in identifying the factors that contribute to alcohol-related problems and the fundamental biological and behavioral mechanisms by which they develop, and it has paved the way for innovative preventive and treatment interventions. Once viewed as a moral failing or character flaw, AUD is now widely regarded as a chronic but treatable brain disease that develops through complex, dynamic interactions among biological, environmental, and developmental factors. This shift in perspective, bolstered by decades of research on the neurobiology of addiction, has helped reduce the stigma associated with AUD and has underscored the need for a multipronged approach to preventing and treating alcohol-related problems, with interventions designed for individuals, families, communities, and society at large.This strategic plan serves as a roadmap for catalyzing continued progress across the spectrum of alcohol research and translating these advances for the benefit of the public. It highlights NIAAA’s research goals in five key areas:

Goal 1: Identify Mechanisms of Alcohol Action, Alcohol-Related Pathology, and RecoveryGoal 2: Improve Diagnosis and Tracking of Alcohol Misuse, Alcohol Use Disorder, and Alcohol-Related ConsequencesGoal 3: Develop and Improve Strategies To Prevent Alcohol Misuse, Alcohol Use Disorder, and Alcohol-Related ConsequencesGoal 4: Develop and Improve Treatments for Alcohol Misuse, Alcohol Use Disorder, Co-Occurring Conditions, and Alcohol-Related ConsequencesGoal 5: Enhance the Public Health Impact of NIAAA-Supported Research

Along with the goals outlined above, NIAAA has identified several cross-cutting research themes, which are woven throughout this strategic plan.

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Bullied Teens More Likely to Smoke, Drink and Use Drugs

Bullied Teens More Likely to Smoke, Drink and Use Drugs

Children who are bullied in fifth grade are more likely to become depressed and experiment with drugs and alcohol during their teen years than their peers who weren’t victimized by other kids, a U.S. study suggests.

Researchers followed almost 4,300 students starting in fifth grade, when they were around 11 years old. By tenth grade, 24 percent of the teens drank alcohol, 15 percent smoked marijuana and 12 percent used tobacco.

More frequent episodes of physical and emotional bullying in fifth grade were associated with higher odds of depression by seventh grade, which was in turn linked to greater likelihood of substance use later in adolescence, the study found.

"We drew on the self-medication hypothesis when trying to understand why peer victimization may lead to substance use over time," said lead study author Valerie Earnshaw, a human development and family studies researcher at the University of Delaware in Newark.

"This suggests that people use substances to try to relieve painful feelings or control their emotions," Earnshaw said by email. "So, youth who are bullied feel bad, or experience depressive symptoms, and then may use substances to try to feel better."

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BRiDGES Unveils New Web Site at 30th Anniversary

BRiDGES Unveils New Web Site at 30th Anniversary

BRiDGES, the NCADD Affiliate based in Oneida, New York, recently launched a new web site at the celebration of their 30th Anniversary.

The address of the new website is www.bridgescouncil.org.

Information about the programs and services available at BRiDGES as well as some helpful resources can be found on the web site. It is still a work in progress, but it is much improved over the previous site.

In addition to the web site, BRiDGES distributes three electronic newsletters on a monthly basis. One is distributed by our EAP; one is distributed by our Advancing Tobacco Free Communities program; and one is distributed by our Suicide Prevention Coalition.

BRiDGES also has a presence on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/BRIDGESmccasa/. In addition, the agency’s Reality Check program, a statewide youth led program aimed at exposing the deceptive practices of the tobacco industry, can be found at https://www.realitycheckcny.org/ and on Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook.

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