NCADD-SD News & Blog

News and Information from NCADD-SD

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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DEA brings in record amount of unused prescription drugs on National Prescription Take Back Day

DEA brings in record amount of unused prescription drugs on National Prescription Take Back Day

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and more than 4,200 of its law enforcement and community partners collected more unused prescription drugs than at any of the 12 previous National Prescription Drug Take Back Day events.

On Saturday, April 29, the event brought in 900,386 pounds (450 tons) at close to 5,500 sites across the nation. Marking the 13th National Prescription Take Back Day since September 2010, these events have altogether collected 8,103,363 pounds (4,052 tons) of prescription drugs.

The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day Initiative addresses a crucial public safety and public health issue. According to the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 6.4 million Americans abused controlled prescription drugs. The study shows that a majority of abused prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinet. The DEA’s Take Back Day events provide an opportunity for Americans to prevent drug addiction and overdose deaths.

"Too often, unused prescription drugs find their way into the wrong hands. That's dangerous and often tragic,” said Acting DEA Administrator Chuck Rosenberg. “That's why it was great to see thousands of folks from across the country clean out their medicine cabinets and turn in - safely and anonymously - a record amount of prescription drugs."

DEA’s next National Prescription Take Back Day is Saturday, October 28.

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LICADD Installs Hand-Crafted Legacy Tree at Headquarters

LICADD Installs Hand-Crafted Legacy Tree at Headquarters

The Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. (LICADD), Long Island's premier provider of substance abuse services and prevention programs, is pleased to announce the installation of a beautiful hand-crafted Legacy Tree at LICADD headquarters in Westbury, NY. LICADD is also a NCADD Affiliate.

A magnificent hand-crafted Living Legacy Tree now adorns the LICADD Executive Offices in Westbury, N.Y. The tree was a brainchild of LICADD staff to honor and memorialize those lost and pay tribute to those dedicated to the field of substance abuse and recovery. Championed by LICADD Board Member, Father Philip Eichner of Kellenberg Memorial High School (KMHS), the tree was designed and created by artisan, Frederick H. Weber of Weber Woods with assistance from the KMHS carpentry department.

The striking Living Legacy Tree was crafted using over fifteen varieties of wood from the United States, Africa and South America, including Cherry, White Oak, Padouk and Purpleheart. The result is a mosaic-like pattern and evokes the feeling of many coming together as one - those who have lost their battle and those who continue the work of recovery and support. The visual message is powerful.

The Living Legacy Tree will feature the tribute: "In special recognition of those who have been touched by addiction." Donors' names or the name of a loved one, friend or relative, will be engraved and placed on the Tree. LICADD is committed to recognizing every contributor of $1,000 or more on the tree. The generosity of donors to the Legacy Tree will go toward funding both Chemical Dependency Interventions for families in the throes of addiction and the Student Assistance Program (SAP) that provides needed prevention education for students in grades K-12. 100% of the proceeds will go directly to LICADD programming to help those challenged with the ravages of addiction and their families. Donors who have made donations of less than $1,000 are invited to consider increasing their gift to participate in this special program.

Over sixty years ago, LICADD founder, R. Brinkley Smithers, surrounded himself with advocates in the medical and spiritual community as well as generous supporters to begin a national movement towards recovery. Today, LICADD is helping more families than ever before. A donation in memory of, in honor of or a tribute to someone is a thoughtful way to recognize a special person in your life. Tax-deductible donations will help others who are suffering while supporting LICADD's mission to provide help and hope for individuals and families consumed by the disease of alcoholism and drug dependence.

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Opioid Epidemic Leads Medical Examiners to Skip Some Autopsies

Opioid Epidemic Leads Medical Examiners to Skip Some Autopsies

The nation’s opioid epidemic is causing some medical examiners to skip some autopsies because of a lack of staff, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The shortage of medical examiners is greatest in areas including New England and the Rust Belt, where overdose deaths from heroin and fentanyl have dramatically increased. “It’s a problem for every area of our office, from transporting bodies to doing autopsies to toxicology testing,” said James Gill, Chief Medical Examiner in Connecticut.

The National Association of Medical Examiners recommends autopsies for all overdoses. The group advises pathologists to perform no more than 250 autopsies annually, to avoid exhaustion and mistakes. In many areas hard-hit by the opioid epidemic, pathologists perform an average of 325 autopsies a year.

Original linkOriginal author: Ezra
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BRiDGES Celebrates 30 Years!

BRiDGES Celebrates 30 Years!

On April 25th BRiDGES, the Madison County Council on Alcoholism & Substance Abuse, Inc., and a NCADD Affiliate celebrated its 30th Anniversary with current and former Board Members, current and former staff (some pictured above), and a crowd of other community partners.

While attendees were talking together, sharing stories and updates, a slide show highlighting current programs and ones from the past played on a screen. The slide show was illustrative of how in thirty years some things have changed significantly while some issues have remained constant- like the struggle of addiction and the promise of recovery.

The keynote speaker, Christine Fix, was engaging and spirited in her message. Ms. Fix has spent her professional career in both the political world and the world of human services. Among other things, she talked about how the stigma attached to HIV/AIDS back in the early 90’s when she was traveling the counties providing education was similar to the stigma with addiction and mental health issues.

Ms. Fix stressed the importance of being clear and honest in our communication with young people, in particular, and how compassion and empathy are critical to being true helpers. Her message was delivered with humor and wisdom.

BRiDGES has remained true to its original mission of providing alcohol, tobacco and other drug prevention and education while expanding to include problem gambling and suicide prevention. The focus includes assisting the individual as well as looking at how a community’s norms, laws and regulations affect public health.

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Fentanyl Resistant to Naloxone Causing Overdoses in Western Pennsylvania

Fentanyl Resistant to Naloxone Causing Overdoses in Western Pennsylvania

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is reporting a strain of fentanyl, resistant to the opioid overdose antidote naloxone, has caused several overdose deaths in Western Pennsylvania.

The strain of fentanyl resistant to naloxone is called acryl fentanyl, KDKA reports. “If acryl fentanyl is introduced into the population, it can have devastating effects,” said DEA

Special Agent in Charge, David Battiste. The DEA said acryl fentanyl is being manufactured overseas, smuggled into the United States, and sold mainly on the dark web. It comes in powder form, and looks similar to fentanyl.

“These are dangerous drugs. They’re cut by these dealers who don’t care about anything other than making a profit. It can be cut with anything,” Battiste said.

Original linkOriginal author: Ezra
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Opioid Abuse Drops Among Medicare Patients When Doctors Check Drug History

Opioid Abuse Drops Among Medicare Patients When Doctors Check Drug History

Opioid abuse has decreased among Medicare recipients in states that require doctors to check patients’ drug history in a prescription drug monitoring database, according to a new study.

While all states have databases to track opioid prescriptions, not all states require healthcare providers to check the databases before writing prescriptions for patients, UPI reports.

The new study found states that required doctors to check the database had a decrease in the number of Medicare recipients who received more than a seven-month supply of opioids in a six-month period.

These states also had a decrease in patients who filled a prescription before the previous one had finished. “Doctor-shopping” in these states decreased by 8 percent in Medicare patients who used opioids.

The states with the largest reductions in rates of opioid abuse had the strictest laws. For example, New York requires doctors to check a patient’s opioid history at each visit, the researchers note in the National Bureau of Economic Research.

Original linkOriginal author: Ezra
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Teen Marijuana-Related Visits to Colorado ER Rose Rapidly After Legalization

Teen Marijuana-Related Visits to Colorado ER Rose Rapidly After Legalization

A Colorado children’s hospital reports visits by teens to its emergency department and satellite urgent care centers more than quadrupled after the state legalized marijuana, a new study finds.

Researchers examined the hospital’s records for 13- to 21-year-olds between 2005 and 2015.

Colorado legalized medical marijuana in 2010 and recreational marijuana in 2014.

The annual number of visits related to marijuana or involving a positive marijuana urine drug screen more than quadrupled, from 146 in 2005 to 639 in 2014, the researchers found.

They will present their research at the 2017 Pediatric Academic Societies Meeting in San Francisco.

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New Dangerous Opioid Mix Called “Gray Death” Blamed for Deaths in Three States

New Dangerous Opioid Mix Called “Gray Death” Blamed for Deaths in Three States

A new combination of opioids, known as “Gray Death,” is being blamed for deaths in Alabama, Georgia and Ohio, the Associated Press reports.

The combination includes heroin, fentanyl, carfentanil and a synthetic opioid called U-47700.

“Gray death is one of the scariest combinations that I have ever seen in nearly 20 years of forensic chemistry drug analysis,” said Deneen Kilcrease, manager of the chemistry section at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. Kilcrease said people using the drug are not aware of its ingredients or their concentrations. Simply touching the powder can put a person at risk, she added.

Gray death looks like concrete mix. It varies in consistency from a hard, chunky material to a fine powder, the article notes. It is much more potent than heroin, according to the Gulf Coast High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area. People use the drug by injecting, swallowing, smoking or snorting it.

Original linkOriginal author: Ezra
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The Opioid Epidemic May Be Even Deadlier Than We Think

The Opioid Epidemic May Be Even Deadlier Than We Think

The opioid epidemic has led to the deadliest drug crisis in US history – even deadlier than the crack epidemic of the 1980s and 1990s. Drug overdoses now cause more deaths than gun violence and car crashes. They even caused more deaths in 2015 than HIV/AIDS did at the height of the epidemic in 1995.

A new study suggests that we may be underestimating the death toll of the opioid epidemic and current drug crisis. The study, conducted by researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), looked at 1,676 deaths in Minnesota’s Unexplained Death surveillance system (UNEX) from 2006 – 2015. The system is meant to refer cases with no clear cause of death to further testing and analysis. In total, 59 of the UNEX deaths, or about 3.5 percent, were linked to opioids. But more than half of these opioid-linked deaths didn’t show up in Minnesota’s official total for opioid related deaths.

It is unclear how widespread of a problem this is in other death surveillance systems and other states, but the study’s findings suggest that the numbers we have so far for opioid deaths are at best a minimum.

Typically, deaths are marked by local coroners or medical examiners through a system; if the medical examiner marks a death as immediately caused by an opioid overdose, the death is eventually added to the US’s total for opioid overdose deaths. But there is no national standard for what counts as an opioid overdose, so it’s left to local medical officials to decide whether a death was caused by an overdose or not. This can get surprisingly tricky – particularly in cases involving multiple conditions or for cases in which someone’s death seemed to be immediately caused by one condition, but that condition had a separate underlying medical issue behind it.

For example, opioids are believed to increase the risk of pneumonia. But if a medical examiner sees that a person died of pneumonia, they might mark the death as caused by pneumonia, even if the opioids were the underlying cause for the death.

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The McShin Foundation Bestows Honors at 13th Annual Spring Awards Banquet

The McShin Foundation Bestows Honors at 13th Annual Spring Awards Banquet

The McShin Foundation hosted its 13th Annual Spring Awards Banquet at the Virginia War Memorial to celebrate the past year of success. John Adams, Republican nominee for Attorney General of Virginia, was the keynote speaker.

As an affiliate of The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Chesterfield County Sheriff Karl Leonard was presented with the Bronze Key Award for his determination to combat the heroin epidemic and his success with the Heroin Addiction Recovery Program (HARP).

In addition to the Bronze Key Award, community awards were given as well. The awardees are as follows:

Staff Member of the Year: Alden GregoryCommunity Service Award: John S. Finn Jr. & Vicki CourrierVolunteer of the Year: Charles Lamphere & Meredith HayesAlumni of the Year: Bob Gray & Arlene Terry

Main story image features Sheriff Karl Leonard and McShin President John Shinholser. Pictured above are McShin President John Shinholser, McShin CEO Honesty Liller, Henrico Commonwealth Attorney Shannon Taylor, Congressman Dave BratIn addition to Sheriff Karl Leonard and John Adams, other event attendees included Virginia House of Delegates members Dave Brat and Betsy Carr, Caroline County Commonwealth Attorney John Mahoney, Henrico Commonwealth Attorney Shannon Taylor and Chesterfield County Captain James Pritchett.

The McShin Foundation was founded in 2004 and is Virginia’s leading non-profit, full-service Recovery Community Organization (RCO), committed to serving individuals and families in their fight against Substance Use Disorders.

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Why the Alcohol Industry and Public Health are not on the Same Team

Why the Alcohol Industry and Public Health are not on the Same Team

Can the alcohol industry genuinely care about the health of its customers when its primary business objective is to gain revenue from one of the most harmful substances and when most profits are made off of people with drinking problems?

There is blatant hypocrisy when the alcohol industry invests in public health. The goals of public health initiatives are to promote healthy behaviors and prevent disease in communities. In contrast, the goals of the alcohol industry are to maximize its consumer base, sales, and profits by recruiting new customers and maintaining existing customers, particularly those who drink regularly and heavily. Historically, the alcohol industry has funded educational/training programs and promotional and advertising campaigns that promote “safe” levels of drinking. Although the purported goal of these initiatives is to protect the health and safety of customers and the larger public, there is strong reason to believe that the real aim is to bolster the industry’s public image and reduce the liability inherent in the sale and use of its products.

Adding to this hypocrisy is the fact that many of the “public health” efforts that the industry promotes are not based on scientific evidence, and some have even shown to be ineffective. Some examples include:

Alcohol 101 Plus, an educational program, funded by the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility (formerly the Century Council), which is comprised of America’s leading distillers. The program is a web-based program designed to educate college students about making “safe and responsible decisions about alcohol” and to make students aware of harmful consequences of drinking. Although it has been implemented in colleges and universities across the country, formal reviews of this program and others like it have not demonstrated effectiveness, especially in the long term.The alcohol industry has also marketed some of its products as “healthy” or “diet-friendly.” It has strategically used creative buzz words to attract health-conscious customers, including terms like “all-natural,” “light,” and “low-carb.” However, there is very little scientific evidence to support the claims made in these advertisements and they are misleading. After all, while it may be preferable to have natural ingredients and fewer calories in one’s diet, the primary ingredient in “all natural” and “low-carb” beers and hard liquors is still alcohol.Most concerning though are the industry-sponsored responsible drinking advertisements, which are focused on drinking and driving. The ads project pro-drinking themes, are strategically vague in nature, and present contradictory messages. Additionally, these ads put the burden on the consumer to be responsible, and imply that any adverse consequence of drinking is due to the irresponsibility of the consumer rather than inherent in the product, thereby taking away responsibility from the industry.

Despite the lure of significant funding from the alcohol industry for alcohol-related research and programs, researchers and public health officials need to be cautious when deciding whether to accept such funding or collaborate with the alcohol industry. Accepting such funding increases the appearance of doing the industry’s bidding instead of being primarily concerned with doing objective research in order to improve public health.

Source: The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA)

Original linkOriginal author: Ezra
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CDC Report Evaluates Effective Smoking Cessation Methods

CDC Report Evaluates Effective Smoking Cessation Methods

Many smokers become addicted to nicotine, a drug that is naturally found in tobacco. More people in the United States are addicted to nicotine than to any other drug – according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nicotine may be as addictive as heroin, cocaine, or alcohol.

Quitting smoking is difficult and oftentimes requires several attempts. People who stop smoking often revert back to smoking because of withdrawal symptoms such as feeling irritable, angry or anxious, having trouble thinking, craving tobacco products, feeling hungrier than usual.

Federal health regulators continue to de-emphasize electronic cigarettes and vaporizers as smoking-cessation options, even as they acknowledge increased use of the product.

The CDC released a 26-month survey of 15,943 adult cigarette smokers, published in the journal Preventing Chronic Disease, analyzing the most population smoking cessation techniques.

The study determined that 74.7 percent of survey participants used multiple methods during their most recent quit attempt.

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Marijuana Dispensaries and Disadvantaged Neighborhoods

Marijuana Dispensaries and Disadvantaged Neighborhoods

As more states push for the legalization of marijuana, there is increasing fear that the stores that sell marijuana, commonly known as dispensaries, will have a negative impact on their surrounding communities. Both recreational and medical marijuana are legal in Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Alaska, Colorado, Massachusetts, and Maine.

However, because of the negative ripple effects of legalizing marijuana, state support doesn’t necessarily translate into local backing.

The many concerns surrounding dispensariesAreas with dispensaries fear that there will be increased marijuana use. Some residents complain of odor. Community leaders worry that neighborhoods significantly impacted by drugs and the war on drugs are now being asked to shoulder the burden and risk of having dispensaries on their streets. Some see the location of these stores as a way to circumvent resistance to placing dispensaries in wealthier areas.

These fears are well-founded. While a wide range of individuals from many different socio-economic status groups utilize the dispensaries, many of the areas with dispensaries are economically disadvantaged and lack the political and economic power to discourage the placement of these stores in their communities. The dispensaries are also often placed in locations with alcohol outlets nearby. Hence, the fears associated with dispensaries are an added worry to the many challenges disadvantaged communities already face. Data show that the neighborhoods with dispensaries bear the brunt of the industry’s presence in their communities: the more marijuana dispensaries a neighborhood has, the greater the number of marijuana-related hospitalizations.

Another concern is that children and adolescents will be at heightened risk of using the marijuana sold at these dispensaries, as the drug becomes far more accessible. And youth in disadvantaged neighborhoods are known to be at even higher risk. Regulations to prevent adolescent use have done little to ease concerns. Sometimes, laws that are applied to tobacco and alcohol retail outlets aren’t enforced in the same way for marijuana, particularly zoning laws. Indeed, anti-marijuana activists are increasingly concerned about these stores being located near schools.

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The Science Behind Blacking Out

The Science Behind Blacking Out

Have you ever woken up panicked and confused, wondering how you got home after a night out drinking with friends? If this has happened, you might have experienced an episode of alcohol induced amnesia, also known as a blackout. This is different than passing out or losing consciousness. Your friends may report drinking and talking with you during the evening and you may have even driven home – but your memory of some or most of the night is wiped away.

Although blacking out is not uncommon – particularly among young people who drink heavily – it is poorly understood. Alcohol-induced impairment is dangerous and can be unpredictable.

What is a Blackout?Researchers have identified two types of blackouts:

En bloc, or complete blackout: when a person who had been drinking has an inability to recall entire events during the drinking period of timeFragmentary-memory loss: when a person who had been drinking can only recall some portion of the events during the drinking period of timeEn bloc blackouts happen when information is not successfully transferred from short-term to long-term storage during a drinking episode. The person who is drinking can sufficiently keep information in short-term memory to engage in conversations, drive a car, and participate in other complicated activities. However, all this information is completely lost as the brain fails to transfer the person’s short-term memory information to long-term memory storage. Indeed, “the defining characteristic of a complete blackout is that memory loss is permanent and cannot be recalled under any circumstances,” according to a summary study looking at alcohol-induced blackouts.Fragmentary blackouts are more common and occur when memory formation – the transfer from short- to long-term storage – is partially blocked. Unlike en bloc blackouts, fragmentary blackouts allow for recall of all memories that were stored during the drinking event, but successful recall may involve a bit of effort and prompting.

What Causes a Blackout?Early studies on blackouts demonstrated that although alcohol is necessary for initiating a blackout, a large quantity of alcohol alone is not sufficient to cause a blackout. In fact, people sometimes have a blackout even when not drinking at their highest level. Factors such as how alcohol is ingested, gender, and genetic susceptibility all play a role in determining a person’s propensity for blackouts. Although having a single blackout by itself may not be sign of alcoholism, repeated blackouts are very often associated with having an alcohol use disorder and being at risk for chronic alcoholism.

According to researchers, gulping drinks and drinking on an empty stomach could also increase a person’s risk of a blackout, as these behaviors raise an individual’s blood alcohol concentration. Additionally, there are gender differences in alcohol-induced blackouts. Women are at greater risk than men of experiencing a blackout even with lower levels of alcohol consumption. This risk is higher in women because:

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Julie Dostal Honored As A True “Woman Of Distinction”

Julie Dostal Honored As A True “Woman Of Distinction”

Julie Dostal is Executive Director of the LEAF Council on Alcoholism and Addictions. LEAF, based in Oneonta, New York

State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I-Oneonta) has announced that Julie Dostal of Oneonta has been selected as a 2017 New York State Senate “Woman of Distinction.”

“Women like Julie Dostal make a profound, positive difference in the lives of others and are a prime reason why New York is so special,” said Senator Seward. “Julie has made it her life’s work to help others through the LEAF Council on Alcoholism and Addictions and it has been my privilege to work with her on a number of occasions. In recent years, through my role on the Senate Task Force on Heroin and Opioid, I have frequently partnered with Julie as we work together to beat this public health epidemic. She is devoted to her work and the community and brings professionalism and energy to every challenge she tackles. Julie truly embodies the essence and spirit of this award and I am extremely proud to honor her as a senate Woman of Distinction.”

Julie Dostal said, “I am deeply honored to be recognized by Senator Seward as a 2017 Woman of Distinction. Working with him over the years to help bring about positive change in our community has always been a pleasure. It is overwhelming to be counted among the amazing, impactful women who have preceded me as Women of Distinction. Many of them are still out there changing the world and I can only hope to do the same.”

Julie Dostal, Ph.D., is the executive director of the LEAF Council on Alcoholism and Addictions and has been with the organization since 1998. She is also the chair of the Otsego County Opiate Task Force, actively working with agencies, businesses, healthcare organizations, and individuals to help stem the tide of our current opioid epidemic.

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First-Time Marijuana Use Among College Students is at Highest Level in Three Decades

First-Time Marijuana Use Among College Students is at Highest Level in Three Decades

First-time marijuana use among college students is at the highest level in three decades, a new study finds.

Among 19- to 22-year-olds who had never used marijuana by 12th grade, those who go to college are 51 percent more likely to try the drug than those who do not attend college, HealthDay reports.

“These days if you’re in college, about 1 in 5 students will become first-time marijuana users. If you don’t go to college, your chances are more like 1 in 10,” said lead researcher Richard Miech of the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research.

The findings appear in the American Journal of Public Health.

Original linkOriginal author: Ezra
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Patients Treated for Opioid Addiction in General Health System at Higher Risk of Death

Patients Treated for Opioid Addiction in General Health System at Higher Risk of Death

Patients treated for an opioid use disorder in a general healthcare system instead of an addiction treatment center face a higher risk of death, a new study concludes.

Researchers at UCLA found patients treated for opioid addiction in primary care offices or hospitals are more than twice as likely to die than those treated in addiction treatment centers, according to HealthDay.

“The high rates of death among patients with opioid use disorder in a general health care system reported in this study suggest we need strategies to improve detection and treatment of this disorder in primary care settings,” study lead author Yih-Ing Hser said in a UCLA news release.

She noted that as opioid addiction has grown in the United States, people with opioid use disorders are increasingly being treated in primary care provider offices.

The findings are published in the Journal of Addiction Medicine.

Original linkOriginal author: Ezra
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Some Opioid-Related Deaths May be Missed When People Die from Infectious Diseases

Some Opioid-Related Deaths May be Missed When People Die from Infectious Diseases

A new government study suggests some opioid-related deaths may not be counted when people die from pneumonia or other infectious diseases that are worsened by drug use.

In these cases, the death certificate may only list the infection as the cause of death, according to the researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Opioids at therapeutic or higher than therapeutic levels can impact our immune system, actually make your immune system less effective at fighting off illness,” lead researcher Victoria Hall told HealthDay.

She added that the sedative effect of opioids also affects a person’s respiratory system, causing breathing to become slow and shallow. This makes a person less prone to cough, which allows pneumonia to develop.

Original linkOriginal author: Ezra
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