Brief Interventions Reduce Underage Drinking

underage-drinkingTeenagers and young adults are often times unaware of the consequences that can arise from risky alcohol consumption. Underage drinking occurs regularly at high schools and colleges throughout the country; health officials are always on the look for new and innovative ways to combat the problem. Past research has shown that emergency rooms are perhaps the most effective place to reach people about drug and alcohol use. A new study has found that administering a brief intervention to underage drinkers during an ER visit could result in a decrease in their alcohol consumption and problems related to drinking in the coming year, ScienceDaily reports. Researchers from University of Michigan Injury Center conducted a five-year trial which was funded by the National Institute on Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse. The goal of the study was to examine how effective emergency room interventions were at curbing future alcohol use and the injuries often associated with underage drinking, according to an article. Common alcohol related problems include:
  • Alcohol Related Injuries
  • DUI
  • Drug Use
  • Psychosocial Problems
The alcohol intervention was administered by a therapist or by a computer program. The researchers screened 4,389 patients, of which 24 percent reported risky drinking behaviors, the article reports. Either form of intervention was found to reduce underage drinking and the associated consequences.
"The study highlights that a single-session intervention in the emergency department can play a role in decreasing underage drinking among youth," says Rebecca Cunningham, M.D., director of the U-M Injury Center and U-M professor of emergency medicine and public health. "Emergency department staff is focused on urgent medical care. The finding that the computer program brief intervention helped youth reduce risky drinking is very promising, especially as an approach that is easy for health care sites to use without requiring dedicated staff time to administer."
The findings were published in Pediatrics. ___________________________________________________________________________ If you or a loved one is living with alcohol use disorder, please contact Pace Recovery Center.

Drug and Alcohol Use in America Compared to Europe

drug-useExcessive alcohol and illicit drug use are problems that every industrialized country struggles with, albeit they all go about it in different ways. While many argue about which measures are most effective from one country to the next, it turns out that some countries are doing better in the fight against addiction. So, how does the United States compare to the rest of the western world? The easy answer is, ‘not that well’! Using data from the United Nations, a group of treatment professionals worked to create a series of maps to compare drug and alcohol use in the United States to European countries. The findings showed that Americans overwhelmingly lead the way in opioid and amphetamine-type stimulant use. The United States has the most people in substance use disorder treatment and we have the highest rate of overdose deaths per year. prevalence-of-opioid-use-once-year-past-year Interestingly, the U.S. did not even make the top five when it came to the availability of substance abuse treatment. America tied with Spain for the most cocaine used, and we came in second (per capita) for marijuana use. However, with Amsterdam considered to be a marijuana mecca, the Netherlands failed to make the top five. The data gathered showed that America is in the top five for almost every national measure of drug abuse. Europe, on the other hand, has a long history with alcohol which may be why countries in the EU top the charts for alcohol use in the last year. America, did not make the top five for once, sitting somewhere in the middle. Norwegians came in first, with the most alcohol consumed per capita; with the stereotypical hard-drinking Irish ranking fifth. This data and mapping help experts determine what policies are working, and which are not. It should help us develop more effective measures going forward. ___________________________________________________________________________ If you or a loved one is living with addiction, please contact Pace Recovery Center.

House Unanimously Passed Bills Aimed at Opioid Abuse

opioidsLawmakers in Massachusetts continue to spearhead an operation against the opioid epidemic devastating major cities and small towns across the nation. Massachusetts is a state that has felt the overwhelming effects of this crisis, a scourge unprecedented in our times. Lead by U.S. Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy III and U.S. Rep. Katherine Clark, the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed two bills devised to combat the insidious effects of opioid abuse, the Boston Herald reports. Kennedy said the unanimous support “speaks to the breadth and depth of the opiate abuse epidemic.” The bill that Kennedy co-sponsored reinstates federal funding to states prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs). Monitoring programs deter “doctor shoppers,” people who go to multiple doctors every month for the same types of prescriptions. While PDMPs exist in 49 states, the need for a nationwide system is necessary. The funding will also be used for drug screening and substance use disorder treatment, according to the article.
There are few people in this country who have been spared the heartbreak of watching a loved one, neighbor or friend fall victim to opiate addiction,” said Kennedy. “It’s an epidemic striking red states and blue states, small towns and big cities, neighborhoods rich and poor.”
Clark’s bill, if passed by the Senate, creates uniform standards for diagnosing and treating neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS). The syndrome occurs when fetuses are exposed to opioids, after birth they experience withdrawal symptoms which require extra medical care. The bill would become the first law to address newborns exposed to opioid use, the article reports.
Right now there is no standard for treatment with NAS,” Clark told the Herald. “This problem leads to long stays in the NICU and hundreds of millions in Medicaid dollars.”
___________________________________________________________________________ If you or a loved one suffers from opioid addiction, please contact Pace Recovery Center.

September is National Recovery Month

recovery-monthOrange County, California is well known for many things; such as its affluent communities and sandy beaches. It is also known for its large recovery community, being home to many substance use disorder treatment facilities, sober living homes and hundreds of 12-step recovery meetings held every week. People working programs of recovery make up a large part of the community; triangle and square stickers proudly adorn many a car bumper. While today and this month will be the same as yesterday and last month when it comes to working the principles of recovery, this month is a special time for many who are working a program or work in the field of addiction medicine. September is National Recovery Month, a time to recognize the countless people working towards living a healthy life - free from drugs and alcohol. If you would like to find a Recovery Month event in your area and learn more about local activities to support recovery efforts, click here. You are welcome to attend, even if you are not in recovery; the disease of addiction touches everyone in one way or another, when more people support the efforts of recovery it reduces the stigma that has long accompanied the illness. Recovery month is sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA), and if you are interested in hosting an event they have a number of tools at your disposal to guide you through the process. Use these tips, guidelines, and resources to help you plan your Recovery Month event: The President issued a Proclamation endorsing National Recovery Month, and it is worth reading in full:

NATIONAL ALCOHOL AND DRUG ADDICTION RECOVERY MONTH, 2015

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BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA A PROCLAMATION

Every day, resilient Americans with substance use disorders summon extraordinary courage and strength and commit to living healthy and productive lives through recovery. From big cities to small towns to Indian Country, substance use disorders affect the lives of millions of Americans. This month, we reaffirm our unwavering commitment to all those who are seeking or in need of treatment, and we recognize the key role families, friends, and health care providers play in supporting those on the path to a better tomorrow.

This year's theme is "Join the Voices for Recovery: Visible, Vocal, Valuable!" It encourages us all to do our part to eliminate negative public attitudes associated with substance use disorders and treatment. People in recovery are part of our communities -- they are our family and friends, colleagues and neighbors -- and by supporting them and raising awareness of the challenges they face, we can help eradicate prejudice and discrimination associated with substance use disorders, as well as with co-occurring mental disorders. Prevention and treatment work, and people recover -- and we must ensure all those seeking help feel empowered, encouraged, and confident in their ability to take control of their future. Americans looking for help for themselves or their loved ones can call 1-800-662-HELP or use the "Treatment Locator" tool at www.SAMHSA.gov.

My Administration remains dedicated to pursuing evidence-based strategies to address substance use disorders as part of our National Drug Control Strategy. Seeking to widen pathways to recovery, our strategy supports the integration of substance use treatment into primary health care settings and the expansion of support services in places such as high schools, institutions of higher education, and throughout the criminal justice system. In the wake of public health crises related to non-medical use of prescription drugs and heroin in communities across our Nation, my Administration has pledged considerable resources to help Federal, State, and local authorities boost prevention efforts, improve public health and safety, and increase access to treatment in communities across the country. And the Affordable Care Act has extended substance use disorder and mental health benefits and Federal parity protections to millions of Americans.

Behavioral health is essential to overall health, and recovery is a process through which individuals are able to improve their wellness, live increasingly self-directed lives, and strive to fulfill their greatest potential. During National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month, we reaffirm our belief that recovery and limitless opportunity are within reach of every single American battling substance use disorders, and we continue our work to achieve this reality.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim September 2015 as National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month. I call upon the people of the United States to observe this month with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities. IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirty-first day of August, in the year of our Lord two thousand fifteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and fortieth.

BARACK OBAMA

___________________________________________________________________________ If you or a loved one suffers from addiction, please contact Pace Recovery Center.

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