Juvenile Justice: Why Investing in Trauma-Informed Care for Children Makes Sense

juvenile-justice-reform_old-TVJuvenile Justice Reform and Related News

Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment and Related News

  • Penn State University researchers argue, based on a study of 24 college students, that people recovering from addiction must learn to deal with stressors in order to be successful. This may seem like something straight out of the Department of the Blindingly Obvious, but here's why it matters: it's not enough to ask addicts to avoid the people or things that stress them out (especially juveniles, who have little control over where they live or with whom): addicts also need to learn and practice coping skills. The principle also applies to non-drug-related criminal behavior. Conditions of probation routinely require teens to stop hanging out with their friends. That's a start, but if you can also give teens more skills for coping with negative feelings like anxiety and stress, they're more liikely to say "no" to drugs and crime.
  • What a difference a friend makes ... That's the title of a new web site launched by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to encourage young adults to help their 18-25 year-old friends with mental health issues seek help. According to the site, "[t]he prevalence of serious mental health conditions in this age group is almost double that of the general population, yet young people have the lowest rate of help-seeking behaviors. This group has a high potential to minimize future disability if social acceptance is broadened and they receive the right support and services early on." My guess is that this will also appeal to older teens. (Hat tip to Paul Savery.)
  • Looking for a way to help teens reduce their risk of relapse and increase their resilience? Try this four-week course on "Mindfulness in Addiction Treatment," funded by SAMHSA and co-sponsored by the Addiction Technology Transfer Center of New England. Cost is $60.00; you must register by August 30, 2010; students are eligible to receive credit for up to 8 contact hours from the National Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC). (Hat tip to Jutta Butler at SAMHSA.)
  • We've all read stories about how teens are abusing prescription pain medication. Now, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is calling for "urgent" action to address their misuse by adults and children, according to Join Together. CDC's director says that emergency room visits for abuse of prescription pain meds are "now as common as emergency-department visits for use of illicit drugs." 
  • Use of synthetic marijuana seems to be growing, according to an article in the Washington Post. The drug, also known as "spice" or "K2," is legal, but lawmakers and others have concerns about how it's made, and reports of adverse health effects like extreme paranoia, depression, and seizures. I linked to some coverage of "fake weed" earlier this year (see second bullet), but I still haven't seen any data on how commonly used it is among teens. Nevertheless, the Post does say that reports to poison control centers over K2 have shot up dramatically.


Updated: February 08 2018