Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment and Research News and Resources
- An advisory group has recommended that the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the National Institutes on Alcoholism and Aclohol Abuse (NIAAA) be merged, along with all other addiction research efforts conducted by the National Institutes of Health. The group said that a new Institute of Addictions would integrate addiction research more effectively. The idea still has a number of hoops to jump through before it becomes a reality, but I was pleased to see that the working group's report recommended (see page 8) that adolescent substance abuse treatment should be prioritized. (Full disclosure: I wrote the post for Join Together that I've linked to here.)
- The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has rejected a proposal to require prescriptions for cough medicine, to limit abuse of dextromethorphan, a common ingredient in many over the counter remedies. The FDA had been asked by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to review ways to regulate the drug, particularly to curb teen abuse. The number of people admitted to emergency rooms for abuse of cough medicines jumped 70% between 2004 and 2008; and 1 in 11 teens have admitted to similar abuse. (See info from NIDA on cough medcine abuse; and here's a guide for parents.)
- Johns Hopkins has an excellent guide to adolescent development, called, "The Teen Years Explained." Its Center for Adolescent Development also has a webinar on the guide, as well as other fact sheets on teens, such as this one on the effect of tobacco, alcohol, and drugs on the teen brain.
- If you were unimpressed by the news that the latest National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) showed that teen use of illicit drugs went from 9.3% in 2008 to 10% in 2009, and that their use of marijuana went from 6.7% in 2006 to 7.3% in 2009, remember that a change of a few tenths of a percent actually translates into big numbers. To review the survey's key findings, I recommend checking out these charts posted by the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). I was particularly interested in the steady erosion of the number of teens exposed to drug and alcohol prevention messages since 2002.
- I posted an excellent guide on K2 (also known as "spice" or synthetic marijuana) in a roundup a few days ago, but here's a tip sheet for parents on K2. (H/t Christa Myers.)
- For many teens in the juvenile justice system, trauma's the key to successful treatment. There's a strong correlation between trauma and teen substance abuse. In fact, according to the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN), "up to 59% of young people with PTSD subsequently develop substance abuse problems." Furthermore, traumatic victimization and exposure to violence rates are quite high for adolescents and are often a factor when juveniles commit offenses -- especially violent ones, according to another NCTSN report (which also has recommendations on what to do about it). Finally, trauma may underly conduct disorder -- see this 2002 journal article by Ricky Greenwald, PsyD, "The Role of Trauma in Conduct Disorder." (Multiple hat tips to Paul Savery.) See this post for more information about what every juvenile court should know about trauma.
Juvenile Justice System News
- The Justice Policy Institute issued a brief report arguing that investing in community programming and treatment services is the best way to maintain public safety and address poverty. In particular, it higlighted the need for youth to have positive out-of-school activities and to connect adults and youth with mental health and substance abuse treatment.
- The Office of Justice Programs announced what I believe is the first in a series of grant awards related to youth mentoring. You may remember that the OJP's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) put out quite a few mentoring-related soliciations this spring, so I'm not quite certain which solicitation these awards apply to. However, there's no question that the Boys and Girls Clubs of America was the big winner, as it won $40 million out of the total $60 million awarded.
- A one-and-a-half-day course held October 7-8, 2010 by the National Center for School Engagement can help you evaluate the effectiveness of your truancy reduction program. Note that the course isn't a training in best practices or intended for advanced evaluators; it's targeted at "persons responsible for school, court, and community-based truancy reduction programs and those involved in evaluating such programs." (H/t to OJJDP.)
Updated: February 08 2018