Almost Half of all Video Games Feature Smoking

Almost Half of all Video Games Feature Smoking
A study of more than 100 video games finds 42 percent feature characters smoking cigarettes, e-cigarettes, cigars and other products, or make references to those products. Experts tell CNN they are concerned young people who play the games may be influenced to start smoking. The study by researchers at the University of California San Francisco included 118 games released between 1994 and 2015 that were rated by the Entertainment Software Ratings Board, which makes age recommendations for video games. The findings were published in the journal Tobacco Control. Previous studies have found that teens ages 12 to 17 who see the greatest amount of smoking in movies are about twice as likely to begin smoking, compared with their peers with the least exposure to smoking in movies. Much less is known about the effect of tobacco references in video games, the article notes. Robin Koval, Chief Executive Officer and President of...
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7 in 10 Teens Exposed to E-Cigarette Ads

7 in 10 Teens Exposed to E-Cigarette Ads
Seven in 10 teens are exposed to e-cigarette ads, according to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Teens see the ads on TV, in print, online and at retail outlets, The Wall Street Journal reports. “The same advertising tactics the tobacco industry used years ago to get kids addicted to nicotine are now being used to entice a new generation of young people to use e-cigarettes,” CDC Director Tom Frieden said in a news release. “I hope all can agree that kids should not use e-cigarettes.” The report did not show a direct link between advertising and teen e-cigarette use, the article notes. The CDC reported last year that e-cigarette use among teens tripled from 2013 to 2014. An estimated 13 percent of high school students used e-cigarettes in 2014, compared with 9 percent who smoked traditional cigarettes. Many e-cigarette ads use themes such as...
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National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week - Update

National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week - Update
National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week (NDAFW) is an annual, week-long observance that brings together teens and scientific experts to shatter persistent myths about substance use and addiction. New toolkits provide event holders with resources to tailor activities to the specific drugs that most affect their communities. Additionally, a general NDAFW toolkit in Spanish is now available. This year’s observance will be held January 25-31, 2016. Events can be sponsored by a variety of organizations, including schools, community groups, sports clubs, and hospitals. Toolkit resources can be combined with the IQ Challenge quiz, which contains questions about different kinds of drugs. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) have launched new online toolkits designed for National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week event holders interested in focusing on specific drugs. The toolkits highlight information to specific drugs or audiences, including: Alcohol Tobacco...
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Three-Fourths of High School Students Who Use Heroin Have Also Used Painkillers

Three-Fourths of High School Students Who Use Heroin Have Also Used Painkillers
A survey of high school students finds 77 percent of those who use heroin say they also have used opioid painkillers for non-medical purposes. The survey of more than 67,000 high school seniors over a five-year period found 12.4 percent reported lifetime nonmedical opioid use and 1.2 percent reported lifetime heroin use. The more often teens used opioids for nonmedical purposes, the higher the odds they also used heroin, HealthDay reports. “The more times a teen uses nonprescribed painkiller pills, the greater the risk he or she is at for becoming dependent on the drug,” said lead researcher Joseph Palamar of New York University. “People who become dependent on painkiller pills often wind up resorting to heroin use because it’s cheaper and more available than these pills.”White students are more likely than black or Hispanic students to use opioid painkillers or heroin, the survey found. Black and Hispanic students were more...
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Addiction to Prescription Painkillers Growing Among Seniors

Addiction to Prescription Painkillers Growing Among Seniors
A growing number of the elderly are becoming addicted to prescription painkillers, experts tell U.S. News & World Report. Caretakers and doctors often fail to spot the signs of addiction in older patients. “The problem is certainly ubiquitous, and often missed, to be honest,” said Dr. Joseph Garbely, Medical Director of Caron Treatment Centers. “Caretakers oftentimes miss the signs and symptoms of a substance use disorder. Doctors do too, and often aren’t asking the questions when seniors are there for their monthly checkups.”An elderly person who is addicted to painkillers may appear more anxious or depressed, Garbely said. They may injure themselves and appear confused or disoriented. A recent study presented at the Gerontological Society of America found a 78 percent increase in the number of emergency department visits among older adults who misused prescription or illicit drugs between 2006 and 2012. About 11 percent of the misuse was with opioid...
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Letting a 6th Grader Sip Alcohol Could Lead to Later Substance Use

12-year oldIt is already commonly known that there is a clear association between early use of alcohol and short- and long-term adverse outcomes.

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Professional Gamers Who Use Adderall Will Need Doctor’s Note

video game playerPeople who play electronic games professionally will not be allowed to use the attention deficit hyperactivity disorder drug Adderall unless they have a doctor's note, the Electronic Sports League (ESL) said recently.

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Getting the Message

The first time my daughter came home drunk, I’m embarrassed to say, I thought it was kind of cute. She was only 15, but she was swearing like a sailor. So I sloughed it off. But, unfortunately, it didn’t stop there and her behavior began to get more and more problematic. For a kid who used to love school and had a lot of friends, things started to change, and by the time she was 17 my wife and I were truly concerned. When we talked to people about it, they often expressed the idea that it was just a phase that would pass, but before long we realized it wasn’t getting any better. We tried all the usual things – grounding her, telling her she couldn’t hang out with certain kids who seemed to be a bad influence, withholding her allowance, thinking this would limit her ability to get hold...
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