Brain Scans Could Predict Teens’ Problem Drug Use Before It Starts

Brain Scans Could Predict Teens’ Problem Drug Use Before It Starts
There's an idea out there of what a drug-addled teen is supposed to look like: impulsive, unconscientious, smart, perhaps -- but not the most engaged. While personality traits like that could signal danger, not every adolescent who fits that description becomes a problem drug user. So how do you tell who's who? There's no perfect answer, but researchers report in Nature Communications that they've found a way to improve our predictions -- using brain scans that can tell, in a manner of speaking, who's bored by the promise of easy money, even when the kids themselves might not realize it. According to a recent article in ScienceDaily, that conclusion grew out of a collaboration between a professor of psychology at Stanford, and a professor of medicine at Universitätsklinikum Hamburg Eppendorf. With support from the Stanford Neurosciences Institute's NeuroChoice program, the pair started sorting through an intriguing dataset covering, among other things,...
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New Method for E-Cigarette Use Called “Dripping” Becoming Popular Among Teens

New Method for E-Cigarette Use Called “Dripping” Becoming Popular Among Teens
A new method for using e-cigarettes called “dripping” is becoming popular among teens. A report published in Pediatrics finds one-quarter of U.S. teens who use e-cigarettes have experimented with dripping. This method creates denser clouds of vapor, HealthDay reports. The health effects of dripping are unknown, according to the report’s authors from Yale University School of Medicine. Regular e-cigarettes produces inhalable vapor by slowly drawing liquid into a heating coil through an automatic wick. Dripping involves placing drops of e-liquid directly onto the heating coil, and inhaling the cloud of vapor that is produced. Among teens who tried dripping, 64 percent said they liked the thicker clouds of vapor it produced. Almost 40 percent said they thought it produced a better flavor, while 22 percent were simply curious to try it.
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Perception and Use Of Marijuana Change by Teens After Recreational Use Legalized

Perception and Use Of Marijuana Change by Teens After Recreational Use Legalized
According to an article in Medical News Today, marijuana use increased and the drug's perceived harmfulness decreased among eighth- and 10th-graders in Washington after marijuana was legalized for recreational use by adults. But there was no change among 12th-graders or among students in the three grades in Colorado after legalization for adults there, according to a new study published online by JAMA Pediatrics. Washington and Colorado became the first two states to legalize recreational use of marijuana for adults in 2012, followed by handful of other states since. The potential effect of legalizing marijuana for recreational use has been a topic of considerable debate. According to research findings, no changes were seen in perceived harmfulness or marijuana use among Washington 12th-grades or students in the three grades in Colorado, for which researchers offer several explanations in their article.
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Teen Use of Marijuana Increased in Washington – But Not Colorado – After Legalization

Teen Use of Marijuana Increased in Washington – But Not Colorado – After Legalization
Teen use of marijuana rose in Washington state after the drug was legalized for adults 21 and older, a new study finds. In Colorado, legalization had no impact on marijuana use by teens, CBS News reports. The findings come from a study published in JAMA Pediatrics. In Washington, since 2012, marijuana use among eighth graders has increased by 2 percent and among tenth graders by 4.1 percent. In Colorado there was no increase in marijuana use among teens. The conflicting results suggest a need for more research on the impact of marijuana legalization on teens, said study co-author Magdalena Cerda. “We know that early initiation of marijuana use–that is initiation at adolescence–is associated with a greater risk for marijuana dependence later on in life,” Cerda said.The researchers recommended investment in evidence-based adolescent substance use prevention programs in states that may legalize recreational marijuana use.
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Pediatrics Group Discourages Use of E-Cigarettes in Teens

Pediatrics Group Discourages Use of E-Cigarettes in Teens
A new report by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) concludes the earlier teens start using any product with nicotine, including e-cigarettes, the stronger their addiction will be and the harder it will be for them to quit, HealthDay reports. “An estimated 4 percent of kids who try to quit nicotine will succeed, compared to 5 percent of adults who try to quit. Children and adolescents also make more attempts to quit before succeeding,” the AAP notes in a news release. The report notes that e-cigarettes have been aggressively promoted as smoking cessation aids, but research studies have not been able to document their effectiveness in adults. “Recent research suggests that the use of e-cigarettes may encourage, rather than discourage, the use of conventional cigarettes among U.S. adolescents,” the report states. “Given the difficulty that adolescents have attempting to stop smoking and use of tobacco products, the need for prevention efforts...
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National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week -January 23-29, 2017

National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week -January 23-29, 2017
National Drug & Alcohol Facts WeekSM (NDAFW) is a national health observance for teens to promote local events that use NIDA science to SHATTER THE MYTHSTM,SM about drugs. NDAFW links students with scientists and other experts to counteract the myths about drugs and alcohol that teens get from the internet, social media, TV, movies, music, or from friends. It was launched in 2010 by scientists at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to stimulate educational events in communities so teens can learn what science has taught us about drug use and addiction. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism became a partner starting in 2016, and alcohol has been added as a topic area for the week. NIDA and NIAAA are part of the National Institutes of Health.
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Are U.S. Teens More Depressed?

Are U.S. Teens More Depressed?
A recent study suggests that the number of U.S. teens with untreated depression may be on the rise. A recent article by Reuters Health notes that “For youth ages 12 to 17, the prevalence of depression increased from 8.7 percent in 2005 to 11.3 percent in 2014, the study found. Among adults aged 18 to 25, the prevalence climbed from 8.8 percent to 9.6 percent during the study period.” The study also found that there hasn’t been much change in the proportion of teens and young adults seeking mental health treatment. The findings suggest a growing number of teens and young adults have depression and don’t receive treatment, the authors conclude. Each year, about 1 in 11 teens and young adults suffers at least one episode of major depression, researchers report in Pediatrics. The report suggests that there’s room for parents, pediatricians and school and college counseling services to step up...
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Teens Who Use E-Cigarettes Often More Likely to Become Regular Smokers

Teens Who Use E-Cigarettes Often More Likely to Become Regular Smokers
A new study finds teens who often use e-cigarettes are more likely to become regular smokers and to smoke many cigarettes a day. The study included 3,084 Los Angeles teens who participated in surveys in the fall and spring of tenth grade, Reuters reports. They were asked whether they had tried e-cigarettes, and if so, how often. They were also asked about regular cigarette use. The researchers found more frequent vaping was associated with smoking two or more cigarettes on the days teens chose to smoke. The findings are published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
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SPOTLIGHT: Orange County, CA Affiliate’s “Parent Toolkit”

SPOTLIGHT: Orange County, CA Affiliate’s “Parent Toolkit”
The National Council on Alcoholism & Drug Dependence—Orange County in Lake Forest, CA has, among its major goals, to provide information, education, prevention, and referral in eliminating alcohol, tobacco and other drug-related problems in its community. Studies have shown that teens who consistently learn about the risks of alcohol, marijuana and drugs from their parents are 50% less likely to use those substances. To help carry out this goal, the Council has developed a “Parent Toolkit” which is a resource guide to help raise kids free of alcohol/other drug use. It includes a variety of items drawn from several sources. One section is a list of Skill Sets that children need to guard against addiction which includes: • Coping Skills• Social Skills• Life Skills• Emotional Regulation Skills• Critical Thinking Skills• Distress Tolerance Skills Another is a chart of The Resiliency Wheel with elements for Building Resiliency in the Environment and others...
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73 Percent of Teens Think E-Cigarettes are Less Harmful Than Cigarettes

73 Percent of Teens Think E-Cigarettes are Less Harmful Than Cigarettes
A new survey finds 73 percent of U.S. teens think e-cigarettes are less harmful than regular cigarettes. The researchers say teens who use e-cigarettes are more likely, than those who do not, to go on to use traditional cigarettes, HealthDay reports. The survey, published in the journal Pediatrics, found 47 percent of teens believe e-cigarettes are less addictive than cigarettes. “Concern exists that e-cigarettes are re-normalizing smoking,” said Dr. Stephen Amrock, from the department of medicine at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland. “Children and parents need to understand that these products contain nicotine and are potentially harmful, both now and because they have been linked to later cigarette use.”
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