Employers Can Calculate How Much Substance Use Is Costing Them

Employers Can Calculate How Much Substance Use Is Costing Them
A new online tool allows employers to calculate how much substance use may be costing their company. The tool allows employers to enter their industry, location and size. The calculator combines research on employment costs with data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health to calculate how much substance misuse and abuse in the workforce costs employers. It was developed by National Safety Council, the addiction resource organization Shatterproof and NORC at the University of Chicago, formerly known as the National Opinion Research Center. An estimated 20.8 million Americans are affected by substance use disorders, according to the Chicago Tribune . Three-quarters of these people are part of the workforce, but most employers are unaware of the hidden costs associated with these problems, the National Safety Council notes on its website.
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Teen Substance Use Shows Promising Decline

Teen Substance Use Shows Promising Decline
The 2016 Monitoring the Future (MTF) annual survey results released from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) reflect changing teen behaviors and choices in a social media-infused world. The results show a continued long-term decline in the use of many illicit substances, including marijuana, as well as alcohol, tobacco, and misuse of some prescription medications, among the nation’s teens. The MTF survey measures drug use and attitudes among eighth, 10th, and 12th graders, and is funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the NIH. Findings from the survey indicate that past year use of any illicit drug was the lowest in the survey’s history for eighth graders, while past year use of illicit drugs other than marijuana is down from recent peaks in all three grades. Marijuana use in the past month among eighth graders dropped significantly in 2016 to 5.4 percent, from 6.5 percent in...
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Some People Ask Judges to Lock Them Up to Get Inpatient Opioid Addiction Treatment

Some People Ask Judges to Lock Them Up to Get Inpatient Opioid Addiction Treatment
Some people addicted to heroin are asking judges to lock them up so they can get access to treatment for opioid addiction, NPR reports. In Massachusetts, some people addicted to opioids are using a law designed for family members to commit loved ones to a locked facility if they are deemed to be a danger to themselves or others because of substance use. Thirty-eight states allow civil commitment for substance abuse, the article notes. About 8,000 people in Massachusetts will be committed to substance abuse treatment this year, up 40 percent from five years ago. In many cases, people are assigned to a privately run treatment center. If there is no room at private centers, some men are assigned to a program at the state prison. Women committed to mandatory treatment in civil proceedings in the state only go to privately run centers.
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SAMHSA Report Shows Higher Rates of Substance Use & Mental Illness Among Sexual Minority Adults

SAMHSA Report Shows Higher Rates of Substance Use & Mental Illness Among Sexual Minority Adults
A new report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) for the first time uses data from SAMHSA’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) focuses on patterns of substance use and mental illness among adults (aged 18 and older) of different sexual orientations. Overall, the report finds that adults who identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual (sexual minority adults) have higher prevalence of substance use and mental illness than adults who identified themselves as heterosexual (sexual majority adults). However, sexual minority adults were significantly more likely than sexual majority adults to receive needed treatment for mental illness and substance use disorders. The report finds that 4.3 percent of the adult population, aged 18 or older, identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual. It is important to note that the report does not address the behavioral health of transgender or questioning people because the NSDUH does not...
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Lack of Sleep May Increase Risk of Drug and Alcohol Use in Male Teens

Lack of Sleep May Increase Risk of Drug and Alcohol Use in Male Teens
A new study suggests a lack of adequate sleep may increase the risk of drug and alcohol use in male teens. The study of 186 boys found duration and quality of sleep at age 11 were associated with early substance use throughout adolescence. “If we just look at age 16, the group of kids getting the most sleep... only about half of them had tried alcohol,” lead researcher Brant Hasler told CBS Pittsburgh . “If we look at the group of kids getting the least sleep, nearly three quarters of them had tried.” Boys who slept the least, compared to those who slept the most, were more likely to report earlier use, intoxication and repeated use of both alcohol and marijuana.
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Report Shows Less Underage Drinking & Smoking, Overall Substance Use and Mental Illness Levels Remain Constant

Report Shows Less Underage Drinking & Smoking, Overall Substance Use and Mental Illness Levels Remain Constant
Some forms of substance use, such as adolescent (aged 12 to 17) underage drinking and alcohol use among young adults (aged 18 to 25), continued to drop according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) latest (2015) National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) report. Other substance use levels among youth and young adults, including marijuana and heroin use, remained relatively stable over the past few years. The report also finds that mental illness levels among adults aged 26 and older generally remain steady, but there is a slight rise in the levels of major depressive episodes among adolescents and young adults. SAMHSA issued its 2015 NSDUH report on key substance use and mental health indicators as part of the 27th annual observance of National Recovery Month. Recovery Month expands public awareness that behavioral health is essential to health, prevention works, treatment for substance use and...
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Easy Access to Drugs or Alcohol in Teen Years May Increase Risk of Later Substance Use

Easy Access to Drugs or Alcohol in Teen Years May Increase Risk of Later Substance Use
Teens who have easy access to drugs or alcohol may be at increased risk of substance use in adulthood, a new study suggests. The effects are stronger for white people and males, UPI reports. Researchers from Michigan State University analyzed data from 15,000 teens and young adults. The study found teens with easy access began using drugs and alcohol at a younger age, and were more likely to be using one or both substances later in life. The findings appear in the Journal of Child and Adolescent Substance Abuse . “These findings provide evidence that the availability of illegal drugs and alcohol in the home while growing up is a critical factor in the later use of substances,” lead researcher Cliff Broman said in a news release.
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ADHD Drugs Don’t Increase Substance Abuse Risk if Started Early and Taken Longer

ADHD Drugs Don’t Increase Substance Abuse Risk if Started Early and Taken Longer
Medications to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) do not increase children’s risk of substance abuse later in life if they start taking them early and for a long period, a new study suggests. The odds of any substance use were more than two times as likely among those who started taking ADHD medications at age 15 or older, and took them for two years or less, compared with those who started treatment at age 9 or younger, and took the drugs for six years or more, HealthDay reports. The findings appear in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry .
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Traumatic Childhood Experiences Linked to Substance Abuse in Adulthood

Traumatic Childhood Experiences Linked to Substance Abuse in Adulthood
A new study suggests adults who were victims of sexual and/or physical abuse in childhood, or who witnessed chronic parental violence, are at greatly increased risk of substance use. Researchers from the University of Toronto found one in five drug-dependent adults and one in six alcohol-dependent adults had experienced childhood sexual abuse, compared with one in 19 in the general population of Canada, PsychCentral reports. One in seven adults who were dependent on drugs or alcohol had been exposed to chronic parental domestic violence, compared with one in 25 in the general population, the researchers report in Substance Use & Misuse . Parental violence was considered chronic if it occurred at least 11 times before the child turned 16, the article notes. “We were surprised that chronic parental domestic violence exposure remained significantly associated with both drug and alcohol dependence, even when we adjusted for childhood maltreatment, depression and most...
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National Prevention Week Begins Monday, May 15

National Prevention Week Begins Monday, May 15
SAMHSA’s fifth annual National Prevention Week, happening May 15-21, 2016, is dedicated to increasing public awareness and prevention of mental and/or substance use disorders. During National Prevention Week, community organizations across the country host health fairs, educational assemblies, town hall meetings, memorial walks, social media campaigns, outdoor events, and more. This year’s theme—Strong as One, Stronger Together—recognizes that one person can make a positive difference in their community, but when we all unite together we can achieve even more. Who supports National Prevention Week? In addition to Federal and national partners such as the Office of National Drug Control Policy, the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America, the American Public Health Association, the National Parent-Teacher Association, and Tobacco-Free Kids. SAMHSA is pleased to announce that Torrey DeVitto, who stars as an ER pediatrician in the NBC drama “Chicago Med,” serves as this year’s National Prevention Week Ambassador. Watch her in the...
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