Bullied Teens More Likely to Smoke, Drink and Use Drugs

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Children who are bullied in fifth grade are more likely to become depressed and experiment with drugs and alcohol during their teen years than their peers who weren’t victimized by other kids, a U.S. study suggests. Researchers followed almost 4,300 students starting in fifth grade, when they were around 11 years old. By tenth grade, 24 percent of the teens drank alcohol, 15 percent smoked marijuana and 12 percent used tobacco. More frequent episodes of physical and emotional bullying in fifth grade were associated with higher odds of depression by seventh grade, which was in turn linked to greater likelihood of substance use later in adolescence, the study found. "We drew on the self-medication hypothesis when trying to understand why peer victimization may lead to substance use over time," said lead study author Valerie Earnshaw, a human development and family studies researcher at the University of Delaware in Newark. "This...
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Teen Marijuana-Related Visits to Colorado ER Rose Rapidly After Legalization

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A Colorado children’s hospital reports visits by teens to its emergency department and satellite urgent care centers more than quadrupled after the state legalized marijuana, a new study finds. Researchers examined the hospital’s records for 13- to 21-year-olds between 2005 and 2015. Colorado legalized medical marijuana in 2010 and recreational marijuana in 2014. The annual number of visits related to marijuana or involving a positive marijuana urine drug screen more than quadrupled, from 146 in 2005 to 639 in 2014, the researchers found. They will present their research at the 2017 Pediatric Academic Societies Meeting in San Francisco. “The state-level effect of marijuana legalization on adolescent use has only begun to be evaluated,” lead author George Sam Wang, MD said in a news release. “As our results suggest, targeted marijuana education and prevention strategies are necessary to reduce the significant public health impact of the drug can have on adolescent...
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Few Teens Treated for Opioid Addiction Get Medication-Assisted Treatment

Few Teens Treated for Opioid Addiction Get Medication-Assisted Treatment
Only 2.4 percent of teens in treatment for heroin addiction receive medication-assisted treatment, a new study finds. In contrast, 26.3 percent of adults received treatment with addiction medications such as methadone or buprenorphine, Reuters reports. Researchers at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health found only .4 percent of teens in treatment for prescription opioid addiction receive medication-assisted treatment, compared with 12 percent of adults. The American Academy of Pediatrics advises doctors to consider medication-assisted treatment for teens with severe opioid use disorders. “There’s more that needs to be done across the board to facilitate access to these treatments when they’re medically necessary,” lead researcher Kenneth Feder told Reuters. “The best validated treatment for somebody struggling with an opiate addiction is treatment that includes some sort of medication assistance.” The study appears in the Journal of Adolescent Health . Want to learn more about What Is Medication-Assisted Recovery? Click here.
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Pediatrics Group Issues New Guidelines for Talking to Teens About Marijuana

Pediatrics Group Issues New Guidelines for Talking to Teens About Marijuana
The American Academy of Pediatrics has issued new guidelines for doctors and parents to talk to teens about the risks of using marijuana, CNN reports. The organization said changes in the legal status of marijuana may lower teens’ perceptions of the risk, and may lead to more teens trying the drug. A recent survey found there is a decrease in the percentage of teens who say they believe there is a great risk in smoking marijuana once a month or once or twice a week. Doctors should screen preteens and teens for marijuana use, the group said. If they find a teen is using marijuana regularly or heavily, they can then decide if the teen would benefit from treatment, including counseling and medication. Parents should tell teens marijuana can cause abnormal brain development and impact memory, concentration and executive functioning skills, the group said. They also noted, “If you use...
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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...
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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...
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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 MYTHS TM,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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