• Palcohol Gets the Green Light

    The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau approved a new product Wednesday called Palcohol.  It’s a dried form of alcohol that can be mixed with water to create liquid alcohol.  Concerns over safety have already led several states, including South Carolina, Louisiana and Vermont, to ban powdered alcohol and other states are considering legislation, KPNX-TV in Phoenix reported. Some critics are concerned people may try to snort the powder or mix it with alcohol to make it even stronger or spike a drink. Click HERE for more on this story.

  • Cannabis flower (Cannabis sativa)

    Early Cannabis Use Connected to Adult Memory Problems

    Young adults who abused cannabis as teens performed about 18 percent worse on long-term memory tests than young adults who never abused cannabis. “The memory processes that appear to be affected by cannabis are ones that we use every day to solve common problems and to sustain our relationships with friends and family,” said senior author Dr. John Csernansky, the Lizzie Gilman professor and chair of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and Northwestern Memorial Hospital. The brain abnormalities and memory problems were observed during the individuals’ early twenties, two years after they stopped smoking…

  • Drink beer

    SAMHSA Defends Keeping Drinking Age at 21

    An opinion piece in the NY Times argued for the US to “Return the Drinking Age to 18, and Enforce It” SAMHA’s Pamela S. Hyde responded with the reasons why “maintaining the current minimum legal drinking age (MLDA) of 21 is critical to the health and safety of our nation’s individuals, families, and communities: Studies have found that people who begin drinking before age 15 are 4 times more likely to develop alcohol dependence during their lifetime than are people who begin drinking at age 21. Research has also shown a clear link between age 21 MLDA laws and a…

  • Hookah_0890

    Potential Health Risks of Hookah Smoking are Being Overlooked

    “Researchers are finding that people perceive hookah smoking as a safer and healthier means of tobacco use.  However, toxicological research is finding elements in hookah smoke that are well-established to cause adverse health effects,” says Norbert E. Kaminski, PhD, SOT President 2014-2015. Studies show that hookah use is associated with potentially dangerous chemicals and health effects: Chemicals produced during one hookah smoking session of 45 to 60 minutes can equal those produced by smoking 10 or more cigarettes. Hookah use generates carcinogens, such as benzene, and has been linked to lung cancer and loss of lung function. Similar peak plasma…

  • Pharmaceutical Drugs

    Skittles, Triple-C, Robotripping and Dex?

    An old trend among teens and college students has resurfaced: using cough syrup to get high.  In addition to Skittles or Triple-C, teenagers are calling the drug Tussin, Robotripping, and Dex.  But essentially, it is simply over-the-counter cough syrup, often mixed with soda or other drugs such as marijuana. Abusers are after the active ingredient in regular over-the-counter cough syrup, dextromethorphan, or DXM.  DXM is a dissociative anesthetic, meaning it can cause “out-of-body” side effects that include hallucinations. Taking a high dose of DXM can produce similar effects as the drug PCP. Local drug programs are starting to focus on cough…

News From The Field

Underage Drinking Pilot Program Launched at Six NC Universities

Feb 11, 2015

As a pilot program, the University of North Carolina System will work alongside the state’s Alcohol Beverage Control Commission, Alcohol Law Enforcement Division, and the Department of Health and Human Services, to combat underage drinking and illegal drug use on college campuses.  In most cases, state citations will now be issued to students, taking traditional on-campus measures a step further.  Depending on the situation, a student could be required to attend court, or enter a treatment or prevention program offered by the university. Aldona Wos, secretary of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, said in a statement…

Connection Between Early Age of First Drink and Heavy Drinking

Sep 29, 2014

“Our research suggests that teenagers who have their first drink at an early age drink more heavily, on average, than those who start drinking later on,” said Meghan E. Morean, assistant professor of psychology at Oberlin College, Ohio and adjunct assistant professor of psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine.  “Our work also suggests that how quickly teenagers move from having their first drink to getting drunk for the first time is an important piece of the puzzle.  In total, having your first drink at a young age and quickly moving to drinking to the point of getting drunk are associated…

Report reveals the scope of substance use and mental illness affecting the nation

Sep 15, 2014

A new report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) provides insight into the nature and scope of substance use and mental illness issues affecting America.  The report shows that 24.6 million Americans aged 12 or older were current (past month) illicit drug users – 9.4 percent of this age group.  Marijuana was by far the most commonly used illicit drug, with nonmedical use of prescription pain relievers as a close second. The SAMHSA report also shows that 34.6 million adults aged 18 or older (14.6 percent of the population aged 18 or older) received mental health…