• 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…

  • Underage Drinking Program Launched in NC

    The North Carolina Alcohol and Beverage Commission is set to launch a new campaign today that focuses on underage drinking in North Carolina. The campaign will target kids as young as eleven. Click HERE for more on this story

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    Have You Heard About the Drug Terminator?

    The Eden City police department in Rockingham County, NC recently bought a Drug Terminator.  It is an incinerator that instantly burns the drugs instead of them going to a landfill or shipped away for disposal. County leaders decided to do it on site to save money.  The county first urged people to dispose of prescription drugs through Project Lazarus eight years ago after a high number of deaths and injuries related to prescription drugs. Click HERE for more on this story

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…