Law Enforcement Utilizes New Techonology to Improve Community Ownership Among Youth

opening_text_message_by_dragonelder-d334d7wOur neighbors in Virginia are trying out the use of a new texting and email system to address the issues of substance abuse and crime in their community.

One county has implemented this system for students in the county’s middle and high schools to send anonymous emails or text messages.  Local County Sheriff Count Lane Perry say, “Emailing and texting are big things to the youth of today, and now, if a students sees something that really bothers them,” he said authorities can help before a situation “gets out of hand.”

“Part of this effort also is to try to keep drug use and abuse from increasing,” Perry said. “The young children who get lost today on drugs will be the criminals of tomorrow, and we know there are a lot of good kids in the school system who don’t like it when they see their friends lost to drugs. They don’t like it when they walk into a bathroom and see drugs being done, or when they see someone in the parking lot selling drugs,” he said.

But, “anything that concerns students can be reported,” he said. For example, “say someone’s smart phone is stolen” and a student knows who took it, Perry said. That information could be passed to authorities via the new system.

A secondary reason for starting the project is a challenge from Perry that “everyone should start taking ownership of their environment. We are not asking anyone to endanger themselves, but just to take ownership of their environment to help clean it up.”

The system also is intended to send a strong message to those students engaging in poor behaviors.

“We want them to know that they don’t have free reign to engage in bad behaviors anymore.  If they go into the bathroom, if they are selling drugs in the parking lot or coming to school late because they are selling them off school property, I want them thinking that someone will know, that someone will report the incident to law enforcement” and that there will be consequences, Perry said.

“This system was created to give the kids an anonymous means of reporting drug information and violence in their environments,” he added.

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Early-Onset, Regular Cannabis Use Is Linked to IQ Decline

A NIDA-supported 25-year study of 1,000 individuals suggests regular cannabis use that starts in adolescence strips away IQ.  Study participants who initiated weekly cannabis use before age 18 dropped IQ points in proportion to how long they persisted in using the drug, while nonusers gained a fraction of a point.

This study is important because we have precious little evidence on whether or not drug use leads to enduring changes in cognition,” says Dr. Steven Grant, chief of the Clinical Neurosciences Branch within NIDA’s Division of Clinical Neuroscience and Behavioral Research.  “The issue is critical, because at stake are the individual’s ability to benefit from current substance abuse therapies and recoup his or her full potential for a rich, fulfilling life.”

Click HERE for more information on this research study


Supporting Prevention Under Health Reform



The National Prevention Strategy identifies four Strategic Directions.

  • Healthy & Safe Environments
  • Clinical and Community Preventive Services
  • Empowered People
  • Elimination of Health Disparities

These Strategic Directions are the foundation for all prevention efforts and form the basis for a prevention-oriented society.  Each Strategic Direction can stand alone and can guide actions that will demonstrably improve health.  Together, the Strategic Directions create the web needed to fully support Americans in leading longer and healthier lives.

Additionally the National Prevention Strategy has identifed seven priority issues:

We have a role in supporting the National Prevention Strategy!

For more information visit SAMSHA’s Prevention Under Health Reform webpage

NCFADS Announces Winter School Scholarship Application


The Board of the North Carolina Foundation for Alcohol and Drug Studies will be awarding 20 scholarships for the 2014 Winter School.  Dates of the Winter School are: February 16-19, 2014.  The amount of the scholarship award will be dependent on one’s registration option.  The completed application package must be received no later than October 31, 2013.

To apply for the NCFADS scholarship, Click Here to access the scholarship application website.  

Substance Abuse Prevention Is Suicide Prevention

Prevention Works

Many of the factors that increase the risk for substance abuse, such as traumatic experiences, also increase the risk for suicidal thoughts and behaviors, and substance abuse, like mental health problems, is linked with a several-fold increase in suicide risk.

Drug poisoning deaths have increased 120 percent in recent years – from 17,415 in 2000 to 38,329 in 2010.  The majority (58 percent) of the drug deaths involved pharmaceuticals, and 75 percent of those deaths involved prescription pain relievers.  In 2010, U.S. emergency departments treated 202,000 suicide attempts in which prescription drugs were used as the means, 33,000 of which were narcotic pain relievers.

In a blog written by the Office of National Drug Control Policy, substance abuse providers are urged to align efforts with those in suicide prevention to promote health individuals and health communities.