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 nicotine levels, greater blood carbon monoxide levels, and much greater inhaled smoke volume were observed from exposure to hookah smoke compared to cigarette smoke.

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Underage Drinking Pilot Program Launched at Six NC Universities

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 that she envisions the program as a step to stop an “alarming and dangerous trend” of underage drinking and substance abuse among students.

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Prescription Drug Abuse Resource

Protect Your Kids provides helpful information about prescription drug abuse, prevention and intervention.

Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

SAMHSA Strategic initiatives help people with mental and substance use disorders, support the families of people with mental and substance use disorders, build strong and supportive communities, prevent costly behavioral health problems, and promote better health for all Americans.  The site provides information on health reform, tools, research, data, and community support related to issues of mental health and substance abuse.

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 medicine abuse, and parents are urged to keep an eye on the medicine cabinet.  Cough syrup does not show up on a drug test, so it can be hard to detect abuse at first.

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