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

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…

Cannabis Withdrawal Symptoms in Teens

Although cannabis — commonly known as marijuana — is broadly believed to be nonaddictive, a study has found that 40% of cannabis-using adolescents receiving outpatient treatment for substance use disorder reported experiencing symptoms of withdrawal, which are considered a hallmark of drug dependence.  The current study enrolled 127 adolescents between ages 14 and 19 being treated at an outpatient substance use disorder clinic, 90 of whom indicated that cannabis was the substance they used most frequently.  The commonly reported cannabis withdrawal symptoms reported were: anxiety, irritability, depression and difficulty sleeping.    Of the 90 cannabis-using participants, 84% met criteria for cannabis…

Percentage of Drinkers Receiving Treatment

Alcohol problems can impact a person’s life in many ways: economically, physically, and psychologically.  When facing these kinds of problems, an individual may choose to pursue alcohol treatment. Research shows, however, that of all the people with an alcohol use disorder, only about 15 percent ever receive treatment. Why do so few people receive treatment?  We know that the majority of those with alcohol dependence do not perceive a need for treatment.  It’s important that researchers and health care professionals recognize this disparity in perceived need in order to help those who would benefit from treatment.  A recent study sheds some…

April Is Alcohol Awareness Month

Held every April and founded by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. (NCADD); Alcohol Awareness Month was designed to increase public awareness and understanding aimed at reducing the stigma associated with alcoholism that too often prevents individuals and families from seeking help. Click HERE to find out more

New App: Mobile MORE (My Ongoing Recovery Experience)

Hazelden Foundation announced as winner of the Behavioral Health Patient Empowerment Challenge for creating the Mobile MORE smartphone app, designed to assists persons through one year of recovery. Click here for more information about this app

September is Recovery Month 2013

Recovery Month promotes the societal benefits of prevention, treatment, and recovery for mental and substance use disorders, celebrates people in recovery, lauds the contributions of treatment and service providers, and promotes the message that recovery in all its forms is possible.  Recovery Month spreads the positive message that behavioral health is essential to overall health, that prevention works, treatment is effective and people can and do recover.  There’s still time to plan and register events in your area!

New Documentary Strives to Transform Public Opinion on Recovery

The Anonymous People, a new documentary film about the over 23 million Americans living in long-term recovery from alcohol and other drug addiction, examines the deeply entrenched social stigma has kept recovery voices silent and faces hidden for decades. Check it out below…

Building Public Awareness and Community Support

SAMHSA offers webcast focused on examining the strategies and messages for building public awareness and community support around substance use disorders and mental illness, including the impact of health reform and the integration of behavioral health care into the primary health care setting. Check it out…

Policy Alert: State Alcohol & Drug Abuse Treatment Centers to Close

Policy Alert from APNC  The NC Senate’s budget proposes closes of ALL of the state’s Alcohol & Drug Abuse Treatment Centers (ADATCs), with a mandate to cease admissions at the end of June.  That proposal is now being considered by the NC House.   Click here for full alert

Brain patterns may help predict relapse risk for alcoholism

Distinct patterns of brain activity are linked to greater rates of relapse among alcohol dependent patients in early recovery, a study has found. The research, supported by the National Institutes of Health, may give clues about which people in recovery from alcoholism are most likely to return to drinking. “Reducing the high rate of relapse among people treated for alcohol dependence is a fundamental research issue,” said Kenneth R. Warren, Ph.D., acting director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), part of NIH. “Improving our understanding of the neural mechanisms that underlie relapse will help us identify…