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National survey shows reduction in non-medical prescription drug use among young adults

September 26, 2012 Comments off

National survey shows reduction in non-medical prescription drug use among young adults

Source: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

The number of people aged 18 to 25 who used prescription drugs for non-medical purposes in the past month declined 14 percent — from 2.0 million in 2010 to 1.7 million in 2011 — the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) announced today, during the 23rd annual national observance of National Recovery Month. Non-medical use of prescription drugs among children aged 12 to 17 and adults aged 26 or older remained unchanged.

In addition, the 2011 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), a survey conducted annually by SAMHSA, showed that the rates of past month drinking, binge drinking and heavy drinking among underage people continued a decline from 2002. Past month alcohol use among 12 to 20 year olds declined from 28.8 percent in 2002 to 25.1 percent in 2011, while binge drinking (consuming 5 or more drinks on a single occasion on at least 1 day in the past 30 days) declined from 19.3 percent in 2002 to 15.8 percent in 2011, and heavy drinking declined from 6.2 percent in 2002 to 4.4 percent in 2011.

Overall, the use of illicit drugs among Americans aged 12 and older remained stable since the last survey in 2010. The NSDUH shows that 22.5 million Americans aged 12 or older were current (past month) illicit drug users — (8.7 percent of the population 12 and older in 2011 versus 8.9 percent in 2010).

Marijuana continues to be the most commonly used illicit drug. In 2011, 7.0 percent of Americans were current users of marijuana — up from 5.8 percent in 2007. Among youths aged 12 to 17, the rate of current marijuana use remained about the same from 2009 (7.4 percent) to 2011 (7.9 percent). Increases in the rate of current marijuana use occurred from 2007 to 2011 among adolescents (ages 12-17), young adults (ages 18 to 25), and adults (ages 26 or older). Additionally, the number of people aged 12 and older who used heroin in the past year rose from 373,000 in 2007 to 621,000 in 2010 and 620,000 in 2011.

Nearly 40 Percent of Substance Abuse Treatment Admissions Report Alcohol-Drug Combinations

September 8, 2012 Comments off

Nearly 40 Percent of Substance Abuse Treatment Admissions Report Alcohol-Drug Combinations (PDF)

Source:  Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
People often arrive in substance abuse treatment programs with multiple problems—including dependency on or addiction to both alcohol and drugs. National data from the Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS) for 2009 show that 730,228 substance abuse treatment admissions (37.2 percent) reported abuse of alcohol and at least one other drug; 23.1 percent of all admissions reported the abuse of alcohol and one other drug, and 14.1 percent reported the abuse of alcohol and two other drugs.
When alcohol is used with other drugs, it tends to be ingested in greater quantities than when used in their absence.2 Combining alcohol with other drugs is dangerous. For example, taking benzodiazepines concomitantly with alcohol increases the chances of benzodiazepine-involved death. It is important for treatment providers to identify patients who use alcohol with other drugs since that is an especially dangerous usage pattern.

Tobacco Sales to Youth

August 23, 2012 Comments off

Tobacco Sales to Youth (PDF)

Source:  Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Tobacco use is the leading cause of death and disease in the United States, with 443,000 deaths annually attributed to smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke (CDC, 2008). Nearly all tobacco use begins during youth and young adulthood. In fact, among adults who have ever smoked daily, 88 percent report that they first smoked by the age of 18, with 99 percent reporting that they first smoked by the age of 26. Furthermore, more than one-third (36.7 percent) of adults who have ever smoked report trying their first cigarette by the age of 14 (USDHHS, 2012). These data suggest that if youth are prevented from smoking while they are young, they will be unlikely to begin smoking as adults.
Tobacco use is also highly associated with the use of alcohol and illicit drugs. Specifically, over half (52.9 percent) of youths aged 12 to 17 who smoked cigarettes in the past month also used an illicit drug compared with 6.2 percent of youths who did not smoke cigarettes. Similarly, close to half (43.7 percent) of current cigarette users age 12 and over also report binge drinking in the past month, compared to 16.9 percent of current nonsmokers (SAMHSA, 2011).

SAMHSA Guide: Getting Through Tough Economic Times

July 21, 2012 Comments off

SAMHSA Guide: Getting Through Tough Economic Times

Source:  Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
  • This guide covers:
  • Possible health risks
  • Warning signs
  • Managing stress
  • Getting help
  • Suicide warning signs
  • Other steps you can take
Possible Health Risks
Economic turmoil (e.g., increased unemployment, foreclosures, loss of investments and other financial distress) can result in a whole host of negative health effects – both physical and mental. It can be particularly devastating to your emotional and mental well-being. Although each of us is affected differently by economic troubles, these problems can add tremendous stress, which in turn can substantially increase the risk for developing such problems as:
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Compulsive Behaviors (over-eating, excessive gambling, spending, etc.)
  • Substance Abuse

Top Health Issues for LGBT Populations

July 13, 2012 Comments off

Top Health Issues for LGBT Populations

Source: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Equips prevention professionals, healthcare providers, and educators with information on current health issues among lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) populations. Includes an overview of terms related to gender identity and sexual expression.

The Role of Biomarkers in the Treatment of Alcohol Use Disorders, 2012 Revision

July 11, 2012 Comments off

The Role of Biomarkers in the Treatment of Alcohol Use Disorders, 2012 Revision

Source: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Discusses the role of alcohol biomarkers in the clinical, medical, and forensic settings and examines strategies for their use and interpretation in varying circumstances such as clinical, criminal justice, and impaired healthcare provider settings.

Monthly Variation in Substance Use Initiation among Adolescents

July 7, 2012 Comments off

Monthly Variation in Substance Use Initiation among Adolescents (PDF)
Source: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

In Brief

  • First-time use of most substances peaks during the summer months of June and July
  • On an average day in June, July, or December, more than 11,000 youths used alcohol for the first time; in other months, the daily average ranged from about 5,000 to 8,000 new users per day
  • On an average day in June or July, more than 5,000 youths smoked cigarettes for the first time; in other months, the daily average ranged from about 3,000 to 4,000 new users per day
  • On an average day in June or July, more than 4,800 youths used marijuana for the first time, whereas the daily average ranged from about 3,000 to 4,000 in other months

Leading Change: A Plan for SAMHSA’s Roles and Actions 2011-2014

June 9, 2012 Comments off
Source:  Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Introduces eight new Strategic Initiatives that will guide SAMHSA’s work from 2011 through 2014 to help people with mental and substance use disorders and their families to build strong communities, prevent behavioral health problems, and promote better health for all Americans.

Major Depressive Episode among Full-Time College Students and Other Young Adults, Aged 18 to 22

May 30, 2012 Comments off

Major Depressive Episode among Full-Time College Students and Other Young Adults, Aged 18 to 22
Source: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

+ Combined data for the years 2008 to 2010 show that 8.4 percent of full-time college students aged 18 to 22 and 8.2 percent of other young adults (part-time college students and those not currently enrolled in college) aged 18 to 22 experienced a major depressive episode (MDE) in the past year.

+ Although both groups had similar rates of past year MDE, other young adults with MDE were more likely than full-time college students with past year MDE to report that the mood related to their MDE very severely impaired their important activities and relationships and to report that they experienced more than 60 days in the past year when they were totally unable to carry out their normal activities.

+ Despite greater severity of symptoms among other young adults with MDE, both groups were equally likely to receive specialty mental health treatment (43.9 vs. 40.4 percent).

Substance Use during Pregnancy Varies by Race and Ethnicity

May 10, 2012 Comments off

Substance Use during Pregnancy Varies by Race and Ethnicity (PDF)
Source: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

When pregnant women use alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs, they incur an increased risk for experiencing health problems themselves and poor birth outcomes for their infants. It is important for doctors, nurses, and midwives to discuss the risks of substance use with all pregnant women. Data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) indicate that substance use during pregnancy varies by race and ethnicity and suggest that health care providers may consider delivering targeted messages to make their discussions more effective.

According to NSDUH data, among women aged 15 to 44, pregnant black women were more likely than pregnant white and Hispanic women to have used any illicit drugs in the past month (Figure). Pregnant black and white women were more likely than pregnant Hispanic women to have used alcohol in the past month. Pregnant white women were more likely than pregnant black women to have smoked cigarettes in the past month, and both groups were more likely than pregnant Hispanic women to have smoked. Health care providers may want to consider using this information to deliver relevant health education to their patients about risks associated with illicit drug, alcohol, and tobacco use.

See: More Than One in Five Pregnant White Women Smoke Cigarettes (Science Daily)

Adults experiencing mental illness have higher rates of certain chronic physical illnesses

April 16, 2012 Comments off
Source:  Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
A new report shows that adults (aged 18 and older) who had a mental illness in the past year have higher rates of certain physical illnesses than those not experiencing mental illness. According to the report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), adults aged 18 and older who had any mental illness, serious mental illness, or major depressive episodes in the past year had increased rates of high blood pressure, asthma, diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.
For example, 21.9 percent of adults experiencing any mental illness (based on the diagnostic criteria specified in the 4th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV)) in the past year had high blood pressure. In contrast, 18.3 percent of those not experiencing any mental illness had high blood pressure. Similarly, 15.7 percent of adults who had any mental illness in the past year also had asthma, while only 10.6 percent of those without mental illness had this condition.
Adults who had a serious mental illness (i.e., a mental illness causing serious functional impairment substantially interfering with one or more major life activities) in the past year also evidenced higher rates of high blood pressure, asthma, diabetes, heart disease and stroke than people who did not experience serious mental illnesses.
Adults experiencing major depressive episodes (periods of depression lasting two weeks or more in which there were significant problems with everyday aspects of life such as sleep, eating, feelings of self-worth, etc.) had higher rates of the following physical illnesses than those without past-year major depressive episodes: high blood pressure (24.1 percent vs. 19.8 percent), asthma (17.0 percent vs. 11.4 percent), diabetes (8.9 percent vs. 7.1 percent), heart disease (6.5 percent vs. 4.6 percent), and stroke (2.5 percent vs. 1.1 percent).

Full Report (PDF)

Women on probation or parole more likely to experience mental illness

March 29, 2012 Comments off

Women on probation or parole more likely to experience mental illness
Source: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

A new report shows that women aged 18 to 49 on probation or parole are nearly twice as likely to experience mental illness as other women. The study conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) showed that almost half of women in this age range who had been on probation (49.4 percent) and more than half on parole (54.2 percent) in the past year had experienced some form of mental illness — compared to 27.5 percent of women who had not been on probation or parole.

The study also found rates of serious mental illness (defined as mental illness that substantially limits major life activities) were two to three times higher for women who had been on probation (21.5 percent) or on parole (28.5 percent) than for women who had not been on probation or parole (7.8 percent). Research indicates that women in the criminal justice system with untreated mental health problems have greater difficulty reintegrating into their families and communities and are more likely to re-offend than those without mental health problems.

+ Full Report (PDF)

Nearly half of all substance abuse treatment admissions involving college students were primarily for treating alcohol disorders

February 13, 2012 Comments off
A new report shows that nearly half (46.6 percent) of all substance abuse treatment admissions involving college or other post secondary school students ages 18 to 24 were primarily related to alcohol disorders. The rate of primary alcohol-related treatment admissions is far higher among college students than for non-college students in the same age bracket (46.6 percent versus 30.6 percent) according to this new report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
The SAMHSA report shows that in 2009 there were 12,000 treatment admissions involving college students. While the rate of college student treatment admissions linked primarily to alcohol was far higher than for non-college students, both groups had similar admission rates for primary marijuana-related problems – 30.9 percent for college students versus 30 percent for non-college students.

Full Report (PDF)

Emergency Department Visits Involving Illicit Drug Use among Males

February 5, 2012 Comments off

Emergency Department Visits Involving Illicit Drug Use among Males
Source: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Examines characteristics of emergency department treatment visits involving illicit drug use among males based on annual averages for combined 2004 to 2009 data. Reports trends in age, drug involved, and disposition of the visit.

+ Full Report (PDF)

See also: Emergency Department Visits Involving Illicit Drug Use among Females

National report finds one-in-five Americans experienced mental illness in the past year

January 20, 2012 Comments off
Source:  Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
A new national report reveals that 45.9 million American adults aged 18 or older, or 20 percent of this age group, experienced mental illness in the past year. The rate of mental illness was more than twice as high among those aged 18 to 25 (29.9 percent) than among those aged 50 and older (14.3 percent). Adult women were also more likely than men to have experienced mental illness in the past year (23 percent versus 16.8 percent).
Mental illness among adults aged 18 or older is defined as having had a diagnosable mental, behavioral, or emotional disorder (excluding developmental and substance use disorders) in the past year, based on criteria specified in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV; American Psychiatric Association [APA], 1994).
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) National Survey on Drug Use and Health also shows that 11.4 million adults (5 percent of the adult population) suffered from serious mental illness in the past year. Serious mental illness is defined as one that resulted in serious functional impairment, which substantially interfered with or limited one or more major life activities.

Full Report

Illicit drug related emergency department visits vary by metropolitan area

December 19, 2011 Comments off
Source:  Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Major metropolitan areas show significant variation in the rates of emergency department (ED) visits involving illicit drugs. In terms of overall illicit drug-related emergency room visits, Boston has the highest rate (571 per 100,000 population), followed by New York City (555 per 100,000 population), Chicago (507 per 100,000 population), and Detroit (462 per 100,000 population). By comparison the national average was 317 per 100,000 population.

This new report published by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) was drawn from the agency’s Drug Abuse Warning Network – (DAWN), a public health surveillance system that monitors drug-related emergency department visits throughout the nation. This information was collected from eleven metropolitan areas including Boston, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Miami (Dade County and Fort Lauderdale Division), Minneapolis, New York (Five Boroughs Division), Phoenix, San Francisco, and Seattle.

Full Report (PDF)

Drug-Related Emergency Department Visits Attributed to Intentional Poisoning

November 12, 2011 Comments off

Drug-Related Emergency Department Visits Attributed to Intentional Poisoning
Source: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

  • In 2009, there were an estimated 14,720 emergency department (ED) visits attributed to intentional drug poisoning
  • Three quarters (73 percent) of drug-related ED visits attributed to intentional poisoning were made by patients aged 21 or older
  • Females accounted for nearly two thirds of drug-related ED visits attributed to intentional poisoning (63 percent)
  • Approximately 60 percent of these ED visits in 2009 involved unidentified drugs, and a similar percentage involved alcohol in combination with other drugs

New study shows residential substance abuse treatment programs are operating at 89-percent of capacity

November 4, 2011 Comments off

New study shows residential substance abuse treatment programs are operating at 89-percent of capacity
Source: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

A new spotlight report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) shows that the vast majority of residential substance abuse treatment programs are operating near full capacity. This report indicates that there is continuing wide spread demand for these services.

The residential treatment programs included in the report are those operating outside a hospital setting. Nationwide a total of 110,795 residential beds were designated for this purpose, with more than three quarters (76-percent) in private non-profit facilities.

Utilization rates within these facilities varied somewhat among the types of institutions running them – ranging from 96-percent in facilities operated by the federal government to 82-percent operated by Tribal governments.

+ Full Report (PDF)

Mental and Substance Use Disorders among Adult Men on Probation or Parole: Some Success against a Persistent Challenge

October 26, 2011 Comments off

Mental and Substance Use Disorders among Adult Men on Probation or Parole: Some Success against a Persistent Challenge
Source: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

The number of probationers and parolees with mental or substance use disorders whose treatment needs are not being met by community treatment and supportive services is significant. As a result, they are placed at greater risk for parole or probation failure leading to reincarceration. The findings suggest the ongoing need for broader implementation of effective treatment and reentry services for this high-risk, mostly nonviolent population, such as those provided under ongoing federal grant programs focused on reentering offenders. The ability to promote community reentry and reintegration for parolees and probationers with mental or substance use disorders requires a release plan that includes timely and readily accessible community-based treatment and appropriate support services.

Illicit Drug Use among Older Adults

October 11, 2011 Comments off

Illicit Drug Use among Older Adults
Source: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Servies Administration

+ An estimated 4.8 million adults aged 50 or older, or 5.2 percent of adults in that age range, had used an illicit drug in the past year

+ Marijuana use was more common than nonmedical use of prescription-type drugs among adults aged 50 to 59 (5.9 vs. 3.6 percent), while nonmedical use of prescription-type drugs was as common as use of marijuana among adults aged 60 or older (1.2 vs. 1.1 percent)

+ Marijuana use was more common than nonmedical use of prescription-type drugs among males aged 50 or older (4.7 vs. 2.5 percent); rates of marijuana use and nonmedical use of prescription-type drugs were similar among females aged 50 or older (1.9 and 2.1 percent, respectively)

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