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USING DRUGS WHEN YOUNG LINKED TO LONG TERM HEALTH RISKS

 

 

The findings of a report released by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) reveal a promising downward trend regarding drug use among secondary school students in England. Tobacco, alcohol and drug use among students have been cut in half in the past ten years. Smoking rates have dropped from 9% to 3% and alcohol rates have dropped from 25% to 9%. Illicit drug use has fallen by 50% between 2003 and 2013. The growing concern that e-cigarettes might fuel the uptake of smoking in teenagers was not supported by the report.

 

 

Early onset of drug use linked to mental disorders and multi-drug use

 

 

A study conducted by the US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) found that individuals who had started taking drugs early on in life were more likely to develop mental disorders and become polydrug users. At the time of clinical admission, three quarters of drug users between 18 and 30 years of age had started taking drugs at age 17 or younger. A tenth of drug users had started at an even earlier age. 78.1% of drug users that had started taking drugs at age 11 or younger were taking more than one drug compared to 30.4% of individuals that had initiated drug use after the age of 25. 38.6% of drug users that had begun taking drugs at age 11 or under had developed some form of mental disorder. These results underline the importance of prevention programmes in childhood and early adolescence, phases that are critical for young people’s development.

 

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Submitted by Livia Edegger on 30th July 2014 – 10:14

 

 

Teenage smoking cut in half in Ireland

 

 

As a country with a history of heavy smoking and drug use among youth, Ireland embraces the results of a new study indicating a substantial drop in teen smoking. Youth smoking rates fell from 21.1% in 1998 to 11.9% in 2010. Similarly, the percentage of teenagers that take their first puff at age 13 or younger has decreased significantly. While in 2002 more than 60% of Irish teenagers had their first cigarette at age 13 or younger, by 2010 that number had fallen to just under 50%. These positive developments were presented at the Irish Cancer Society’s X-Hale Film Festival in Dublin, which featured 43 short clips produced by youth groups that drew attention to the harms of smoking.

 

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Submitted by Livia Edegger on 23rd July 2014 – 16:27

 

 

Germany releases drug report

  

Earlier this month Germany celebrated the results of the 2014 drug report which revealed a rapid decline in smoking, drinking and marijuana use among youth over the past ten years. Smoking among German teens aged 12 – 17 has halved in ten years (11.7%). Smoking rates have also dropped among 18 – 25 year olds, not as significantly though. Drinking rates have fallen from 17.9% in 2001 to 13.6% in 2012 among 12 – 17 year olds. In terms of gender differences, teenage boys are twice more likely to consume alcohol than their female counterparts.

 

Little has changed among 18 – 25 year olds, the group that accounts for the highest alcohol consumption rate. Drinking in that age group was reported at 38.4% in 2012 which means it only dropped by a little over 1%. Cannabis ranks first among illicit drugs used with 5.6% of 12 – 17 year old teenagers using it compared to 9.2% in 2001. After years of steady consumption rates, cannabis use among 18 – 25 year olds is on the rise again and at 15.8% resembles figures of 2001.

 

 

Submitted by Livia Edegger on 23rd July 2014 – 16:24

 

 

Prevention measures lower prescription drug abuse in US

 

US researchers that analysed over a million lab samples found that prescription drug abuse is twice as likely to decrease in states with drug prevention programmes in place. The states of Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, New York and Tennessee have seen a decline of 10% in prescription drug abuse, a rate 2.5 higher than the average rate for the rest of the country. In addition to the nationwide drug monitoring programme, these states have implemented programmes such as awareness raising initiatives, training and guidance for physicians and additional regulations to curb prescription drug abuse.

 

Overall, prescription drug abuse has fallen from 63% in 2011 to 55% in 2013 with the most significant decline in teen rates from 70% to 57%. Despite these improvements, prescription drug abuse continues to be widespread in the US with more than half the patients endangering their health by misusing prescription drugs.

 

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Submitted by Livia Edegger on 23rd July 2014 – 16:07

 

 

US teens targeted by alcohol advertising in magazines

 

The most popular alcohol brands among US youth are the ones most often featured in advertisements in teenage magazines, according to a new study. Their ads are found to be five to nine times more likely to appear in those magazines. Leading researcher Craig Ross of Virtual Media Resources warns parents of the effects of alcohol ads on young adults, “Parents should take note that scientific evidence is growing that exposure to alcohol advertising promotes drinking initiation, and is likely to increase the frequency of consumption for kids already drinking”.

 

Along with a group of researchers he called for developing standards that would limit alcohol advertising to magazines with less than 15% of young people among its readership.

 

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Underage drinkers’ favourite alcohol brands are heavily advertised in magazines http://www.drugfree.org/join-together/underage-drinkers-favorite-alcohol…

 

Submitted by Livia Edegger on 16th July 2014 – 16:39

 

 

Researchers create tool to predict teens’ drinking behaviour

 

 

A group of researchers has developed a test to predict fourteen year old teenagers’ future drinking behaviour. The test takes a wide variety of factors that might influence young adults’ susceptibility to binge drinking into consideration such as family background, personality traits, availability of alcohol as well as brain-related variables. “There is no one really big thing. It’s a bunch of little things adding up to give you this prediction,” says Dr Robert Whelan from the University College Dublin.

 

As of today, the test is far from practical as it lacks accuracy and relies on expensive brain scans. A more simplified and cost-effective version of the test could help identify at-risk adolescents for interventions in the future. Hugh Perry, chairman of the Medical Research Council Neurosciences and Mental Health Board, said further research could “lead to breakthroughs in this field and provide compelling evidence to inform public health policy and lay the groundwork for the design of interventions”.

 

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Submitted by Livia Edegger on 9th July 2014 – 15:38

 

 

Guide to implementing community drug prevention programmes

 

 

This month the Australian Drug Foundation published the latest issue of their Prevention Research journal which features alcohol and drug prevention programmes in communities across Australia. The issue provides guidelines for organisations, individuals, practitioners and others developing and running prevention programmes and activities in community settings. The issue highlights the importance of comprehensive community programmes involving families, schools and other community entities and offers guidelines to community-based organisations and groups working in the field of drug prevention.

 

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Submitted by joanna on 3rd July 2014 – 12:42

 

 

Why parenting styles matter when it comes to drug use among teens

 

 

A new study carried out by the European Institute of Studies on Prevention (IREFREA) explores the role of parenting styles on drug use among teenagers. A group of researchers interviewed almost 8,000 students between 11 and 19 years of age across six European countries. The study analysed four parenting styles – authoritarian, authoritative, indulgent and neglectful. The first two parenting styles were characterised by strict rules and control.

 

Authoritative parenting was marked by good communication, affection and flexibility from the parents’ side while the authoritarian style lacked those characteristics. The more lenient parenting styles – ‘indulgent’ and ‘neglectful’ – differed to the extent that in the former parents were affectionate and understanding, qualities that were absent in the latter. The ‘authoritative’ and ‘indulgent’ parenting styles, in which parents were affectionate and understanding, were the most effective in keeping children from using drugs.

 

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Submitted by Livia Edegger on 17th June 2014 – 16:28

 

 

Another success story: Italy adapts Botvin LifeSkills Training

 

 

One of the most widely used school-based prevention programmes has proven to be effective in reducing drug use among adolescents in yet another country. After a team of researchers translated the programme known as Botvin LifeSkills Training into Italian, it was launched in around 180 schools in Lombardy, a region of Northern Italy.

 

Within those schools the programme reached approximately 30,000 students and involved 1,800 teachers. The programme was found to reduce teenage smoking rates by 40% while boosting students’ self-esteem and equipping them with the relevant skills to deal with stressful situations. Following the success of the programme in Northern Italy, the Regional Observatory on Drug Addiction of Lombardy would like to see the programme implemented in schools across the country.

 

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Submitted by Livia Edegger on 17th June 2014 – 14:25

 

 

The importance of parents and peers in young people’s attitude towards drinking

 

 

A recent study examines the extent to which peers and parents can influence an adolescent’s attitude towards drinking by comparing teenage drinkers with non-drinkers. The group of teenagers that viewed drinking as a fun activity were not restricted by their parents in their drinking and found it difficult to handle peer pressure. In contrast, the adolescents that did not drink were given stringent rules regarding drinking by their parents and did not feel the need to drink to fit in.

 

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Submitted by Livia Edegger on 12th June 2014 – 11:52

 

 

Preventing Alcohol and Drug Problems in Your Community Seminar

 

 

This seminar looks at best practice approaches to prevention that communities can use to help them achieve the greatest impact from their programmes and campaigns. The seminar will focus on case studies and existing programmes communities can use in their own area to inspire anyone who is concerned about alcohol and drug harm to take action. Registration is available online.

 

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Submitted by Livia Edegger on 5th June 2014 – 11:21

 

 

A single alcohol binge may be harmful

 

 

While the dangers of frequent binge drinking have been widely studied, the potentially harmful effects of a single alcohol binge have not yet been explored in detail. According to a new study, even a single binge can be harmful. Excessive drinking can lead to the release of toxins in the blood that can cause fever, inflammation or tissue damage. Research into how a single episode of binge drinking can affect the drinker’s health is still in its early stage and needs to develop further to determine its harms.

 

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Submitted by Livia Edegger on 3rd June 2014 – 17:39

 

 

How movies may affect young viewers’ attitude towards drinking

 

 

A new study found that movies that present alcohol in a positive light can encourage drinking among young adults. As characters are often seen as role models their drinking habits can have an impact on teenagers’ views on drinking. Since young viewers tend to be more involved in movies and are mostly unaware of the hidden advertising messages, alcohol marketing in movies might actually be more effective than ads. ‘Participants were more transported into and had a more positive attitude toward movie clips with alcohol portrayals compared to the same movie clips with no alcohol portrayals’, says researcher Renske Koordeman.

 

Research on the effects of alcohol marketing in films is of relevance as most movies include some kind of reference to alcohol brands or drinking and watching movies is among the top pastimes among adolescents.

 

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Submitted by Livia Edegger on 3rd June 2014 – 16:17

 

 

Dutch prevention programme yields promising results

 

 

This study, carried out in several Dutch schools, was administered to adolescents and parents simultaneously as well as separately. While simultaneous interventions held off the onset of regular drinking, separate interventions did not have an impact on teenage drinking. Combined prevention, targeting adolescents and their parents, was found to be the most effective among adolescents with low self-control and lenient parents. The study highlights the importance of addressing self-control among adolescents and parenting styles as part of comprehensive prevention programmes.

 

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Submitted by Livia Edegger on 28th May 2014 – 15:57

 

 

Like parent, like child: the ‘vicious cycle’ of family smoking

 

 

A new study found that children of smokers are not only more likely to take up smoking themselves, but are also at a higher risk of becoming addicted. The longer children are exposed to their parents’ smoking at home, the more likely they are to become nicotine-dependent themselves. Consistent with previous research, quitting smoking is not only crucial for the parents’ personal health, but also for their children’s well-being. Although the findings seem obvious, they do highlight the critical role parents play in preventing their children’s tobacco use.

 

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Submitted by Livia Edegger on 20th May 2014 – 16:20

 

 

Study investigates how the use of alcohol, cigarettes and marijuana among homeless youth may be influenced by characteristics of their social networks

 

 

This study found that youth with more substance users in their networks reported greater alcohol, cigarette, and marijuana consumption regardless of whether these network members provided tangible or emotional support. The homeless setting was more significant in consumption than meeting network members in other contexts. Numbers of adults and school attendees in networks reduced consumption.      Read more

 

Submitted by Andy Travis on 11th January 2011 – 12:42

 

 

Adults who initiate alcohol and marijuana use before the age of 21 are much more likely to abuse or become dependent in later years

 

 

Early onset of alcohol use is associated with a greater likelihood of developing alcohol abuse or dependence at a later age, according to data from the US National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH).

 

Those who first used alcohol at or before the age of 14 were nearly four times more likely to meet the criteria for past year alcohol abuse or dependence than those who started using alcohol between the ages of 18 and 20 (16.5% vs. 4.4%) and more than six times more likely than those

who started using alcohol at or after age 21 (16.5% vs. 2.5%).

These findings illustrate the need for alcohol education and prevention efforts as early as middle school.

 

1-GRAPH FOR 'USING DRUGS WHEN YOUNG'
Percentage of Adults (Ages 21 or Older) Who Abused or Were Dependent on Alcohol in the Past Year, by Age of First Alcohol Use, 2009.

 

Similarly, adults who first started using marijuana at or before the age of 14 are most likely to have abused or been dependent on illicit drugs in the past year. Adults who first used marijuana at age 14 or younger were six times more likely to meet the criteria for past year illicit drug abuse or dependence than those who first used marijuana when they were 18 or older (12.6% vs. 2.1%) and almost twice as likely as those who started between the ages of 15 and 17 (12.6% vs. 6.6%).

 

2-GRAPH FOR 'USING DRUGS WHEN YOUNG'
Percentage of Adults (Ages 21 or Older) Who Abused or Were Dependent on Illicit Drugs in the Past Year, by Age of First Marijuana Use, 2009.

 

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Submitted by Andy Travis on 22nd October 2010 – 17:10

 

 

Early onset of drug use linked to mental disorders and multi-drug use

 

 

A study conducted by the US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) found that individuals who had started taking drugs early on in life were more likely to develop mental disorders and become polydrug users.

 

At the time of clinical admission, three quarters of drug users between 18 and 30 years of age had started taking drugs at age 17 or younger. A tenth of drug users had started at an even earlier age. 78.1% of drug users that had started taking drugs at age 11 or younger were taking more than one drug compared to 30.4% of individuals that had initiated drug use after the age of 25. 38.6% of drug users that had begun taking drugs at age 11 or under had developed some form of mental disorder. These results underline the importance of prevention programmes in childhood and early adolescence, phases that are critical for young people’s development.

 

Links:

 

 

Submitted by Livia Edegger on 30th July 2014 – 10:14