Whiteside Manor - Affordable California Drug and Alcohol Treatment Center
We'll help you find and stay on the right path
Call 1-800-300-RECOVER (7326)

. . .

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Freshmen Alcohol Related Deaths

College drinking continues to claim the lives of young adults around the country, with at least eight freshmen deaths since the start of the semester, reports Times Higher Education. Some of the students died before ever attending a college class!

Dalton Debrick, a freshman at Texas Tech University, died from alcohol poisoning just 24 hours before his first day in college, according to the report. Debrick’s death was not the first, in fact an international student at Michigan State University died after a night of drinking the day before. A week later, alcohol would lead to a Towson University student falling into a glass door during a party, causing death.

Sadly the list continues, what is sadder is the fact that more students will lose their lives to alcohol as the year progresses. Clearly, students are not leaving for school with the right messages regarding the dangers of alcohol, when coupled with a new sense of freedom the results can be disastrous.

While colleges encourage freshmen and their parents to talk about alcohol and drugs before leaving for school, once the parents are out of sight there is often no telling what will happen.

“It’s a huge transition and all the support systems are different,” said Pete Goldsmith, Dean of Students at Indiana University at Bloomington. “For students who have lived in very structured situations and environments, going to a college campus when very suddenly they have this new kind of freedom and new choices to make, it can be pretty overwhelming.”

At many schools, little time is spent at orientation educating new students about the dangers of drinking and drug use. “We urge parents to have conversations with students about drug and alcohol use,” Goldsmith said. “We encourage parents to think through what their own expectations are for this first year. Parents and students are so focused on getting into college, there’s not always a lot of attention given to what’s going to happen once they’re actually there.”

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Monitoring The Future College Marijuana Use

It probably comes as no surprise that when views about marijuana become more tolerant, a higher rate of young adults engage in marijuana use. In fact, new research indicates that daily marijuana use is at the highest rate among college students since 1981, according to the national Monitoring The Future study.

In 2013, almost 36 percent of college students said they used marijuana in the past year, compared with 30 percent in 2006. Researchers found that 5.1 percent of college students used marijuana daily or almost daily, up from 3.5 percent in 2007. Overall, 39 percent of college students used illicit drugs in 2013, compared to 34 percent in 2006.

The Monitoring The Future findings come from a nationally representative sample of about 1,100 college students. The study also tracks substance abuse among high school students and older adults. While the increase of marijuana use may be alarming, it is worth pointing out that drug and alcohol use among American teens continues to decline, according to the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health

The rate of current illicit drug use among teens ages 12 to 17 was 8.8 percent in 2013, compared with 9.5 percent in 2012, and 11.6 percent in 2002. 

“This is the highest rate of daily use observed among college students since 1981 – a third of a century ago,” Lloyd Johnston, the principal investigator of the Monitoring The Future study, said in a news release. “In other words, one in every 20 college students was smoking pot on a daily or near-daily basis in 2013, including one in every 11 males and one in every 34 females. To put this into a longer-term perspective, from 1990 to 1994, fewer than one in 50 college students used marijuana that frequently.”

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Online Initiative Fights Prescription Drug Abuse

The prescription drug epidemic in America seems to be unstoppable despite efforts made on the federal and local level. Prescription drug monitoring systems have done little to hinder the trafficking of highly addictive drugs, like oxycodone and hydrocodone, because the systems are optional and the existing ones are not linked from state-to-state. In fact, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reported that 6.5 million Americans above the age of 12 used prescription drugs for non-medical reasons last year.

In the past few weeks the federal government has taken some major steps to combat the prescription drug problem in America, according to The Washington Post.

Following the lead of National Prescription Drug Take-Back Days, events that happen twice a year which allow citizens to give their unused prescription drugs to authorities at designated locations; the Obama administration has implemented measures that will allow people to return unused prescription drugs to hospitals, pharmacies and other places where they acquired the medications year-round. Every returned pill is one less opportunity for someone to acquire the drugs for illicit use.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency recently ruled to moved hydrocodone combination products (HCPs) from Schedule III to the more restrictive Schedule II designation. The ruling went into effect earlier this month, as a result doctors can no longer write hydrocodone prescriptions with more than two refills. This means that every 90 days patients need to return to their doctor for a check-up if they desire more of the medication.

Another weapon against prescription drug misuse is the Electronic Prescribing for Controlled Substances (EPCS) initiative. The EPCS is a rule by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) which allows pharmacies and care providers to handle prescriptions for controlled substances that are designated Schedule II-V entirely online. The program is currently voluntary but that could change in the near future as states attempt to crack down on the problem.

Handling all prescription narcotics electronically cuts down on prescription fraud by reducing the reliance on paper prescriptions, the article notes. The system allows doctors and pharmacies to identify potential cases of drug misuse.

If the system became mandatory for every state and was linked, it would become much more difficult for people to “doctor shop” which would eliminate a large part of the problem.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Accidental Ingestion of Buprenorphine by Children

English: Suboxone tablet - both sides.
Buprenorphine, otherwise known as Suboxone or Subutex, is the medication of choice when it comes to treating opioid addiction. While the drug has been found to be addictive, it has also shown great promise when it comes to minimizing the symptoms associated with heroin and prescription opioid withdrawal. In a treatment setting buprenorphine has been found to be safe and effective; however, there are a number of addicts who are on buprenorphine maintenance programs, merely exchanging one drug for another.

Addicts that are prescribed buprenorphine for take home use may start abusing the drug and could be putting the lives of their loved ones at risk. A new report has found that buprenorphine is the prescription drug most commonly tied to emergency hospitalizations of young children, according to the Associated Press (AP).

Research showed that 200 children, ages 6 and younger, were hospitalized after ingesting buprenorphine for every 100,000 patients prescribed the drug. While the numbers may not seem high, it is worth noting that it is four times higher than the rate for the next most commonly ingested drug, a blood pressure medication. Every year, almost 800 children are hospitalized after ingesting buprenorphine. If a child consumes the drug it can cause sedation, as well as dangerously slowed breathing and vomiting.

Fortunately, the makers of Suboxone have changed the drugs design to a sublingual (under the tongue) film strip. The change from tablet to film strip may reduce the risks of accidental buprenorphine ingestion by children, says lead researcher Dr. Daniel Budnitz of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, such changes will only apply to brand Suboxone, generic forms of the drug are still in tablet form, reports the AP.

The study was published in Pediatrics.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Private Pilots Using Legal and Illegal Drugs

140 px
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) conducted a study which showed that more pilots are using illegal drugs and prescription medications that may cause impairment, reports The New York Times.

The NTSB study was interested in pilots who died in crashes. It is worth noting that most of them were private pilots. In 2012, pilots who died in crashes tested positive for drugs four times as often as those who died in 1990, according to the article.

Researchers looked at two time periods, 1990 to 1997 and 2008 to 2012. In the first period 5.6 percent of pilots who died had antihistamines in their system, a drug which has sedating properties. In the latter time period, antihistamines were present in 9.9 percent of the cases, and the ingredients in Vicodin and Valium were found more commonly in the pilot’s systems than earlier cases. 

In 2012, pilots killed in crashes tested positive for one drug 39 percent of the time, compared to 9.6 percent in 1990, the article points out. 

“I think that the key take-away from this study for every pilot is to think twice about the medications you’re taking and how they might affect your flying,” NTSB Acting Chairman Christopher A. Hart said in a news release.

Drug use among pilots was relatively uncommon in the 1990’s, about 2.4 percent. In 2012, that number had risen to about 4 percent, mostly due to an increase in marijuana use amongst pilots. It is difficult to determine whether or not a pilot was actually impaired at the time of the crash or just had the drugs in their system, according to the NTSB.

“However, the study did say that increasing numbers of accident pilots chose to fly after taking potentially impairing drugs, suggesting that some pilots are either unaware of the risks that such drugs present or consider such risks acceptable,” the board concluded.

You can find the study here.