Community Foundation accepting applications from youth-focused substance abuse programs

January 2, 2017

The John M. Drogosz Youth Substance Abuse Prevention/Treatment Memorial Fund, a component fund of the Freeport Community Foundation, is accepting applications from youth-focused substance abuse programs.

The fund supports educational, prevention, and/or substance abuse treatment programs focused on helping youth age 21 or younger in Freeport, Illinois. Grant amounts vary on a project-by-project basis.

INGMRF-00123027-001

US Coins

To be eligible, organizations must have 501(c)(3) status. In addition, the programs or activities for which they seek support must focus on the education, prevention, and/or treatment of substance abuse in youth (defined as 21 or younger) in Freeport.

See the Freeport Community Foundation website for complete program guidelines and application instructions.

Application deadline is 6/1/17


Presidential candidates talk about drug abuse on campaign trail

June 10, 2015

Substance abuse is now one of the leading causes of death in the United States, even more than traffic accidents. As the election of 2016 comes closer, presidential candidates are extending their campaign speeches to focus on prevention, specifically on drug abuse, according to National Public Radio.

Across partisan lines, drug policy and prevention has become a major focus on political agendas and campaigns, leading to an increased opportunity for prevention funding in the upcoming years. What is being called the “hidden epidemic” – the increase in drug abuse across the country is being highlighted and unmasked in discourses by politicians as addiction and substance abuse is becoming a dangerous problem for an increasing number of people.

At a recent campaign event, Hillary Clinton publicized the importance of drug prevention and the importance of addressing not only substance abuse but also mental health issues. She stated that spreading awareness and reducing stigma behind these issues would play an important part in her campaign efforts.

Governor Chris Christie has also discussed substance abuse on numerous occasions, including on a visit to Farnum Center for drug and alcohol abuse in Manchester, New Hampshire. Christie argues that there should be more resources allocated for reducing substance abuse and increasing funding treatment programs.

This focus on prevention and drug abuse could lead to an increase in funding for evidence-based prevention programs. These programs have been proven to lower the economic costs of welfare and social services and treatment for mental health and substance abuse problems, leading to cost-effective, long-term solutions to these serious issues. Schools, groups, and organizations implementing programs that focus on prevention, such as the Botvin Lifeskills Training (LST) program, could reap the benefits of these funding increases and spread awareness and help reduce drug abuse.

http://www.npr.org/sections/itsallpolitics/2015/05/28/410306003/drug-addiction-on-the-rise-cropping-up-as-campaign-trail-issue


Swiss study reveals that 1 in 7 students has dabbled in “smart” drugs

November 26, 2013

One in seven Swiss students has already tried to enhance his or her performance with prescription medication or drugs. Besides psychostimulants like Ritalin, students also consume sedatives, alcohol or cannabis. These substances are mostly only taken during the exam preparation period. Only a narrow majority of polled students reported the desired effects, as a representative study conducted by researchers at the universities of Zurich and Basel reveals.

American and European studies prove that students use prescription medication or drugs to enhance their cognitive performance. Researchers from the universities of Zurich and Basel examined whether Swiss students have also experimented with neuroenhancement and which substances they take by conducting a survey of 6,725 students with an average age of 23 at the two universities and ETH Zurich.

Majority consumes soft enhancers

Around 94 percent of the students surveyed had already heard of neuroenhancement. 13.8 percent of these students had tried to improve their cognitive performance with prescription medication or legal or illegal drugs at least once during their degrees. The substance most used was alcohol (5.6%), followed by methylphenidate such as Ritalin (4.1%), sedatives and soporifics (2.7%), cannabis (2.5%), beta-blockers (1.2%), amphetamines (0.4%), and cocaine (0.2%).

The respondents primarily took these substances during the exam preparation period, only consuming stimulating substances rarely in the exam situation or for general stress during their degrees. While daily neuroenhancement was a rare occurrence (1.8%), the majority consumed “soft enhancers” such as caffeinated products, non-prescription vitamin products or herbal sedatives before their last big exam – around a third even every day.

The number of Swiss students who take neuroenhancing drugs is comparable with recent studies conducted at European universities. “The purported frequency of neuroenhancement at Swiss universities needs to be put into perspective as we asked about psychoactive and calmative substances,” says PD Michael Schaub, the study leader and head of the Swiss Research Institute for Public Health and Addiction.

Narrow majority obtained desired effect

As a rule, advanced students who also had a job alongside their degrees and reported higher stress levels consumed performance-enhancing substances more frequently. Certain differences were apparent depending on the degree course: In Switzerland, students of the subjects architecture (19.6%), journalism (18.2%), chemistry (17.6%), economics (17.1%), medicine (16.2%), or pharmaceutics (16.1%) had more experience of neuroenhancement than budding mathematicians (8.6%) or sports students (7%), for instance.

According to the survey, the intended effect was only achieved in a narrow majority of the students, which is why only around half would actually take these substances to boost their brain power again. “The development of neuroenhancement at Swiss universities should be monitored as students constitute a high-risk group that is exposed to increased stress and performance pressure during their degrees,” concludes Schaub. “However, there is no need to intervene as yet.”

Link


Substance Abuse and Academic Achievement: What Does the Research Say and What is the Federal Prevention Strategy?

October 22, 2013

Please join colleagues at the U.S. Department of Education

for an education policy briefing on:
Substance Abuse and Academic Achievement

What Does the Research Say and What is the Federal Prevention Strategy?

Thursday Oct. 24, 2013 at 10 a.m. ET

You are invited to a U.S. Department of Education (ED) webcast of a live event which will include a presentation and discussion about substance abuse and academic achievement, and the national drug control strategy elements that focus on preventing such use among youth.

The event is being Webcast live on EDstream:  http://edstream.ed.gov/webcast/Catalog/catalogs/default.aspx

No registration is required, just log on to view it at the time and date below.

NOTE: The event is recorded and you may also view it at a later time on EDstream.

October is National Substance Abuse Prevention Month.  High-risk drinking and illicit drug use contribute to numerous academic, social, and health-related problems for students. What does the research say about the impact of such substance use on academic achievement?    More importantly, what is the national strategy to prevent youth from using or abusing illicit substances, and how do schools play a role in community based coalitions to combat youth substance abuse.

Presenters will include:

  • Amelia M. Arria, Ph.D., Director of the Center on Young Adult Health and Development at the University of Maryland School of Public Health, to discuss the findings in the recent report “America’s Dropout Crisis: The Unrecognized Connection to Substance Use.”
  • David K. Mineta, Deputy Director of Demand Reduction for the White House, Office of National Drug Control Policy, to discuss the National Drug Control Strategy, and the prevention elements focused on youth.
  • Helen Hernandez, White House, Office of National Drug Control Policy (Drug-Free Communities Support Program) to discuss the role of education in community coalitions to prevent illicit substance substance use.

October is National Substance Abuse Prevention Month

October 1, 2013

Every day, far too many Americans are hurt by alcohol and drug abuse. From diminished achievement in our schools, to greater risks on our roads and in our communities, to the heartache of lives cut tragically short, the consequences of substance abuse are profound. Yet, we also know that they are preventable. This month, we pay tribute to all those working to prevent substance abuse in our communities, and rededicate ourselves to building a safer, drug-free America.

Preventing drug use before it begins—particularly among young people—is the most cost-effective way to reduce drug use and its consequences. In fact, recent research has concluded that every dollar invested in school-based substance use prevention programs has the potential to save up to $18 in costs related to substance use disorders.

The President’s plan promotes the expansion of national and community-based programs that reach young people in schools, on college campuses, and in the workplace with tailored information to help them make healthy decisions about their future.

The Administration’s drug policy reflects this understanding by emphasizing prevention and access to treatment over incarceration, pursuing “smart on crime” rather than “tough on crime” approaches to drug-related offenses, and providing support for early health interventions designed to break the cycle of drug use, crime, incarceration, and re-arrest.

The Office of National Drug Control Policy in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration encourages youth, families, schools, and businesses to participate in the month-long observance by promoting substance abuse prevention programs and activities within their communities.

Learn more about federally funded programs for substance abuse prevention.


Teen Pot Use Linked to Lowering IQ

September 19, 2013

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NEW YORK (AP) — Teens who routinely smoke marijuana risk a long-term drop in their IQ, a new study suggests.

The researchers didn’t find the same IQ dip for people who became frequent users of pot after 18. Although experts said the new findings are not definitive, they do fit in with earlier signs that the drug is especially harmful to the developing brain.

“Parents should understand that their adolescents are particularly vulnerable,'” said lead researcher Madeline Meier of Duke University.

Study participants from New Zealand were tested for IQ at age 13, likely before any significant marijuana use, and again at age 38. The mental decline between those two ages was seen only in those who started regularly smoking pot before age 18.

Richie Poulton, a study co-author and professor at the University of Otago in New Zealand, said the message of the research is to stay away from marijuana until adulthood if possible. “For some it’s a legal issue,” he said, “but for me it’s a health issue.”

Pot is the most popular illegal drug in the world, with somewhere between 119 million and 224 million users between the ages of 15 and 64 as of 2010, the United Nations reported. Within the United States, 23 percent of high school students said they’d recently smoked marijuana, making it more popular than cigarettes, the federal government reported in June.

Young people “don’t think it’s risky,” said Staci Gruber, a researcher at the Harvard-affiliated MacLean Hospital in Belmont, Mass. Gruber, who didn’t participate in the new work, said the idea that marijuana harms the adolescent brain is “something we believe is very likely,” and the new finding of IQ declines warrants further investigation.

Experts said the new research is an advance because its methods avoid criticisms of some earlier work, which generally did not measure mental performance before marijuana use began.

“I think this is the cleanest study I’ve ever read” that looks for long-term harm from marijuana use, said Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, which helped fund the research.

Ken Winters, a psychiatry professor at the University of Minnesota and senior scientist at the Treatment Research Institute in Philadelphia, said the new findings aren’t definitive, but they underscore the importance of studying how marijuana may harm young people. He had no role in the work.

Meier and colleagues reported their work online Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. It was funded with governmental grants from the United States and Britain, and a foundation in Zurich.

The study drew on survey data from more than 1,000 people in New Zealand, everybody born in the town of Dunedin during a year-long span ending in 1973. In addition to IQ tests, they were interviewed five times between ages 18 and 38, including questions related to their marijuana use.

At age 18, 52 participants indicated they had become dependent on marijuana, meaning that they continued to use it despite its causing significant health, social or legal problems. Ninety-two others reported dependence starting at a later age.

Researchers compared their IQ scores at age 13 to the score at age 38 and found a drop only in those who had become dependent by 18.

Those deemed dependent in three or more surveys had a drop averaging 8 points. For a person of average intelligence, an 8-point drop would mean ranking higher than only 29 percent of the population rather than 50 percent, the researchers said.

Among participants who’d been dependent at 18 and in at least one later survey, quitting didn’t remove the problem. IQ declines showed up even if they’d largely or entirely quit using pot at age 38, analysis showed.

The researchers got similar overall results for IQ decline when they compared participants who reported having used marijuana at least once a week on average for the past year. The researchers had no data on how much was used on each occasion or how potent it was.

Dr. Duncan Clark, a researcher at the University of Pittsburgh, said he’s not convinced that mental decline is only in those who become dependent by age 18. He said the main lesson he sees in the overall study results is that to preserve one’s IQ, it’s best to avoid marijuana entirely, no matter what your age.

The researchers also surveyed people who knew the study participants well at age 38. They found that the more often participants were rated as marijuana-dependent in the surveys over their lifetimes, the more memory and attention problems were noticed by their acquaintances over the previous year.

Source: http://news.yahoo.com/teen-pot-linked-later-declines-iq-192328332.html


Swiss Study Confirms Crucial Role of Parents in Reducing Teen Substance Use

September 16, 2013

parental monitoring

This Swiss study adds to evidence that the level of parental monitoring is linked to positive effects on adolescent substance use. The analysis of data from over 7,500 adolescents aged 13-16 found that with more parental monitoring the children consumed less tobacco, alcohol, ecstasy and cannabis, and were also less likely to have friends who used these substances. The higher levels of monitoring were found in families with younger female children, higher socio-economic status, intact family structure, and satisfactory relationships with mother, father and peers. The authors suggest that if parents are encouraged to monitor their children’s activities and friends then the negative influence of peers who use substances can be reduced. In line with other studies we have covered, less closely monitored children were found to have a higher proportion of friends who consumed these substances. One interesting study we covered previously showed that kids’ substance use may also be significantly influenced by their friends’ parents.

Source: http://preventionhub.org/prevention-update/swiss-study-confirms-crucial-role-parents-reducing-teen-substance-use


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