ADOLESCENTS MOST SENSITIVE TO ADDICTIVE DRUGS, STUDY SAYS
(November 14, 2002) A new study reveals the adolescent brain may be more sensitive to addictive drugs such as cocaine and amphetamines, than the brains of adults or newborns. The study, published in the Neuroscience Journal, found a greater increase in amounts of key gene-regulating protein in the brains of adolescent mice after long-term exposure to the drugs than very young or adult mice. The study raises several questions, such as behavior changes as a result of an increase in protein activity and whether pre-teens and teens are more likely to use stimulant drugs. [More...]
TEENS ACROSS THE COUNTRY GETTING "FRIED," CNN REPORTS
(November 14, 2002) Over the weekend, CNN aired a one-hour program, "Fried," about a new trend among America's youth-getting high from substances like mint leaves, tobacco, even duct tape particles dipped in embalming fluid. CNN reports the drug is often called "wet," or "illy," or "fry," but is simply a new twist on PCP. Experts say smoking "fry" can lead users to strip naked in public, cause schizophrenia or lead to bouts of homicidal rage. If you did not see the program, CNN.com has posted an interactive guide, and provides tips for parents.
TEENS ARE DOING BETTER THAN WE THINK
(May 22, 2001) Mike Males, senior researcher for the Justice Policy Institute and sociology instructor at the University of California, Santa Cruz, in an article titled "The Culture War Against Kids," asserts that contrary to frightening public perceptions of modern teens, from 1990 through 1999: “teenage violence and other malaise plunged including, homicide rates (down 62 percent), rape (down 27 percent), violent crime (down 22 percent), school violence (down 20 percent), property offenses (down 33 percent), births (down 17 percent), abortions (down 15 percent), sexually transmitted diseases (down 50 percent), violent deaths (down 20 percent), suicide (down 16 percent), and drunken driving fatalities (down 35 percent).”
JOHNNY RIVERS CONCERT BENEFITS YOUTH WITH DISABILITIES
(November 19, 2002) In Massachusetts, a Johnny Rivers Concert benefit will provide music and arts therapy to children/adolescents with disabilities who are in residential, group home, hospital, and nursing home care while living in state custody. Tickets for the January 17th, 2003 concert at the Berklee Center for Performing Arts are going fast, and are reasonably priced at $32.50 per person. [More Info...]
NEW MEDICINE: A BREAKTHROUGH FOR SCHIZOPHRENIA?
(November 18, 2002) Matthew Herper writes for Forbes about the new medicine, Abilify, approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on November 15, 2002. Invented by Japan's Otsuka Pharmaceuticals and co-marketed by New York City-based Bristol, Abilify “could represent a breakthrough for the 2.4 million Americans suffering from schizophrenia and has much less severe side effects than current anti-psychotic treatments. Abilify, or aripiprazole, doesn't appear to cause weight gain like Eli Lilly's Zyprexa, nor does it stiffen muscles like Johnson & Johnson's Risperdal. It also doesn't cause the cardiac rhythm disturbances that have plagued another entrant, Pfizer's Geodon.” Some studies show that one-fifth of all patients go off their medicines because of the kinds of side effects mentioned above. “Since schizophrenics also suffer from depression and an inability to feel emotion--symptoms that existing anti-psychotic drugs don't treat-- by making the dopamine thermostat more normal, Abilify seems to treat the second set of symptoms as well. Ultimately, if it works like it's advertised and like the studies indicate, then it's a strong candidate for first-line treatment because… you're putting people on it and never exposing them to side effects." [More...]
NOVA SCOTIA ADJUSTED DIPLOMA
(December 2002) Reason magazine reports the Province of Nova Scotia is planing an "adjusted diploma" for graduates who can't read, saying it is being justified by Education Minister, Jane Purves, who says it’s unreasonable to expect all high school graduates to be literate.
BRAIN SIZE AND HYPERACTIVITY
(October 25, 2002) The Week, October 25, 2002, reports a 10-year study by the National Institute of Mental Health that found in children diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have brains 3-4 percent smaller than their peers. Researcher Dr. Judith Rapoport stated 'It's strong support for a very strong biological contribution to what causes ADHD."
EARLY MATURITY HAS A PRICE
(October 25, 2002) The Week, October 25, 2002, reports studies by Dr. Judy Dunn of Kings College, London contained in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry that "Youngsters with high levels of mental, social, and emotional understanding are the most vulnerable to criticism. They're also more sensitive to how others react to them." "This is the first clear indication....that there may be costs as well as benefits to understanding other people well, early in life."
VIEWS ON RESTRAINT ASPHYXIA
(November 26, 2002) The following links take you to an article and library of research and comments written and collected by Charly Miller Paramedic and EMS Consultant.
ELI LILLY GETS FDA APPROVAL FOR ADHD DRUG
(November 26, 2002) Reuters reports Eli Lilly and Co. said it received approval from U.S. regulators for its treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder drug, Strattera. The Indianapolis-based drugmaker said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration judged Strattera safe and effective for use by children, adolescents and adults. It is believed to be a less likely candidate for abuse by patients than other attention deficit drugs because it is the only FDA-approved treatment for the disorder that is not a stimulant. Lilly expects Strattera to be available in pharmacies in January. [More...] Copyright 2002, Reuters News Service
THORNTON SUFFERS FROM DYSLEXIA
(December 4, 2002) Press Association reports Billy Bob Thornton won a screenwriting Oscar for the 1996 film Sling Blade but he says he never takes language skills for granted. The actor - who suffers from dyslexia - tells America's People magazine: "It's ironic that I became a writer because I can't read. "It's something I have to live with every day. I can't get through an airport without my assistant." Thornton, 47, recently received an Outstanding Learning Disabled Achiever Award in Washington DC. Thorton's recent movies include Waking Up in Reno, Bandits and Monster's Ball. Next year he'll star in Levity, The Alamo, Bad Santa and Intolerable Cruelty. InfoBeat Entertainment [Contact...]
POLICY EASES THE WAY OUT OF BAD SCHOOLS
(December 2002) Abby Goodnough reports for the New York Times, students in chronically failing schools will have the right to transfer to better schools anywhere in the city under a revised policy. The change could sharply curtail the number of students in nonfailing schools who are granted transfers outside and even within their home districts. The policy is meant to nudge New York City closer to compliance with the federal No Child Left Behind Law, which requires school districts to provide new options to students languishing in failing schools. But even with the revised policy, most students eligible for transfers under the federal law will be barred from the city's best schools because they are already full. About 66,000 of the city's roughly 800,000 public school students in kindergarten through eighth grade currently attend schools outside their home districts. The article quoted Eva S. Moskowitz: “with 220,000 eligible students and only a few thousand out-of-district transfers granted in an average year, it would not begin to solve the problem.”
FATAL TEEN DRUNK DRIVING CRASHES FALL BY HALF
(December 2002) The Community Anti Drug Coalition, CADCA@lb.bcentral.com reports the number of fatal alcohol-related crashes involving teenage drivers fell by more than half over the past two decades, according to the CDC, http://www.cdc.gov/ncipc. The rate fell 46 among all age groups, from 12.6 per 100,000 people in 1982 to 6.7 per 100,000 people in 2001. The CDC says the sharpest drop came from 16- and 17 year-old drivers, who had a 60 percent decrease in fatal, alcohol-related crashes. The CDC credited several initiatives for the major drop, including strict drunk driving laws, community education programs and a shift in public attitudes about drunk driving. [More Info...]
BRITISH STUDY: MARIJUANA DOES NOT LEAD TO OTHER DRUG USE
A new study shows that teens who use marijuana may not be more likely to try hard drugs, such as cocaine or heroin. Researchers from RAND Drug Policy Research Center found that teens who took hard drugs were predisposed to do so, whether they tried marijuana first or not. Teens had access to marijuana by age 16, while the majority had no exposure to cocaine, heroin or hallucinogens until they were 20. The study was published in the British journal, Addiction.
JUNIOR COLLEGES TRY NICHE AS PATH TO TOP UNIVERSITIES
(December 17, 2002) Greg Winter, reporting for the New York Times, describes community colleges as ‘wise first choices for serious students to sidestep crushing debt.” Community colleges are now composing curriculums that “closely mirror what one might expect from a liberal arts university.” The National Collegiate Honors Council reports “168 community colleges now have honors programs intended to catapult their students into the nation's best four-year universities, compared with at most two dozen 15 years ago.” Some community colleges give free rides to the top 10 percent of graduates of nearby high schools, or send invitations to students with high SAT scores. Private universities like Smith and New York University, have signed agreements with select community colleges, ensuring that when students transfer they get to bring their old credits with them. Thirty states have passed legislation to ensure that courses taken at community colleges count toward graduation at public universities. Also, a coalition of 100 junior colleges, representing the nation's largest cities, signed an agreement this month allowing any of the community college students who earn associate degrees with a grade point average of 2.5 or better to transfer into the participating universities, no questions asked. [More ...]
STUDENTS TRADE BOOKS FOR HOLIDAY GIFTS ON THE INTERNET
(December 17, 2002) Students can now sell their books in an online marketplace, earning more than twice the buyback campus bookstore price, by loading their books on the "exchange" program sponsored by http://www.textbookx.com. Akademos, Inc, is the proprietor of the popular website TextbookX.com and one of the leading providers of educational resources on the Internet. Students are reported to be routinely earning more than twice the campus bookstore price by selling direct on the exchange. In addition to textbooks, the eXchange currently lists tens of thousands of titles of popular reading books, some of which sell for 80% less than their original retail price. Brian Jacobs, Ph.D., was teaching at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, when he founded Akademos, Inc. in April 1999 to “use new distribution models and media to democratize and enhance opportunities for students in higher education.” Contact: Rosy Nimroody, 203-866-0190, email@example.com. [Courtesy of PRWeb, http://www.prweb.com.]
NIDA PROVIDES FUNDING FOR ADOLESCENT RESEARCH, SERVICES
(December 19, 2002) The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is now accepting applications for funding that supports research into treatment of adolescent addiction and/or to provide services. Applicants for the Improving Behavioral Health Services and Treatment for Adolescent Drug Abuse grants are encouraged to investigate ways to: broaden youth access to treatment, examine improvements in treatment delivery, target services for adolescents at different developmental stages, test behavioral or combined behavioral and pharmacological treatments, and analyze strategies for translating effective clinical treatments into effective community interventions. Five to eight grants, totaling about $2 million, will be awarded through the National Institute on Health's research project grant. Letters of intent are due March 14, 2003; applications are due April 14, 2003. Contact: Gary Fleming at 301-443-6710 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.