Winter 2014

January 2014

“Let’s Not Kid Ourselves About Marijuana” (Wall Street Journal) 1/9/2014

Pot is always good for a giggle, and that makes it hard to take marijuana seriously. The news and entertainment media couldn’t resist puns on “Rocky Mountain high” when Colorado started the year with legal sales of marijuana for recreational purposes. Read more >

Four alcohol brands dominate popular music lyrics (USA Today) 1/12/2014

A study shows four alcohol brands account for more than half alcohol mentions in lyrics. A connection that may contribute to underage drinking… Read more >

“Heroin crisis: Help available for addicts, their families” (69 News) 1/21/2014

It’s being called a drug crisis. An alarming number of people are turning to heroin to get high… Read more >

“President Obama Says Marijuana is Not More Dangerous Than Alcohol” (The Partnership at 1/21/2014

President Obama told The New Yorker magazine he does not think marijuana is more dangerous than alcohol. He added smoking marijuana is “not something I encourage.” Read more >

“Study: Marijuana Use May Predispose Offspring To Drug Addiction” (CBS New York) 1/22/2014

Children of parents who have used marijuana may develop a drug addiction and compulsive behavior later in life, a study released Wednesday morning found. Read more >

“What Do You Say to Your Kids about Justin Bieber?” (The Partnership at 1/24/2014

In the wake of Justin Bieber’s recent DUI arrest, reports are now surfacing that the 19-year-old pop star may have been under the influence of marijuana… Read more >

“Drug program secretary touts early treatment” (Standard Journal) 1/27/2014

Getting criminal suspects evaluated and into drug and alcohol treatment as soon as possible could further the success of treatment courts and save money for counties and municipalities. Read more >

“Republican helps medical marijuana advance in Pennsylvania” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) 1/27/2014

Scan the Pennsylvania Legislature for a likely proponent of legalizing medical marijuana, and you probably wouldn’t pick Sen. Mike Folmer. Read more >

“Pa. Senate hears split arguments on medical marijuana” ( 1/30/2014

Doctors and the broader public may be split on the prospect of legalizing medical marijuana in Pennsylvania. Read more >

“Study Links Alcohol Consumption With Increased Risk of Skin Cancer” (The Partnership at 1/30/2014

A new study links alcohol consumption with an increased risk of skin cancer, BBC News reports. The ethanol in alcohol is converted to a compound called acetaldehyde in the body, which may make the skin more sensitive to harmful ultraviolet rays. Read more >

February 2014

“Heroin’s tight grip on Berks County” (Reading Eagle) 2/2/2014

As more deaths from heroin traumatize families in Berks County and across the state, their pain is often complicated by knowledge that prescription medications had a role in the tragedy… Read more >

“OD eyed in Philip Seymour Hoffman death” (New York Post) 2/2/2014

Oscar-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead of an apparent heroin overdose — with a hypodermic needle still stuck in his arm and 70 baggies of the drug inside his Greenwich Village pad Sunday, authorities said. He was 46. Read more >

“Philip Seymour Hoffman Didn’t Have to Die” (Time) 2/3/2014

There are ways to prevent loved ones from becoming victims of an overdose. Here are three. Read more >

“FDA emphasizes ‘real costs’ of smoking in campaign aimed at teens” (Los Angeles Times) 2/4/14

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration wants teenagers to know the “real cost” of smoking – and it’s not measured in dollars… Read more >

“‘Recovering Alcoholic’: Words That Stigmatize or Empower?” (Huffington Post) 2/4/2014

If you hear someone say that they are a “recovering alcoholic” or a “recovering addict” how do you react? Can you imagine yourself saying such words, and if so how would you expect others to react? Read more >

“My mother’s addiction comes from pain” ( 2/5/2014

I have a memory of standing by the fence in my neighbor’s yard. I was 6. My sister and I have had to run next door because mom’s been wasted for weeks on end, and now she’s got a shotgun… Read more >

“CVS to be First U.S. Drugstore Chain to Stop Selling Tobacco Products” (The Partnership at 2/5/2014

CVS Caremark announced Wednesday it will stop selling tobacco products by October 1, the Los Angeles Times reports. CVS, the nation’s second-largest drugstore chain, will be the first national pharmacy company to stop selling tobacco. Read more >

“Fentanyl-Laced Heroin Suspected in at Least 50 Recent Fatal Overdoses in Three States” (The Partnership at 2/6/2014

Heroin laced with the synthetic opiate fentanyl is suspected in at least 50 recent fatal overdoses in three states, according to law enforcement officials. Read more >

“His Death, Their Lives” (New York Times) 2/7/2014

For Some in A.A. and Other Addiction Recovery Groups, the Death of Philip Seymour Hoffman Hits Home. Read more >

The Facts About Heroin (U.S. News) 2/10/2014

From how it affects your brain to how it kills you, here’s what you need to know about the lethal drug… Read more >

“Treat addiction as the illness it is” (Star Tribune) 2/11/2014

My father and I relapsed from our chronic illnesses at almost the same moment in 1994… Read more >

“5 Things to Know about Opioid Overdoses” (The White House) 2/11/2014

The abuse of opioids – a group of drugs that includes heroin and prescription painkillers – is having a devastating impact on public health and safety in communities across the Nation… Read more >

“Teens’ Energy Drink Habit May Be Linked to Booze, Tobacco, Drug Use |” (Children’s Safety Network) 2/13/2014

Teens who drink high-caffeine energy beverages such as Red Bull or Monster may be more likely to use alcohol, drugs and cigarettes, a new study suggests… Read more >

“FDA Targets Teens with the ‘Real Cost’ of Tobacco Use” (The Partnership at 2/18/2014

One of the most compelling ways to prevent youth tobacco use may be through their teeth, reports UPI…Read more >

“The myths of marijuana: Former DEA chief says pot legalization a ‘disaster’ ” (ABC News on Yahoo! News) 2/19/2014

These days, former DEA administrator Peter Bensinger is like a lonely voice crying out in the wilderness – an anti-drug crusader who served three American presidents, now battling the perils of pot at a time when legalization is all the rage… Read more >

“Understanding How the Brain Functions in Addicted Individuals Is Key to Recovery” (Digital Journal) 2/26/2014

The death of Phillip Seymour Hoffman shocked the entire country. A sad and senseless death, but what is more tragic is that his death is not so unique… Read more >

“Teens Who Tan Indoors More Likely to Use Illegal Drugs, Binge Drink: Study” (The Partnership at 2/27/2014

A new study links teen indoor tanning with other risky health behaviors including use of illegal drugs, binge drinking and smoking. Read more > 

“An Experimental Study on the Effects of Peer Drinking Norms on Adolescents’ Drinker Prototypes | Addictive Behaviors” (Children’s Safety Network) 2/27/2014

Peer drinking norms play an important role in the formation of prototypes… Read more >

” ‘Drinking is our Modern Way of Bonding’: Young People’s Beliefs About Interventions to Encourage Moderate Drinking | Psychology and Health” (Children’s Safety Network) 2/27/2014

Efforts to discourage excessive alcohol use among young people can only be effective if the target audience is exposed to, attends to, and comprehends key messages… Read more >

“4 medication drop boxes added to Berks program” (Reading Eagle) 2/28/2014

Berks County residents now have more options for safely disposing unwanted medications, as four new drop boxes were installed on Thursday… Read more >

March 2014

“Smoking cessation associated with lower rates of mood/anxiety and alcohol use disorders” (National Institute on Drug Abuse) March 2014

Quitting can be expected to have positive outcomes for their mental as well as physical health… Read more >

“Older adults who binge drink don’t live as long” (Fox News) 3/4/2014

Older adults who binge drink at least once a month may be setting themselves up for an earlier grave, a new study suggests… Read more >

“E-Cigarettes, by Other Names, Lure Young and Worry Experts” (New York Times) 3/4/2014

The products, which are exploding in popularity, come in a rainbow of colors and candy-sweet flavors but, beneath the surface, they are often virtually identical to e-cigarettes… Read more >

“Law Enforcement Concerned About Potentially Addictive Drug Kratom” (The Partnership at 3/5/2014

Kratom is a tropical tree found in Southeast Asia. Its leaves are sold in the United States as a pill or powder to stir into drinks… Read more >

“Move from prescribed drugs to heroin fatal in Berks and Pennsylvania” (Reading Eagle) 3/5/2014

Three confirmed or suspected heroin deaths locally in the last three weeks show that Berks County continues to be part of a statewide surge in the use of the deadly narcotic, fueled by addicts who previously used prescription pills… Read more >

“Young Using E-Cigarettes Smoke Too, Study Finds” (New York Times) 3/6/2014

Middle and high school students who used electronic cigarettes were more likely to smoke real cigarettes and less likely to quit than students who did not use the devices, a new study has found. .. Read more >

“For children, big trouble in little bottles” (Reading Eagle) 3/17/2014

Parents find a prescription pill bottle lying on the counter and notice it’s been opened… Read more >

“Teen Inhalant Use Decreasing: Government Report” (The Partnership at 3/20/2014

Fewer American teens are abusing inhalants, such as spray paint, glue and gasoline, according to a new government report… Read more >

“Starbucks serving alcohol at more locations” (USA Today) 3/20/2014

Don’t be surprised if you soon get carded at your neighborhood Starbucks… Read more >

“ERs Dispensing More Narcotic Painkillers: Study” (Health Day) 3/21/2014

More and more Americans are being prescribed powerful narcotic drugs when they visit the emergency department for problems such as low back pain or a pounding headache, a new study finds… Read more >

“Selling a Poison by the Barrel: Liquid Nicotine for E-Cigarettes” (New York Times) 3/23/2014 

A dangerous new form of a powerful stimulant is hitting markets nationwide, for sale by the vial, the gallon and even the barrel… Read more >

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