Tag Archives: Education

NEWS: Mentions of “Adderall” on Twitter help to identify use patterns among college students

A group of BYU health science and computer science researchers tracked public-facing twitter mentions of the ADHD medication Adderall between November 2011 and May 2012. The results showed that there was an average of 930 mentions per day. The analysis did not sort out “legal” versus “illegal” use, but Adderall tweets spiked during finals periods on December 13 and April 30. The research also supported previous research that shows that college student abuse of ADHD medications do so during times of academic stress and are not used as  a party drug.

The Adderall tweets are also most common amongst college and university clusters in the northeast and south regions of the United States. 9 percent of Adderall tweets mentioned another substance, usually alcohol and stimulants like coffee or Red Bull. Other substances included cocaine, marijuana, methamphetamines, and depressants such as Xanax. These tweets are concerning because of the increased risk of morbidity and mortality when substances are combined.

Although there is evidence of widespread abuse of Adderall and other “study drugs”, only one in 100 parents of teens 13-17 years old believes that their teen has used a study drug. There is a clear disparity between what parents believe and what their children are reporting.

Sometimes students without ADHD take someone else’s medication in order to stay awake and alert to try to improve their grades. However, taking study drugs has not been proven to improve students’ grades. There are also many dangerous side effects of taking these medications when they are not prescribed such as acute exhaustion, abnormal heart rhythms, and even confusion and psychosis. Misuse of stimulant medicines has also been associated with risky behaviors such as unsafe sexual activity and gambling.

There is widespread need and desire to crack down on students’ use of prescription stimulants to achieve academic excellence. Click here for an article from USA Today about proposed policy changes.

Articles referenced are from ScienceDaily (May 1, 2013), ScienceDaily (May 20, 2013), and University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital.

 

ANNOUNCEMENT: Pacifica Resource Center Events July 16-19, 2013

  • Tuesday, July 16th, 2013 @ 6:30PM : My Money & Me Financial Support Group
    • Topic: Budgeting and Saving
    • English and Spanish monthly financial support groups to learn about your relationship with money, develop a personal spending plan, share money saving tips, and learn how to clean up (or build) your credit.
    • Refreshments are provided, as well as supervision of children under 12 during the group when requested.
    • Open to anyone wanting to make a personal financial change.
  • Wednesday, July 17th, 2013 @ 6PM: LifeRing Meeting @ the PRC: Empowering Your Sober Self
    • LifeRing is a network of support groups for people who want to live free of alcohol and other addictive drugs.
    • LifeRing offers a complete abstinence philosophy in a friendly, down-to-earth atmosphere, with the freedom to create the sobriety program that works for you.
    • The fundamental principles of LifeRing are Sobriety, Secularity, and Self-Help.
    • Email liferingscott@gmail.com for more information.
  • Thursday, July 18th, 2013 @ 10AM: Mi Dinero Y Yo Financial Support Group: Identity Theft
    • Refreshments available for group members.
  • Friday, July 19th, 2013 @ 7PM: “A Place at the Table” Screening
    • Summer means that 1 in 3 local students who rely on free and reduced-price school meals are struggling to eat. This documentary investigates incidents of hunger experienced by millions of Americans and shows how hunger poses serious economic, social and cultural implications for the United States. It also proposes solutions to the problem. A representative from San Mateo County’s local food bank, Second Harvest Food Bank,will be on hand to answer questions about local issues. Rated PG. 84 min.
    • There will also be a food drive – Fill the Barrel. Please bring non-perishable items to the movie screening or to Sanchez Library. The Pacifica Resource Center will speak about a local view of hunger in our community.

Location: Pacifica Resource Center, 1809 Palmetto Ave., Pacifica, CA 94044

Phone: 650-738-7470

Fax: 650-359-2053

 

NEWS: “Targeting Impulsive Adolescents May Reduce Drinking Problem” and information about addiction

In a recent research study at the University of Liverpool, scientists have shown that young people who show impulsive tendencies are more prone to drinking heavily at an early age. The research team tested inhibitory control, the ability to delay gratification, and risk-taking in more than 280 youth aged 12 to 13 for two years. Those who were more impulsive in the tests went on to drink more heavily or have problems with alcohol later on. Although there is a link between impulsive behavior and adolescent drinking, there is insufficient evidence to support how alcohol could lead to increased impulsive behavior in the short run.  Because of this research, they believe that targeting impulsive personality traits could possibly be a successful approach to preventing alcohol problems in adolescents later in life.

According to the American Psychiatric Association, “addiction is a chronic brain disease that causes compulsive substance use despite harmful consequences”. Drug and alcohol use is the leading cause of preventable disease and premature death in the United States and is also associated with high-risk sexual behaviors and injection drug use.

Alcohol, a legal drug, can produce dangerous effects such as reckless behavior (a leading cause of serious injury and accidental death) when consumed in large quantities.  Besides recklessness, excessive drinking may lead to alcoholism, an illness that is often associated with depression. Although alcoholism can cause serious damage to our bodies, abruptly ending alcohol use in a person who is alcohol dependent can be dangerous. A person who is dependent on alcohol should consult a physician when he or she wants to stop the use of alcohol.

 

ANNOUNCEMENT: San Francisco: Still Wild At Heart – exclusive film screening and Q&A with the director

 

This free film showing will be approximately an hour long.

Following the showing of Melissa Peabody’s new film, San Francisco: Still Wild at Heart, Peabody will talk about how making this film came about and what impact her film has made. There will also be a question and answer session with the documentarian.  Peabody is the executive producer and owner of Living World Films. Her credits include Dolphins in Danger for Turner Broadcasting and an Animal Planet 13-part series, Wyland’s Ocean World.