Tag Archives: News

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.

 

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.

 

NEWS: $100,000 grant awarded from California Alcoholic Beverage Control to battle alcohol-related crime

On July 8, 2013, The Pacifica Police Department announced that the California Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) awarded the <21 Consumption of Alcohol Suppression Team (COAST) Task Force with a $100,000 grant. The grant will fund enforcement activities that will improve the quality of life in neighborhoods by putting bad operators out of business, keeping alcohol away from minors, and penalizing businesses that violate the law. Some police agencies that are involved are Brisbane PD, Broadmoor PD, Daly City PD, South San Francisco PD, and San Mateo PD.

To read the full article, click here.

NEWS: San Mateo County Supervisoral District Lines Advisory Committee Meeting on 7/11/2013 in Millbrae

Did you know that San Mateo County voters approved changes to the County charter that would allow new supervisoral districts to be created?  Be informed about what the changes could potentially mean about who represents YOU on the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors.

Read the San Mateo County News article HERE

Supervisoral District Flyer

Watch and listen as Mayor Ray Buenaventura (Facebook page) of Daly City addresses the audience at the 6/18/2013 meeting of the District Lines Advisory Committee at the War Memorial Community Center regarding the initially limited access of the general public about these redistricting committee meetings, and the concerns of residents about Daly City possibly being split apart in this redistricting process.  (5:33 into the video)

NCPP Staff member Athila Lambino also attended and spoke at the San Mateo County Supervisoral District Lines Advisory Committee Meeting at the War Memorial Community Center in Daly City on 6/18/2013.

Athila raising a question about possible underhanded tactics occurring with use of the online mapping tool.  (1:10:34)

Athila addresses a question from Hayden Lee of Millbrae about how a resident of South San Francisco might feel about the district lines and the strong community feedback from Daly City residents for not dividing Daly City.  (1:27:06)

See the complete video of the meeting here:


Please mark your calendars to attend the July 11th redistricting committee meeting at the Millbrae Community Center, 477 Lincoln Circle, Millbrae, from 6:30pm to 8:30pm.  Share your voice!

 

 

10 Facts About Marijuana and News About Its Current Status in the US

  1. Most marijuana users never use any other illegal drug.
  2. Fewer than 10 percent of people who try marijuana ever become dependent on it.
  3. Marijuana has not been shown to cause mental illness, but some side effects include feelings of panic, anxiety, and paranoia.
  4. Use of marijuana can cause dry mouth, nausea, vomiting, dry or red eyes, heart and blood pressure problems, lung problems, numbness, and hallucinations.
  5. Marijuana may be used to control seizures in some people, but could make seizure disorders worse for others.
  6. Stop use of marijuana at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery to avoid slowing down the central nervous system too much when combined with anesthesia and other medications.
  7. Marijuana may be effective for improving appetite in people with aids.
  8. More than 800,000 people are arrested for marijuana violations each year.
  9. Dutch citizens over 18 are permitted to buy and use cannabis. Marijuana use rates in the Netherlands are similar to those in the US, while for young adults, rates of marijuana use are even lower than in the US.
  10. Although marijuana’s effects are less harmful than those of most other drugs, it is the most common drug that people are arrested for possessing.

Adapted from the Drug Policy Alliance and Web MD . 

With the legalization of marijuana in several states, many concerns have risen over how to deal with drug policy in the US. Some issues that policymakers have to deal with include how to best regulate the production, distribution, sale and use of marijuana for recreational purposes when it is illegal to do so under federal law, how to tax marijuana use, what kinds of quality control standards should be set, what should be done to protect children, who should be allowed to grow marijuana, and many more.

President Obama has said, “it does not make sense, from a prioritization point of view, for us to focus on recreational drug users in a state that has already said that under state law that’s legal.”

The federal government’s approach does not go after those who use the drug for medical purposes, such as cancer patients, but focuses on individuals who are in the marijuana growing, selling, and distribution business.

Of course, there are differing stances on whether the US should legalize marijuana or not. Younger people and people in the West are more supportive of legalization. Many people think that government efforts to enforce marijuana laws are more costly than beneficial. Despite some support, some  politicians are wary of legalizing another addictive substance.

For more information on marijuana legalization and marijuana policy, read this article from the Huffington Post!

1st San Mateo County PRIDE Event 6-15-2013

It’s finally here!  Our friends over at the San Mateo PRIDE Initiative have been hard at work putting together the first ever PRIDE event in San Mateo County.  NCPP has helped to sponsor this event by designing the outreach flyer below.  Click on the Facebook link at the bottom of this post to stay updated on the latest news about this event!

SMCPrideFlyer11x17_WebSharing

To download a ZIP of Printer-Ready PDF files of this flyer, please click HERE.

 

Click on the link to go to the Facebook page.
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