The Buzz - A Blog About the Disease of Addiction | The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse


Welcome to The Buzz—The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse's online conversation about addiction and substance use.

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Among parents, there is a debate about letting their underage children drink alcohol at home. Some think it’s safer for kids to drink at home in a secure environment. Others believe that offering sips makes alcohol appear less alluring, and teaches kids to drink responsibly. They often point to Europe as an example of how alcohol can be normalized at a young age, supposedly without any adverse consequences.  



Prescription opioid and heroin addiction, overdose and deaths have been serious problems for many years. As the crisis more recently expanded to suburban and urban communities, it has generated significant media and political attention. Documentaries are being developed to raise awareness of the epidemic and its devastating impact on families in a way that is relatable to viewers. A recent example is the HBO documentary “Heroin: Cape Cod, USA,” which offers a graphic portrayal of heroin addiction by following the lives of eight young people addicted to the drug. 

We had the opportunity to sit down with Michael Skolnik, an entrepreneur, civil rights activist, storyteller and motivational speaker, to discuss his advocacy efforts regarding alternatives to incarceration for people with addiction. In the past, Michael spent much of his career creating films in prisons, with a focus on juveniles in detention centers across the country. He became interested in addiction after seeing it in his family members. 

As part of our Addiction Speaker Series, in which leading experts present their latest findings, Megan V. Smith, DrPH, MPH, Assistant Professor, Departments of Psychiatry and Child Study Center at Yale School of Medicine and Chronic Disease Epidemiology and Social and Behavioral Social Sciences at Yale School of Public Health, presented “Addressing Toxic Stress and Adverse Childhood Experiences in Partnership with Mothers." We interviewed Dr. Smith to learn more about her fascinating research.  

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