December | Center on Addiction


A new year calls for new beginnings and new conversations. Some of the more difficult conversations are the ones that parents have with their children pertaining to alcohol and drug use. Nevertheless, they are important talks to have. Research tells us that teens who are educated about the risks of drugs from their parents are less likely to use. In fact, most teens credit conversations with Mom and Dad as their main reason for deciding not to do drugs. 

It’s the most wonderful time of the year – spending quality time with family and friends, gift giving and receiving, and holiday parties. With this merriment often comes more drinking, but what is it about these parties that makes people drink more than they usually do? It turns out your holiday celebrations can impact your alcohol consumption in ways you may not expect.

At the end of October 2015, more than 13,000 inmates were granted a revised sentence and nearly 6,000 prisoners were released, one of the largest prison releases in American history. The action stemmed from the U.S. Sentencing Commission’s decision in April 2014 to revise their guidelines on drug trafficking sentences, reducing the amount of time served for federal offenders. The sentencing reduction applies retroactively, meaning current inmates are eligible to have their sentence reduced.

There is a long standing federal policy in the U.S. limiting access to life-saving treatments for people addicted to opioids. One of the most effective treatments for opioid addiction – buprenorphine – can only be prescribed by doctors who have completed a special training and qualify for a Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) waiver. Doctors who get the waiver can then treat up to 30 patients in their first year and up to 100 patients in subsequent years.  

An important part of the work being done at CASAColumbia is the research that helps to inform and guide the public, evaluate and improve health care, and analyze and recommend policies on substance use and addiction. But what exactly does that mean and what type of research is being conducted? We sat down with Alma Hidalgo, M.A., Research Associate to find out a little bit more about the exciting work she does at CASAColumbia and how it impacts the community.  

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