The Buzz | The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse

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

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Welcome to Five Minutes With, where we take a few moments to get to know the staff at The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse. Today we’d like to introduce Amy Schreiner, PhD, Associate Research Scientist and Coordinator of Prevention Programming at the Center.

Latinos are the largest minority group in the U.S., at over 17 percent of the population. It is estimated that, by 2060, this will rise to nearly 29 percent. Immigration to the U.S. is often prompted by the possibility of improved life circumstances, including greater access to jobs, health care, education and other opportunities for their families.

2016 was a historic year for addiction policy. In the face of a devastating opioid epidemic that shows little signs of abating, the federal government engaged in multiple efforts to change our national tone and approach toward addiction. There has been great progress in improving our collective understanding of addiction as a disease instead of a moral failing. This is reflected in the work of lawmakers who have adopted public health approaches in lieu of punitive criminal justice responses. 

In the 1950’s, government agencies and medical researchers started viewing alcoholism as a disease instead of a moral failure or lack of will power. Research studies began testing ways to help people with alcoholism stop or reduce their drinking.

The past few years have seen an explosion in the use of e-cigarettes and other Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS), especially among young people. Since e-cigarettes entered the U.S. market several years ago, the news and information posted online and on social media often contain contradictory and confusing messages about their potential risks and benefits. This has led many cigarette smokers to wonder if e-cigarettes will help them stop smoking and many parents to wonder if e-cigarettes are safe for kids to use.

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