Shocking stories about the use of the synthetic marijuana, or K2, have been sweeping newsstands and social media channels. That is because an alarming number of individuals on the drug are flooding emergency rooms and police departments, acting violent, delusional, anxious and combative. U.S. poison centers have experienced a 229 percent increase in calls related to use and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has declared the number of synthetic marijuana overdoses an outbreak. But what exactly is synthetic marijuana and why is there a spike in use?
It’s no secret that risky drinking, or drinking alcohol at levels that put a person at risk of health problems, is prevalent among students at colleges and universities. To get the perspective of addiction experts on this topic, we spoke with Clayton Neighbors, PhD, Professor, Director of Social Psychology and Director of the Social Influences and Health Behaviors Lab at the University of Houston and CASAColumbia’s President & CEO, Samuel Ball, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry at Yale University, to ask them questions about risky drinking at college.
The recent deaths of two young adults have put the dangers of excess caffeine consumption into sharp focus. In June of this year, the state of Ohio became the first state to ban pure powdered caffeine after a teenager overdosed on the stimulant and died days before his high school graduation.
CASAColumbia sat down with Greg Williams, Campaign Director of UNITE to Face Addiction, to discuss the organization’s work to reduce the human and social costs of addiction.
Despite an overall decline in secondhand smoke exposure, a breakdown of recently reported data showed some populations were still being affected more than others by secondhand smoke.
The police in Gloucester, Massachusetts have taken a radical approach to combating the opioid drug epidemic affecting their citizens. The Gloucester Initiative, implemented on June 1st of this year, promises social support and treatment as opposed to stigma and jail time.
References to smoking, drinking and drug use in movies and music have a significant influence on teens’ decisions to start using these substances. Exposure to this content makes teens more likely to use, and to use more. In a 2012 report, the Surgeon General concluded that “there is a causal relationship between depictions of smoking in the movies and the initiation of smoking among young people.” And yet, movie companies continue to depict smoking in G, PG and PG-13 films.
If you call yourself a social smoker, you might believe that you aren’t really harming your health — after all, social smokers are defined as people who mostly smoke in social situations. They don’t smoke that much so they aren’t harming their health, right? Wrong.
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