Our recent poll asked the important question “What is the number one preventable cause of death in the U.S.?” The answer, not shockingly, is tobacco use.
TEENS AND FAMILIES
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.
You know the feeling…the phone buzzes and you can’t help but grab your phone to find out what’s happening. We may joke about our smartphone addiction, but what if there really is something to it?
School administrators are charged with ensuring a safe, supportive, and healthy school environment where children can learn and reach their full potential. This includes taking measures to prevent tobacco, alcohol and drug use among students. Historically, schools turned to prevention programs like D.A.R.E., but research shows that D.A.R.E. doesn’t work. Instead of supporting the implementation of proven prevention practices, some administrators have turned to a more punitive and controversial approach: drug testing students.
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.
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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