Sales of Home Drug-Test Kits Soar Despite Warnings from Experts

Source: JoinTogether News Summary, 5/15/07
The number of parents buying home drug-test kits has increased dramatically despite warnings from treatment professionals and government officials that home-testing adolescents is not a good idea, the Denver Post reported on May 14.
“By the time a parent tests, it’s already far down the road,” said ONDCP Deputy Director for Demand Reduction Bertha Madras. “If they get a positive result, then what? Parents may or may not have the skill to proceed.”
“Parents are motivated by the best of intentions,” said Dr. Sharon Levy, a childhood addiction specialist at Children’s Hospital in Boston. “They are told by marketers that this is a good thing to do. But drug testing is basically a threat. And while it might have some short-term behavioral changes, I don’t think it’s a good long-term prevention method.”
Read the American Academy of Pediatrics statement on drug testing.
Read 5/14/07 Denver Post article : Drug-test kits a big hit with parents”

During Their Lifetime More Than 10 Percent Of Adults Abuse Or Become Dependent On Drugs

Source:  Medical News Today, 5/11/07
Approximately 10.3 percent of U.S. adults appear to have problems with drug use or abuse during their lives, including 2.6 percent who become drug dependent at some point, according to a report in the May issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.
Individuals who abused drugs began at an average age of 19.9, whereas those with drug dependence developed the condition at an average age of 21.7. About 8.1 percent of those who abused drugs and 37.9 percent of those who were dependent received treatment during their lives. “The adolescent onset of drug abuse and dependence revealed critical windows of opportunity for prevention efforts,” the authors write.
(Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2007;64:566-576)

“You’ve Got Drugs!” IV

Source: News Room: Press Releases, 5/16/2007


WASHINGTON, DC, May 16, 2007 – For three years straight the number of rogue Web sites selling controlled prescription drugs like OxyContin, Vicodin, Valium, and Ritalin has increased, according to a new White Paper released by The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University.

The White Paper, “You’ve Got Drugs!” IV: Prescription Drug Pushers on the Internet, to be released today at the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on “Rogue Online Pharmacies: The Growing Problem of Internet Drug Trafficking,” found a total of 581 Web sites advertising or selling controlled prescription drugs in 2007 compared to 342 sites in 2006. Sites advertising controlled prescription drugs increased by 135 percent, from 168 in 2006 to 394 in 2007. Sites selling these drugs increased by seven percent from 174 in 2006 to 187 in 2007. Of the 187 sites found selling controlled prescription drugs this year, only two were certified by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy as Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice SitesTM .

Read the rest of the press release.
View or order the White Paper.

New Tool Created To Help Families In The Child Welfare System

Source: SAMHSA Bulletin, 5/10/2007

Screening and Assessment for Family Engagement, Retention, and Recovery (SAFERR), a new guidebook designed to help staff of public and private agencies respond to families in the child welfare system who are affected by substance use disorders, is now available through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

SAFERR is based on the premise that when parents misuse substances and mistreat their children, the best way to make sound decisions is to draw from the resources of three key systems: child welfare, alcohol and drugs and the courts.

Order a free copy of SAFERR from NCADI by clicking here.

SAMHSA Launches New Web Page for Veterans and Their Families

A new section of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Web site at  has been launched for veterans and their families.  The Web site provides critical information on prevention, treatment and recovery support for mental and substance use disorders.

Publications, fact sheets, and links to relevant agencies are provided along with information on SAMHSA-funded programs, agency activities, and training and technical assistance opportunities.  Individuals seeking substance use and mental health services can easily find information about local programs by using SAMHSA’s treatment facility locator.

Also today, SAMHSA convened a meeting with the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Defense and veterans service organizations to better understand the needs and to identify ways local community-based substance abuse and mental health service organizations can best be prepared to assist veterans and their families.  The discussion will help inform the development of guidance materials for states, local communities, and providers to ensure a coordinated approach to providing mental health and substance use services.

For more information, please visit Resources for Returning Veterans and Their Families at .

HBO Addiction Series videos and book available

The 4-disc HBO Addiction series videos and an accompanying book are now available for loan at the Prevention Information Center (PIC). Discs 1-2 and Discs 3-4 will circulate as 2 separate sets.  The DVDs have  both English or Spanish dialogue.

HBO’s groundbreaking series, ADDICTION, premiered March 15 – 18, 2007. ADDICTION tells the stories behind substance use, explores new
advancements being made in addiction research, and it introduces
new and effective treatments.

hborequest.gifPIC library card holders can use their barcode and PIN to request the materials by clicking here. Be sure to click on the title to see all available copies and select the “Request Copy” link, as indicated by the red arrow.

For help making a request please contact the PIC at 1-888-251-4772. To obtain a PIC library card, please visit

Study Finds Link Between Depression and First Use of Drugs or Alcohol

Source: SAMHSA Office of Applied Statistics Press Release, 5/3/2007
Youths who faced depression in the past year were twice as likely as those who did not have depression to take their first drink or use drugs for the first time, according to a new report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

The NSDUH Report: Depression and the Initiation of Alcohol and Other Drug Use among Youths Aged 12 to 17 showed that in 2005 2.2 million youths [8.8% of youths] experienced a major depressive episode in the past year. For these estimates from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), a major depressive episode is defined as a period of two weeks or longer during which there is depressed mood or loss of interest or pleasure and at least four other symptoms that reflect a change in functioning, such as problems with sleep, eating, energy, concentration and self-image.

Among youths who had not used alcohol before, 29.2 percent of those who faced depression took their first drink in the past year, while 14.5 percent of youths who did not have a major depressive episode took their first drink. And 16.1 percent of youths who faced depression and had not previously used illicit drugs began drug use; in contrast, 6.9 percent of youths who did not have a major depressive episode began drug use.