Alcohol SBIRT Toolkit for Emergency Care Settings

Source: Join Together News Release, 5/23/2005
The Emergency Nurses Association (ENA) Injury Prevention Institute/EN CARE has released an alcohol screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment (SBIRT) implementation toolkit.

This toolkit will provide emergency and trauma nurses and other emergency health care professionals with the information they need to implement the SBIRT procedure in emergency care settings.

It also incorporates evidence-based concepts from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, American College of Surgeons, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and many other renowned experts in the field.

For more information or to download your free copy, visit:

United Way Health Focus to Include Binge Drinking, Drug Use

Source: Join Together Funding News, 5/21/2008
The United Way of America has announced that it will focus its grantmaking over the next decade on the root causes underlying the nation’s health, educational, and financial problems, the Washington Post reported May 15.

A new United Way report, Goals for the Common Good, points out that two-thirds of young people and adults live unhealthy lives, engaging in drug use, binge drinking, or unsafe sex. Those are the types of core issues that United Way organizations nationally need to address in order make measurable progress in reversing declines in key health, education, and personal-finance indicators, said United Way of America CEO Brian Gallagher.

“The country is at a crossroads right now,” he said. “I’ve never felt a time in my career where there’s this combination of enough pain, feeling of a lack of progress, feeling like we’ve stalled, combined with a next generation of leadership demanding change.”

There are about 1,300 local United Way organizations, however, and it is unclear how many of them will follow the recommendations detailed in the report.

Click here to read United Way report “Goals for the Common Good

Teen “Self-Medication” for Depression Leads to More Serious Mental Illness

Source: Anti-Drug Update 5/9/2008
Customizable Open Letter Highlighting Risks Now Available for Distribution in your Community

At a press conference today, the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign, along with the Director of NIDA, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP), and Dr. Drew Pinsky, announced the release of a new Campaign report showing that marijuana use can worsen depression and lead to more serious mental disorders, such as schizophrenia, anxiety, and even suicide. In an effort to urge parents to pay closer attention to their teen’s behavior and recognize that marijuana and other drugs could be playing a dangerous role in their child’s life, the Media Campaign is offering you a free customizable “Teens, Marijuana, and Depression” Open Letter for distribution in your community. The current letter is part of an ongoing effort to educate parents on the risks of marijuana and is based on a 2006 Open Letter originally signed by 12 healthcare organizations, including the American Psychiatric Association (APA) and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP), and is designed specifically to be used by local groups and coalitions.

The report, released to coincide with May’s Mental Health Awareness Month, shows that two million teens felt depressed at some point during the past year, and depressed teens are more than twice as likely as non-depressed teens to have used marijuana during that same period. Research shows that some teens are using drugs to alleviate feelings of depression (“self-medicating”), when in fact, using marijuana can compound the problem. Depressed teens are almost twice as likely to have used illicit drugs as non-depressed teens.


** The full report, “Teen Marijuana Use Worsens Depression: An Analysis of Recent Data Shows ‘Self-Medicating’ Could Actually Make Things Worse” can be accessed and downloaded at:

** The customizable “Teens, Marijuana, and Depression” Open Letter that you can use in your schools and communities to reach parents and encourage them to monitor their teens’ behavior and mood is easily downloadable from at:

** Free anti-drug and parenting resources, including brochures, CD-ROMs, posters, and postcards are available at the Media Campaign’s online section for community groups, coalitions and non-profits:

** Sign up for the Parenting Tips Newsletter: Encourage parents in your community to sign up for’s Parenting Tips Newsletter, a periodic e-mail notification with advice and strategies to help keep teenagers healthy and drug-free. Sign up at:

Mental Disorders Cost Society Billions in Unearned Income

Source: NIH News 5/7/09
Major mental disorders cost the nation at least $193 billion annually in lost earnings alone, according to a new study funded by the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). The study was published in the May 2008 issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry.

“Lost earning potential, costs associated with treating coexisting conditions, Social Security payments, homelessness and incarceration are just some of the indirect costs associated with mental illnesses that have been difficult to quantify,” said NIMH Director Thomas R. Insel, M.D. “This study shows us that just one source of these indirect costs is staggeringly high.”

Direct costs associated with mental disorders like medication, clinic visits, and hospitalization, are relatively easy to quantify, but they reveal only a small portion of the economic burden these illnesses place on society. Indirect costs like lost earnings likely account for enormous expenses, but they are very difficult to define and estimate.

In the new study, Ronald C. Kessler, Ph.D., of Harvard University, and colleagues analyzed data from the 2002 National Comorbidity Survey Replication (NCS-R) [], a nationally representative study of Americans age 18 to 64.

Click here to read the rest of the NIH News Release