HHS Manual Focuses on Protecting Children Impacted by Family Substance Abuse

Source: OJJDP JuvJust e-News, 8/19/09

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS’) Children’s Bureau has released “Protecting Children in Families Affected by Substance Use Disorders.” Part of the Bureau’s Child Abuse and Neglect User Manual Series, the manual examines such topics as:

the nature of substance use disorders

the impact of parental substance abuse disorders on children

examination, screening, assessment, and treatment for substance abuse disorders

the role of child protective services caseworkers.


“Protecting Children in Families Affected by Substance Use Disorders” is available online at www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/usermanuals/substanceuse or in pdf at http://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/usermanuals/substanceuse/substanceuse.pdf.

For further information about the Child Abuse and Neglect User Manual Series, visit www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/usermanual.cfm.

Special issue of JDI: Smoking and Substance Abuse

The Spring 2009 v.39(2) issue of Journal of Drug Issues has a focus on “Smoking and Substance Abuse.”  Articles focus on the public health and clinical intervention initiatives related to smoking as well as issues of tobacco dependence in the substance abuse population.

PIC cardholders can access the fulltext contents of the issue online by clicking here:


  • Introduction to the Theme Issue
    Joseph Guydish & Douglas Ziedonis
  • Smoking Cessation Services in Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment: Opportunities Missed?
    Hannah K. Knudsen
  • Exploring Factors Related to Readiness to Change Tobacco Use for Clients in Substance Abuse Treatment
    Danielle W. Toussaint, Nancy R. VanDeMark, Meredith Silverstein, Erik Stone
  • Medical and Mental Health Status Among Drug Dependent Patients Participating in a Smoking Cessation Treatment Study
    Jennifer E. Lima, Malcolm S. Reid, Jennifer L. Smith, Yulei Zhang, Huiping Jiang, John Rotrosen, Edward Nunes
  • Effects of Smoking Cessation on Illicit Drug Use among Opioid Maintenance Patients: A Pilot Study
    Kelly E. Dunn, Stacey C. Sigmon, Edward Reimann, Sarah H. Heil, Stephen T. Higgins
  • Gender Differences in Quit Support by Partners of Health-Compromised Smokers
    Michael J. Rohrbaugh, Varda Shoham, Catherine L. Dempsey
  • Development of the Smoking Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices (S-KAP) Instument
    Kevin L. Delucchi, Barbara Tajima, Joseph Guydish
  • Staff Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices Regarding Nicotine Dependence Differ by Setting
    Barbara Tajima, Joseph Guydish, Kevin Delucchi, Emma Passalacqua, Mable Chan, Matt Moore
  • Does the Presence of a Smoking Cessation Clinical Trial Affect Staff Practices Related to Smoking?
    JongSerl Chun, Joseph R. Guydish, Kevin Delucchi
  • Bar Patronage after a Smoking Ban
    J. Michael Menke
  • The Neurobiology of Nicotine Addiction: Clinical and Public Policy Implications
    Paul D. Gardner, Andrew R. Tapper, Jean A. King, Joseph R. DiFranza, Douglas M. Ziedonis

Study Shows Benefits of Biculturalism : Latino teens happier, healthier if families embrace both cultures

CDC’s Coordinating Center for Environmental Health and Injury Prevention has released resources and a formatted news release to help Latino adolescents and their families stay happy and healthy throughout their adolescence.

A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) supported study shows that Latino adolescents in the United States who maintain ties to their culture of origin are more likely to develop healthy behaviors than their peers who do not. Latino adolescents with strong awareness of their family’s culture reported higher self esteem, fewer social problems and less hopelessness, aggression and substance abuse. CDC has developed tips to help adolescents and their families find this cultural balance.

Resources for Latino adolescents and their parents to keep adolescents happy and healthy are available now at: http://www.cdc.gov/espanol. CDC researchers are also currently available to provide additional information and interviews on these findings.

Link to Formatted News Release in English and Spanish:

Link to Special Acculturation Feature and Tools/Tips in Spanish: http://www.cdc.gov/spanish/especialesCDC/AdolescentesLatinos/

SAMHSA Announces Additional Funding to Bolster Increasingly Strained National Suicide Prevention Lif

Source: SAMHSA News Release, 8/5/2009

Effects of the economy are placing increased demands on crisis services centers at the same time they face cutbacks from other funding sources.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is moving to provide urgent funding to suicide prevention centers around the nation which are dealing with the enormous hardship wrought by the economic downturn. Many of these centers must cope with a sharp rise in the number of callers in crisis (often because of financial problems). At the same time these centers are threatened with significant cutbacks in funding from state and local governments and other sources of support.

“This is a critical situation – calls into suicide crisis centers have substantially increased during the past year – 54,054 calls in the last recorded month alone — with between 20 to 30 percent of calls being specifically linked to economic distress,” said SAMHSA Acting Administrator, Eric Broderick, D.D.S., M.P.H. “These funds will help provide desperately needed assistance to those on the front lines, responding to this urgent public health need.” SAMHSA funds the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (Lifeline) through a cooperative agreement for Networking, Certifying and Training Suicide Prevention Hotlines that was awarded to Link2Health Solutions, Inc.

SAMHSA is providing more than $1 million in additional funding through a fiscal year (FY) 2009 supplement to this cooperative agreement. This supplemental funding will help expand the ability of the network of up to 20 crisis centers participating in the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline to deal with the increased demand for services during a time of financial hardship, and to reach out to those in their communities most at risk.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK, coordinates the network of 140 crisis centers across the United States providing suicide prevention and crisis intervention services to individuals seeking help at any time, day or night. Because of the rising number of calls coming into the crisis centers, and cutbacks in funding from others sources, many centers are experiencing extraordinary difficulties in maintaining their operations.

The $1,050,000 supplement will be overseen by SAMHSA’s Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS).

PIC recommends:

12 Year Nationwide Drop in Tobacco Sales to Minors Continues

Source: SAMHSA News Release 8/11/09

12 Year Nationwide Drop in Tobacco Sales to Minors Continues Under State/Federal Partnership Program

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) today announced that sales of tobacco to underage youth (those younger than age 18) have continued to decline, and have in fact reached historic lows under the Synar Amendment program – a federal and state partnership program aimed at ending illegal tobacco sales to minors.

The Synar Amendment (introduced by the late Representative Mike Synar of Oklahoma) requires states to have laws and enforcement programs for prohibiting the sale and distribution of tobacco to persons under age 18.

All 50 states and the District of Columbia have for the third year in a row achieved a major Synar program goal – a less than 20 percent non-compliance rate among tobacco product retailers.  This stands in sharp contrast with the situation 12 years ago at the Synar program’s inception when the highest reported non-compliance rate was 75 percent.

“This report along with other published studies indicates that real progress is being made in preventing illegal tobacco sales to minors,” said SAMHSA Acting Administrator Eric Broderick, DDS, MPH. “Continued state vigilance will build on our track record of success in protecting children from the public health menace of tobacco.”

SAMHSA’s FFY 2008 Annual Synar Reports: State Compliance shows that the average national tobacco retailer violation rate dropped to 9.9 percent for federal fiscal year 2008, down from 40.1 percent in 1997. The national average is at its lowest point in Synar’s 12-year history.

The SAMHSA report also highlights many of the innovative ways that States have successfully implemented the Synar Amendment program.  The approaches involve comprehensive strategies combining vigorous enforcement, supportive public policies and development of social climates discouraging youth tobacco use.

Under the regulations implementing the Synar Amendment, States and other jurisdictions must report annually to SAMHSA on their retailer violation rates, which represent the percentage of inspected retail outlets that sold tobacco products to a customer under the age of 18. The amendment requires that retailer violation rates not exceed 20 percent. States and jurisdictions measure their progress through random, unannounced inspections of tobacco retailers, and SAMHSA provides technical assistance to help states comply.

Reducing the illegal sales rate of tobacco to minors through enforcement of laws prohibiting the sale of tobacco products to minors is one of the specific tobacco objectives (objective 27-14) in Healthy People 2010, the nation’s disease prevention and health promotion goals and objectives for the decade.

FFY 2008 Annual Synar Reports: State Compliance, which includes compliance rates for each of the States and the District of Columbia, is available at http://prevention.samhsa.gov/tobacco/synarreportfy2008.pdf.  For related publications and information, visit http://www.samhsa.gov/.

Prescription Drugs Misused by 12.3 Percent of H.S. Seniors

Source: Join Together Research Summary, 8/6/2009

A survey of more than 12,000 U.S. high-school seniors found that 12.3 percent said they had used opioid-based prescription drugs for non-medical purposes, with 8 percent saying they had done so within the past year, HealthDay News reported Aug. 3.

Students said they used drugs like hydrocodone, oxycodone, hydromorphone, meperidine, morphine and codeine to relax, relieve tension, get high, experiment, relieve pain, or have a good time with their friends.

Those who used the drugs for reasons other than pain relief were more likely to use other addictive drugs and have signs of addictive disorders, researchers said.

“The results of this study provide compelling evidence that adolescents have a wide range of motives for using prescription opioids non-medically, and these motives should be carefully considered in efforts to reduce this behavior,” said study author Sean Esteban McCabe of the Substance Abuse Research Center of the University of Michigan. “These results suggest that appropriate pain management and careful therapeutic monitoring could contribute to reductions in the non-medical use of prescription opioids among adolescents.”

The study was published in the August 2009 issue of the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine.

Click here to read free full text of the journal article.

Substance Abuse Prevention Dollars and Cents: A Cost Benefits Analysis

Source: JoinTogether Funding Tips & Trends, 7/26/09

Looking to convince policymakers that they should fund your prevention program?

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has just released a new publication that can help you build a case for support.

Substance Abuse Prevention Dollars and Cents: A Cost Benefits Analysis “is designed to help policymakers and other stakeholders use the results of cost-benefit analysis as an information tool for decision making and for selecting the substance abuse prevention programs that best apply available resources toward addressing their needs,” according to SAMHSA.

The report details the extent of substance abuse among youth, costs of substance abuse to the nation and to states, cost savings that could be gained if effective prevention policies, programs, and services were implemented nationwide, and programs and policies that are most cost beneficial.

The costs of untreated addiction also is examined, along with the anticipated return on investment in prevention programs. The report is available free online (PDF, 64 KB).

Click here to access report.