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: http://www.theantidrug.com/pdfs/teen-marijuana-depression-report.pdf.

** 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 TheAntiDrug.com at: http://www.theantidrug.com/pdfs/resources/marijuana-depression-open-letter.pdf.

** 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: http://www.theantidrug.com/resources/.

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

1,600 Town Hall Meetings on Underage Drinking Scheduled

Source: Jointogether.org News Summary, 3/25/08

The federal government is cosponsoring a series of more than 1,600 town-hall meetings nationwide in March and April focused on the problem of underage drinking.

The first meeting was held on March 24 in Riverton, Wyo., and was attended by Acting U.S. Surgeon General Steven K. Galson, Wyoming first lady Nancy Freudenthal, and U.S. Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo). The meetings are being sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the Federal Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Prevention of Underage Drinking, and state and local leaders.

The intent of the meetings is to raise awareness of the dangers of underage drinking and educate parents, community leaders and others on how to combat the problem locally. Attendees will include public officials, parents, youths, community leaders, law-enforcement officials, highway-safety experts, alcohol-control officers, and business leaders.

“This problem is not going away on its own,” said Galson. “Only by working together can we make a difference.”

More information about the town hall meetings — which will be held in all 50 states — can be found online at www.stopalcoholabuse.gov or by calling 1-877-SAMHSA7.

Click here to see events in Colorado.

ONDCP to debut first teen Rx drug campaign during Super Bowl

Source: ONDCP Press Release, 01/24/08
(Washington, D.C.)—The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) is launching its first major Federal effort to educate parents about teen prescription drug abuse. This national public awareness campaign will begin with advertising during this year’s Super Bowl, and is ONDCP’s first paid TV advertising targeting parents in nearly two years. The effort includes broadcast, print, and online advertising, community outreach, and new print and online resources to help parents and communities combat the troubling trend of teen prescription drug abuse. The Administration will leverage $14 million to generate nearly $30 million in advertising. The ads were made in collaboration with the Partnership for a Drug-Free America (The Partnership), with pro bono creative provided by Draftfcb New York.
Read the rest of the Press Release
Access report “Prescription for Danger: A Report on Prescription and Over-the-Counter Drug Abuse Among the Nation’s Teens.”

March Media Campaign Roundup

As if in response to the recent (January) Drug and Alcohol Research Findings article “Boomerang ads”, in which the authors argue that the Office of National Drug Control Policy’s “National Youth Anti-Drug Campaign” had zero or negative impact on actual drug use, the last month has seen a slew of articles outlining the benefits of successful media campaigns.

Media Campaign Found to Cut Teens’ Marijuana Use
A NIDA funded study has found that an in-school anti-marijuana and alcohol campaign, “Be Under Your Own Influence,” cut usage by one half compared to communities that did not have the program. The study was published in the February 2006 issue of Health Education Research.

For more information:
New Anti-Drug Program Shows ‘Phenomenal’ Success by Focusing on Positives – AScribe Newswire (02/28/06)

Montana Meth Project Ads Getting Wide Publicity: Will They Work?
The Montana Meth Project has launched a series of graphic and credible TV, radio, and poster ads targeting youth ages 12-17. The campaign has received national coverage in a New York Times article (02/26/06) as well as on NPR’s All Things Considered radio show (02/27/06), where the ads were described as “visceral and less parental.” Listen to the 5 minute NPR interview with Paul Venables, founder of ad company that created the ads, here.

View the Ads at http://www.montanameth.org/ads_television.aspx

TV Ads Help Many Smokers Quit
Source: JoinTogether.org (02/23/06)

TV antismoking ads helped more people quit than any other intervention, including nicotine-replacement therapy and telephone help lines, according to a new study.

View the full JoinTogether.org News Story

Funding for Town Hall Meetings on Underage Drinking

Source: JoinTogether.org (02/03/06)

A 12-agency coalition, the Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Prevention of Underage Drinking (ICCPUD), along with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA), is calling for state and community town-hall meetings to discuss the problem of underage drinking.

As part of a comprehensive federal community drug-prevention strategy, SAMHSA will provide $1,000 to $1,500 stipends to community coalitions that organize meetings. Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) has made its “Strategizer 49: Community Briefings: A Prevention Tool for Communities” publication available to help coordinate these meetings.

View the full JoinTogether.org News Story

2005/2006 Prevention Directory

The 2005/2006 Directory of ADAD-funded Prevention Providers is now available for download at: