Free Research Forum on Adolescents and Co-Occuring Disorders, 7/15

The next free Division of Behavioral Health Research Forum will be held Thursday, July 15, 2010 from 8:30 am  – 12:00 pm on “Colorado’s Guidelines for Treatment of Adolescent Co-Occuring Disorders; Implementation Process”.  Please see the attached brochure for more details including registration information.

Click here to see the DBH Research Forum Brochure.

Colorado DBH Prevention Health Communications, In the News for April 9, 2010

Source: DBH email, 4/9/2010

Attached is the April 9, 2010 edition of the DBH Prevention Community Programs, Prevention Health Communications, In the News and Resources weekly.

In the News is a collection of hyperlinks to current prevention articles, broadcasts, reports, press releases, funding announcements, conferences and events, training and more that are relevant to the prevention and reduction of the use of alcohol and other drugs.

Click here to access Prevention Health Communications, In the News and Resources weekly, 4/9/10 (pdf)

DSM-V Draft Includes Major Changes to Addictive Disease Classifications

Source: JoinTogether News Feature, 2/12/2010

The first draft of the American Psychiatric Association’s (APA) latest Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V) eliminates the disease categories for substance abuse and dependence and replaces it with a new “addictions and related disorders” — just one of several major changes to the “Bible” used almost universally to diagnose (and get insurance reimbursement for) behavioral-health problems.

“Eliminating the category of dependence will better differentiate between the compulsive drug-seeking behavior of addiction and normal responses of tolerance and withdrawal that some patients experience when using prescribed medications that affect the central nervous system,” the APA explained in a Feb. 10 press release.


The new category for addictive diseases would include a variety of “substance-use disorders” broken down by drug type, such as “cannabis-use disorder” and “alcohol-use disorder.” Diagnostic criteria for these disorders in DSM-V would remain “very similar” to those found in the current DSM-IV, according to APA. However, the symptom of “drug craving” would be added to the criteria, while a symptom that referred to “problems with law enforcement” would be eliminated “because of cultural considerations that make the criteria difficult to apply internationally,” APA said.Also new to the DSM-V are diagnostic criteria for “cannabis withdrawal,” which the APA says is caused by “cessation of cannabis use that has been heavy and prolonged,” results in “clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning,” and is characterized by at least three of these symptoms: irritability, anger or aggression; nervousness or anxiety; sleep difficulties (insomnia); decreased appetite or weight loss; restlessness; depressed mood; and or physical symptoms such as stomach pain, shakiness or tremors, sweating, fever, chills, and headache.


The proposed DSM-V also would add a new category of “behavioral addictions” which contains a single disorder: gambling addiction. “Internet addiction was considered for this category, but work group members decided there was insufficient research data to do so, so they recommended it be included in the manual’s appendix instead, with a goal of encouraging additional study,” according to an APA press release.


APA is accepting public comments on the DSM-V revisions until April 20. “This is the first complete revision of the DSM since 1994,” said Volkow in a Feb. 11 letter to addiction professionals. “… In light of the advances in research on substance abuse and addiction since the last revision, many suggested changes have been proposed in this revision. Therefore, this is an important opportunity to offer your comments on the new criteria.”

All of the proposed changes and information about submitting comments can be found on the DSM-V website.Read the entire JoinToger News Feature

National Survey Tracks Rates of Common Mental Disorders Among American Youth

Source: NIH News 12/14/2009

Only about half of American children and teenagers who have certain mental disorders receive professional services, according to a nationally representative survey funded in part by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). The survey also provides a comprehensive look at the prevalence of common mental disorders.

The results are part of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), a collaboration between NIMH and the National Center for Health Statistics of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The survey conducted from 2001 to 2004 had 3,042 participants. These most recent results include data from children and adolescents ages 8 to 15, and were published online ahead of print December 14, 2009, in the journal Pediatrics.


Overall, 13 percent of respondents met criteria for having at least one of the six mental disorders within the last year. About 1.8 percent of the respondents had more than one disorder, usually a combination of ADHD and conduct disorder. Among the specific disorders,

  • 8.6 percent had ADHD, with males more likely than females to have the disorder;
  • 3.7 percent had depression, with females more likely than males to have the disorder;
  • 2.1 percent had conduct disorder;
  • 0.7 percent had an anxiety disorder (GAD or panic disorder);
  • 0.1 percent had an eating disorder (anorexia or bulimia).

“With the exception of ADHD, the prevalence rates reported here are generally lower than those reported in other published findings of mental disorders in children, but they are comparable to other studies that employed similar methods and criteria,”said lead author Kathleen Merikangas, Ph.D., of NIMH.

Those of a lower socioeconomic status were more likely to report any disorder, particularly ADHD, while those of a higher socioeconomic status were more likely to report having an anxiety disorder. Mexican-Americans had significantly higher rates of mood disorders than whites or African-Americans, but overall, few ethnic differences in rates of disorders emerged.

Merikangas and colleagues also found that overall, 55 percent of those with a disorder had consulted with a mental health professional, confirming the trend of an increase in service use for childhood mental disorders, especially ADHD. However, only 32 percent of youth with an anxiety disorder sought treatment, a finding consistent with other studies. Moreover, African-Americans and Mexican-Americans were significantly less likely to seek treatment than whites, reiterating the need to identify and remove barriers to treatment for minority youth, noted the researchers.


Click here to read the complete story

Click here to access the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) homepage

Teleconference: The History of the Mental Health Consumer Movement: Thursday, December 17, 2009 12-1:30 MST

Source: SAMHSA’s Resource Center to Promote Acceptance web site

SAMHSA’s Resource Center to Promote Acceptance, Dignity and Social Inclusion Associated with Mental Health (ADS Center) is offering the following web based teleconference on Thursday, December 17, 2009 12-1:30 MST:

What is the mental health consumer movement? Why is it important to understand its origins? Coinciding with the emergence of other civil rights movements, the consumer movement arose from the need to advocate for changes in the way society viewed and treated people with mental health problems.


This training will provide:

  • a framework for understanding the origins and importance of the consumer movement, including the role of the arts and social inclusion’s connection to history;
  • information about the challenges and obstacles the consumer movement has encountered and how they have been, and continue to be, overcome; and
  • an understanding of the movement’s accomplishments and next steps.

Potent Marijuana Tied to Psychosis Risk

Source: JoinTogether Research Summary, 12/02/2009

Marijuana bred to contain high levels of THC could raise the risk of developing psychosis, according to researchers from the U.K.

Reuters reported Nov. 30 that researchers Marta di Forti and colleagues from King’s College London compared users of potent “skunk” marijuana to users who smoked cannabis resin (“hash”) and found that the incidence of psychotic illnesses like schizophrenia was almost seven times higher among the skunk users.

“The risk of psychosis is much greater among people who are frequent cannabis users, especially among those using skunk, rather than among occasional users of traditional hash,” said di Forti.

The study, based on a comparison between 280 individuals who has suffered their first psychotic episode and 174 healthy controls, also found that individuals who had suffered psychosis severe enough to result in a hospital admission and last a week or more were twice as likely to be long-term marijuana users and six times more likely to be daily users of the drug.

In London, where the study was conducted, “skunk” marijuana contains about 12-18 percent THC, compared to 3.4 percent THC in traditional cannabis resin.

The findings were published in the December 2009 issue of the British Journal of Psychiatry.

Click here to access resources related to marijuana that are available for loan to Colorado residents from the Prevention Information Center.

New SAMHSA Web site Provides Tools to Help Address Co-Occurring Disorders and Homelessness

Source: SAMHSA News Release, 11/16/09

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) today announces the availability of a new Web site to help SAMHSA grantees, health professionals and the public address problems of homelessness and co-occurring substance abuse and mental health disorders. The site, features an on-line library of tools that are designed to advance the field and improve the effectiveness of prevention, treatment and recovery programs operated by SAMHSA’s Co-Occurring and Homeless Activities Branch (CHAB) and other service providers.

The new CHAB Web site provides a platform for creating an interactive community of providers, consumers, policymakers, researchers, and public agencies at federal, state, and local levels working to prevent and treat homelessness and co-occurring substance abuse and mental disorders.

Click here to read the rest of the press release