SCIENCE, HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY Apr 25, 2019 |
For more information, contact Lou Corpuz-Bosshart
Zero-tolerance messaging tuned out by most teenagers
For many parents, talking to their children about substance use is like navigating a field of landmines. It’s difficult to know exactly what to say and how to say it.
But a new study from researchers at the University of British Columbia and University of Calgary is showing the way forward. Emily Jenkins, a UBC professor of nursing who studies youth substance use, and her colleagues interviewed 83 teenagers across B.C. Interestingly, they found that a harm reduction message resonated the most with teens, instead of the typical “don’t do drugs” talk.Emily Jenkins
“Teens told us that they generally tuned out abstinence-only or zero-tolerance messaging because it did not reflect the realities of their life,” said Jenkins. “Either they or their peers were already using substances, or substance use was happening in their own family circles.”
Harm reduction is a philosophy and set of practices that acknowledge that substance use – be it drugs, cigarettes or alcohol – is a part of life. It aims to reduce the harmful effects of substance use, rather than simply ignoring or condemning it.
“Youth were more receptive when their parents talked – in a non-judgmental way – about substance use or could point to resources or strategies to help minimize the harms of use. This approach seemed to work better in preserving family relationships and youth health,” said Jenkins.
Some teens who used substances despite their families’ zero-tolerance approach reported feeling disconnected from their families. One participant, who consumed alcohol occasionally, experienced difficulties with her mother, who never drank. “When she was a teenager she never did any of that…so to her, that’s like, I’m going to hell,” she said.
Another participant whose family took a zero-tolerance position found himself unable to help a friend who was struggling with cannabis use and whose family also shunned substance use of any kind. “I just can’t help him if his dad’s not going to say anything,” he told the researchers.
However, teens still valued setting limits, the study showed.
“An overly lenient approach to substance use did not work either,” said Jenkins. “One participant who drank alcohol frequently said she was ‘sick of it’ but did not know how to scale back her drinking as her parents ‘don’t really care about what I do. I could go home drunk and they won’t do anything.’”
The study, published this month in Harm Reduction, surveyed youth ages 13-18 in urban, suburban and rural areas in B.C.
“The numbers show that the greatest levels of substance use and related harms occur amongst young people, yet youth perspectives are often missing when we formulate parental approaches to substance use,” said Jenkins. “This study goes beyond the typical approach, which features adult perspectives, and brings youth knowledge and expertise, a critical missing element in substance use programming.”
TO CONTINUE READING: https://news.ubc.ca/2019/04/25/teens-prefer-harm-reduction-messaging-on-substance-use/
Officials said the formal designation was a sign of the grave danger posed by xylazine, which can cause horrific wounds and, when mixed with fentanyl, increase the likelihood of overdose.
By Jan Hoffman April 12, 2023 New York Times
The White House on Wednesday designated a common animal tranquilizer that is increasingly mixed into street fentanyl as an “emerging drug threat,” a formal move that requires the administration to create strategies to enhance law enforcement efforts, health interventions and data collection to combat it.
This is the first time that the White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy has ever identified a substance for that designation, a mark of the gravity of the danger that it considers to be posed by the drug, xylazine.
Xylazine was approved for veterinary procedures, primarily in cattle and horses, 50 years ago but has never been sanctioned for medical use in humans. Known popularly as tranq or tranq dope, it is a powerful and addictive sedative that slows breathing and heart rate, increases the risk of fatal overdose and often produces severe skin ulcers and abscesses that have led to amputations.
“Many communities are not even aware of the threat in their backyard,” Dr. Rahul Gupta, the head of the drug control office, who is often referred to as the national drug czar, said in a briefing with reporters.
TO CONTINUE READING: https://www.nytimes.com/2023/04/12/health/tranq-dope-xylazine.html
Agency Continues to Take Critical Steps to Reduce Drug Overdose Deaths Being Driven Primarily by Illicit Opioids
For Immediate Release: March 29, 2023 FDA News Release
Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Narcan, 4 milligram (mg) naloxone hydrochloride nasal spray for over-the-counter (OTC), nonprescription, use – the first naloxone product approved for use without a prescription. Naloxone is a medication that rapidly reverses the effects of opioid overdose and is the standard treatment for opioid overdose. Today’s action paves the way for the life-saving medication to reverse an opioid overdose to be sold directly to consumers in places like drug stores, convenience stores, grocery stores and gas stations, as well as online.
The timeline for availability and price of this OTC product is determined by the manufacturer. The FDA will work with all stakeholders to help facilitate the continued availability of naloxone nasal spray products during the time needed to implement the Narcan switch from prescription to OTC status, which may take months. Other formulations and dosages of naloxone will remain available by prescription only.
Drug overdose persists as a major public health issue in the United States, with more than 101,750 reported fatal overdoses occurring in the 12-month period ending in October 2022, primarily driven by synthetic opioids like illicit fentanyl.
“The FDA remains committed to addressing the evolving complexities of the overdose crisis. As part of this work, the agency has used its regulatory authority to facilitate greater access to naloxone by encouraging the development of and approving an over-the-counter naloxone product to address the dire public health need,” said FDA Commissioner Robert M. Califf, M.D. “Today’s approval of OTC naloxone nasal spray will help improve access to naloxone, increase the number of locations where it’s available and help reduce opioid overdose deaths throughout the country. We encourage the manufacturer to make accessibility to the product a priority by making it available as soon as possible and at an affordable price.”
TO CONTINUE READING: https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/fda-approves-first-over-counter-naloxone-nasal-spray