Tag Archives: alcohol
WEDNESDAY April 17, 2013 — Less than one-third of the 4,700 annual underage drinking-related deaths in the United States result from road crashes, according to a new study.
The findings show the importance of preventing underage drinking even if there is no risk of drinking and driving, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).
Analyzing 2010 federal government data, the group found that 32 percent of the drinking-related deaths among young people aged 15 to 20 involved traffic crashes, while 68 percent involved incidents such as murder (30 percent), suicide (14 percent), alcohol poisoning (9 percent) and other causes (15 percent).
“These data show that taking away the keys truly does not take away all of the risks when it comes to underage drinking,” MADD national president Jan Withers said in a news release from the group.
“MADD hopes this information will inspire parents to have ongoing conversations with their kids about the dangers of drinking alcohol before age 21, especially since we know that a majority of kids say their parents are the biggest influence on their decisions about alcohol,” she added.
MADD released the study as part of Alcohol Awareness Month and in advance of the group’s third annual national PowerTalk 21 Day on April 21. The day is meant to encourage parents to talk to their children about alcohol, using MADD’s Power of Parents handbook as their guide.
MADD affiliates across the country are offering free 30-minute workshops for parents to outline the importance of having frequent and ongoing communication with kids about underage drinking and its dangers.
The U.S. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism urges parents to talk to their children about alcohol.
Posted: April 2013
April is Alcohol Awareness Month, which in Portland means it’s time for the annual Spring Beer & Wine Fest. Locals may notice something different about this year’s festival: a massive sign reminding onlookers that marijuana is safer than alcohol.
MPP’s latest billboard, located at Southwest 13th and Alder Streets, features a glass of beer, a glass of wine, and a marijuana leaf below the words “Beer,” “Wine,” and “Safer.”
“Our goal is to make this year’s beer and wine festivals as educational as they are enjoyable,” said Roy Kaufmann, MPP’s Oregon representative. “We know Oregonians are proud of our craft beer, wine, and spirits, but the objective fact remains that marijuana is less toxic and less addictive than alcohol, and it is far less likely to contribute to violent and reckless behavior.”
Democratic and Republican lawmakers in Maine unveiled the details of a new bill that would make Maine the third state in the nation to make marijuana legal for adults 21 and older and establish a system in which marijuana is regulated and taxed like alcohol.
If approved during this session, the “Act to Tax and Regulate Marijuana,” formulated by state Rep. Diane Russell (D-Portland) and supported by Rep. Aaron Libby (R-Waterboro), will be referred to voters in the upcoming November election. If the measure gets carried over and approved during the next legislative session, it will be placed on the November 2014 ballot.
“When it comes to keeping marijuana away from teens, keeping marijuana in an unregulated underground market is the worst possible policy,” Rep. Russell said. “Instead, marijuana should be sold by legitimate, taxpaying businesses in a tightly regulated market.”
The Maryland House of Delegates will debate whether or not the state should permit the establishment of a legal market for businesses to sell marijuana to adults 21 and older. Delegate Curt Anderson (D-Baltimore City) introduced H.B. 1453 on Thursday. If passed, the bill would make marijuana legal for adults 21 and older and establish a system in which marijuana is regulated and taxed like alcohol. The proceeds from the bill’s stipulated excise tax will be used to offset implementation and fund treatment programs to prevent alcohol, tobacco, and drug abuse.
“It is time for a new, more sensible approach to marijuana in Maryland, and that is what this bill proposes,” said MPP deputy director of government relations Dan Riffle.
WebMD News from HealthDay
By Mary Elizabeth Dallas
TUESDAY, Feb. 19 (HealthDay News) — The link between poor academic performance and substance abuse just got stronger, with a new U.S. government report showing ties between the two.
High school seniors who dropped out of school before graduating were more likely to drink, smoke cigarettes and use marijuana and other illegal drugs, according to a new report from the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
The researchers said their findings should prompt communities to develop strategies to keep teens in school and prevent problems with substance abuse.
“The fact that nearly one in seven students drops out of high school has enormous public health implications for our nation,” SAMHSA Administrator Pamela Hyde said in an agency news release. “Dropouts are at increased risk of substance abuse, which is particularly troubling given that they are also at greater risk of poverty, not having health insurance, and other health problems. We have to do everything we can to keep youth in school so they can go on to lead healthy, productive lives, free from substance abuse.”
The study revealed high school seniors (typically between 16 and 18 years of age) who dropped out of school were more than twice as likely to be smokers, or have smoked in the past month, than students who stayed in school. The study also found that more than 31 percent of seniors who didn’t receive their diploma used drugs, compared with about 18 percent of students who had finished high school.
The researchers also noted that about 27 percent of high school dropouts smoked marijuana, while close to one in every 10 abused prescription drugs. Meanwhile, only about 15 percent of those who completed high school used marijuana and just 5 percent abused prescription drugs.
Dropouts were also more likely to drink — the study showed that nearly 42 percent of seniors who didn’t finish high school drank and about a third engaged in binge drinking.
In contrast, about 35 percent of those students who stayed in school drank and only about one-quarter said they binged on alcohol.
The U.S. National Institutes of Health provides more information on drug abuse.