Heaven knows I post enough somewhat depressing health statistics items…
Here’s some good news for a change..and an example of a public health measure that seems to have worked (as always be careful when inferring cause/effect!)
From the 31 May 2012 Health Canada press release (via an RSS feed I subscribe to…Full Text Reports)
May 31, 2012
For immediate release
OTTAWA - According to the latest results of the Youth Smoking Survey, only three per cent of Canadian students in grades 6-12 said they smoked daily in 2010-2011, down from 4% in 2008-2009.
The school-based survey also found that fewer students have even tried cigarettes once; a decline among those who had ever tried little cigars; and a drop in the percent of students reporting using alcohol, cannabis and other drugs.
“After seeing smoking rates hit historic lows in Canada recently, these new statistics are encouraging,” said the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health. “In particular, the drop in little cigar smoking suggests that the Cracking Down on Tobacco Marketing Aimed at Youth Act is having an impact on consumption of these products by youth.”
The Youth Smoking Survey, funded by Health Canada and conducted by the University of Waterloo’s Propel Centre for Population Health Impact, is a survey of Canadian youth in grades 6-12 that captures information related to tobacco, alcohol and drug use. Among the findings for 2010-2011:
- Nearly three-quarters (74%) of youth in grades 6-12 said they have never tried smoking a cigarette, not even a puff, a significant increase from 67% in 2008-2009.
- Among younger students, just 2% of those in grades 6-9 smoked daily or occasionally, the lowest smoking rate recorded by the survey since it began, in 1994.
- Just 6% of youth in grades 6-9 had ever tried smoking little cigars, a significant decrease from 10% in the previous survey. Similarly, in grades 10-12, 26% of youth reported having ever tried smoking little cigars, also a significant decrease from 35% in 2008-2009.
- Among students in grades 7-12, alcohol use in the past 12 months fell to 45% from 53% in 2008-2009. Although one-third (33%) of students in the past year reported binge drinking (i.e., five or more drinks on one occasion), this is a significant decrease from 39% in 2008-2009.
- Cannabis use was reported by 21% of students in grades 7-12, compared to 27% in 2008-2009. There were also significant decreases in the use of MDMA (ecstasy), hallucinogens and salvia, and in the abuse of psychoactive pharmaceuticals.
These and other results of the survey are available on Health Canada’s website.
In recent years, the Government of Canada has taken steps to reduce smoking among Canadian youth. The Cracking Down on Tobacco Marketing Aimed at Youth Act, in force since 2010, prohibits the sale of little cigars and blunt wraps in packages of fewer than 20 units, and prohibits the sale of little cigars and other tobacco products that contain specified additives, including most flavouring agents.
- Canadian kids still smoking flavoured cigarillos (canada.com)
- Study charts declines in teen smoking, drinking, drug use (ctv.ca)
- Teen cigarette and pot smoking rates fall (cbc.ca)
- Are teens becoming abstainers? Study charts declines in smoking, drinking, drugs (vancouversun.com)
- B.C. youth more likely to toke, smoke and drink – but overall use in Canada dropping (theprovince.com)
- BNB Online Tobacco Shop Caters to Younger Males as Cigar Smoking Becomes More Popular Among the Twentysomethings (prweb.com)
- Who is still smoking in Canada? (cbc.ca)
- Fewer Young Americans Smoking, Survey Finds (nlm.nih.gov)
February 17, 2011 20:30
Wider implementation of policies is needed to save lives and reduce the health impact of harmful alcohol drinking, says a new report by WHO. Harmful use of alcohol results in the death of 2.5 million people annually, causes illness and injury to many more, and increasingly affects younger generations and drinkers in developing countries.
Alcohol use is the third leading risk factor for poor health globally. A wide variety of alcohol-related problems can have devastating impacts on individuals and their families and can seriously affect community life. The harmful use of alcohol is one of the four most common modifi able and preventable risk factors for major noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). There is also emerging evidence that the harmful use of alcohol contributes to the health burden caused by communicable diseases such as, for example, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS.
Related WHO Web pages
- Management of Substance Abuse (currently featuring Global status report on alcohol and health 2o11 (3 March 2011)
- Rethinking Drinking provides research-based information about how your drinking habits can affect your health. Learn to recognize the signs of alcohol problems and ways to cut back or quit drinking. Interactive tools can also help you calculate the calories and alcohol content of drinks. (US National Institutes of Health)
Welcome to the new Alcohol Studies user interface. New features include:
Improved subject selection
Ability to email citations
More flexible boolean operators
Better error checking
This site provides access to the Alcohol Studies Database. The database contains over 80,000 citations for journal articles, books, book chapters, dissertations, conference papers, and audio-visual materials.
With this release we are offering a more intuitive interface which also provides much faster response times. Feedback appreciated.
The site was developed by the Scholarly Communication Center, the Center of Alcohol Studies , and the Rutgers University Libraries Search the Database
While policy makers in Australia, the United Kingdom, and New Zealand debate whether alcohol advertising and sponsorship should be banned from sport, new research provides evidence that alcohol industry sponsorship is associated with more hazardous drinking in sportspeople compared to non-alcohol sponsorship.
Health scientists from Monash University, the University of Manchester, Deakin University and University of Western Sydney, asked Australian sportspeople about their drinking behaviours, sport participation, and what sorts of sport sponsorship they currently receive.
After accounting for other influences receipt of alcohol industry sponsorship in various forms was associated with significantly higher levels of drinking. Receipt of similar forms of sponsorship from non-alcohol industries such as, building firms, food or clothing companies was not related to higher drinking levels.
Of the 30 per cent of sportspeople reporting receiving alcohol industry sponsorship, 68 per cent met World Health Organisation criteria for classification as hazardous drinkers.
Sport is being misused to promote alcohol to sportspeople and the general population. The public do not need more encouragement to drink, and there are ways of replacing alcohol advertising and sponsorship dollars in sport,” Dr O’Brien said.
“Much like was done with tobacco, a proportion of the excise duty currently gathered by governments from alcohol sales could be ring fenced (hypothecated) for funding sport and cultural events. This would replace alcohol industry funding many times over,” Dr O’Brien said.
Norway and France have had longstanding bans in place with little apparent effect on sport, and this year Turkey banned all alcohol advertising and sponsorship of sport. France successfully hosted the 1998 FIFA World Cup with their alcohol sponsorship and advertising ban in place, and currently host the multi-nation Heineken Cup Rugby competition, renamed the H-Cup in France….
…Deakin University scientist Dr Peter Miller said “This study provides new evidence of the harms associated with alcohol industry sponsorship of sport and we believe that any sporting association serious about the well-being of young people should support calls for governments to provide alternative funding. It’s simply not worth gambling with their future for the sake of some easy money.”
Drug Abuse Treatment Rates on the Rise: U.S. Report
A 15% drop for alcohol abuse while cases of marijuana, prescription painkiller abuse rise
WEDNESDAY, Dec. 29 (HealthDay News) — Admissions for alcohol abuse treatment have remained the same in parts of the Midwest and South while dropping elsewhere in the United States, while treatment rates for illegal drugs are increasing across the country, especially for marijuana abuse, according to a new report.
The report, issued by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), includes these findings:
- The overall rate of substance abuse admissions in the United States remained stable from 1998 to 2008, at about 770 admissions per 100,000 people.
- Admissions for alcohol use dropped by about 15 percent nationally, but stayed stable in Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota and Nebraska.
- Admission rates for marijuana use rose by 30 percent nationwide, and were highest in the eight states listed above and in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
- An earlier SAMHSA report revealed that admission rates for abuse of opiates other than heroin — including some prescription painkillers such as Oxycontin — rose by 345 percent from 1998-2008. The new report says admission rates for painkiller abuse rose in every part of the country and were highest in the New England states (Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont) and in Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi and Tennessee.
- The admission rate for treatment of methamphetamine abuse was 53 percent higher in 2008 than in 1998, although it’s down from its peak in 2005.
- Admissions for cocaine abuse fell by 23 percent nationally.
“This study provides insight into the regional nature of substance abuse by highlighting the shifting trends in the reasons for admission to substance abuse treatment,” SAMHSA administrator Pamela S. Hyde said in an agency news release.
SOURCE: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration, news release, Dec. 23, 2010
The full report is available at: http://wwwdasis.samhsa.gov/teds08/teds2k8sweb.pdf. It provides detailed charts and tables showing the admission rates for a wide variety of substances for each state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico for each year over the course of this 11 year period. It also provides data by Census divisions – groups of states delineated by the Census Bureau. These materials allow easy analyses of changing admission trends for any state or region of the country.
The SAMHSA Web site includes numerous links with information about its products and services, as
- Treatment locators for substance abuse and mental health issues
- Prevention programs, services, and information
- Information and services for military families
- Health care reform initiatives
- Housing programs and assistance for the recovering homeless
- Statistics relating to mental health and drug abuse
- A trauma and justice page focusing on increasing support for recovery programs in place of criminal justice programs
- At NIDA for Teens, learn how drugs affect the body and hear from teens who’ve struggled with addiction. This interactive web site has quizzes, videos, games, and a blog that shows the science behind drug abuse.
March 30, 2011
- Alcohol And Marijuana Were The Most Commonly Abused Substances By Those Referred To Treatment From Probation Or Parole (addictionts.com)
- ER Visits from Ecstasy Jump 75% from ’04 to ’08 (scienceblog.com)
- The Adolescent Brain and Substance Abuse | Drug Addiction Treatment (shammond.typepad.com)
- Medical Marijuana Might Slow Thinking Among MS Patients
- White House launches battle on prescription drug abuse (cnn.com)
- High rates of substance abuse exist among veterans with mental illness (eurekalert.org)
- Teen drug abuse: 14 mistakes parents make (cbsnews.com)
- SAMHSA Press Release on Block Grant Changes (asapnys.wordpress.com)
- Adults Represent A Majority Of Inhalant Treatment Admissions (addictionts.com)
- Marijuana Use May Hurt Intellectual Skills In MS Patients
- ADHS Establishes Rules For Medical Marijuana Program
- How Support Groups Can Aid in Addiction Treatment (everydayhealth.com)
- ‘New Ecstasy’ Poses Major Health Risks, Reveals Research, UK (Medical News Today, 3 April 2011)
- Nearly All American Adults With Untreated Alcohol Use Disorders Don’t Think They Need Treatment (addictionts.com)
From a November 1, 2010 Sky News online article by Graham Fitzgerald
(nice accompanying 30 second video!)
Alcohol causes more widespread harm than drugs like heroin or crack cocaine, according to a study published in respected medical journal The Lancet. [Full text of this article is free upon registration]
The research evaluates recreational drugs on a wide range of factors, weighing up the mental and physical damage users suffer alongside crime and costs to the community.
It found the most dangerous drugs to individual users were heroin, crack cocaine and crystal meth.
But when all factors were taken into account alcohol was found to be most harmful, followed by heroin and crack.
Ecstasy and LSD were found to be the least damaging.
The study ranks alcohol as three times as harmful as cocaine or tobacco and eight times more harmful than ecstasy.
The study was led by drugs expert Professor David Nutt**, who has hit the headlines before for arguing that the current approach to regulating recreational drugs is fundamentally flawed…….
Another summary of this article may be found here (Science Daily article: Alcohol “Most Harmful Drug” According to Multivariate Analysis)
More than 1 in 4 high school students and adults ages 18 to 34 engaged in a dangerous behavior known as binge drinking during the past month, according to the findings from a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The report shows that each year more than 33 million adults have reported binge drinking, defined as having four or more drinks for women and five or more drinks for men over a short period of time, usually a couple of hours. And the report said levels of binge drinking have not declined during the past 15 years.
The CDC report found men are more than twice as likely to binge drink than women (21 percent compared to 10 percent). It said binge drinking is more common among non-Hispanic whites (16 percent of whom binge drink) than among non-Hispanic blacks, (10 percent of whom binge drink).
“Binge drinking, increases many health risks, including fatal car crashes, contracting a sexually transmitted disease, dating violence, and drug overdoses,” said CDC Director Thomas R. Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. “Excessive alcohol use remains the third leading preventable cause of death in the United States and leads to a wide range of health and social problems.”
“Alarmingly, almost 1 in 3 adults and 2 in 3 high school students who drink alcohol also binge drink, which usually leads to intoxication,” said Dr. Robert Brewer, M.D., M.P.H., alcohol program leader at CDC and one of the authors of the report. “Although most binge drinkers are not alcohol-dependent or alcoholics, they often engage in this high risk behavior without realizing the health and social problems of their drinking. States and communities need to consider further strategies to create an environment that discourages binge drinking.”
Drinking too much, including binge drinking, causes more than 79,000 deaths in the United States each year. Binge drinkers also put themselves and others at risk of car crashes, violence, the risk of HIV transmission and sexually transmitted diseases, and unplanned pregnancy. Over time, drinking too much can lead to liver disease, certain cancers, heart disease, stroke, and other chronic diseases. Binge drinking can also cause harm to a developing fetus, such as fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, if a woman drinks while pregnant.
Binge drinking varies widely from state to state, with estimates of binge drinking for adults ranging from 6.8 percent in Tennessee to 23.9 percent in Wisconsin. It is most common in the Midwest, North Central Plains, lower New England, Delaware, Alaska, Nevada, and the District of Columbia.
For more information on binge drinking, visit www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns or www.cdc.gov/alcohol. Members of the public who are concerned about their own or someone else’s binge drinking can call 1-800-662-HELP to receive assistance from the national Drug and Alcohol Treatment Referral Routing Service. For state-specific estimates of alcohol-related deaths and Years of Potential Life Lost (YPLL) by condition, visit the Alcohol-Related Disease Impact (ARDI) system athttps://apps.nccd.cdc.gov/ardi/HomePage.aspx.