Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Native American Spiritual Beliefs Influential in Spurring Youth to Avoid Drugs and Alcohol

This article caught my eye.

A group from Mexico is “caravanning” across the US to raise awareness of the enormous drug trafficking problems in Mexico that are at least in part related to illegal drug problems and violence in the US.***
The caravan  will be stopping in my hometown, Toledo OH, this coming Wednesday.
I seem to recall the leader, Mexican poet Javier Sicilia,  was features on a PBS News Hour segment a few months back.

To be honest, I am still pondering on whether or not illegal drugs should be made legal. Certainly the present system of incarceration is not working.
At the very least, treatment/prevention programs should be stepped up, replacing much of the current court system’s misguided efforts.
Even though our country has a strong tradition of the separation of church and state, I believe prevention/treatment ideally includes a spiritual/religious dimension.

Once promising area of research. Even though it only studies one broad culture, it does invite further study into other cultures.

Native American Spiritual Beliefs Influential in Spurring Youth to Avoid Drugs and Alcohol

From the 20 August 2012 article at Science News Daily

New research indicates that urban native American youth who follow American Indian traditional spiritual beliefs are less likely to use drugs and alcohol. Arizona State University social scientists will present their findings at the 107th Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association in Denver, Colorado.

Among the general native American youth population, higher rates of substance (both drug and alcohol) abuse are reported than among their non-native American counterparts. They also are more likely to use heavier amounts, initiate substance use earlier, and have more severe consequences from substance use, according to past research.

Native Americans typically do not separate spirituality from other areas of their lives, making it a complex, cultural and intertwined aspect of their daily existence.

Researchers found that adherence to native American beliefs was the strongest predictor of anti-drug attitudes, norms, and expectations. Concerning substance use, aspects of spirituality and religion associated with lower levels of use were affiliation with the Native American Church and following Christian beliefs…

 

 

 

 

***From the flyer I rec’d the other day

 

The Caravan began its U.S. journey in San Diego on August 12. Nearly 80 Caravaneros will visit two dozen U.S. cities on the way to their final stop in Washington, D.C., in September.

Victims of the violence in Mexico will share their testimony of suffering and courage. From Jalisco, the mother of Jose Luis Arana Aguilar will speak of her son’s disappearance last January after making one last call to his children’s day care, reminding them to feed his children. From Coahuila, the girlfriend of Jose Antonio Robledo Fernandez will tell of how she heard the abductors of her boyfriend insult and beat him before he disappeared.

Leading the Caravan is Mexican poet Javier Sicilia, whose son, Juan Francisco, was brutally murdered last year. He then travelled with MPJD caravans in Mexico collecting stories of the destruction caused by the so-called war against drugs and organized crime, which the United States has funded with over $1.5 billion in military equipment and training. The result? As Sicilia writes, “The 60,000 deaths, the 10,000 disappearances, and the 160,000 internally displaced people during the past six years are tragedies caused directly by failed security policies.”

Though their grief knows no end or resolution, they are committed to telling their stories to the American public so that their humanity can move us to action. When the horrific statistics are seen in the pain, suffering, and courage of real people who are reaching out to the victims of the drug war north of the border, the foundation for change can be built.

Sicilia and other movement leaders believe that carrying the campaign across the border underscores the role of the United States. Drug war ideology was born here–putting an end to it must start here too.

What you can do: Come out to welcome and support the Caravan in Toledo!
#Follow the Caravan on twitter (@CaravanaUSA), Facebook, and the Caravan for Peace website. http://www.caravanforpeace.org/caravan Or http://www.globalexchange.org/mexico/caravan
#Global Exchange will also be sending updates while on the road at the People-to-People blog.
#Read the latest article on the Caravan in The Nation, August 7, 2012, “Can the Caravan of Peace end the War on Drugs?” by Tom Hayden
#Watch the Democracy Now interview, August 16, 2012, at http://www.democracynow.org: “Mexican Poet, Activist Javier Sicilia Brings Peace Caravan into U.S. to Condemn Deadly Drug War”

National sponsors include: American Friends Service Committee; Border Angels; Drug Policy Alliance; Fellowship of Reconciliation; National Alliance of Latin American and Caribbean Communities; Law Enforcement Against Prohibition; Moms United; National Association for the Advancement of Colored People; National Latino Congress; Parents for Addiction Treatment and Healing (New PATH); School of Americas Watch. Local sponsors: Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (Toledo); Northwest Ohio Peace Coalition; CCUP Pax Christi. University of Toledo sponsors:
Program in Law and Social Thought; Women’s and Gender Studies Dept.;
Phi Alpha Theta (History Honor Society)

August 27, 2012 Posted by | Medical and Health Research News | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Reducing The Treatment Gap For Mental, Neurological, And Substance Use Disorders

WHO | World Health OrganizationMental Health Gap Action Programme logo

From the 17 November Medical News Today report

In this week’s PLoS Medicine, Shekhar Saxena of the WHO in Geneva, Switzerland and colleagues summarize the recent WHO Mental Health Gap Action Programme (mhGAP) intervention guide that provides evidence-based management recommendations for mental, neurological, and substance use (MNS) disorders.

This guide is aimed at reducing the treatment gap for MNS disorders, which is more than 75% in many low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Further details and background material to the guide can be accessed on the WHO website:http://bit.ly/vKPSRF

The authors recommend that: “In the near future, further efforts should be made to introduce formal evaluations of the capability of [treatment] programs to induce relevant and persistent changes, and to generate useful insights on how implementation in [low- and middle-income countries] should be conducted to maximize benefit at sustainable costs.”

November 17, 2011 Posted by | Psychology, Public Health | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Drug Abuse Treatment Rates on the Rise: U.S. Report

Drug Abuse Treatment Rates on the Rise: U.S. Report
A 15% drop for alcohol abuse while cases of marijuana, prescription painkiller abuse rise

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

From a December 29, 2010 Health Day news item by Randy Dotinga

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

Related Articles

March 30, 2011

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) published its strategic initiatives paper – an overview of SAMHSA’s goals, priorities and action steps for accomplishing its mission of reducing the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America’s communities. Carefully developed from months of public discussion and input from a wide variety of SAMHSA’s stakeholders, the strategic initiatives paper lays out how SAMHSA will focus its resources in meeting the new opportunities and challenges it faces in the near future…

December 31, 2010 Posted by | Consumer Health, Educational Resources (High School/Early College(, Medical and Health Research News, Public Health | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 166 other followers

%d bloggers like this: