The Latest Stats & Facts: Monthly Round Up (December 2013)

Each month PAD compiles the latest news, evidence and resources about parenting, teen development, and alcohol and other drugs into a single blog post.  Have something to add? Please let us know!

  • is a new website created for youth to help them “get the facts” about the effects and risks of mixing medications they take with substances like cigarettes, alcohol, marijuana and other street drugs. Browsers can search the database by the generic (chemical) name or brand (market) name of prescription medication, and then learn about l the risks of mixing that medication with 10 different groups of substances. 
  • Young people have reported the non-medical use of prescription and over-the counter medicines for many years. Of particular concern are the class of drugs known as “opioids” – the pain relievers like Percodan,  Percocet, Tylenol #3, codeine and Demerol that are available with a prescription.  The misuse of these drugs is a growing problem in Canada and amongst youth.  The 2013 OSDUHS results indicate one in eight students in grades 7-12 report they have used prescription pain killers for non-medical purposes. Two handouts from CAMH include important information about opioids and why parents should be concerned:  About percs, oxys and other pain pills and Youth and prescription painkillers: what parents need to know
  • Drug use findings from the 2013 Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey (OSDUHS) are available to download. The OSDUHS is a population survey of Ontario students in grades 7 through 12, conducted every two years. The report describes the use of alcohol, tobacco, illicit drugs and nonmedical use of prescription drugs over the past year. Topics new to the 2013 report include the use of a waterpipe, electronic cigarettes, and synthetic cannabis.
  • This news article  looks at a review of existing literature on sport participation and youth substance use.  Involvement in organized sports was associated with higher alcohol consumption and a greater likelihood for alcohol abuse. Young athletes, however, were less likely to take illicit drugs. Results were inconclusive about marijuana. Results indicated mixed messages about the benefits of sport, leading the lead author of the study to say “I think there are a lot of positives connected to sports participation… we just have to be mindful of the culture of sports.” 
  • This news article  looks at a new study that sheds light on the growing trend of mixing high energy caffeine drinks with alcohol. The lead author of the study found that postsecondary students “tended to drink more heavily and become more intoxicated on days they used both energy drinks and alcohol, compared to days they only used alcohol.” Students that mixed high energy caffeine drinks with alcohol – or who consumed both high energy drinks and alcoholic drinks become more intoxicated, to drink more heavily, and to experience negative consequences the day after. 
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