A great op-ed in the Statesman Journal talks about the effect of Oregon’s new meth laws. It’s enlightening. The piece entitled Meth Legislation Is Justified, was written by Rob Bovett and Anna Peterson.
No surprise but still real troubling are the latest stats from the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA). A new report says 49 percent of full time college students binge drink and/or abuse prescription drugs. That’s up 26 percent (college students who get drunk at least three times a month) since 1993. The percentage increase of college students using prescription drugs has skyrocketed into the triple digits.
How much higher is the percentage this week during spring break do you suppose?
I like the quote of CASA chairman and former US HEW secretary Joseph Califano: “It’s time to get the ‘high’ out of higher education.” Califano also blasted college presidents and deans for looking the other way.
As so many of Oregon Partnership’s drug prevention public service announcements (“Face It, Parents”) point out, it’s up to moms and dads to start talking to their kids (from a young age) about alcohol and drugs and teach them bigtime about peer pressure, the effect of alcohol on their developing brain, and how drinking in the teen years makes them more likely to abuse alcohol later in life.
Why do you think cigarette smoking is DOWN 15% among college students? Information, change in attitudes, and teaching kids that smoking is NOT cool or smart, that’s why.
Our crisis line folks are seeing an increase in calls to OP’s Suicide Hotline since Renee Mitchell’s column in the Oregonian two Mondays ago. Mitchell talked about OP’s crisis lines and listed the numbers.
Meanwhile, HBO’s “Addiction” series doesn’t seem to have created an instant surge ofcalls to our HelpLine. Several of us attended the premiere of the “Addiction” special last week. Pretty powerful stuff and hammered the point home that addiction is a disease of the brain and that we’re learning a whole lot more about how the brain functions regarding addiction. Nothing really in the drug prevention arena.
I’d give the special a B-plus. It didn’t choose to focus on how/why people become addicted in the first place and how it can be prevented, as opposed to dealing with the strictly physical and neurological factors. HBO will be repeating the special and independent episodes. Last night, I watched a gripping story about a man in his 30’s and how his family was handling his drug addiction.
The series is sure to wake more people up about understanding drug abuse.
Tune into a number of cable TV channels – especially in the next several weeks – and you’ll see a whole lot of shameless glorifying of underage drinking. Much of it is sponsored or promoted by beer companies.
I was watching a Travel Channel show the other night – “Top 10 Spring Break Spots” – and couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Talk about blatant promotion for underage drinking.
Rosarita Beach, Mexico made the top 10 list because, as it was explained, it had a legal drinking age of 18 and besides, they didn’t check ID’s all that carefully.
The American Medical Association’s survey on Spring break drinking found that more and more spring breakers are drinking, especially women.
“Spring Break is broken,” said J. Edward Hill, M.D. AMA president. “It’s turned into a dangerous binge-fist…Months before Spring break, students are bombarded by promotions on campus loaded with ads for cheap or free alcohol.”
When all the recent research on the dangerous impact of underage drinking on brain development becomes instilled in the public consciousness – and it will, just like cigarettes – I’ll bet the Travel Channel will be re-directing its top ten lists.
Communications Director, Oregon Partnership
Great column by Renee Mitchell in today’s O, following up on last week’s column. Our trained volunteers on Oregon Partnership’s crisis lines do a fantastic job…and talk about an economical, efficient, and vital public service!
Gen. Barry McCaffrey, NBC’s military analyst and former White House Drug Czar, will be attending Oregon Partnership’s annual dinner/auction June 9th. Seems that the General is a big fan of ours and over the years, has gotten to know OP folks, including President/CEO Judy Cushing and Stephanie Soares-Pump. And hey, he has family in Southern Oregon.
I met Gen. McCaffrey at the CADCA conference in Washington, D.C. last month. Talk about a guy who gets alcohol and drug prevention. OP’s annual dinner always ends up being a great evening, and McCaffrey’s appearance there this year will make it that much better.
Order your tickets now. Our operators are standing by.
Pete Schulberg, Communications Director