With the heat of summer comes music festivals, and with music festivals comes illicit drug use and, all too frequently, tragic deaths. Each year at festivals like Bonnaroo in Tennessee and Electric Zoo in New York, people experiment with drugs like Molly, taking risks on MDMA cut with anonymous stimulants sold under the popular moniker. In the wake of tragedies at Electric Zoo and other festivals last year, summer festivals this year will be stepping up their drug screening policies, incorporating pat-downs, sniffer dogs and other similar measures to try to prevent problems.
In the U.S., young adults enrolled in college are widely known for their relatively heavy participation in alcohol consumption, as well as for their level of involvement in risky, potentially fatal drinking practices. Researchers and public health officials know that the perceived acceptability of drinking has a strong influence on the likelihood that any college student will consume alcohol. In a study slated for publication in September 2014 in the journal Addictive Behaviors, researchers from the University of Houston sought to determine if any given student’s perception of acceptable drinking norms depends on their level of social identification or allegiance with college as a whole.
Alcohol consumption is substantially more popular among young adults who attend college than among other people in the same age range who don’t attend college. Some of the campaigns designed to curb drinking on college campuses rely on an intervention technique called personalized normative feedback, which uses comparisons with the drinking behaviors of peers to dispel drinking myths and lower alcohol consumption rates. In a study published in June 2014 in the journal Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, a team of U.S. researchers sought to determine if participation in personalized normative feedback can inadvertently cause a college student who drinks below peer average to increase his or her alcohol intake.
The Office of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services (SAMHS) has released a report that shows that parents in Maine are not fully aware of how often their adolescent children are experimenting with alcohol, but that they are more aware than they used to be. It’s a phenomenon that translates to all parents in all states.
I received the panicked phone call from my mother early in June: my sister’s 20-year-old daughter had just returned home from her sophomore year at college and a crisis had erupted. In addition to having gained more than 50 pounds, Layla was not acting like herself; she was sleeping all day, irritable and uncooperative. Because I worked for decades as a psychotherapist with a specialty in children and families, Mom asked me for help.
Young adults are known for their relatively high level of involvement in alcohol consumption. However, not all young adults drink; in addition, not all young adults who do drink consume alcohol in risky or dangerous ways. In a study scheduled for publication in August 2014 in the journal Addictive Behaviors, researchers from five British institutions sought to determine if young adults who consume alcohol have different personality traits than young adults who don’t drink. These researchers also sought to determine if personality traits differ between young adult drinkers who participate in dangerous patterns of intake and young adult drinkers who don’t drink in risky ways.
In today’s society, teenagers of all ages are regularly exposed to media messages that directly or indirectly promote cigarettes and alcohol. In turn, exposure to such a barrage of messages can potentially lead to the early onset of smoking or alcohol use. According to the results of a study published in December 2013 in the journal Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, researchers can accurately track the amount of exposure that a teenager has to alcohol- and smoking-related media. The method used for this tracking is called ecological momentary assessment (EMA).
When a student enters college, they are faced with a new level of independence. Often included in their experiences as a freshman are opportunities to consume alcohol at parties. Many individuals drink during their college years and then go on to taper off consumption as they begin a career and a family.
Under pressure. It’s a daily reality for thousands of college-aged students across the U.S., and experts fear they’re not gaining the stress-coping skills they need once they leave college and enter the working world.
You should know better. Actually, you do know better, but somewhere between when you started partying with your pals and where you wind up at the end of the night, all of what you knew – or thought you knew – about mixing alcohol and substances went right down the drain with the ice cubes. Talk about a rude awakening. The trouble is this kind of risky behavior can have a deadly result. It’s time to listen up. There are lethal combos out there and mixing these substances can kill.