Tag Archive: Massachusetts

New data is out from the state of Massachusetts, and we’re seeing that the number of pill-related deaths have overtaken auto fatalities over a five year span.

The CDC has called prescription drug abuse has the nation’s fastest growing drug problem. And the agency blames a recent spike in unintentional drug overdose death rates on a rise in the use of prescription painkillers, such as OxyContin and Vicodin.

Looking at fatality statistics from 2002 to 2007 in the state, the Massachusetts OxyContin and Heroin Commission says that 3,265 residents died from opioid-related overdoses in the five year pan, surpassing the number of car-related deaths in the state.

Teens are among the victims.

If you want to detect teen drug abuse, one method is with the Teensavers Home Drug Test Kit. You can read about which one is right for your family by clicking HERE.

Teensavers came across the release from Tufts University which points out why parents need to monitor what their kids do and how they can help them make better choices.


Here is the press release from Tufts University.

Mothers who use marijuana as teens—long before having children—may put their future children at a higher risk of drug abuse, new research suggests.

Researchers in the Neuroscience and Reproductive Biology section at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine conducted a study to determine the transgenerational effects of cannabinoid exposure in adolescent female rats. For three days, adolescent rats were administered the cannabinoid receptor agonist WIN-55, 212-2, a drug that has similar effects in the brain as THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. After this brief exposure, they remained untreated until being mated in adulthood.

The male offspring of the female rats were then measured against a control group for a preference between chambers that were paired with either saline or morphine. The rats with mothers who had adolescent exposure to WIN-55,212-2 were significantly more likely to opt for the morphine-paired chamber than those with mothers who abstained. The results suggest that these animals had an increased preference for opiate drugs.

The study was published in the Journal of Psychopharmocology and funded by the National Institutes of Health.

“Our main interest lies in determining whether substances commonly used during adolescence can induce behavioral and neurochemical changes that may then influence the development of future generations,” said Research Assistant Professor John J. Byrnes, the study’s lead author, “We acknowledge that we are using rodent models, which may not fully translate to the human condition. Nevertheless, the results suggest that maternal drug use, even prior to pregnancy, can impact future offspring.”

Byrnes added that much research is needed before a definitive connection is made between adolescent drug use and possible effects on future children.

The study builds on earlier findings by the Tufts group, most notably a study published last year in Behavioral Brain Research by Assistant Professor Elizabeth Byrnes that morphine use as adolescent rats induces changes similar to those observed in the present study.

Other investigators in the field have previously reported that cannabinoid exposure during pregnancy (in both rats and humans) can affect offspring development, including impairment of cognitive function, and increased risk of depression and anxiety.

Byrnes JJ, Johnson NL, Schenk ME, Byrnes EM. Cannabinoid exposure in adolescent female rats induces transgenerational effects on morphine conditioned place preference in male offspring [published online ahead of print April 15 2012]. J Psychopharmacol, 2012. DOI: 10.1177/0269881112443745

# # #

About the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University

Founded in 1978 in North Grafton, Mass., Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University is internationally esteemed for academic programs that impact society and the practice of veterinary medicine; three hospitals and two clinics that combined log more than 80,000 animal cases each year; and groundbreaking research that benefits animal, public, and environmental health.

From the Taunton Gazette

A vast majority of Massachusetts parents don’t realize that some prescription drugs contain ingredients similar to heroin, and some have even given their children prescription pain medication without a doctor’s consent, a new study shows.

Results of the Internet survey – conducted by the nonprofit organization, Partnership at Drugfree.org, and released today by state officials – underscore a lack of understanding by some parents of the dangers of prescription drug abuse.

Among the 305 Massachusetts parents surveyed, 67 percent say they are concerned their children will try drugs. But only 2 percent say they are concerned about prescription drugs, a figure that lags far behind that of alcohol (33 percent), marijuana (11 percent) and and cocaine or crack (6 percent).

Furthermore, only 30 percent say they realized that the main ingredient in many prescription drugs, including Vicodin, Percocet and OxyContin, is similar to heroin and morphine.

State Sen. John Keenan, D-Quincy, and Rep. Liz Malia, D-Jamaica Plain – co-chairs of the state’s Joint Committee on Mental Health and Substance Abuse – were to announce the survey results at a press conference this morning at the State House.

Other findings include:

Fifty-six percent of parents say their children have access to their prescription pain medications, with the most common place to store them being the kitchen.

Forty-five percent of parents said they have taken pain medications without a prescription, and 14 percent say they have given their children pain medication without a prescription.

Ninety-seven percent say they have discussed the dangers of alcohol and street drugs with their children, but only 76 percent have specifically discussed prescription pain killers.

The results show a disparity between parents’ knowledge and other data describing prescription drug abuse as one of the region’s fastest growing problems.

According to the federal Drug Enforcement Administration’s 2010 National Drug Threat Assessment, New England in recent years reported the highest levels of prescription drug abuse contributing to violent and property crimes.

It kills more people state-wide than car crashes, according to the state substance abuse committee, and the opiate drug epidemic has claimed thousands of lives in the state, including more than 3,200 over a recent four-year period.

The Enterprise has chronicled the region’s epidemic of prescription-drug and heroin addictions in two series entitled “Wasted Youth” and “Deadly Surge.”

Last month, officials announced a recovery high school will open in Brockton this December, giving the state its fourth school geared toward students recovering from a drug addiction and in a region officials say has long needed it.

Monday night parents will gather at a Massachusetts high school for a big event.     It isn’t a basketball game.  It isn’t Back to School Night, and it isn’t Open House.       Parents don’t really have an option to attend.  It’s mandatory.   And if you blow it off, your star shortstop, quarterback, or shooting guard may be taken out of the game.    The mandatory meetings also affect students who participate in clubs.   So singers, actors, dancers, and cheerleaders also could be put on the sidelines or kicked off stage.     Principal Layne Millington says the move is necessary.   Drugs are a problem in his school.   Despite only a handful of on-campus drug or alcohol related situations, Millington told the Salem News that the problem is growing larger in the surrounding communities.

While the mandatory meeting has some parents angered, radio show hosts, columnists, and bloggers are launching into their own tirades.    Somebody should be honoring this principal.    Parents refuse to see or listen to what’s going on around them.   Many parents avoid talking about drugs with their kids.    Drug testing should be mandatory in high school.   Millington is trying to keep these kids straight.    His job is to protect, educate, and help guide these teens into adulthood.

“Principal Millington is setting the right example for educators across the country.   He is gathering parents and informing them that the drug problem and the drug culture are both very real,” says America‘s Parenting Coach, Tim Chapman.     Chapman has 30 years of experience treating addiction and helping people find sobriety.      Chapman says, “Teachers and educators are paid to stand in a class and instruct kids.    This principal is raising the bar, highlighting the few educators who really take that extra step to improve not just mind of students, but their lives.  If your school was a potential terrorist target, wouldn’t you want the principal to inform you immediately?  Wouldn’t you want it to be mandatory?  Well, it is!  And, the “bombs” are the drugs that are going off, damaging and killing our kids high school around the country.  The only question is, who’s next?”

For some parents this isn’t an issue.  Some already use home drug test kits to make sure their child is living a drug-free life.   If you need information about Home Drug Tests or more about finding help for your loved one, contact the Teensavers teams