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Community trends

USA Today
Thu, 2013-04-25

Highlights: Powerful prescription painkillers have become pricier and harder to use. So addicts across the USA are turning to this more volatile drug. The new twist: Heroin is no longer just an inner-city plague.

DFBS Note: Be on the lookout - workplaces follow communities in drug use.

The Partnership at DrugFree.org
Mon, 2013-04-22

Highlights: New, nationally projectable survey results confirmed that one in four teens has misused or abused a prescription (Rx) drug at least once in their lifetime – a 33 percent increase over the past five years. The Partnership Attitude Tracking Study (PATS) also found troubling data on teen misuse or abuse of prescription stimulants. Contributing to this sustained trend in teen medicine abuse are the lax attitudes and beliefs of parents and caregivers.

DFBS note: Point one: teens are future workers. Point two: Parents (i.e., workers) don't have a clue. Could be some education would help.

Los Angeles Tims
Fri, 2013-03-29

Highlights: Despite efforts by law enforcement and public health officials to curb prescription drug abuse, drug-related deaths in the United States have continued to rise. Figures from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveal that drug fatalities increased 3% in 2010, the most recent year for which complete data are available. Preliminary data for 2011 indicate the trend has continued.

Forbes
Mon, 2013-03-25

Highlights: The war on drugs is difficult and expensive, and there are signs that it is faltering. If so-called soft (or recreational) drugs, such as marijuana. are legalized, the consequences will be momentous, precisely because the profits to be made from the marketing and selling of soft drugs will be enormous.

DFBS note: A sobering article by eminent British historian Paul Johnson. It's short; read it.

Facility Safety Magazine
Wed, 2013-03-20

Highlights: Motor vehicle fatalities increased last year, the first year-over-year increase since 2005, according to the National Safety Council. In addition to devastating human loss, motor vehicle crashes present a significant national cost in lost wages and productivity, medical expenses, administrative expenses, employer costs and property damage. The estimated cost of motor vehicle deaths, injuries and property damage in 2012 was $276.6 billion, a five percent increase from 2011.

DFBS note: And we know that alcohol and drugs are involved in a very high percentage of vehicle fatalities.

The Partnership at DrugFree.org
Mon, 2013-03-11

Highlights: Prescription painkiller abuse, which has centered on Eastern and Southern states, is now taking hold in Western states. Oregon, Colorado, Washington and Idaho have the country’s highest prescription drug abuse rates, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

The Kansas City Star
Tue, 2013-03-05

Highlights: With street prices of some opiates, such as Oxycontin, hitting $80 for a single pill, a growing number of illicit users in Missouri are looking to economize — with heroin. A report says the white powder long associated with big Eastern cities is fast-growing in Missouri and other Midwestern states, even shooting into small towns and rural areas.

DFBS note: This story just seems to repeat from region to region.

University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute
Fri, 2013-03-01

Highlights: Excessive alcohol consumption in Wisconsin is a public health problem that affects every man, woman and child living in the state. The estimated cost of excessive alcohol consumption in Wisconsin was $6.8 billion in 2012. The cost is borne by everyone in the state, not just the drinkers themselves. Revenue generated by current alcohol taxes covers less than 1% of the total economic cost.

DFBS note: Of particular interest to employers in Wisconsin. But also an excellent illustration of the costs of alcohol misuse, and who bears them.

The Gazette
Thu, 2013-02-28

Highlights: Just two years after the Iowa Legislature based a bill making synthetic marijuana illegal, officials in the governor’s office of drug control policy are looking for a quicker way to keep new, chemically legal synthetics off the shelves. Even with a dramatic drop-off in the number of incidents related to synthetic drugs following legislation passed in 2011, the public health threat is still pervasive and cases have increased as manufacturers find ways around the law.

Reuters
Fri, 2013-02-22

Highlights: On any given day in the U.S., 18 percent of men and 11 percent of women drink more alcohol than federal dietary guidelines recommend, according to a new study that also finds 8 percent of men and 3 percent of women are full-fledged "heavy" drinkers. Binge drinking even one time can increase the risk of injury from falls, motor vehicle accidents, and other accidents.

DFBS note: More evidence that alcohol is our number one drug problem.

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