Study: Drivers killed in crashes more likely to be on drugs than alcohol

Drivers who are killed in car crashes are now more likely to be on drugs than alcohol, according to a new report from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA). In 2015, the most recent year for which national data were available, drugs were present in 43% of drivers who were involved in fatal crashes, compared to 37% of drivers who had above the legal limit of alcohol in their system. Thirty-six percent of drivers who tested positive for drugs had marijuana in their system, while 9% tested positive for amphetamines. In 2005, only 28% of drivers tested positive for drugs after dying in a crash. “As drunk driving has declined, drugged driving has increased dramatically and many of today

Companies need workers — but people keep getting high

Workers at McLane drive forklifts and load hefty boxes into trucks. The grocery supplier, which runs a warehouse in Colorado, needs people who will stay alert — but prospective hires keep failing drug screens. “Some weeks this year, 90% of applicants would test positive for something,” ruling them out for the job, said Laura Stephens, a human resources manager for the company in Denver. The state’s unemployment rate is already low — 3%, compared to 4.7% for the entire nation. Failed drug tests, which are rising locally and nationally, further drain the pool of eligible job candidates. “Finding people to fill jobs,” Stephens said, “is really challenging.” Job applicants are testing positive f

Never Too Early: The Draw of #NOverdose to an Elementary-School Parent

A mother of young children recently attended a community event about alcohol and other drug use among young people. It was hosted by her school district and the local sheriff’s department. Why did she attend? Today’s guest blogger shares her thoughts. I hope more parents will engage early to prevent and address future issues that may lead toward a substance-use disorder. I remember watching my three-year-old son Harrison standing on one of the five boulders separating a playground from the parking lot. My friend and I were waiting by our cars for our respective stragglers, when we observed Harrison on the boulder glancing from his feet to the adjacent rock. Calculating the distance. The risk

Spike in medical calls linked to synthetic marijuana

ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) - For 33 years, employees at Listening House in downtown St. Paul have helped the homeless battle poverty, mental illness and addiction. But lately they don't like what they are hearing and seeing on the street. "It's fairly common for people to be in that trance-like state and then fall out and wind up in the middle of traffic," Listening House employee Ed Hilbrich said. St. Paul Police say there have been at least 60 medical calls for people suspected of overdosing on K2 or synthetic marijuana over the last couple of weeks. Most of the calls are around the Dorothy Day Center and Higher Ground Shelter, where the homeless congregate. Users suffer from symptoms like sei

Tips for Finding Opioid Alternatives for Surgical Pain

In lieu of National Prevention Week, today's tips are for finding opioid alternatives for surgical pain. Headed for surgery? Specialists say talking to your doctors ahead of time may turn up ways to control post-operative pain while minimizing use of those problematic painkillers called opioids. Among the advice: — Ask what to expect. Patients who are overly anxious about impending pain tend to feel worse. — Ask your surgeon or the anesthesia team if you qualify for a nerve block or other form of regional anesthesia that numbs a particular section of the body. A nerve block administered through a catheter can allow repeated doses to keep a spot numb for days. — Ask doctors what combinations

National Prevention Week

National Prevention Week is an annual health observance dedicated to increasing public awareness of, and action around, substance abuse and mental health issues. Get Involved During National Prevention Week, organizations across the country host health fairs, block parties, educational assemblies, town hall meetings, memorial walks, social media campaigns, outdoor events, and more. Thousands across the United States and in U.S. territories attend these events and help raise awareness about the importance of preventing substance use and promoting positive mental health. Each day of National Prevention Week focuses on a specific health theme. The themes for National Prevention Week 2017 are: P

What YOU Can Do for Mental Health Month

May is Mental Health Month. This year, Mental Health First Aid USA is taking the opportunity to spread information on social media about how mental illness and addiction affect some key populations — and what we ALL can do to help. Because anyone, anywhere can be the difference for someone facing a mental health or substance use challenge. How can you participate? 1. Share these graphics. We've created a series of infographics highlighting some common mental health challenges facing key populations. Share them on your own social media channels, and follow us on Twitter to see what we're saying! 2. Join the Thunderclap. Encourage everyone to get trained in Mental Health First Aid during Menta

9 Stories from 9 Inspiring Moms

This Mother’s Day we’re taking a moment to celebrate the power of stories. From lighthearted to loss and lots of places in between, we’re incredibly grateful for these nine mothers who are brave enough to share their journey with us. Motherhood is not easy on a good day, but when a family is facing addiction, it can all seem unbearable. Hats off to these moms, and to all of you, for your support of one another in good times and bad, for lifting each other up, again and again, and for helping us all feel more connected and hopeful. Wishing you and your families a happy, healthy Mother’s Day. Source: Partnership for Drug-Free Kids

Introducing Tobacco 21 State Legislation

On Tuesday, May 2, Edina became the first city in Minnesota to raise the tobacco sale age to 21. Now, a group of bipartisan legislators have introduced a policy to do the same thing on a statewide level! "Raising the tobacco age will prevent young people from smoking and save money, as those young people grow up to live healthier lives," said Sen. Nelson, a longtime supporter of tobacco prevention measures. "Smoking costs Minnesota about $7 billion annually in excess health care costs and lost productivity from smoking. Tobacco 21 will address this problem where it starts." A national consensus is growing to prevent addictions and future health problems by raising the sales age for tobacco p

DREAM Team PSA - Role Models

What is a Role Model? A role model is a person who serves as an example by influencing others. For many children, the most important role models are their parents and caregivers. Children look up to a variety of role models to help shape how they behave in school, relationships, or when making difficult decisions. Children also look up to other relatives, teachers, coaches, and peers. Children may try to copy the behavior and appearance of celebrities, such as athletes and entertainers, and characters from books, TV, movies, or video games. Positive Role Models Some parents may want to help their children choose positive role models. Here are some helpful suggestions for discussing role mode

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