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New! CDC Resources and Studies on Youth Substance Use Trends

By Marian Lopez, CCPRD Office Manager

The center of the image is a colorful city with the words in front of it, saying, "Drug-Free Communities: Local Problems Require Local Solutions." On the left are symbols next to the words, "youth, parents, business, media, schools, youth-serving. On the right are the symbols with the words, "law enforcement, civic-volunteer organizations, religious/fraternal organizations, healthcare organizations, state/local/tribal government, and substance use organizations."
Drug-free community coalitions are formal collaborative arrangements among groups or organizations within a community that are formed or expanded to prevent and reduce youth substance use, including prescription drug abuse, within the community. In a community coalition, each member maintains its independent status while agreeing to work collaboratively to achieve a common goal (Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA, 2012).

National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week®, or NDAFW, is an annual, week-long health observance that inspires dialogue about the science of drug use and addiction among youth. It provides an opportunity to bring together scientists, students, educators, healthcare providers, and community partners to help advance the science to improve the prevention and awareness of substance misuse in our local communities and nationwide (NIDA). Keep an eye on the CPYD Coalition’s Instagram and Facebook pages (@cpydcoalition) for information regarding local efforts to celebrate NDAFW.

While NDAFW 2021 is still a few short weeks away (March 22 to March 28), here are new and exciting CDC resources and studies on binge drinking, substance use, and e-cigarette use among youth for you to be aware of and share with your networks. Together, we can address youth substance use in our communities!

  • A new CDC study published this month in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine shows that binge drinking is strongly associated with the use of other substances, as well as prescription drug misuse while drinking alcohol. Please see some social media messages on the CDC website you can use to bring attention to this new finding and recommended strategies.

  • Final 2019 overdose data was released recently in a Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. In 2019, there were 70,630 drug overdose deaths, a nearly 5% increase from 2018. Over 70% of drug overdose deaths in 2019 involved synthetic opioids. From 2018 to 2019, trends in synthetic opioid- and psychostimulant-involved overdose deaths shifted geographically.

  • A new CDC study reports that rates of emergency department visits for mental health conditions, suicide attempts, opioid, and other drug overdoses, intimate partner violence, and child abuse and neglect were higher during the January-October 2020 period of the COVID-19 pandemic than during the previous year.

  • This CDC study shows a rise in non-fatal drug overdoses among youth (ages 0-24) from 2016 to 2019. This increase was seen across all age groups and the risk increases with age – drug overdoses among youth aged 15-24 were more than double that of 11–14-year-olds. Targeted interventions – even with very young children – that include school, family, and medical providers can help prevent overdoses requiring medical treatment. Here are two social media posts that you can use to draw attention to this issue.

Our goal is to engage all community sectors in our work in preventing youth substance use and other harmful behaviors. Increasing awareness of local, state, and national substance use trends is critical to forming evidence-based and community-driven plans that impact the community long-term. If you would like to learn more about how the CPYD Coalition is working with the communities it serves to address youth substance use or would like more information about these and other resources, please email us!

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