Despite recent gains against substance abuse by American teens, hundreds of thousands of them use marijuana and alcohol on a given day, U.S. health officials reported Thursday.
On a typical day, WebMD reports, “an estimated 881,684 kids aged 12 to 17 smoke cigarettes, 646,707 use marijuana and 457,672 drink alcohol, according to a report by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
“The number of teens smoking pot on a given day could almost fill the 250,000-seat Indianapolis Speedway two and a half times, the report pointed out.
“This data about adolescents sheds new light on how deeply substance use pervades the lives of many young people and their families,” SAMHSA administrator Pamela Hyde said in an agency news release. “While other studies indicate that significant progress has been made in lowering the levels of some forms of substance use among adolescents in the past decade, this report shows that far too many young people are still at risk.”
“The report also said that on an average day:
- 7,639 kids aged 12 to 17 drink alcohol for the first time,
- 4,594 use an illicit drug for the first time,
- 4,000 use marijuana for the first time,
- 3,701 smoke cigarettes for the first time,
- 2,151 misuse prescription pain relievers for the first time. Continue reading “The kids may not be all right”
As immigration has moved to the center of political debate, the fate of possible citizenship for millions of people hinges on a bolstered southern border.
“We put more boots on the ground on the southern border than at any time in our history,” President Obama exclaimed this week, adding that illegal crossings are down 80% since their peak in 2000.
The president committed a small army to the southwestern states–over 21,000 border patrol agents–racking up an almost $11.7 billion price tag in 2012, up $362 million allotted for the year before, reports MCNBC. “According to the Migration Policy Institute, the federal government spent a total of $18 billion on immigration enforcement agencies, which accounted for an astounding 24% more in federal spending than what was given for the FBI, DEA, Secret Service, U.S. Marshals Service, and ATF–combined.
“And as the number of agents and resources allocated to the border rose, the number of arrests and apprehensions along the country lines plummeted. Continue reading “The question of the border fence”
Lots of people get into trouble with the law, casually or seriously, at some point in their lives. But not everyone knows how much that changes their prospects, especially when it comes to future job hunting.
While it’s generally illegal for employers to indiscriminately deny all applicants with criminal records, many still do. A quick look at New York job postings on Craigslist, for example, reveals common caveats: ‘absolutely no felony convictions’ or ‘must have clean criminal record.’
“’This is blatantly illegal hiring practice,’says Sally Friedman, a lawyer at the Legal Action Center. It’s not that it’s against the law to consider a job applicant’s past convictions. In fact, it’s kind of the opposite. The no-criminal-records-allowed policy rule, Friedman explains, may lead employers to throw out solid candidates. Continue reading “Job hunting not easy with an arrest record”
After this upcoming weekend, you have to ask your phone company if you want to use the phone you (kind of) bought from them on any other carrier’s network.You used to be able to ask for, or purchase, or hack your way to an “unlocked” phone, but that will be illegal after Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013.
Lifehacker reports that “The Librarian of Congress believes cellphone companies are doing a good enough job of fostering competition in their market, so the era of third-party unlocking is coming to a close.
“Back in October 2012, the Librarian of Congress was asked by the Register of Copyrights to examine the exemptions made for certain classes of work under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, or DMCA. I know what you may be thinking. “This Librarian, and this Register—do they live in giant vine-strewn towers? Do have any special powers if they leave Washington?” That is a good question, but first we must address other things. Continue reading “No more phone unlocking”
Prescription drug overdoses now claim more lives than heroin and cocaine combined, fueling a doubling of drug-related deaths in the United States over the last decade, according to a story in today’s Los Angeles Times by Scott Glover and Lisa Girdion entitled:“Legal Drugs, Deadly Outcome.”
“Health and law enforcement officials seeking to curb the epidemic have focused on how OxyContin,Vicodin, Xanax and other potent pain and anxiety medications are obtained illegally, such as through pharmacy robberies or when teenagers raid their parents’ medicine cabinets.” the authors state, adding that “Authorities have failed to recognize how often people overdose on medications prescribed for them by their doctors.
“A Los Angeles Times investigation has found that in nearly half of the accidental deaths from prescription drugs in four Southern California counties, the deceased had a doctor’s prescription for at least one drug that caused or contributed to the death.
“Reporters identified a total of 3,733 deaths from prescription drugs from 2006 through 2011 in Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura and San Diego counties.
“An examination of coroners’ records found that in 1,762 of those cases — 47%— drugs for which the deceased had a prescription were the sole cause or a contributing cause of death.A small cadre of doctors was associated with a disproportionate number of those fatal overdoses. Seventy-one — 0.1% of all practicing doctors in the four counties — wrote prescriptions for drugs that caused or contributed to 298 deaths. That is 17% of the total linked to doctors’ prescriptions.
For cull coverage, see Los Angeles Times by Scott Glover and Lisa Girdion entitled:“Legal Drugs, Deadly Outcome.”