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Archive for the ‘mental health and substance abuse’ Category

Safeguarding Children of Arrested Parents

September 27, 2014 Comments off

Safeguarding Children of Arrested Parents (PDF)
Source: Bureau of Justice Assistance

The arrest of a parent can have a significant impact on a child whether or not the child is present at the time of the arrest. Depending on age and quality of the relationship with the parent, children may feel shock, immense fear, anxiety, or anger towards the arresting officers or law enforcement in general. Over the past two decades, increasing emphasis has been placed on examination of the effects of these events on children of various ages and the ways in which law enforcement can make sure that an involved child doesn’t “fall through the cracks.” Research clearly indicates that such events can and often do have a negative impact on a child’s immediate and long-term emotional, mental, social, and physical health. Symptoms such as sleep disruptions, separation anxiety, irritability, and even more serious disorders or post-traumatic reactions have been documented. In addition, later problems with authority figures in general and law enforcement in particular can arise if officers or other service providers do not take the time to address the needs of the child. Time taken with a child under these trauma producing circumstances is time well spent.

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Perceived neighborhood illicit drug selling, peer illicit drug disapproval and illicit drug use among U.S. high school seniors

September 25, 2014 Comments off

Perceived neighborhood illicit drug selling, peer illicit drug disapproval and illicit drug use among U.S. high school seniors
Source: Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy

Background
This study examined associations between perceived neighborhood illicit drug selling, peer illicit drug disapproval and illicit drug use among a large nationally representative sample of U.S. high school seniors.

Methods
Data come from Monitoring the Future (2007-2011), an annual cross-sectional survey of U.S. high school seniors. Students reported neighborhood illicit drug selling, friend drug disapproval towards marijuana and cocaine use, and past 12-month and past 30-day illicit drug use (N = 10,050). Multinomial logistic regression models were fit to explain use of 1) just marijuana, 2) one illicit drug other than marijuana, and 3) more than one illicit drug other than marijuana, compared to “no use”.

Results
Report of neighborhood illicit drug selling was associated with lower friend disapproval of marijuana and cocaine; e.g., those who reported seeing neighborhood sales “almost every day” were less likely to report their friends strongly disapproved of marijuana (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 0.38, 95% CI: 0.29, 0.49) compared to those who reported never seeing neighborhood drug selling and reported no disapproval. Perception of neighborhood illicit drug selling was also associated with past-year drug use and past-month drug use; e.g., those who reported seeing neighborhood sales “almost every day” were more likely to report 30-day use of more than one illicit drug (AOR = 11.11, 95% CI: 7.47, 16.52) compared to those who reported never seeing neighborhood drug selling and reported no 30-day use of illicit drugs.

Conclusions
Perceived neighborhood drug selling was associated with lower peer disapproval and more illicit drug use among a population-based nationally representative sample of U.S. high school seniors. Policy interventions to reduce “open” (visible) neighborhood drug selling (e.g., problem-oriented policing and modifications to the physical environment such as installing and monitoring surveillance cameras) may reduce illicit drug use and peer disapproval of illicit drugs.

CA — A Three Year Review of Federal Inmate Suicides (2011 – 2014)

September 25, 2014 Comments off

A Three Year Review of Federal Inmate Suicides (2011 – 2014) (PDF)
Source: Office of the Correctional Investigator

Sadly, we have come to expect about ten suicide deaths each year in federal penitentiaries. Though the number of prison suicides fluctuates annually and has generally been declining, the rate has remained relatively stable in recent years and is still approximately seven times higher than in the general population. In the 20-year period from 1994-95 to 2013-14, a total of 211 federal inmates have taken their own life. Suicide is the leading cause of un-natural death among federal inmates, accounting for about 20% of all deaths in custody in any given year.

While there is no fail-safe method to predict suicide in a prison setting, there is an obligation on the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) to preserve life in custody. A comprehensive suicide awareness and prevention program increases the likelihood of identifying and safely managing suicidal inmates.

This report, part of the Office’s continuing focus on prevention of deaths in custody, consists of a comprehensive review of all completed acts of suicide (n=30) that occurred in federal penitentiaries in the three year period between April 2011 and March 2014.

How Much Crime is Drug-Related? History, Limitations, and Potential Improvements of Estimation Methods

September 22, 2014 Comments off

How Much Crime is Drug-Related? History, Limitations, and Potential Improvements of Estimation Methods (PDF)
Source: National Criminal Justice Reference Service
From NCJRS abstract:

Goldstein’s model of drug-related crime identifies three categories of DAFs: “economic-compulsive” (crimes committed to obtain money for buying drugs); “psychopharmacological” crime (crimes committed due to the effect of drugs, such as assaults and homicides); and “systemic” crime (crimes committed by individuals and organizations in the course of operating a drug-trafficking enterprise). In addition to these three categories of DAFs, this paper proposes four additional types of DAFs indirectly related to drug supply and demand. Although these drug-related harmful effects may not involve specific law violations, they constitute part of the cost of drug supply and consumption. One of the four additional drug-related costs to society is the diminishment of positive contributions to society the drug-user might have provided had he/she not become dependent on drugs. A second indirect effect pertains to the adverse impacts the drug-user has on his/her children and other family members because of drug dependence. A third indirect effect is the impact of drug market activities on the neighborhood environment and constructive influence. The fourth indirect cost of drug use is the general diminishment of the informal ability of a society to mold the moral development of its members and thus deter crime. 3 figures and 53 references

Electronic cigarettes: fact and faction

September 22, 2014 Comments off

Electronic cigarettes: fact and faction
Source: British Journal of General Practice

There are a number of public health advocates who appear to consider electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) primarily as a threat to public health, and bodies such as the British Medical Association (BMA) and the World Health Organization (WHO) are warning smokers about their potential dangers. This editorial takes a close look at the evidence.

AU — Effective drink driving prevention and enforcement strategies: Approaches to improving practice

September 22, 2014 Comments off

Effective drink driving prevention and enforcement strategies: Approaches to improving practice
Source: Australian Institute of Criminology

Although Australia has achieved significant reductions in drink driving since the 1980s, it continues to be a leading cause of road fatalities and injuries. A range of countermeasures have been used to address drink driving, although their effectiveness can be affected by a range of implementation issues.

Through a review of Australian and international literature, this paper outlines principles of effective drink driving countermeasures. It presents guidelines for the effective enforcement and prevention of drink driving through random breath testing, publicity campaigns, penalties and targeted interventions.

The evidence outlined in this paper highlights the importance of implementing effective countermeasures for different populations. Among the general population, personal contact with random breath testing has the strongest deterrent impact on drink driving. Also, targeted interventions that identify the underlying causes of offending are crucial in addressing recidivist drink drivers; a group that contributes disproportionately to road trauma. Strategies that effectively decrease drink driving are vital in the ongoing effort to improve road safety in Australia.

Brief – State-Level Policy Advocacy for Children Affected by Parental Substance Use

September 18, 2014 Comments off

Brief – State-Level Policy Advocacy for Children Affected by Parental Substance Use
Source: State Policy and Advocacy Reform Center (SPARC)

More than 8.3 million children, or 11 percent of all children in the United States, live in homes where at least one parent or caretaker has a substance use disorder involving alcohol and other drugs. Parental substance abuse places the family at an increased risk of child abuse, neglect, and trauma. Most of these children are not identified by child-serving agencies.

This SPARC brief, authored by Sid Gardner from Children and Family Futures, provides compelling data to demonstrate that alcohol and drug use is a key factor in a high percentage of child welfare involved families, outlines eight barriers to taking substance abuse seriously in the child welfare system, summarizes five levers for advocates aiming at going beyond pilot projects to systems change and highlights policy and practice innovations that advocates can promote.

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