Video: Rosecrance's Dr. Wright comments on "Monitoring the Future" report

Earlier this month, the University of Michigan released its annual “Monitoring the Future” report. The report surveys young people anonymously about the drugs they use and the frequency at which they use them.

Rosecrance admission trends mirrored results from the report.

Click play on the video below to see a short interview about the study from Rosecrance Chief Medical Officer Dr. Thomas Wright.

In the news: Marijuana, synthetic drug use on the rise

WIFR-23 in Rockford spoke to Rosecrance about the recent rise in marijuana and synthetic drug use.

From the article:

The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports more teens use marijuana each year. Rehab counselors at Rosecrance say they are seeing the same thing here in the Stateline. Among the teens admitted for treatment last year, more than 70% say pot is their preferred drug. Counselors say synthetic marijuana is also a big problem.

“We have no idea what these children are ingesting when they smoking this substance and you know and we are seeing a significant increase in mental health issue based on the use of this k-2 or spice,” Rosecrance’s Andrea Kaiser said.

Read the complete article, and see the video, here.

National report on teen drug use mirrors Rosecrance admission trends

Marijuana, synthetic drug use on the rise

Download this news release as a PDF

ROCKFORD – Marijuana use among teens across the nation rose for the fourth straight year, according to results from the highly respected annual “Monitoring the Future” survey released Dec. 14, 2011, in Washington, D.C.

In addition, the survey indicates that daily marijuana use is at a 30-year peak among high school seniors. The report stated that fewer teens perceive the drug as harmful and that disapproval of its use is dropping.

The annual survey is sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the University of Michigan. The report is considered one of the leading indicators of trends in substance use among the nation’s teenagers.

Trends in the report, which surveyed 47,000 teens in grades 8, 10 and 12, are echoed at drug treatment centers such as Rosecrance in Rockford. Dr. Thomas Wright, chief medical officer for the organization and a board-certified child and adolescent psychiatrist, said the report is concerning.

“Cannabis is seen as a potential gateway drug and its use may lead to other drugs and addiction issues,” he said.

Admission trends at the Rosecrance Griffin Williamson Adolescent Treatment Center mirror the big picture. Cannabis has long been the top drug of choice among youth in treatment for substance abuse, and its grip on the population has continued to rise.

Among adolescent patients admitted to treatment last year, 71.4 percent cited marijuana as their preferred drug, compared with 69.5 percent in 2010 and 67.1 percent in 2009.

Rosecrance has the largest adolescent inpatient treatment center in the state of Illinois. More than 800 adolescents receive treatment annually at the Rockford campus.

Other facts from “Monitoring the Future:”

    The proportion of young people using any illicit drug has risen steadily in recent years, primarily due to the increase in marijuana use.
    50 percent of high school seniors reported having tried an illicit drug at some time.
    40 percent of seniors had used one or more drugs in the past year.
    25 percent of seniors had used one or more drugs in the past month.

Meanwhile, the Rosecrance experience confirms other national trends highlighted in the “Monitoring the Future” survey. Alcohol use and binge drinking have gradually declined. That bit of positive news is countered by the emergence and growing use of “synthetic marijuana” products such as K2 and Spice, both of which can have harmful and even fatal consequences to users.

These new synthetic formulas have unpredictable effects. Rosecrance is treating a growing number of adolescents and young adults for abuse of these drugs. Use of Ecstasy also increased overall in the past year, while the perception of risk and disapproval of the drug declined.

The report also showed that about one-third of teens surveyed reported using energy drinks, which can be harmful if used often. Young teens consume the most energy drinks.

Q&A with Dr. Thomas Wright about the “Monitoring the Future:”

Q: The recent Monitoring the Future report said that marijuana use is on the rise among teens and that daily marijuana use among high school seniors is at a 30-year peak. Can you comment on that?

A: It’s concerning, as cannabis is seen as a potential gateway drug and its use may lead to other drugs and addiction issues.

Q: The report says that, in general, teens today don’t perceive that marijuana is harmful or risky behavior. What are you hearing from teens?

A: When patients come into treatment, this is often the case. However, part of our job is to educate the patient and families about not only the drug, but the disease of addiction.

Q: Meanwhile, the report also says that alcohol and cigarette use are on the decline among teens. Are you encouraged?

A: Well, overall drug use by any drug is still on the rise. So, while we like to see a decrease in some drugs used, there seems to be a tendency where teens just go to something else.

Q: The report also talks about the rise in use of synthetic marijuana, also known as “Spice” or “K2.” Is that also a trend among Rosecrance patients?

A: We have been seeing our patients use synthetic cannabinoids for one to two years. Now, we are beginning to see an emergence of a new hallucinogen called “Bromo-dragonfly.” The availability of this is growing and may be reflected in future data from the Monitoring the Future study.

Q: What advice do you have for parents who suspect that their teens are regular users of marijuana or other drugs?

A: Have a relationship with your teen such that you can discuss and talk to them about these things. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Learn more:

Judy Emerson
Director of Communications
Rosecrance Health Network
1021 N. Mulford Road
Rockford, IL 61107
815.387.5605 (office); 815.262.4685 (cell)

About Rosecrance
Rosecrance is a private not-for-profit organization offering behavioral health services for more than 13,000 children, adolescents, adults and families each year. Rosecrance provides addiction treatment through inpatient and outpatient programs in the Rockford area and services at six satellite offices in Chicagoland. In addition, Rosecrance offers community mental health services in Rockford and Belvidere.

Rosecrance alters adolescent treatment schedule in response to sleep data

Rosecrance Chief Medical Officer Dr. Thomas Wright has authored an article for the trade publication Addiction Professional.

The article examines recent efforts by Rosecrance to adapt the daily schedule to the natural circadian rhythm of teenagers in treatment.

From the article:

In October 2010, our staff began systematically studying this issue and looking at how the night-owl pattern of adolescent patients might be affecting their treatment and recovery. Further, we asked ourselves: Is there a way to bend to circadian rhythm reality and improve treatment at the same time?

Our eventual decision to revise the treatment schedule to allow Rosecrance’s teen patients to sleep longer had a top-to-bottom impact on the treatment program at the campus, which is the largest adolescent inpatient program in Illinois.

The four-month process we used to get there, which involved leadership, clinical and support staff, and patients, presented an opportunity for everyone on campus to step back and review what we were doing and what we might change to offer teens the best opportunity for lasting recovery.

Read the complete Addiction Professional article here.

Toxicologist stresses dangers of new 'designer' drugs

About a dozen local law enforcement officers joined more than 50 Rosecrance staff on Oct. 28 for a training at the Rosecrance Harrison Campus about the dangerous “designer drug” K-2/Spice, often sold as “bath salts.”

Presenter Amy Miles, a forensic toxicologist for the State of Wisconsin, stressed that there is no reliable research on the effects of these new drugs, which have become popular among teens and adults alike. She reported on her observations in controlled lab tests with subjects who use the drugs, but most information comes from law enforcement officers, she said.

The drug often looks like organic material resembling potpourri or marijuana. It has been treated with a synthetic drug of various chemical properties and strengths. The effects, while unpredictable, include seizures, hallucinations, euphoria, disorientation, increased heart rate and blood pressure, paranoia, poor perception of time and distance, irritability, restlessness, body tremors and aches, profuse sweating, violent behavior and combativeness.

“People are taking them and they are not really sure what the effects are,” Miles said.

The drug packages may be labeled “not for human consumption,” Miles said, but those instructions are ignored as the synthetic drugs are baked into food products, smoked, snorted or injected. The drugs also may be converted to pill or liquid form. Ingredients in some of the early generation of the so-called bath salts were made illegal in both Wisconsin and Illinois. In response, Miles said, drug manufacturers have been busy altering the chemical structure of the illegal drugs to create loopholes that keep the products on the market. Some of the illegal drug manufacturers are trained chemists, she said.

Rosecrance Access Coordinator Craig Riehle said the organization is treating a growing number of patients who have used these drugs.

They can be obtained at some convenience stories or so-called “headshops.” Miles’ PowerPoint presentation included numerous online sites offering the products.

Complicating enforcement and diagnosis, designer drugs often don’t show up in routine drug screens, Miles said. She reviewed various kinds of field tests for drug use that can indicate what type of drug a person has used.

1 in 3 adolescents begin drinking by end of 8th grade, says NIAAA

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) has released a guide for healthcare professionals to help identify children and teenagers ages nine to 18 who are at risk for alcohol-related problems, provide brief counseling and refer them to treatment resources if that is indicated.

The details are provided by SAMHSA:

The evidence-based guide, Alcohol Screening and Brief Intervention for Youth: A Practitioner’s Guide, includes a two-question risk assessment as well as links to resources for motivational interviewing. NIAAA developed the guide and supporting pocket guide in collaboration with the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Click here to download or order the guide at no cost

Teens have places to turn for help

Americans are dying from accident less often than they used to. One cause of unintentional death, however, is on the rise.

As written in the Naperville Sun:

Drug overdoses — such as those that killed three Naperville teens over the summer — are taking lives at unprecedented rates. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show the incidence of overdose deaths has increased fivefold since 1990. In 2007, there were 27,658 unintentional drug overdose deaths in the U.S., according to the National Vital Statistics System. In 2009, the number was 37,485.

Many say it is especially alarming that young people don’t seem to be getting the message, turning a deaf ear to the danger signs even as their peers perish.

“We feel like we’re seeing more heroin use in the young age groups than we did just five years ago,” said Dr. David Lott, director of the chemical dependency unit at Linden Oaks at Edward in Naperville, where admissions for addiction to heroin and other opiates have tripled in the past six years.

The problem often starts in the comfort of home. Many kids need go no farther than the bathroom medicine cabinet.

Read the entire article here.

Loved ones spell out how, why kids are abusing dangerous drugs

The Naperville Sun has published an article detailing how and why kids are abusing dangerous drugs.

From the Sun:

Several days after his 17th birthday, Warner was found dead on his patio, having suffered an apparent overdose. Friends with Warner that evening describe their friend as alive and well at the time they left for home. What transpired between that point and Warner’s death remains unknown. Raphe Marsden was Warner’s best friend, and has spoken candidly about his friend’s death, and the drug problem plaguing Naperville.

He continues to mourn Warner’s passing.

“It’s good to have his Facebook still,” Marsden said. “I can go back and look at the last conversations we had this summer.”

Read the entire article here.

Rosecrance celebrates Mental Illness Awareness Week

Join Rosecrance and other mental health advocates across the country this week as we celebrate Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW):

Oct. 1 to Oct. 15:
Art of Healing Gallery at Barnes & Noble in CherryVale Mall. The gallery will be included in the Rockford Area Arts Council Fall ArtScene on Oct. 14 and 15.

Oct. 1: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Mental Health Fair at CherryVale Mall in Cherry Valley, IL, featuring more than 40 displays from health providers.

Oct. 3: 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.
Mental Health Rally at the Winnebago County Justice Center in Rockford, IL.

Oct. 4: 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Red Flags in Children’s Behavior by National Alliance on Mental Illness and Rockford Public Schools Parent and Community Empowerment Department. Free presentation with free childcare at the Lincoln Middle School Auditorium.

Oct. 8: 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Bowling for Recovery at Forest Hills Lanes in Loves Park, IL.
Bowling, food, and more for $15 per person. Call 815-963-2470 to register.

Oct. 15: 8 a.m.
Kennedy 5K Run/Walk for Mind, Body & Soul at the Rosecrance Berry Campus in Rockford, IL. Click here to register.

September edition of the Rosecrance eNewsletter available

The September edition of the Rosecrance eNewsletter is now available. The eNewsletter features Cooking Up Hope, the Art of Healing art gallery and two training opportunities.

Click here to read the newsletter.

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