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High Kids? Goodbye!

[[posterous-content:pid___0]]Some interesting data was recently released regarding “sex, drugs and rock & roll” and our teenage and pre-teenage children.  A recent University of Michigan study shows that certain alcohol and drug related behaviors have significantly declined, particularly smoking cigarettes and alcohol consumption.  This national study has been tracking the use of and attitudes about drug, alcohol and tobacco use by 8th, 10th and 12th graders since 1975.  In all more than 46,000 kids were surveyed in 2011.  In addition to less alcohol and tobacco use, the study found decreased use of illicit drugs like cocaine, and prescription drugs like Vicodin and Adderall.  Not everything went down though as rates of marijuana and ecstasy use went up.

It is also interesting to look at teens’ “perceived risk” of using these various substances.  In general the teens’ perception of risk went up related to the use of amphetamines, cocaine, tobacco and of binge drinking alcohol.  However, teens appear to attribute less risk to the use of marijuana and ecstasy and, as noted, the use of these both went up according to the study.

So good job parents, and teens!  It seems that overall we’re headed in the right direction according to this data.


Here’s a link to an article that will be in the upcoming Feb 5th issue of the New York Times magazine about this subject.

Are you addicted to…Light?


Last year an Addiction Biology study looked at addiction and indoor UV tanning.   With the cold, dark days of winter upon us, and many people taking up tanning to keep a “healthy glow”, we thought taking a look at this study might shed some light on the subject.  The study found that people were able to tell if they received true UV light during their session or if it was false light.  If it was false, they exhibited the same desire to tan after their session as they did before they went under the light.  Furthermore the parts of the brain linked to addition lit up more when the tanners were exposed to the true UV lights.  The study was a pilot study, but it’s findings are nonetheless intriguing.

So if you’re thinking about tanning at a salon, please think twice and use caution–it seems that it can create a true “UV addiction.”  This, paired with UV radiation’s propensity to damage your skin and increase your risk of skin cancer, can be a dangerous combination.  If you find yourself craving some light during the winter months, take the opportunity to engage in fall/winter activities like walking in the park, skating, football, etc.

More details can be found in the Abstract.