Parents have a right to get involved if they think their teen is getting addicted to drugs or alcohol

Addiction is a troubling and potentially earth-shattering disease at any age, so when a teen becomes addicted to drugs, alcohol, or even something that seems harmless like a video game, the consequences can be devastating.

Insider Louisville LogoAndrew Davidson is a licensed clinical social worker whose private practice is centered on 14- to 18-year-olds. In other words, he knows how teenagers’ minds work, what motivates them, and what triggers addictive behavior.

Teens are most likely to experiment with alcohol, he says in a Passport-sponsored article on Insider Louisville, adding that he has seen the whole list of addictive drugs, from marijuana to stimulants to opioids, in his patients. And he is quick to point out that gambling and video games are increasingly affecting young people in a negative way.

“I use a harm-reduction approach – I’m trying to reduce any kind of harm they could do,” he says. “If they choose to use, they need to know what the dangers are.”

To hear more from Davidson, please click here. To read more, please click here.

 

Kentucky to Receive Federal Funding to Increase Substance Abuse Treatment for Pregnant Women

beshearGovernor Steve Beshear announced recently that Kentucky will receive up to $3 million in federal grants over three years to provide expanded substance abuse treatment for opiate-dependent pregnant and postpartum women from the Bluegrass and Cumberland regions of the state.

“State leaders must do everything we can do to stop the pain drug abuse is having on Kentuckians and their families every single day, especially when it impacts mothers and their babies,” Gov. Beshear said in a news release. “Pregnant women who use heroin or other opiates during pregnancy have a significant risk of adverse outcomes for themselves and their babies. This important pilot project will allow us to improve access to treatment and support for pregnant women in two of the areas of our state hardest hit by substance abuse issues.”

Kentucky is one of 11 states selected by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to receive this new grant funding from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), part of an initiative to increase access to substance use disorder treatment services.

To learn more about the “Mommy Steps” program that Passport has for pregnant members, go online to http://passporthealthplan.com/members/health-and-wellness-programs/.

 

Hepatitis C Infections Soaring in Kentucky and Neighboring States, Fueled by Prescription Painkiller Abuse

CDCAccording to a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), rates of hepatitis C infections more than tripled in Kentucky and three other Appalachian states from 2006 to 2012, fueled by prescription drug abuse among those who inject drugs. Rates of hepatitis C virus infection are rising nationwide, the CDC said, with the biggest increases seen among people under age 30 living in Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. In those four states alone, hepatitis C infections rose 364 percent from 2006 to 2012, with nearly half (44.8 percent) among people under age 30.

The agency said the findings highlight the need for testing for hepatitis C, care and treatment services within substance abuse treatment centers, according to a report by the Reuters news service. “We’re in the midst of a national epidemic of hepatitis C,” said John Ward, director of viral hepatitis prevention at the CDC, in a USA Today article. “The CDC views hepatitis C as an urgent public health problem.”

Hepatitis C is a contagious liver infection spread primarily through contact with the blood of an infected person. About 3 million Americans are infected with the Hepatitis C virus, according to the CDC, and many people are infected without knowing it. Chronic infections can cause liver damage, liver failure, liver cancer, or even death.