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.


Passport collaborates with other Safety Net Health Plans to help lower risk for Substance Use Disorders among youth

Passport Health Plan is one of seven Safety Net Health Plans from around the country that have committed to a joint three-year learning project that will help increase the identification of youth who are at risk for substance use disorders.

The project, led by the Center for Health Care Strategies in partnership with the Association for Community Affiliated Plans (ACAP), will make extensive use of the SBIRT model, which stands for Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment.

SBIRT is an evidence-based approach for identifying patients who are at risk for abuse of alcohol and other drugs, and it is intended to identify not only patients who have substance use disorders but also those who are at high risk for developing such a disorder and reducing their level of risk.

The collaborative, made possible by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, consists of seven health plans, each of which will pilot an SBIRT training project aimed at raising the awareness of substance use disorders among youth, and fortify these providers’ abilities to screen, intervene, and refer to treatment as needed.

The project that Passport has developed for the effort involves expanding the number of adolescents screened annually for substance use disorder, since many teens begin experimenting with substances during adolescence. Passport will develop regional trainings for providers to teach them how to implement SBIRT, and will also develop webinars for providers to complete training in their home communities, complete with continuing education for providers who participate in the training. Passport will also work with our providers to break down any barriers to coordinating care for our members who endorse positive symptoms.

“Passport recognizes that substance use disorders are a huge public health crisis in the Commonwealth,” said Elizabeth W. McKune, Ed.D., Director of Behavioral Health for Passport Health Plan. “We are working closely with our providers and the Kentucky Department of Medicaid Services to increase the number of adolescents screened for potential problems with substances and teach them where they can go should they begin having problems with substances in the future.”

For more information, please click here.


CDC lists top 10 U.S. public health issues

CDC imageThe U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Center for Injury Prevention and Control has updated its Prevention Status Reports, which ranks the biggest U.S. public health issues.

The Prevention Status Reports organize information on state public health policies and practices in a format that is easy to use for public health professionals, community leaders, and policy makers. The reports allow these individuals to understand their state’s status and identify improvement areas.

According to the reports, the 10 most important public health problems and concerns are (listed alphabetically):

  • Alcohol-related harms
  • Food safety
  • Healthcare-associated infections
  • Heart disease and stroke
  • HIV
  • Motor vehicle injury
  • Nutrition, physician activity and obesity
  • Prescription drug overdose
  • Teen pregnancy
  • Tobacco use

The Prevention Status Reports website also features an interactive map, tables summarizing state data and fact sheets. To learn more, click here.