Child Mental Health Now Versus the Past

Of note, this post is adapted from a similar one that appeared last week in my Psychology Today blog. From many headlines today, it is easy to get the impression that children and adolescents are struggling more than ever these days.  At the same time, the mental health system designed to help our kids and […]

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Is Cannabis Really A Gateway Drug?

Across the country, there have been several initiatives to decriminalize and even legalize marijuana, including efforts here in Vermont.   A common sentiment behind these movements is that cannabis in not really addictive or harmful. These efforts have reignited the debate about the potential dangers associated with cannabis use, particularly among adolescents.  A recent review […]

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New Option for Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment in Burlington, VT

Spectrum Youth and Family Services announced a new program called Teen Intervention Program for Substance Use (TIPS) that will provide for intake assessment followed by a 26-week treatment program for adolescents with substance abuse problems aged 12-18. The treatment is family-based and uses a motivational and behavioral framework.  Parents need to attend and be involved […]

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Documentary Film on Prescription Drug Abuse Premiers at Flynn Sept 27

The Gala Premier of Kingdom County Productions’ new documentary film The Hungry Heart will take place at the Flynn Theater in Burlington, VT on Friday September 27 at 7pm.  The film, directed and produced by Bess O’Brien, explores prescription drug addiction through the intimate world of Vermont Pediatrician Fred Holmes who works with patients struggling […]

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Youth Incarceration Down, Lowest in Vermont

The number of children and adolescents (under age 21) who are incarcerated has been steadily dropping since the mid-1990s according to a report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation that presents data from the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.  The 2010 national rate of 225 youth per 100,000 is […]

Adolescent Cannabis Use and Decreased IQ

Living somewhere between the worlds of science and politics has been the longstanding debate regarding the negative effects of cannabis abuse.  While there have been some studies linking its use to lower IQ, most have not assessed IQ prior to the onset of substance use. A recent study published in PNAS will likely spark more […]

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Bath Salts and Designer Drugs an Increasing Problem

 Despite recent efforts to clamp down on “bath salts” and other designer drugs, their use (both legal and illegal) continues with many individuals winding up needing emergency treatment.  A previous law last December making many of the designer drugs illegal in Vermont was strengthened this month by new federal and state legislation. By slightly changing […]

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Does Cannabis Cause Psychosis?

Cannabis use in Vermont youth is extremely high with about a quarter of 11th and 12th graders having used it in the last 30 days, according to the Vermont Youth Risk Behavior Survey.  While cannabis is still considered to be relatively harmless by many, the health risks associated with its use are becoming increasingly apparent, […]