SEOW Issue Briefs

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Polypharmacy Among Prescription Drug Users

August 2017

Polypharmacy, i.e., the misuse of multiple prescription drugs or prescription medication with other substances, is highly problematic. Whether unintentional or deliberate, misuse of multiple drugs can lead to adverse effects including addiction; drug-drug interactions; and overdose, potentially resulting in death. Polypharmacy is not uncommon; almost 84 percent of prescription drug misusers receiving substance abuse treatment in Indiana reported using at least one additional substance, most commonly alcohol or marijuana.

The Impact of Substance Use on the Developing Brain

July 2017

Most peoples’ first exposure to alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs typically occurs during adolescence, a time when the brain changes rather dramatically.  The maturation process of the adolescent brain is reflected in a greater propensity to take part in risky activities such as unprotected sex, reckless driving, and substance use. Alcohol, nicotine, and marijuana, the most commonly used substances by teens, have all been tied to disruptions in normal brain development. These structural changes are associated with higher rates of cognitive impairments and academic difficulties, higher rates of future substance use and substance use disorders, and higher rates of mood and psychotic disorders.

Substance Abuse in Indiana - An Urban-Rural Perspective

June 2017

The use of alcohol and drugs is a significant public health problem in the United States. Indiana, like many other states in the nation, is lacking in substance abuse treatment services and rural areas are particularly underserved. Rural residents may encounter additional barriers to receiving substance abuse treatment, including stigma, fear that they may know their treatment providers, a lack of access to specialized services, inferior quality of care, and having to pay more for treatment.

Substance Abuse Trends in Indiana: A 10-Year Perspective

April 2017

Substance use is a significant public health problem in the United States. Excessive use of alcohol and drugs has been linked to increased morbidity and mortality from cardiovascular conditions; injuries and motor vehicle crashes; sexually transmitted and blood-borne illnesses, including HIV/AIDS and hepatitis B and C, resulting from risky sexual behaviors and/or injection drug use; pregnancy complications and neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS); and drug overdoses [5, 6].

Treatment & Recovery for Substance Use Disorders in Indiana

October 2016

Substance abuse is a significant public health concern. When drug or alcohol use regularly causes a person substantial life consequences, he/she has likely transitioned from occasional, potentially problematic, use to having a substance use disorder (SUD). In 2014, almost half a million Hoosiers (8.5%) met the criteria for SUD.

Overview of Suicide Risk Among Adolescent Hispanic Girls in Indiana

April 2016

Suicide is one of the leading causes of death among adolescents in the United States and in Indiana. Suicide is a complex public health issue, and common risk factors include problems with mental health, substance use, physical injury and psychological trauma. In addition, social and cultural differences can place certain racial and ethnic groups at especially high risk of thoughts and behaviors that may lead to suicide.

Behavioral Health Disparities in Indiana

February 2016

The burden of illness, premature death, and disability is distributed unequally throughout the nation, leading to vast differences in health status or outcomes between specific groups. Such health disparities are persistent and occur across a wide range of physical and behavioral conditions.

Injection Drug Use in Indiana: A Major Risk for HIV Transmission

January 2016

Illicit drug use is a significant public health issue. In 2014, approximately 27 million people, or 10.2 percent of the United States population 12 years of age or older, were currently using some type of illicit substance, while 7.1 million people 12 years of age or older could be classified as either abusing or being dependent on an illicit drug.

Substance Use Among Young Adults in Indiana Who Are Not Enrolled in College

September 2015

The primary purpose of this study was to gather information on patterns and trends of substance use; reasons for using (or not using); and perceptions and beliefs regarding substance use within one’s social circle (peers) from our target population, i.e., Indiana residents ages 18 to 25 who do not attend, nor have graduated from, college.

Indicators of Mental Health in Children and Adolescents in Indiana

July 2015

Mental health disorders among children and adolescents are an important public health issue across the United States. Many of our youth are suffering from mood, anxiety, behavior, and substance use disorders with onsets occurring as early as age 6; unfortunately, several do not receive treatment until years later.

Using Data to Identify Substance Abuse Prevention Needs - Development of a Substance Abuse Priority Index (SAPI)

May 2013

Substance abuse continues to be a public health concern in Indiana and nationwide. The abuse of alcohol and other drugs may not only result in negative health outcomes but are often a key issue in the criminal justice system, either directly (e.g., possession or sale/ manufacture of illicit substances) or indirectly (e.g., crimes com- mitted while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or to support drug-seeking behaviors). The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declared substance abuse stance abuse can differ by county. 

Opioid Treatment Programs in Indiana - The Use of Medication in Addiction Treatment

January 2013

Addiction to opioids (e.g., heroin, morphine, prescription pain relievers) is a serious health problem with wide-ranging social and economic implications. In 2010, more than 2 million Americans were affected, with 1.9 million U.S. residents addicted to prescription opioids and 359,000 addicted to heroin. Abuse of opioids, particularly heroin, has been associated with unintentional overdoses and transmission of hepatitis, HIV, and sexually transmitted diseases.

Prenatal Alcohol Use and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder in Indiana

June 2012

Consumption of alcohol during pregnancy can cause the infant to be born with a fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD). FASD is not a diagnosis, but an umbrella term that describes a group of conditions associated with prenatal alcohol exposure, including fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) [6].

The Effects of Tobacco Use on Oral Health in Indiana

July 2010

Tobacco use is associated with a variety of harmful consequences, including increased risk of numerous cancers; coronary heart disease and other cardiovascular diseases; respiratory diseases in adults and children; and pregnancy complications. In addition, tobacco use imposes a considerable economic burden, accounting for $190 billion annually in healthcare expenditures and productivity losses [3].

Meth Use in Indiana

July 2010

Methamphetamine, a derivative of amphetamine, is a synthetic stimulant that affects the central nervous system. It is commonly known as meth, speed, and chalk; in its smoked form, it is often referred to as ice, crystal, crank, and glass [1]. Due to its high potential for abuse, meth is classified as a Schedule II drug and is legally available only by prescription [2]. Abuse of the drug is a serious problem in the United States, often resulting in devastating medical, psychological, social, and legal consequences. According to estimates from the 2008 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 12.6 million Americans (or 5.0 percent) ages 12 and older have tried meth at least once in their life [3].