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Marijuana Use Tied to Higher Odds for Thoughts of Suicide
By Dennis Thompson, HealthDay
Young adults who use marijuana appear to have an increased risk of suicidal thoughts and attempted suicide, according to a new study from the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).

Even occasional pot use was associated with a greater risk of suicidal thoughts, plans and attempts compared to no pot use at all, and the risk rises as people use more often, results show.

Risk also increased regardless of whether the cannabis user suffered from depression, although pot smokers with depression had an overall greater risk of suicidality, according to the study.

The number of U.S. pot users more than doubled between 2008 and 2019, rising from 22.6 million to 45 million, researchers said in background notes. The number of daily or near-daily users almost tripled during the same period, rising from 3.6 million to 9.8 million.

Over the same span, the number of folks who had recently suffered major depression rose from 14.5 million to 19.4 million, and the number of suicidal people increased from 8.3 million to 12 million, researchers said. Annual deaths by suicide rose from about 35,000 in 2008 to nearly 45,900 in 2019.

For example, among people not suffering from depression in the 2018-2019 survey:

14% of men and 18% of women with cannabis use disorder thought about suicide, compared with 4% for either sex not diagnosed with problematic pot use.
Nearly 9% of men and 13% of women who were daily or near-daily users thought about suicide, compared with 6.5% of men and 9% of women who were occasional users and 3% of both sexes who were non-users."


National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255
Self-Medicating Depression, Anxiety, and Stress
By, Lawrence Robinson and Melinda Smith, M.A, HelpGuide
“Drinking or using drugs to change your mood, face your fears, or deal with painful emotions? There are healthier ways than self-medication to cope with problems and improve how you feel.

When you use alcohol or drugs in this way to manage symptoms of a mental health issue, it’s known as “self-medicating”. You may be aware that you have a mental health problem but don’t know any healthier ways to cope. Or your condition could be undiagnosed and you simply use alcohol or drugs to cope with a specific symptom or situation. During the pandemic and resultant economic difficulties, for example, many of us started self-medicating stress, worry, and depression as our lives changed so much.

While self-medicating may offer some relief in the short-term, over time it only exacerbates your problems. Whether you turn to alcohol, illegal drugs, or prescription medications (or even food or cigarettes), regular self-medication can lead to addiction, a worsening of mood disorders, and increased health problems. It can also damage your relationships at home, work, and school.

It’s not always easy to identify when you’re self-medicating. After all, drinking alcohol is a socially acceptable part of many cultures, prescription medications can be found in most bathroom cabinets, and even recreational drugs such as marijuana are now legal or easy to obtain in a lot of places.

Even when you realize how your self-medicating is only temporarily masking your problems rather than serving any helpful purpose, it can be hard to shake the misconceptions and false beliefs you’ve built up in your mind. The more you challenge your beliefs about the benefits of self-medication, though, the less hold they’ll maintain over your behavior. You can do that by replacing your substance use with more effective, healthier means of coping with your problems."


The More You Know
Teen Dating Violence
Brought to you by our Too Good for Drugs & Violence Program
“Speaking openly & honestly about relationships with your teenager can help them speak openly and honestly with you. Sometimes, to be more indpendent, teens don't share everything that is going on in their lives. For this reason, it is essential to know the warning signs that your teen may be in an unhealthy or abusive relationship. "
National Dating Abuse Helpline:
1-866-331-9474

For more resources or help. Click Here
Spotlight
Parents need to be talking to their teens & preteens about gangs, and the consequences they can bring into their lives. Here are some tips on keeping your child out of a gang.
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Online Programming
If you are looking for educational and engaging activities for your kids during this time of social distancing Coalition Rx has you covered! We are working hard to transition our evidence-based programming into online lessons. We are currently posting one video per program a week on our Facebook page and website.

We're also working on Zoom lessons if parents, teachers or students are interested in joining please email coalitionrx@gmail.com and we will get some class times set up!
WISE Program Lesson 1 - Pat Williams
Help Reduce the Misuse of Substances of Abuse
We provide three evidence-based programs for youth and families. Strengthening Families Program 10-14, Too Good For Drugs and Violence K-8 and WISE. If you are interested in these programs please check out our Facebook page for the virtual lessons we have started in the wake of social distancing guidelines.

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Founded in 2015, our mission is to reduce the misuse of all substances of abuse by raising awareness and partnering with community organizations to provide public and professional education, prevention and treatment resources, and policy advocacy.
Carey Pomykata Executive Director
(402) 871-5622