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Recent Trends in Mental Health and Substance Use Concerns Among Adolescents

June 28, 2022

Concerns about adolescent mental health and substance use have increased recently, particularly in light of gun violence and the COVID-19 pandemic. In recent years, many adolescents have experienced worsened emotional health, increased stress, and a lack of peer connection. Other mental health and substance use concerns are on the rise – including drug overdose deaths, self-harm, and eating disorders. Simultaneously, adolescents are spending more time on screens and many report adverse experiences such as parental abuse, hunger, and job loss – all of which can be linked to poor mental health outcomes.This brief explores the state of adolescent mental health and substance use in recent years, highlighting differences observed by sex, racial and ethnic groups, and sexual orientation. Throughout this analysis, we define adolescents as individuals ages 12 to 17. Although data on adolescent mental health is limited, where possible, we draw upon data from the 2020 National Survey of Children's Health (NSCH), which asks parents or guardians questions on behalf of their children and adolescents. We also include data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other surveys conducted during the pandemic.

Pain in the Nation: The Epidemics of Alcohol, Drug, and Suicide Deaths 2022

May 24, 2022

COVID-19 has intensified the nation's troubling long-term trends for alcohol, drug, and suicide deaths. Between 2019 and 2020, these deaths increased a stunning 20 percent, driven by a 27 percent increase in the rate of alcohol-induced deaths and a 30 percent increase in drug-induced deaths. Increases were particularly large among communities of color and young adults. The rise in deaths occurred across all states and the District of Columbia, except for New Hampshire. And for the first time, two states--West Virginia and New Mexico--surpassed 100 deaths from alcohol, drugs, and suicide per 100,000 people. 

A Better Path for Maine: The Case for Decriminalizing Drugs

March 21, 2022

No one should die or have their life derailed because they, or someone they love, uses drugs. But that is what is happening in Maine because of criminalization: There are very real economic and social costs because Maine criminalizes drug use and possession. We talked to more than 150 people -- those who have been arrested for drug crimes, their family members as well as prosecutors, defense attorneys, treatment providers, and harm reduction workers.In these pages, we'll detail the enormous toll that drug laws take on our communities. Our data is pulled from interviews conducted in person, over the telephone, and on Zoom. We also submitted public records requests and reviewed academic public health research, as well as local and national media stories covering drug policy.The report illustrates the harm that criminalization does to individuals and their families and how much money the state has spent to do so. Our recommendations will not only help people who use drugs, but will mean wiser investments of public funds.We hope this report will make a new way in Maine, one that turns away from old systems of punishment and towards an investment in communities and connection.

The Return on Investment of Women's Recovery Services

July 1, 2021

Women's Recovery Services (WRS) is an initiative of the Minnesota Department of Human Services Alcohol and Drug Abuse Division. Grantees across Minnesota provide treatment support and recovery services for pregnant and parenting women who have substance use disorders and their families. This report presents the return on investment (ROI) analysis of Women's Recovery Services.

Infusing Equity and Cultural Responsiveness in Local Youth Substance Use Prevention Efforts: Tips and Tools

June 1, 2021

The purpose of the toolkit is to help communities weave equity and cultural responsiveness throughout implementation of the Strategic Prevention Framework. The toolkit contains tips, templates, and case studies.

A Lifetime of Damage: How Big Tobacco’s Predatory Marketing Harms the Health of Women and Girls

May 26, 2021

The tobacco industry has a long history of developing cigarette brands and marketing campaigns that target women and girls, with devastating consequences for women's health. The industry's deliberate and aggressive targeting of women and girls spans a century, utilizing themes of beauty, fashion, freedom and sophistication – and often playing into sexist tropes – while ignoring or downplaying that tobacco use causes serious health harms at all stages of a woman's life.Smoking harms nearly every organ of the body and affects a person's overall health. More than 16 million women and girls in the United States currently smoke, putting them at risk for the serious and deadly diseases caused by smoking. Over 200,000 women die in the U.S. every year due to smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke. In addition, youth e-cigarette use has skyrocketed to what the U.S. Surgeon General and the Food and Drug Administration have called "epidemic" levels, with nearly 1 in 5 high school girls now using e-cigarettes.This report details the tobacco industry's history of predatory marketing, which has lured and addicted millions of women and girls to tobacco products, and the resulting harmful consequences for women's health that occur over their lifespans. This report demonstrates that strong action is needed now to protect women's health and save lives, and offers proven solutions to prevent young girls from starting to smoke or vape and help all women quit.

Women's Recovery Services in Minnesota: Year 4 Findings

March 1, 2021

Women's Recovery Services (WRS) is an initiative of the Minnesota Department of Human Services Alcohol and Drug Abuse Division. Grantees across Minnesota provide treatment support and recovery services for pregnant and parenting women who have substance use disorders and their families. The evaluation includes process and outcome evaluations and a cost-benefit analysis. 

Inclusive Substance Abuse Prevention Among College Students: Findings from the Field and Lessons Learned from Minnesota's Partnership's for Success Grant

January 1, 2021

This report focuses on culturally responsive prevention strategies. Populations of focus were: students with mental health concerns, students of color and Indigenous students, LGBTQ students, and student athletes. Information includes substance use among these groups and preventing substance use.

How to Make Tajikistan's Drug Laws More Effective and Humane

March 4, 2020

Tajikistan's current laws regarding drug users and drug policy are a cumbersome mix of recently adopted international obligations and regressive provisions dating back to the Soviet period. With support from the Open Society Global Drug Policy Program and the Open Society Institute Assistance Foundation-Tajikistan, representatives from the country's Ministry of Health, Drug Control Agency, and civil society organizations analyzed existing drug legislation and bylaws with the aim of identifying areas for improvement.

Treating Co-Occurring Disorders among Southeast Asian Refugees, Immigrants, and Asylum Seekers

March 1, 2020

Wilder Recovery Services commissioned Wilder Research to assist with the development and evaluation of a toolkit for providers to use with refugees, immigrants, and asylum seekers of Southeast Asian descent who have co-occurring substance use disorders and mental health conditions. As part of this project, Wilder Research conducted a literature review to identify best practices in providing treatment.

Women's Recovery Services in Minnesota: Year 3 Findings

March 1, 2020

This report presents a description of the women and children served by Women's Recovery Services programs and outcomes for families during the third year of the five-year grant.

Gambling in Minnesota: A Study of Participation, Attitudes, and the Prevalence of Problem Gambling

February 1, 2020

Results of a statewide survey designed to: understand the types and frequencies of gambling activities in which Minnesotans participate; estimate the prevalence of problem gambling, the differences in prevalence across socio-demographic groups, and the co-occurrence of problem gambling with other health conditions; and understand attitudes toward gambling and publicly funded prevention and treatment efforts for problem gambling.