Tools for Treating Teens: the Center for Adolescent Substance Abuse Research

This year, the Center for Substance Abuse Research (CASAR) at the University of Minnesota Medical School celebrates 25 years of developing research-based tools and resources for adolescent drug abuse assessment and treatment.  Dr Ken C. Winters, director of CASAR, shares some insights on adolescent treatment in the interview that follows.

A Hidden Epidemic: Older Adults and Substance Abuse

North Carolina filmmaker Linda Warden left a career in information technology to make movies, focusing on topics that help children and families. Having lost a child to addiction, she is especially interested in increasing awareness of substance use disorders and their impact on families and communities.

 “Addiction affects people of all ages,” she comments. “To my knowledge, nothing has really been done on older adults and addiction in the mass media.”
That explains, in part, her interest in producing a documentary on older adults and substance use disorder, A Hidden Epidemic. “Although addiction is a part of this program, the focus is on prevention and recovery,” says Ms. Warden.

Lost in the weeds about marijuana?

Maureen Fitzgerald
Communications Coordinator, ATTC Network Coordinating Office
Editor, NIATx


If you've been to the ATTC website in the past few days, we hope you've stopped by the webpage for our new resource,  Marijuana Lit: Fact Based Information to Assist You in Providing SUD Services.
As you'll notice, we've made it easy to find!

Bringing research to the teen world: National Drug Facts Week


The latest Monitoring the Future study released in December 2014 reported that both teen alcohol and cigarette use are at their lowest points since the study began in 1975. Use of a number of other illicit drugs has also declined.

University of Michigan researchers who led the study, Drs. Lloyd Johnson and Richard Miech, comment on the results in this two-minute You Tube video:  E-cigarettes Surpass Regular Cigarettes Among Teens.

Tales of Bath Salts and Zombie Cannibalism

The ATTC Network’s November iTraining, “Will they Turn You into a Zombie? An Overview of Synthetic Drugs” was packed with information on synthetics, including the major classes of synthetic drugs, the acute and chronic effects of using them, and the extent of use in the United States.

Beth Rutkowski, Associate Director of Training for the Pacific Southwest ATTC  and UCLA Integrated Substance Abuse Programs presented the webinar, which is based on the Synthetic Drug Training Package-2nd Edition that the PSATTC developed in partnership with the South Southwest ATTC.

You can watch “Will they Turn You into a Zombie?” on the ATTC Network’s Vimeo site. The presentation included time for audience questions, but we ran out of time to answer them all.

Here, we provide Beth’s in-depth replies to the remaining questions. 

Three wishes for 2015

Kim Johnson, PhD
Co-director, ATTC Network Coordinating Office
Deputy Director, NIATx


Instead of giving you my resolutions, I am going to tell you what I hope for and what in my own way I intend to work for in 2015. It’s a mishmash of things that I  wish I could wave my magic wand and make happen right now—instead of waiting for the evolution that will someday lead us to fixing these problems. 

Just the Facts: Marijuana Lit

Maureen Fitzgerald,
ATTC Network Coordinating Office

With marijuana legalization so much in the news these days, SUD treatment professionals face a big task in separating fact from marijuana fiction. What's more, what we currently know about marijuana may no longer be true, since existing studies were conducted years ago  on much less powerful pot.