New report helps parents safeguard kids from addiction

New report helps parents safeguard kids from addiction

America is in the throes of a substance abuse crisis, and it’s killing more people than ever.

Parents, teachers and other caregivers are worried they may not be able to safeguard their kids from falling into the drugs and alcohol trap.

There’s a lot to know about all sorts of toxins in the environment, and not a lot of reliable, scientific data on how to protect toddlers and kids from danger.

CASA – the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University – have come to the rescue!

The knowledgeable staff at CASA have produced a helpful publication that is absolutely loaded with everything you need to know to safeguard kids from toxic substances of all kinds – including dangerous and addictive drugs.

Record numbers of exposures

CASA produced the guide because America’s addiction epidemic has led to record numbers of babies and pre-school age children being accidentally exposed to toxic, addictive substances including alcohol, caffeine, prescription drugs, marijuana and illicit drugs, and nicotine – including the usual tobacco sources as well as e-cigarettes.

In 2016, CASA says, poison control centers were called more than 30,500 times because kids were exposed to addictive substances. And this didn’t start yesterday. The numbers have been rising for over a decade.

“The number of children aged five and younger who have been exposed to the toxic effects of nicotine, alcohol, caffeine, marijuana, certain opioids and methamphetamine have increased over the past decade, as have the number of children who experience serious consequences from these events,” CASA said. “Fortunately, there are steps parents, health care professionals, policymakers, industry and researchers can take to prevent such occurrences and protect children from the potentially life-threatening effects of these substances.”

It’s even in the news

We saw a news report this week about record numbers of little kids getting exposed to marijuana smoke, e-cigarette smoke, and even getting into the raw liquid nicotine.

The trend to legalize pot, and its growing acceptance as “okay” to depict on television shows and in movies, is especially nasty. It’s leading more people than ever using pot with little regard for nearby babies, toddlers and kids getting hit with side-stream smoke. And if you do a little research, you’ll see that’s definitely not okay.

Additional key findings from CASA include:

  • Exposures to marijuana increased by 148 percent over a seven-year period
  • Exposures to prescription opioid pain relievers increased 93 percent each year over a nine-year period, corresponding to the opioid epidemic’s progression
  • Calls to poison control centers about e-cigarettes increased more than 1,400 percent in just three years
  • The number of young children exposed to alcoholic beverages has increased every year since 2012

The downloadable PDF publication is free, easy to read,

“offers concrete recommendations for parents and other caregivers, health care professionals, policymakers, industry and researchers to ensure that the growing availability of addictive products is met with an effective response that will protect the youngest victims of substance use and addiction.”

If you or someone you care about needs some help with any kind of substance use disorder, don’t hesitate to call Novus. We’re always here to help.

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