According to the National Center for Health Statistics, drug overdose deaths in the United States increased between 2013 and 2014, driven in large part by continued sharp increases in heroin deaths and an emerging increase in deaths involving illicit synthetic opioids, especially fentanyl.

The University of Michigan this week released some data highlighting drug use by American college students in 2014.

Monitoring the Future (MTF) survey data shows that daily marijuana use by college students increased from 3.5 percent in 2007 to 5.9 percent in 2014 and surpassed daily cigarette smoking for the first time in 2014.

A new study released this week by New York University found that 1.1 percent of teens have tried 'bath salts,' but nearly one-fifth of adolescents are using 'bath salts' on a regular basis, Medical News Today reported.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that between January and May of this year, poison centers in 48 states reported receiving a 229 percent increase in calls related to synthetic cannabinoid use.

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. This old adage worked for the Troy Drug Free Community Coalition in Troy, New York. The “Collar City,” near the state’s Capitol, had experienced a surge of criminal and gang activity, and the last straw was a local problem with synthetic marijuana. A neighborhood action committee was formed. They sought Drug-Free Communities Support Program funding. Twice rejected, the coalition submitted their application again and are now successfully implementing their initiatives as a Year One DFC grantee.

The American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) and experts at America’s 55 poison centers are warning the public about a group of dangerous new synthetic cannabinoids which have recently led to a dramatic spike in poison center exposure calls in the United States.

From Jan. 1-April 22, poison centers have received nearly 2,000 calls from people seeking help for adverse reactions to these drugs. This is almost four times the rate of calls received all of last year, according to the evaluators.

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. This old adage worked for the Troy Drug Free Community Coalition in Troy, New York. The “Collar City,” near the state’s Capitol, had experienced a surge of criminal and gang activity, and the last straw was a local problem with synthetic marijuana. A neighborhood action committee was formed. They sought Drug-Free Communities Support Program funding. Twice rejected, the coalition submitted their application again and are now successfully implementing their initiatives as a Year One DFC grantee.

This week, the United Nation’s Office on Crime and Drugs’ Global SMART (Synthetics Monitoring: Analyses, Reporting and Trends) Program released a progress report on international synthetic drug use, which illustrates the widespread use of synthetic cannabinoids around the world.

Synthetic cannabinoid receptor agonists, commonly referred to as synthetic cannabinoids, constitute the largest, most diversified and fastest growing group of NPS on the market, the report said.

A nationwide group of 43 attorneys general recently signed a letter addressed to nine major oil company presidentsexpressing concern that employees of their gas stations distribute synthetic marijuana.

The letter from the National Association of Attorneys General says confusion surrounding synthetic drugs allows dealers to convince retail shops at gas stations to carry the products despite their federal illegality.

Youth use of alcohol and illicit drugs are steadily declining, but e-cigarette use is high and the perception that marijuana is harmful is low, according to the 2014 Monitoring the Future Survey, released by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).

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