www.SocialWorkToday.com  |   Trouble viewing this e-mail? Go here.

In this Issue
Other Social Work News
Conversations About Smoking
Help Youths Resist

According to NPR, health care providers' chats with children and teens about the dangers of smoking are influencing their decision not to start.

Aging Workforce Presents
Highway Safety Challenges

USA Today reports on increasing road risks due to the growing number of older motorists who drive for a living and have age-related impairment in some driving skills.

CDC Reports Schools
Getting Healthier

According to The Washington Post, school districts across the country are showing various improvements in nutrition, exercise, and tobacco policies.

Cartoon Drawing Therapeutic for Boy With Mental Health Conditions
CNN reports on a boy with several mental health challenges who's using cartooning as a tool for self-expression.
A Secure, Anonymous Résumés Bank
Job Alerts Sent to Your E-mail
Gift Shop
Social workers care about their clients, but rarely do they have time to care about themselves. Show yourself a little appreciation with field-inspired gear from our Gift Shop. We've got the perfect item for every situation from busy days in the office to at home visits. Check out our secure online shop today or call toll-free 877-809-1659 for easy and fast ordering.
Editor's E-Note
September is National Recovery Month, and this year it occurs on the heels of significant legislative changes regarding the use of medical marijuana and, in some regions, recreational use. Debates will continue on policy changes for these types of marijuana use, but this month’s E-News Exclusive reports on use by another, potentially higher-risk group—adolescents—and its perception by teens as a “safe” drug.

Research shows that cannabis interacts with the brain in areas that involve learning and management of rewards, motivated behavior, decision making, habit formation, and motor function. Brain structure changes rapidly during adolescence, and scientists believe that cannabis use at this time influences the way these parts of the user’s personality develop.

Only a minority of teenage users will develop an abusive or dependent relationship with marijuana, and it likely will be those who are genetically or psychologically vulnerable. Identifying these adolescents may be the key to prevention and early intervention of addiction and mental health conditions related to cannabis use.

Researcher Didier Jutras-Aswad, MD, says the objective “is not to fuel the debate about whether cannabis is good or bad but instead to identify those individuals who might most suffer from its deleterious effects and provide adequate measures to prevent this risk.”

Recovery Month promotes the benefits of substance abuse treatment and recovery—but it also emphasizes prevention. This month’s exclusive suggests that treatment professionals, policymakers, and the public take a closer look at the data on marijuana’s effects on the developing adolescent brain and how it can inform public policy.

We welcome your comments at SWTeditor@gvpub.com. Visit our website at www.SocialWorkToday.com, join our Facebook page, and follow us on Twitter.

— Marianne Mallon, editor
E-News Exclusive
Cannabis Affects Addiction Processes in the Adolescent Brain

The nature of the teenage brain makes cannabis users among this population particularly at risk of developing addictive behaviors and experiencing other long-term negative effects, according to researchers at the University of Montreal and New York’s Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

“Of the illicit drugs, cannabis is most used by teenagers since it is perceived by many to be of little harm. This perception has led to a growing number of states approving its legalization and increased accessibility. Most of the debates regarding cannabis were conducted and ensuing policies formulated without consideration of its impact on one of the most vulnerable populations, namely teens, or without consideration of scientific data,” wrote Didier Jutras-Aswad, MD, of the University of Montreal and Yasmin Hurd, MD, PhD, of Mount Sinai. “While it is clear that more systematic scientific studies are needed to understand the long-term impact of adolescent cannabis exposure on brain and behavior, the current evidence suggests that it has a far-reaching influence on adult addictive behaviors particularly for certain subsets of vulnerable individuals.”

The researchers reviewed more than 120 studies that examined different aspects of the relationship between cannabis and the adolescent brain, including the biology of the brain, chemical reaction that occurs in the brain when the drug is used, and influence of genetics and environmental factors, in addition to studies into the “gateway drug” phenomenon.

Full Story »
Tech & Tools
App to Help Decrease
Marijuana Use

The University at Buffalo has received a grant to develop an app to help reduce marijuana intake through exercise. Learn more »
Advertising Opportunities
Have a product or service you want to market to social work professionals, or an open position that you need to fill quickly? Social Work Today offers many flexible advertising programs designed to maximize your results. From print advertising to e-newsletter sponsorships, website advertising to direct mail opportunities, Social Work Today helps achieve your goals. E-mail our experienced account executives today for more information or call 800-278-4400!

AlliedHealthCareers.com is the premier online resource to recruit social work professionals. Post your open positions, view résumés and showcase your facility's offerings all at AlliedHealthCareers.com!
Digital Edition
September/October 2013

View the current issue of Social Work Today now!

Social Work Today is mobile for iPhone, iPad, and Android users!

Visit www.SocialWorkToday.com/digital on your phone’s browser to view the mobile version of this issue and bookmark us for future issues.
Recently in Social Work Today
Warrior Canine Connection — Puppy Training Program
Tackles PTSD and TBI

A strengths-based service dog training program is helping service members with PTSD and mild traumatic brain injuries who have not responded to standard treatment protocols. Read more »

College Mental Health Initiatives — Outreach to At-Risk Students
For adolescents and young adults with or without a predisposition to mental health conditions, adjusting to campus life is a major stressor that advocacy groups are recognizing and addressing as a risk factor for which support is needed. Read more »

Support for Black Children in Transracial Adoptions
How can black Americans find value within themselves given the mixed messages that children receive regarding the worth of their dark skin, even within their own communities? Read more »
Continuing Education
Social Work Today's CE program offers social workers the opportunity to earn CEs from the comfort of their homes or offices.

Visit www.SocialWorkTodayCE.com today and join the thousands of professionals from across the country who have already have taken advantage of this great program.

Simply read an issue of the magazine, complete the online exam or the printed exam published in the magazine, and most issue exams will earn 2 CE credits! PLUS, you have the opportunity to earn CE credits from past issues, too!

See what all the talk is about. Visit www.SocialWorkTodayCE.com today for more information!