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News & Press: Trauma-Watch Industry News

Teens with brain injury are more likely to abuse drugs

Tuesday, December 2, 2014  
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Teenagers who have suffered a traumatic brain injury are twice as likely to drink alcohol or use drugs when compared with whose who have never experienced a similar blow or trauma to the head.  That’s according to a study of Ontario high school students that was published in The Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation. It was led by researchers at St. Michael’s Hospital and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH).  For years, the research team noticed this toxic combination in many of his young patients. They had either sustained a head injury while drinking or high on drugs; or were injured — for instance, while playing sports — and subsequently developed substance abuse problems.  Curious about whether this was part of a more widespread phenomena, hospital researchers teamed up with experts at CAMH, which is responsible for the Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey, one of the longest-running school surveys worldwide. For the first time, the 2011 survey asked about traumatic brain injury, defined as any hit or blow to the head that resulted in being knocked out for at least five minutes or spending at least one night in the hospital.  Data from that survey was used in the study. Experts pored over responses of 6,383 teens in Grades 9 to 12, considered representative of all Ontario students in those grades. About 20 per cent said they had suffered a brain injury in their lifetime. Among this group, the odds of substance use were significantly greater.  Click here to read more.....

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