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Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America Partners with NIDA to Educate Nation About Effects of Drugs

For Release August 29, 2003

Group Also to Honor Knight Ridder Chairman for Awareness Efforts

To raise awareness about the effects of drug use on the most vulnerable populations– children and adolescents–as they return to school, Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) is partnering with the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to release, Practical Theorist 5: Marijuana Abuse: Using Science for an Effective Community Response.

The release of the Practical Theorist 5: Marijuana Abuse: Using Science for An Effective Community Response will coincide with the presentation of CADCA's Humanitarian of the Year Award to P. Anthony Ridder, Chairman and CEO of Knight Ridder, Inc. Mr. Ridder is being recognized for his commitment to CADCA's Drug-Free Kids Campaign, which seeks to improve the lives of youth by raising corporate America's awareness of substance abuse issues and community efforts to keep youth drug free. The award ceremony will take place on September 16, 2003, at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington, DC.

This Practical Theorist, the fifth in a collaborative series, includes research on drug abuse in a concise, convenient format and offers strategies on how to use the data to mobilize communities, affect policy, and support local anti-drug coalition efforts to build drug-free communities.

"One of our top priorities is to rapidly and effectively disseminate our scientific findings to local experts and volunteers to assist them with community prevention and treatment efforts," says NIDA Director, Nora D. Volkow, M.D.

CADCA Chairman and CEO Gen. Arthur T. Dean emphasized the importance of this information sharing. "It is critical that we educate community leaders, parents, and young people about the harmful effects of drugs. This version of the Practical Theorist and the previous editions are an important part of our education and outreach efforts."

The first section in the Practical Theorist 5, "The Scope of the Marijuana Problem Today," provides the most recent statistics about marijuana use. Information includes the role that marijuana plays as a contributing factor in hospital emergency room visits and the number of arrestees in the criminal justice system who tested positive for marijuana.

The second section includes the latest research on marijuana and its effects on the brain, with findings such as: "Within minutes of inhaling marijuana smoke, there is an increase in heart rate - the heart may start pumping 20 to 50 beats per minute faster than normal." Other topics include the addictive nature of marijuana, the damage to short-term memory it causes, and its connection to mental illness. It also outlines the effects of marijuana use on an individual's school, work, and social life.

The final section highlights what communities can do to address the growing problem of marijuana use, such as educating youth; ensuring marijuana concerns aren't pushed aside by other drugs; educating the community; supporting drug abuse treatment; and encouraging parents to maintain an active role in their children's lives.

The Practical Theorist series is designed to help local community groups by providing the latest science-based information in easy-to-understand language so they can educate their members and the public about drug abuse.

Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA), home of the Drug-Free Kids Campaign, is the premier national membership organization representing more than 5,000 community anti-drug coalitions nationwide, providing training, information and support. These coalitions are local partnerships between parents, teachers, young people, law enforcement, health providers, the faith community, business and civic leaders, elected officials and concerned citizens who unite and mobilize to make their communities safe, healthy, and drug free - one community at a time. For more information on CADCA, visit For more information on the Drug-Free Kids Campaign, call or write 901 N. Pitt Street, Suite 301, Alexandria, VA 22314, 1-800-54-CADCA.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse is a component of the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIDA supports more than 85 percent of the world's research on the health aspects of drug abuse and addiction. The Institute carries out a large variety of programs to ensure the rapid dissemination of research information and its implementation in policy and practice. Fact sheets on the health effects of drugs of abuse and further information on NIDA research can be found on the NIDA web site at

For more information about any item in this Release:

  • CADCA Contact:
    LeAndrea Burney
    (703) 706-0560 x224

  • NIDA Contact:
    Blair Gately
    Michelle Person

    Contacto en Español:
    Sara Rosario

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