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Expert Summaries

RIA Reaching Others

RIA Expert Summaries provide timely information on addictions and substance abuse topics. Each summary provides an overview of a problem area as well as researched-based suggestions on how to address it. The Expert Summaries are available for download in either HTML or PDF formats.

medical marijuana

The use of medical marijuana has elicited strong opinions on both sides of the debate.

‘Molly’ Who? The New Ecstasy

“Molly” has been making news lately. Bad news.

DMX (Cough Suppressant) Abuse

A dangerous chemical kick may be no farther away than your medicine cabinet… About one in 20 teens have gotten high on dextromethorphan (DXM) – the active ingredient in more than 100 over-the-counter (OTC) cold remedies like Robitussin, Coricidin, Vicks 44 and NyQuil, to name just a few.

Prescription Drug Abuse

Q:  What do pain killers, tranquilizers, and stimulant medications all have in common?

A:  Although prescribed legally by physicians, these three very different types of drugs are the most commonly abused classes of prescription drugs. Their abuse and the consequences of their abuse – treatment admissions, ER visits, and overdose deaths – have increased to an epidemic.

College Student Drinking

The “college years...” – for many, reflection on this time engenders thoughts of studying, new-found independence, and burgeoning responsibilities. Also, for many, reflection on this time includes remembrances of either initiating alcohol use or the escalation of drinking.

"Bath Salts"

“Bath salts” – and we're not speaking of the pleasant hygiene products purchased at your grocery store or local shopping mall – are a relatively new type of psychoactive drug containing synthetic stimulants. Bath salts are swallowed, snorted, or injected for the experience of a drug-induced high. These bath salts often contain the compounds MDPV (3,4-methylenedioxypryrovalerone) and/or mephedrone, known as synthetic cathinones. In appearance, they are an odorless, powdery substance, often white, tan, or brown, although they can also be a crystal, liquid, or tablet.


From 1900-1960, Nevada was the only state with legalized gambling. Outside of Nevada, gambling translated to charity bingo, horse and dog tracks.

Energy Drinks

A seminal study at UB’s Research Institute on Addictions (RIA) reported that during the course of the year “15% of the U.S. workforce has used or been under the influence of alcohol at work.” This prevalence study of workforce-workplace substance use included data obtained from interviews with 2,800 employed adults, ages 18-65, who resided in the contiguous U.S. and District of Columbia between 2002-03.

Energy Drinks

Energy drinks are highly caffeinated beverages designed to provide a short-term energy boost. These drinks typically contain as much caffeine as a cup of coffee and three times as much as a standard soft drink, with some brands containing much higher doses. Energy drinks also contain sweeteners, amino acids such as taurine or l-carnitine, massive doses of B vitamins, and plant or herbal extracts such as gingko biloba, ginseng, or milk thistle. The potential interactions among these ingredients are not well understood.